The Role of Video for B2B Commerce

Videos play a big role in modern commerce. Different statistics indicated that videos, as part of effective communication, help to create a better perception, greater understanding, and sharper memorization of the information being conveyed. They also show that brand recognition, brand loyalty, and lead conversions are significantly increased by the use of videos.

To have a clear picture of the role of video for B2B Commerce, let’s focus on the core B2B areas where videos can be used, the different types of B2B videos, and how you can make B2B videos more effective in your B2B commerce.

Core B2B Areas Where Videos Can Be Used

Videos can be used in various areas of B2B commerce. The following are the core areas where videos can be effectively and productively utilized:

  •       Marketing and advertising
  •       Product information and tutorials
  •       Public Relations

Marketing and Advertising

Videos serve as a cheaper and more effective way of advertising online. Video marketing has proven to convert more leads to sales than any other kind of online marketing.

Product Tutorials

Product tutorials are especially important when a novel product is being introduced into the market. This means that very few people know how to use the product, its various features, and benefits. Thus, they need to be taught about it and its usage in a more practical sense.

Public Relations

Public Relations is an extremely important role in the survival of a B2B entity.

Through public relations, a B2B entity is able to cultivate long-term mutually beneficial relationships with its key publics.

It is through public relations that a business accumulates its most important asset – goodwill. Without goodwill, a business entity cannot survive in the long-term. Constant patronage by a loyal and dedicated public (especially customer base) is what builds goodwill.

Public relations is important in building B2B enterprise loyalty, raises its esteem, and thus makes better deals – be it in terms of supplies, capital, finance, employee acquisition, or government regulatory agencies, among others.

With good public relations, a B2B entity is able to reduce the perception of risk through trust and reliability. Higher B2B ratings can mean higher discounts from suppliers, lower interest on borrowing, and the concessionary credit repayment period. Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating is one such importance for B2B e-commerce enterprises.

The best way to demonstrate public relations, especially online, is through videos.

Types of B2B Videos

We’ve seen the different business areas where videos can be utilized in advancing your B2B Commerce. In line with this, there are different types of videos that can be effectively deployed in these core areas. These include:

  1.     Advertising videos
  2.     Sales funnel videos
  3.     Product information videos
  4.     Public Relations videos

Advertising Videos

This is by far the most common type of B2B video. The sole purpose of an advertising video is to create awareness of your B2B product with the aim of inducing demand – that is, convincing viewers to buy the product being advertised.

The modern trend, especially among the young generation, is towards watching videos as opposed to watching TV. Thus, traditional modes of advertising such as radio and TV advertisements are no longer as effective as video advertising.

If you intend to attract the younger generation (especially the millennials), then video marketing is the right thing to do. This is more so the case when we have smartphones where, unlike TVs, most people have cultivated the habit of watching videos while on-the-go.

Sales Funnel Videos

Sales funnel videos are those videos that are strategically placed at different segments of the sales funnel with the sole purpose of facilitating buy decision.

The following are the different types of sales funnel videos:

  •       Lead capture videos – these videos are solely intended to capture the attention of potential leads. They are positioned on the upper segment of a sales funnel. They act as a magnet that glues the attention of potential leads to the funnel and thus bait them to explore deeper into the funnel.
  •       Lead nurturing videos – the sole purpose of lead nurturing videos is to prepare captured leads for the next stage – conversion. They are placed in the middle segment of the sales funnel. Nurturing involves providing information and tactical communication that persuades the leads about the value proposition of what they are intending to purchase.
  •       Lead conversion videos – the primary purpose of lead conversion videos is to push the call-to-action button within the mind of the lead. It is positioned at the lower (and hence the last) segment of a sales funnel. It is a call to make a buy decision or act in accordance with the ultimate intent of the funnel. Closing a sale happens at this stage.

Product Information Videos

The primary aim of these videos is to inform the viewers about the product in such a manner that creates awareness, understanding, appreciation, and loyalty.

