There are many misconceptions around B2B marketing. Chances are, you’ve heard at least some of them:
“Consumers buy on impulse. Businesses buy rationally.”
“Video marketing doesn’t work with B2B customers! Focus on text.”
“You can’t create fun video content in a B2B industry. It’s boring!”
Do any of these sound familiar?
As a result, most business owners who sell to B2B customers are making disastrous, easily avoidable mistakes with their video marketing.
In today’s post, we want to talk about what they are, and what you can do to prevent them from hurting your own marketing – and your bottom line.
Let’s dig in!
1. No differentiation from competitors
Business owners like to think that they always buy for 100% rational reasons, even though science says otherwise. And to maintain this illusion of being impartial, methodical, and oh-so-rational, businesses tend to comparison-shop even more than consumers do.
That’s why, when you are selling your product or service to other brands, you always want to remember one thing: you are not the only candidate they are considering.
Competition is everywhere. And whether you like it or not, your competitors – the serious ones, anyway – are as good as you are. Having a great product or service is not enough. If you craft your video marketing purely around that, it will fall flat no matter how sophisticated it is.
How to fix it
There are numerous ways to tackle this particular “sin.”
For example, if you have one prominent competitor, you might want to pick a fight with them and create a special comparison video that highlights why your product or service is a better choice.
If you have a well-articulated unique value proposition, you want to make it shine through in your video marketing. Your prospects can learn about your product’s features, functionality, and other details elsewhere – for example, by reading about them.
But giving them an immersive, powerful experience of how you are different from everybody else… that’s something you can only do with clever video marketing.
Note: Yet another way to outshine the competition is to make a strong emotional connection with your prospects – and we’ll talk about this later in the post.
2. No focus on repeat business
There’s a huge source of revenue most B2B companies underestimate, or outright ignore. We are talking, of course, about your existing customers.
Once someone buys from you, they are 60% more likely to do so again. The relationship is already there, for one. And besides, when you run a business, it’s a hundred times more convenient to stick with the familiar, reliable option than go looking for someone else.
If you ignore these – all but guaranteed – sources of revenue, you are not doing your business any favors. Sure, your company can’t grow without converting new customers. But paying attention to your “old” ones will allow you to pursue those new opportunities from a place of security and strength.
The question is, how can you use video marketing to increase repeat business?
How to fix it
The good news is, you don’t have to do much to increase your revenue with existing customers. Simply not losing them to competitors, poor customer service, and other frustrations in a great start!
To keep your customers around, you want to invest in marketing content that improves retention, such as:
- Onboarding videos to make a great first impression on your first-time buyers.
- Advanced video tutorials, to help them make the most of your product or service.
- Personal messages from you or your team, like holiday greetings.
Once you have bolstered retention, you can take the next step and use video to tell your B2B customers about other offers you have. According to MarketingProfs, only 52% of brands use their marketing content for this purpose, which is a great opportunity for you.
Tip: if you don’t have any other offers, we recommend that you check out this post about maximizing the lifetime value of your customers.
3. All sales, no value
In B2B industries, you can draw an obvious connection between interacting with a prospect and making a sale – at least compared to B2C markets. Consumers are often unmotivated to buy something, but brands buy out of necessity, and with a clear goal in mind.
As a result, many businesses think that if they can cut to the chase and explain the benefits of their product or service quickly, they will walk away with a valuable deal. That’s why you see so many marketing videos – even whiteboard and cartoon animation videos – that all but scream, “Hey, try our thing, it’s going to be great!”
For most B2B prospects, it’s exactly the wrong message to send. Most of them prefer information and education to overt selling. And they don’t like to be pressured – who does?
How to fix it
The clue was in the sub-headline all along! Forget about making a sale for a moment, and focus on educating your customers first. Respect them enough to talk about things that matter to them. Things that don’t necessarily relate to your offer directly… but are interesting to your target market.
Create helpful, valuable video marketing content that your customers can use even if they don’t buy from you. For example, here are some ideas:
- Interview subject matter experts on video, on topics that matter to your customers. Later, you could transform those videos into podcast episodes, and kill two birds with one stone!
- Record short, bite-sized pieces of video content – short enough to share on social media, and useful enough to teach your prospects something.
- Craft memorable, humorous video content that breaks down complex subjects and makes them easy to understand. For example, check out these videos about SEO – one of the most boring and esoteric topics you could think of.
Tip: when creating any kind of content, you want to aim for 70% value and helpful information, and 30% selling. For some ideas about creating awesome content, check out this article.
4. No answers to customer questions
Inevitably, your B2B customers will have questions and concerns about your product or service. Even regular consumers can spend hours on research before making a purchase, let alone businesses!
A little earlier, we mentioned how business owners believe themselves to be rational buyers. By asking questions and making sure they have all the information they need, they rationalize their intuitive decision to pick your offer over someone else’s.
