Have you seen EA Sports’ Walk on Water video? This video was a response to a user YouTube video where a bug in a golf game showed Tiger Woods walking on water, a la Jesus, to take a shot.
This is a perfect example of content marketing in action- tell a story of your product or your brand without boring your audience to death. A number of savvy B2C companies have been using these kind of off beat videos on social sharing sites to establish their unique brand identity.
However, the number of B2B companies adopting the same tactic is abysmally low. And that is sad, considering how engaged people are with video as a medium.
In the past there might have been valid reasons for this video phobia among B2B marketers.But when you have sites like YouTube where millions of people watch millions of hours of video daily you can’t afford to take video out of the equation.
You figure out how to include video into your marketing mix, execute the strategy and reap the benefits.
Video content marketing,the Salesforce.com way
Some B2B companies are getting the memo on video when it comes to content marketing. One of them is Salesforce.com, the SaaS giant.
Salesforce.com has been using video as a form of content marketing for a number of years, producing upwards of 2500 videos. Some of them are educational in nature, designed to educate prospects and customers about the company’s different cloud based services. Some of them cover conferences and events which. Another category of videos are customer featured content like case studies and testimonials.
Financially, Salesforce.com is in great shape. While there is no doubt that superior products and services are driving this growth, smart marketing strategies like using video too have played their part.
If you were hoping to understand how Salesforce.com is using videos to rack up customers and profits you are in luck. In a series of YouTube videos (well, duh!) Jamie Greeney, the company’s VP, Social Media and Online Video provides enough information for a decent marketer to get started with video marketing.
You can watch the videos below but in case you don’t have the time, here are the key points.
1. Volume matters
Like other forms of content marketing, establishing a long term editorial policy and creating content regularly is the best bet for success. The large number of videos in the Salesforce.com YouTube channel ensure that the viewers are exposed to plenty of content which increases the chances that they will convert into paying customers.
2. Demo videos influence buying decisions
Most customers decide to do business with Salesforce.com based on product demo videos. These videos rank even higher than third party sources like customer case studies and analyst reports on the “I am impressed” scale.
3. Video helps in word of mouth referrals
Customers and evangelists prefer video to other media while referring Salesforce.com’s products. Also, referees are likely to be more convinced by video than by other collaterals (see point 2) .
4. SEO is important
Salesforce.com has found that using long tail keywords while optimizing videos increase their chances of being found at the top of search engine results as well as in the Suggestions section of YouTube.
5. Cost per view should not exceed $2
Salesforce.com has discovered that it makes no sense to splurge on video production.Most of their videos are simple- screencasts with an audio overlay and provide useful information, not jaw dropping special effects.
One of the easiest ways to maximise ROI on video is to keep them short- 5 minutes at the max. This encourages more views and drives down the cost per view.
6. Video makes the main website more sticky and drives views
Incorporating videos on the Salesforce.com website has resulted in visitors staying longer on the site and hence increasing the chances of conversion. Videos account for 50% of overall site views.
7. Video that focus on problems, not products, work like gangbusters
“Video whitepapers”, or videos which talk about industry problems are a lot popular than videos which are essentially ads. One such video by Salesforce.com about cloud computing has more than 600,000 views (and a cost/view of few cents)
8. Live broadcasts generate a lot of buzz on Twitter
Salesforce.com’s research has shown that the best way to promote a conference or an event on Twitter is to provide a link to a live stream. While these videos are great for publicity a downside is that live streams are costlier to host and lose their relevance after some time.
9. Optimize website for video
Because video is watched a lot on the Salesforce.com site, they have optimized it for video, in terms of accessibility from mobiles, SEO, video players and placement. These optimizations have resulted in better user experience and increased the stickiness of the site.
10. Videos are your sales force multipliers
Salesforce.com’s daily video views are more than 7500. This number corresponds to the work done by 46 insanely busy sales reps pitching prospects during a typical workday. No matter how you look at it, video cuts costs significantly.
11. Stick with one format to display videos
Salesforce.com has found YouTube the best platform to host videos because of YouTube’s site authority with search engines, familiarity of people with how YouTube works and a robust analytics package. Despite the number of options available when it comes to video hosting and sharing, companies should stick with one option to make their jobs easier.
12. Localizing can extend reach
If you have a multilingual customer base create your videos so that it’s easy to translate them into multiple languages and expose them to even more people. Salesforce.com has indicated that there are significant upsides to localizing hit English language videos so that customers in non-English speaking countries can view them.
Now, the actual videos
This video is a bird’s eye view of the entire strategy
This one talks about the different types of videos produced by the company
This is an example of a video that gives the maximum bang for the buck- a video that talks about cloud computing with more than 600,000 views.
This is an example of a product demo. At the time of writing it has nearly 100,000 views.
A bonus idea
Videos are meant to engage viewers. Period. And interactive videos, with story flow that depends on user input do a bang up job at capturing viewer attention. Check out this list of interactive videos for ideas on how to manipulate the flow of the video to keep people clicking.
How are you going to take advantage of video to market yourself?
What resources do you need for content creation and what’s the easiest way of getting started?
Answers coming up in the next post. Stay tuned.
And if you have been implementing video content marketing share your experiences in the comments below. (Of course, if you haven’t done video marketing but have a point to make, type away).
Photo courtesy jsawkins