When it comes to online content, business-to-business (B2B) buyers have recently begun to resemble consumers more and more when it comes to watching videos. In fact, 70 percent of prospective B2B customers rely on videos to inform their purchases, according to Google, and over 75% of companies surveyed by the Content Marketing Institute reported using some form of video in their 2015 B2B marketing strategy.
Unlike consumers, B2B buyers need to defend their purchasing choices to someone in the organization, so they tend to view advertising differently. To reach your target audience you need to take a unique approach and show real customers using your services or products in your videos – in other words, instead of straight up advertising, you need to present “case studies” in your videos.
Why Video Case Studies Are So Effective In B2B Marketing
Buyers are not making personal purchases and aren’t interested in promises or hypotheticals. They need something to show to their bosses to justify their purchases. B2B buyers’ greatest motivation is learning how others use a product. Buyers typically follow the social proof principal – they’re more likely to take action when they see other people taking action. That’s one of the reasons why referrals are so successful. Case study videos and images take that concept a step further. It is easier to get behind a service or product when you see someone showing the results are tangible. Here are just some of the benefits of launching a video case study marketing campaign:
- Cutting out the salesperson. B2B buyers aren’t interested in sales pitches, they want information. In fact, most buyers actively avoid interacting with a salesperson and listening to a pitch, and prefer instead to conduct their research online. The combination of written content, hearing from real customers, and seeing a product in action is just more effective than sitting through a sales pitch.
- Case study videos are shareable.Over 75 percent of potential buyers discuss their purchases on social media, according to LinkedIn. B2B buyers like bouncing ideas and purchasing decisions off their peers. Providing shareable case study videos gives those buyers something to look at, comment on, and share. While they aren’t likely to go viral the way many B2C video campaigns do, that’s not their purpose. Their purpose is to get your information to people who are part of the purchasing process.
- Videos convey emotion the written word can’t. There is an old saying that people “buy emotionally” and then later justify those purchases with logic. Most B2B customers would look back on their decisions and think they were logic-driven rather than emotionally-driven, but according to Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, 95 percent of purchasing decisions take place unconsciously.
Testimonials and case videos don’t need to be boring or dry. They can tell a simple story, be humorous, or offer a touch of humor. They can be personal, emotional, or be a vehicle to reinforce your company’s branding or core values. Whatever the challenges of your specific marketing campaign, case videos remain a winning template to reach prospective B2B buyers on their own terms, at their own pace. B2B customers want information about your products or services before they make a purchasing decision. Why not present them with the perfect canvas on which to present your best case to your target buyer in a format they seek out?