The following are the different types of product information videos:

  •       Product features videos – these videos demonstrate the unique features of a product and how they advance the projected value-proposition.
  •       How-to videos – these videos are used to demonstrate how to use the product and how to utilize different features and capabilities of a given product.
  •       Unboxing videos – these videos are basically explainer videos to those who have never used the product before. Such a video demonstrates how the product is unveiled from the box, how it is installed, how it is prepared for first use, and how it is used for the first time.
  •       Product hack videos – Product hack videos explain the unconventional ways by which you can uniquely exploit certain product features. This mostly appeals to those who love customizations or even using the product for a DIY project. Product hacks can help to differentiate a given product from the rest in the market, especially if the hacked feature is only unique to it and not widely available.

Public Relations Videos

Public relations play an important role in B2B commerce. The purpose of public relations is to create the desired image in the mind of the key publics with the sole purpose of achieving certain specific objectives. These key publics include followers, customers, suppliers, community, and even government agencies.

Some of the most common public relations videos include:

  •       Press release videos – Press release videos are mostly about providing news and newsworthy information. Hence, they are used to inform the key publics about a certain event, a unique occurrence, an important change, or a key decision. They are often used to inform key publics about a new product launch, the opening of a new production line, or a new transformation of the existing product or process. They are also used to inform key publics about senior executive appointment or promotion, to correct a negative impression created through negative publicity or explain an unfortunate occurrence.
  •       Story videos – Story videos are often used to inform key publics, build a connection with the community, and enhance loyalty towards the B2B entity or brand. The story can be about the founder of the B2B entity, about the autobiography of its important or influential personality, about the transformation of the entity or its key brand over time (narrating its history), etc.
  •       Behind-the-scene videos – These videos typically give key public a glimpse of what takes place in bringing about a given product into the market. They can explain the production process, key ingredients, quality control, and delivery process, among others. The main purpose is to create an appreciation of the great effort that the respective B2B entity takes in order to satisfy its key publics – especially the customers.
  •       Customer testimonial videos – Customer testimonial videos are rare but are becoming a common phenomenon. Traditionally, what has been frequently espoused are written customer reviews. But due to the overwhelmingly positive impact of video communication, this is being done through videos in the form of customer testimonials. The big advantage of customer testimonial videos is that they bring out authenticity, and help to bring about an emotional bond that would have otherwise been difficult to articulate in writing. However, it is important for customer testimonials to be genuine since it is easier to fake it in writing that it is to fake it on video.
  •       Social videos (including vlogs) – Social media has taken the world by storm. The great appetite for videos, especially by millennials means that video blogging (vlogging) has a greater impact than text blogging. This is why YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and such other kinds of vlog media have gained tremendous popularity.
  •       Culture videos – The community is a key public when it comes to B2B commerce. It is from the community that customers are found. Yet, each community has a unique culture – and are very proud of it. To bring up that bond between the B2B entity and its respective community, it is important to associate with its culture. A B2B entity can do this by communicating how it is part of the culture and how it plays its role in enhancing this culture. For a B2B entity, the most likely community is the specific industry that its products serve. They are a great tool in advancing a B2B’s community social responsibility.

How to Make a Video More Effective in Your B2B Commerce

While videos are increasingly being utilized by B2B entities, a lot of them fail to achieve their desired goals due to their ineffective utilization.

To make sure that videos become optimized and more effective for your B2B campaign, it is important to keep in mind the following tips when creating your video:

  •       Make it high quality
  •       Keep it short
  •       Make it people-oriented
  •       Make it target-specific
  •       Make it inspiring
  •       Make it mobile-friendly
  •       Make it share-able on social media
  •       Incorporate a powerfully compelling call-to-action

Conclusion

The power of videos in B2B commerce is such that it cannot be overlooked. Effectively utilizing B2B video could be what you need to beat that grinding competition, boost customer-base, increase sales, and optimize your returns.

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