Here’s a statistic that will make your head spin: according to Pingdom , a website monitoring firm, every two minutes about 48 hours worth of video footage is uploaded to YouTube. This means that on a any given day, more than 2 million hours worth of video footage finds its way to the internet. In addition,over 800 million web visitors watch online videos per month. And, YouTube is now the second most popular search engine on the planet, just behind Google.
Why are web visitors so drawn to video? Video adds a dimension to the web that text and imagery alone cannot achieve. Music, narration, and movement provide a richer experience, which can more easily educate, entertain or inform your audience. Why peruse pages and pages of text when a video will provide you with what you’re looking for quicker and more easily?
But how does this trend take shape in the B2B world – do busy executives and engineers view online videos as much as the general public? When Google and Forbes Insight teamed up in 2010 and talked to over 500 corporate executives across the country about their web habits, they learned the following:
- 83% of respondents increased their work-related online video viewing over the previous year.
- The majority of those who watched a vendor’s online video further engaged with the company, perusing their site and searching for their products and services.
- More than one third of respondents contacted the vendor after watching an online video.
“But the people I’m targeting don’t have time to sit through a video,” you say. Not true. Craig Wax, CEO of Invodo, an online video production firm, revealed in a recent article that executives’ habits are changing, and many will sit through two or more minutes of a product video, or even view it multiple times, during the decision-making process. Well-executed online videos can provide a real benefit to businesses who want to reach out to their target audience.
Video is more complex than text on a page -- the timing, script writing, voice over, visuals and music bed needed for an effective, high-quality video require time and resources. Which begs the question: when does it make sense for a B2B company to invest in online video?
Let’s look at Anue Systems for some insight. Anue sells network monitoring tools to network engineers and administrators. Their innovative tools can make network administrators more efficient, and improve uptime for business networks. However, Anue’s products were such a different approach than traditional methods, they had a challenge in educating their marketplace about exactly what the tools do. And, Anue realized that a simple web page with a couple of images and paragraphs simply weren’t getting the job done.
Anue turned to TREW for help, who quickly surmised that a series of brief, yet in-depth online videos would better serve Anue in their quest to educate network engineers on the what, how and why of Anue’s products. The videos focus on a problem that all network engineers face, and then expand on how the Anue Net Tool Optimizer addresses that problem. In the videos, dynamic moving diagrams and high quality product cinematography add dimension. This, coupled with a well-written, detailed voice over, provide prospects with a very in-depth, informative look at the product.
The take away? Anue invested in online videos because they achieved a level of effectiveness in communicating the product’s benefits and details that is only rivaled by face to face sales presentations. Anue’s series of brief online product videos served as a “virtual salesperson” that could spread the word about their products faster and more efficiently than traditional avenues.
So when should you consider investing in online videos?
- When you need to educate your target audience. Like Anue, if you have a need to better explain what your products do, a video series may get the job done best.
- When you have a great story to tell. Customer testimonials lend themselves to the story-telling side of online video. They can come across more powerfully and be more attractive to a web visitor to view than a long article
- When you want to demo your product. You cannot demo your product online without some type of video. Whether you use software screens and mouse clicks with a voice over, or a complete demo with hardware and other elements, videos can give prospects a first glimpse at your product in practice.
- When you want to prospects to get to know you. Not only can online videos be used to educate, inform and pique interest in your product, but they can also be used to sell you and your company. Web visitors gain a more multi-dimensional feel for your business when they see you in action, whether it’s a video for fun and entertainment, or simply to highlight who you are.
As more and more web visitors develop a preference for videos, you can use this trend to your advantage by incorporating video into your marketing mix.
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