Posted: 1:04 p.m. Monday, Oct. 7, 2013
By Janine Popick
Get this: 92 percent of B2B customers watch online video and 43 percent of B2B customers watch online video when researching products and services for their business.
YouTube isn't just a platform for sharing videos, it's also one of the most popular search engines on the web--second only to Google. And YouTube is the third most popular website in the world, with over a billion unique visitors each month according to the company. Using YouTube for your business has the potential to energize your current customers, and attract new ones.
Still think YouTube is just for cat videos and the like? Well, if you're a business selling to another business you might want to take another look; 92 percent of B2B customers watch online video and 43 percent of B2B customers watch online video when researching products and services for their business, with 54 percent of these watching on YouTube. Here are a few ways you can harness the potential of video for your business.
Stand Out from the Crowd
Two-thirds of B2B customers consider three or more companies when purchasing and over half don't know which company to purchase from according to information from the recent Google Think B2B Conference. What can sway their decision? A brand's reputation was shown to be highly influential in how B2B customers decide.
We know that 22 million B2B customers watch YouTube videos every month, so how can you tell your story and express your brand in a compelling way to engage directly with your customers? Look at Cisco, a global provider of networking systems from routers to webinar software. They've developed a YouTube channel full of videos and tutorials to help prospective customers learn everything they want to know about network solutions. When you think routers you don't think,"oh, I'd love to watch some videos about that!" but Cisco presents their content in a way that hooks you from the get-go including their headline, "Welcome to the future-ready network."
At the core of good content marketing is providing utility to your prospects and customers and a great way to do this is using video. It's as easy as producing simple how-tos and showing how to solve common problems (just look at the Vine videos Lowes did recently full of simple six second home improvement tips). You can also talk about cool new tools and apps that will make your customers lives easier. At my e-mail marketing company, VerticalResponse, we recently began a once a week video series called What's New Weekly. Our social media manager and a weekly guest each pick a cool tool or app they want to share with our customers and record a quick video. We publish the video on our blog, share the link on our social media channels, and send out an email with a link to the video to our subscriber base. And slowly, we're building our YouTube subscribers from a measly five when we started to over 200 in a few short weeks. We still have a long way to go, but we're laying the bricks. You can do the same thing with a fairly simple set up. The VR team got everything they needed from Amazon for less than $150 (not including the camera).
We wouldn't be talking B2B if we didn't talk about generating leads, and you can do plenty of that with videos and YouTube. Here's the trick: make sure that with every video you produce that you include a call to action and an URL of a landing page or page back to your website where folks can learn more, sign up, register for a demo, etc. YouTube also offers overlay ads that you can use if you're a Google Adwords advertiser. According to YouTube, "The overlay will appear as soon as the video begins to play and can be closed by the user. You can use the overlay to share more information about the content of your video or to raise interest in your channel, other videos, or additional websites. When users click on the overlay, they are directed to your external website as specified in the overlay's destination URL."
How are you using video to grow your business? Share in the comments.