In 2018, videos became more accessible than ever. Newer tools and platforms drove down the costs of video creation and publishing. An engaging, high-quality video is now possible with more economical video production software and services within reach for most B2B budgets.
Video is the next best thing to being in person.
- Michael Litt, Founder of Vidyard
B2C brands have for donkey's years been leveraging video assets that deeply connect with audiences. More recently, some B2B brands have started to catch up by allocating a bigger chunk of their digital marketing budget to video content, although the quality of concept is still proving illusive for many.
The trend so far sees B2B Marketers using videos to tell stories about their brand and the people behind it, building their human connection with audiences, from how-to videos to keynote live streams to brand building creative campaigns.
By the numbers
The stats tell the story. According to Hubspot, 81% of businesses invest in video as a marketing tool in 2018, up from last year’s reported 63%.
Why? Because it works. Hubspot's survey says video has helped 97% of marketers “increase user understanding of their product or service.” Also, 67% of them stated that videos helped them increase sales and traffic.
This also says a lot about how much video content we consume. On average, Hubspot survey respondents watch 1.5 hours of video per day while 15% of them watch more than 3 hours of video on a daily basis.
Consumers prefer video. When learning about a product or service, 72% of customers would rather watch a video about it. It also helps that they love to share. If they enjoy your content, 83% of consumers are likely to share it with friends. Double win!
Video marketing trends that ruled 2018
With the launch of convenient live streaming features such as Instagram’s IGTV, live streams have amassed a large user base and fast growing popularity. Users like it because it shows authenticity and creators love it because it’s budget-friendly. Since it’s time sensitive, it becomes even more attractive to a curious audience.
Our mobile-first habits have equally shaped video formats. The way we use our tech has led to the rise of vertical videos. With consumers using their phones to watch all kinds of video content, from Instagram stories to full-length motion pictures, horizontally shot videos are no longer as dominant as before.
The fascination and novelty of 360 videos made the format increasingly popular. It’s an interesting (and super cool, let’s admit) way to bring users to destinations, products, and experiences. 360 videos changed the way digital marketers engage with audiences. In a case study made by Magnifyre, 360-videos drew more clicks than flat frame videos and even doubled the number of viewers who watched until the end.
The impact of influencer marketing in 2018 has been unparalleled. Brand sponsored videos are wildly popular on everyday social platforms such as Facebook and YouTube. Marketers are taking advantage of partnerships with YouTubers and other influencers to boost their content and brand.
Best B2B Video Content of 2018
In this video series, Hubspot tells “untold stories of brilliant people and the things that make them human.” Launched in November, each episode showcases inspiring stories of people behind the businesses who are growing with Hubspot. The first episode features Joe De Sena, CEO of Spartan, the world’s largest obstacle race and endurance brand. It’s not your run-of-the-mill customer success story. We see Joe pushing himself through the gritty mountains in one frame and barefoot in another as he tells his life story. BRILLIANT not only aims to inspire future founders to grow faster but to grow without compromising one’s values.
Slack: Maybe It’s Time to Try Slack
Slack isn’t a newcomer in clever marketing videos. Their Maybe It’s Time to Try Slack campaign shares the common user pain points which Slack wants to solve. Each video is humorous and sadly relatable, like a friend telling you a bad workplace habit that rings familiar. The two most popular videos in the series are Meetings and Emails, which is unsurprising and are both compelling enough to make you try Slack.
Hootsuite: Everyone’s on Social
Hootsuite’s content dares to push the boundaries of explainer videos with attractive gradients and great animation. Even viewers outside the Hootsuite niche would be compelled to watch until the end. It creatively narrates what Hootsuite is for, the features that come with the product, and why you need it. The graphics are fabulously done, matched with a script that is on brand and on point.
Squarespace partners with popular YouTube creators to share the brand’s six core pillars in a monthly video series. Every episode wins in building their key customer relationships while being able to share the brand values they are anchored in. Partnering with YouTube creators was a great way to reel in audiences and keep them engaged because they’re not only popular but have stories worth telling. It’s a smart way to generate viewers while planting the seeds of brand awareness in the minds of consumers. In the end, Squarespace was able to deliver engaging, standout content while celebrating their successful users and the values that define the brand.
MailChimp: What’s In Store
What’s In Store showcases how MailChimp has enabled small to medium enterprises to expand their reach and grow their following on social. The video series presents MailChimp use cases and ultimately champions the work of small businesses. Each episode dives into the features and benefits of the tool weaved into a customer success story.
What is Treehouse
In under a minute, Treehouse educates consumers how their product works without letting details slip into the cracks. It’s slick without losing its purpose. The video walks the user through the product at an efficient pace while sustaining customer interest. Any SaaS planning to make an explainer video of their product should spare a minute and take note.
Philips: Seamless Care
Click here to watch the video. Philips showcased an organization with an earnest aim to make a positive global impact. It’s a customer story video that successfully differentiates Philips from other brands by promoting its focus on causes that matter. The content not only highlights their products but also illustrates their company mission and brand values. Ultimately, it deepens the brand’s engagement with audiences.
Travelport Digital: BCD Travel Tripsource Case Study
We might be a little biased in our last pick, but we can’t end the list without mentioning Travelport Digital and their case study narrating the growth of BCD Travel. The video seamlessly integrates a use case of Travelport Digital into the success narrative of its client. The content demonstrates how Travelport Digital supported BCD Travel in creating a greater mobile and digital impact to customers through frictionless user experience. The video successfully positions Travelport Digital in the context of their customers’ pain points.
The best content reflects the things that make us human: our subtle nuances, successes and failures, and the experiences that make us laugh, cry and everything in between. It isn’t the production value that always matters. It’s the thought in creating something that builds and strengthens human connections in an increasingly digital world.