Glossing over those questions is one of the worst decisions you can make. There’s nothing more annoying than marketing content that says, “Look at how awesome this is!” without addressing the market’s concerns.
We know: it sounds like the stupidest, most obvious thing to get wrong… but you won’t believe how common it is. Even in B2B markets!
Luckily, it’s easy to fix this problem. Here’s what you want to do the next time you create a marketing video…
How to fix it
When it comes to reassuring skeptical or hesitant customers, video marketing is hard to beat. It creates the kind of connection that other types of content simply can’t replicate. You want to use it to overcome your customers’ concerns, and the best way to do that is by answering their most burning questions.
The most obvious strategy you can apply is creating video content exclusively around customer questions. There’s always plenty of those – so if you can afford to invest money and time in creating videos solely for education purposes, go for it. Here’s a great example.
Another way to avoid making this mistake is to always, always make room in your video content to address common objections, concerns, and other questions that your customers might have. Don’t know what they are? Run a customer development survey, interview 3-5 people in your target audience, or do some digging online.
5. All creation, no promotion
In video marketing, promotion is much more important than content creation. Unfortunately, most business owners didn’t get the memo! Without knowing anything about your business, we can tell you that your video content is underperforming – and 9 times out of 10, we’d be spot on.
The reason for that is simple: it’s much more rewarding to create something new, see it go live, and move on to the next thing… as opposed to doing the hard, time-consuming, tedious work of getting that new thing you made in front of the right people.
Better to hit Publish and start working on a brand new piece of content. After all, one day you’ll “go viral” and it will all be worth it! Right?
How to fix it
You want to start by taking a long, hard look at your video marketing goals and priorities. Examine how much time you spend on crafting brand-new content versus how much time you invest in promoting it and driving targeted traffic to it.
A good rule of thumb is, you want to spend 20% of your time on content creation, and focus the remaining 80% on promotion. To make the most out of it, you can apply many different strategies:
- Reaching out to influencers, who will share your content to their audiences, amplifying the impact it makes.
- Using low-cost promotion strategies to drive those initial views to your video content, and make it shareable enough to spread far and wide.
- Repurposing your video content and publishing it on third-party platforms (just don’t forget to link back to it).
6. No variation in formats
If you looked at the B2B market right now, and you didn’t know any better, you’d probably assume that 99% of video marketing takes just two forms:
- Video ads that drive leads into a marketing funnel
- Explainer videos that build brand awareness
And you know what? You might be right! We’ve been in the video marketing game for a long time, and even to us it seems like this generalization hits too close to home.
But there are many more types of video content that you could use, and your B2B audience would love. If you’re not pushing the envelope and creating something new, you could be missing out on creating some truly engaging, impactful marketing content.
How to fix it
When you’re trying to create some new video content, the best way to start is by thinking about what your target market wants to watch. Depending on their industry, company size, business challenges, and other factors, B2B audiences have their likes and dislikes – just like everybody else.
If you can answer this question, you will know what type of video content to create. For example, if your audience enjoys long-term interviews with influencers and thought leaders, do that. And if they love in-depth video case studies featuring your other customers, rejoice – there’s your excuse to brag about how awesome your product is!
Tip: you can learn more about unconventional but effective video marketing formats if you check out this article we wrote back in June of 2016.
7. “No pain – no gain”
Finally, what do you think is the biggest and most obvious blunder that marketers make when selling to businesses? Come on, say it with us…
“Underestimating the emotional connection!”
Like we said before, in this day and age it’s not enough to have a great product or service. People buy from brands whose message connects with them emotionally. And even if you’re selling to companies, you are still doing business with other people.
According to Internet Retailer, watching product videos makes people 85% more likely to buy from you. Do you think you would enjoy odds like these with a video that doesn’t create a strong emotional response? Probably not!
How to fix it
There is one primary way to make an emotional connection with your B2B customers. As we said before, businesses usually buy out of necessity. They are driven by the desires to save money, save time, make more money, or avoid a disaster.
If you need to make an emotional connection with them, then you want to identify and lean into their pain.
All products and services can be divided into “painkillers” and “vitamins.” Even if yours is the latter, you still want your marketing message to talk about the problems, frustrations, pain points, and fears of your target market.
Don’t exploit them, but show that you understand them just as well as they do. From there, you can set up your product or service as the perfect solution to stop that pain. And that’s the key to effective B2B marketing!
Win a FREE whiteboard and cartoon animation video
Whether you do business with B2B or B2C customers, you will benefit from an awesome whiteboard and cartoon animation video that communicates the value of your product or service with confidence and power.
The good news is, you can win one for free! Until April 21st, we are running a special contest – and one of the prizes is a free whiteboard and cartoon animation video made by The Draw Shop ($1,500 value).