The true picture of video in B2B marketing

Marketers using video have difficulty measuring its impact, devoting sufficient resources to it and using it to reach the right audiences, a survey has found.

Video might well have killed the radio star, but it still has some way before it proves its worth for B2B marketers.

A global LinkedIn survey of more than 1400 B2B marketers reveals their struggle to create video that serves and reaches the right audiences. Marketers say measuring video’s ROI and absorbing its prohibitive development costs are also impediments to success.

The APAC-specific results show nine in 10 regional marketers believe video gives their brands greater opportunities for creativity and storytelling. They say video is a useful tool at the top of the funnel because it raises brand awareness, and that it's an important way to reach and engage with industry professionals. Most see video as a powerful force for lead generation – 81 per cent agree or strongly agree video drives lead volumes and 85 per cent agree or strongly agree it drives better quality leads.

Regional marketers even say they are likely to increase their video ad budgets by 49 per cent in 2108. Almost nine in 10 say they are planning to experiment with video ads in the next 12 months.

But the survey also shows the many challenges facing marketers using video. More than half (55 per cent) say video is costly and time consuming to produce, while 51 per cent say it’s difficult to reach the right audiences in the right context. They say they are unsure of the right platform for their video (35 per cent), lack the appropriate expertise (34 per cent) and find it difficult to measure results (32 per cent).

“The B2B marketers we interviewed found that serious or highly emotional content are just not tones that are landing with target audiences.”

Significantly, B2B marketers are not able to agree on a single metric to determine if their video ads have been effective. Just 18 per cent of those surveyed agree reach and impressions are the most important metrics; 12 per cent say it's the number of qualified leads generated. Overall, most measure view rates (58 per cent) followed by reach and impressions (52 per cent) and web page traffic (52 per cent).

Businesses use a wide range of video styles for their marketing efforts. The most popular are product videos (64 per cent), explainer videos (43 per cent), TV commercials (41 per cent), consumer videos (39 per cent) and how-to videos (35 per cent). Much of the video focus is on selling products or services – not thought leadership.

Overall, 32 per cent of those surveyed in APAC say “inspiring” or “energetic” videos have the most impact. But it seems a “one size fits all” approach is unlikely to work, especially for those companies conducting cross-border business. Localisation remains a key consideration, the survey shows. While the No.1 tone for Australia and New Zealand marketers is “inspiring”, the top tone for India is “informative” and for Hong Kong and Singapore it’s “humorous”.

Kate Mallord, Content Marketing Manager for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions APAC, says marketers need to understand their regional audiences’ needs. “We are B2B marketers and we can be known for more serious, dull, straight content,” she said on a webinar explaining the survey results. “The B2B marketers we interviewed found that serious or highly emotional content are just not tones that are landing with target audiences, so keep that in mind when you’re creating or converting some drier content.”

Mallord said marketers in each region are finding success with slightly different tone combinations. “If you’re getting video from global headquarters, it’s important to understand that localisation involves more than just translations,” she said. “Likewise, if you’re running videos in other markets, be mindful of things like energy levels or humour to stand out.”

Further reading: Three keys to creating compelling B2B content

Photo: Igor Ovsyannykov on Unsplash