It’s pretty obvious that videos placed on YouTube have huge appeal with consumers who love to be entertained while seeing a product or brand in action. YouTube videos can be cutting and funny, irreverent or just dumb, yet they have the capability of capturing consumer attention and driving interest and conversion. Good videos translate to more sales—according to one recent survey, consumers are nearly two-thirds more likely to purchase a product after watching a video.
But how well does that work for enterprise and business-to-business companies? Do videos on YouTube help with marketing when the the target buyer may be a busy executive, the sales cycle can be long, and a variety of different types of individuals may have input into the decision?
With B2B and enterprise products and services, it is even more important to leverage a channel as important as YouTube. Here are a few simple reasons why:
• YouTube is the second most frequently used search engine, which not only means that your target audience is probably researching solutions on YouTube, but also that a properly labelled and tagged video can show up high in the search results;
• Attentions spans are getting shorter, and a tight video or animation can capture that attention better than words or images on a web page;
• It offers strong opportunities to engage with your target customer; and
• It allows you to show off your creativity and position your company as a thought leader in your market.
Here, then, are six tips for how to leverage YouTube for B2B marketing:
1) Short is Sweet. As recently as two years ago we were producing videos up to five minutes in length to showcase brands and their executives. That time has dropped by more than half. A recent study confirmed that the most successful videos on YouTube are under two minutes in length—and those around the one-minute mark are the most popular.
2) Set Up a Branded YouTube Channel. Creating a company channel delivers a better experience than individual uploads, even if the titling and tags are already aligned for the best search results. A branded channel allows for a branded experience, with creative elements that showcase the company or product. It also allows a company to segment the videos so that the target viewer can better find what they are after.
3) Be Disciplined About New Content. Just like your other social media platforms, YouTube thrives on consistent content. Just posting video without a regular refresh leaves too much silence and no reason for a viewer to come back. When you develop your YouTube strategy, make sure you can add new content on a regular basis for a sustained campaign.
4) Treat Your Video Like a Blog Post. Don’t waste the opportunities to drive traffic to your YouTube channel through other social media platforms. Think of it as you would a blog post. The more nurturing it gets from all of your social activities, the more traffic it will get. So tweet it, blog about it, post it on Facebook, and promote it through your email newsletters.
5) Advertise. Remember, YouTube is owned by Google, so you can promote your videos through Adwords for Video. There are currently three ways to advertise and drive traffic to your channel: as a pre-roll ad before the videos that viewers watch; as a banner ad when people are browsing and searching the Internet; or as a promoted video when people are searching for similar videos. Each requires a careful selection of keywords to make sure you are getting to the right targets.
6) Be Creative. A static video of an executive talking about the company won’t capture anyone’s attention. If it’s meant to be instructive, consider using animation to tell the story. If it’s a thought leadership campaign, then have experts discussing trends. Use multi-camera shots, tight editing, and professional sound and lighting to keep it engaging. It’s ok to be entertaining, but it also needs to give viewers the information they are searching for.
YouTube should be a key element in every campaign’s mix of platforms to reach and engage the right audiences. It provides the audience with visual content that can showcase the brand, and it’s easy to gather the analytics about what is working and what’s falling flat. It requires a disciplined and smart approach, but the results of a smart YouTube campaign are more engagement and conversions.