Don’t overlook the business-building potential of social media videos.
6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
When explaining the importance of social media videos to executives at companies that serve the B2B market, you’ll likely be met with dismissive chuckles and disagreeing head shakes.
“Sorry, that’s just not what our clients want or care about,” would be a common response. “Videos are nice for the Facebooks and Instagrams of B2C companies, but in the B2B world, no way. Nobody’s interested in that kind of stuff.”
While I’ve found that point of view to be widely held, it’s also quite dangerous: B2B companies that refuse to explore the business-building potential of social media videos are doing so at their own peril.
Related: 20 Tools for Creating Engaging Social Media Videos and Images
Granted, the kind of social media videos that make sense for B2B companies to create are quite different from those that B2C companies post. In my experience, B2B videos that resonate the best, and are most useful to B2B customers/clients, are:
- Emotive storytelling that emphasizes the organization’s corporate culture, leadership, and mission
- Case studies of specific company success stories
- Demonstration and/or explanation that a product or service delivers
- Messages from CEOs about key company actions/decisions
- POVs on trending industry topics from C suite executives
To boost views, shares, likes, and comments, the maximum length of these clips should be 60 to 90-180 seconds at the most.
Regarding social media platforms, while B2C firms communicate to potential customers on Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook, B2B companies should focus on LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube. Keep in mind that while YouTube is a social media platform, it’s also the number two most popular and used search engine behind Google – which means that posting/sharing B2B videos that integrate strategic keywording on YouTube can yield valuable SEO benefits.
So while the content and channels for social media videos may differ between B2C and B2B efforts, that doesn’t mean B2B companies should sleep on the opportunity that’s available with a vibrant social media video strategy. The upside is simply too huge to ignore.
Related: 5 Ways to Dominate Social Media Marketing in 2020
Here are five powerful benefits that social media videos can deliver to B2B companies in any industry in the new year – whether they’re providers of services or manufacturers of products:
1. B2B social media videos create a messaging strategy that aims to educate vs. sell
Executives are always on the lookout for communication and marketing vehicles that offer a new way to sell their products or services. As strategy consultant Blair Wadman has written, this “close the deal now” mentality will not yield results with social media videos.
“If you can help [your prospects] become better versions of themselves and teach them something useful, they are more likely to (eventually) care about you and your services,” says Wadman. His recommendation?
“Don’t sell your products or services to your potential customers from the outset. Educate them. Help them solve their challenges.”
Related: How to Stand Out on Social Media, Even With Heavy Competition
Social media videos are the perfect medium for this long game approach. They offer B2B firms a chance to cultivate prospects not by selling, but by unselling their products or services. By consistently offering these teaching opportunities with social media videos, customers/clients will become more informed about your offerings, more confident in your ability to deliver the results that they seek, and — when they’re ready — more eager to open their wallets and become long term buyers.
2. They leverage the growing preference of mobile video consumption over desktop viewing.
Mobile users are watching more videos than desktop users. In fact, more than half of video watching is done on mobile devices, growing 233% since 2013.
Combine that stat with Hootsuite’s data about LinkedIn which, as mentioned above, is the social media channel where your videos should be living:
- 57% of LinkedIn users are accessing it via their mobile devices
- 94% of B2B marketers are publishing their content on the site
- Video posts on LinkedIn are five times more likely to generate user comments
- 80% of B2B leads generated by social media traffic originates on LinkedIn
If you needed hard figures to validate the importance of having a B2B social media video strategy, those are pretty difficult proof points to dismiss.
3. They grow lead gen via targeting and creating authentic connections with engaged users.
Want to precisely and surgically target your social media videos to B2B users in specific industries, job title categories, or geographic regions? LinkedIn lets you do that. And if you want to interact with the B2B users who comment on, like, or share your videos, a few quick clicks will facilitate new and potentially profitable business relationships.
Execs who engage with your content on LinkedIn are indicating that they’re interested in and intrigued by your message. Take the next logical step by requesting a connection or messaging them: they’re practically screaming “tell me more about what you offer — please!”
4. They provide an edge over your stubborn and less agile competitors.
If B2B firms that compete in your space want to overlook the business building possibilities that social media videos can deliver, by all means — let them. To paraphrase the wisdom that Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane shared in the film Moneyball, “when your enemies are making mistakes, don’t interrupt them”.
5. They empower sales teams with new tools to include in their pitches and presentations.
I’ve found that a smartly crafted and visually appealing two-minute video is a more convincing and memorable way to present your message than a two-page presentation or even a two-paragraph pitch email. So to get more mileage out of your B2B firm’s social media videos, your sales team can effectively leverage them as enticing presentation options. This would quickly boost your videos’ ROI, and also give your sales execs new ways to open conversations — and close deals — with prospective buyers.
When it comes to ramping up sales and increasing market share in Q1 2020, B2B CEOs and executives know which outreach ideas would work and which aren’t worth pursuing — usually. If they’re open to examining an option that can yield significant rewards in 2020 and beyond (and is also one that they may have initially disregarded), a social media video strategy that actively supports their sales/marketing efforts should absolutely be considered.