It comes as no surprise that video is taking over social media. According to a recent survey from LinkedIn, 62% of B2B companies find that video content helps build brand awareness, while 78% believe that video engagement helps them attain higher quality leads.
With 72% of B2B marketers using video for content marketing purposes, video is a social media marketing trend that cannot be ignored.
One of the hottest topics at this years Social Media Marketing World, one of the world’s largest social media conferences, was, you guessed it — video. It became apparent that both B2B and B2C companies, owners, CEO’s, social media managers, and digital marketers are actively talking about new and innovative ways to implement video into their digital marketing strategies.
You should be too.
A few years ago, “video,” in regards to social media marketing most often meant uploading a promotional video onto your main wall or newsfeed. Today, video means a lot more than that. From live video, to webinars, to stories on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat — there are a multitude of ways to reach your audience using video on social media.
Let’s take a look at a few video marketing trends shaping social media in the B2B space.
Live Video for Social Media
Live video is one trend B2Bs should be aware of for their social media marketing efforts. As more and more video is being created on mobile devices, live video is a good option for B2B companies to create mobile video content.
One opportunity in particular has proved successful for our client programs: event coverage. Many B2B companies are in attendance at industry events where they network with industry experts, establish thought leadership, and interact with potential and existing clients or customers. Social media is now a large component of many of these conferences and events, generally including a custom event hashtag that event goers use to keep up with what they need to know. B2B companies should seize this opportunity by using the event hashtag to post live videos of product demos happening at their booth, speaker sessions, and to showcase their presence at the conference overall.
These videos will help you reach event attendees as well as those in your target audience that are keeping up with the event on social media from afar.
Product Demo Videos
Research suggests that 59% of B2B executives prefer to watch a video than read text. B2B marketers looking to get their product or service in front of their audience are now looking to video first. Why? For starters, 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
There are a couple different ways to create the content around products or services. Product tutorials speaking directly to your target audience and teaching them how to use them are an actionable and highly engaging way to get your product in front of your users. Another option is to showcase a demo to show the results of your product or service or useability in order to peak the interest of your target audience. Microsoft offers a product demo utilizing succinct captions to show the ease of use of one of their products as shown below.
These videos are generally pre-produced, though live video can be utilized as well. To fully optimize your pre-produced videos, there are a couple key components to include which should be applied, which can also be applied to different types of videos across the board.
Captions, as shown in the video above, are critical for video on social media. In fact, ROI is 1.8X higher on Twitter for videos that work without sound versus those that do not. As your audience scrolls through their social media feeds and stories, ensuring they quickly get the message with clarity is key to seeing results. Starbucks showcases a good example of using captions for video on Facebook in this post.
Shorter videos under 30 seconds perform well, with higher completion rates and shares. There is however room for longer form video content when B2B companies dive into products and interviews in particular.
Platform Specific Specs
Different social media platforms have different requirements for video. In order to ensure your time is well spent and the creative appears correctly in your organic and paid social media efforts, B2B marketers should stay up-to-date with the latest specs for each platform.
These technical aspects should be considered when developing the creative video for product demos and tutorials.
Expert Interviews and Thought Leadership
Building brand awareness and thought leadership is a goal for many B2B companies. Sharing third party articles and company bylines, blogs by company experts, and interacting with company employees are all strategies which lead to establishing yourself as an industry expert. On top of this, using video to share interviews from the experts helps B2Bs establish thought leadership through social media marketing.
Sharing interviews or expert insights in the form of live video and pre-produced video content can be considered when developing these assets. In addition, these videos can showcase either company employees / experts, or industry experts outside of your company in order to bring further perspectives to your audience.
For example, in the video below Dell showcases a piece of small business advice from one of their Small Business Technology Advisors in just over 30 seconds:
Longer expert interviews and insights can be shared in their original long-form depending on social media platform capabilities, but another option to consider for social media sharing is breaking them up into shorter snippets for share-ability and engagement across platforms. For example, we recently edited a panel interview with industry experts that was over 30 minutes long into short, digestible video snippets of 30 seconds or less. We then shared these 2-3 times a week over the course of a month-long organic campaign on Twitter in order to continue using the asset, establish our client as a thought leader, and engage stakeholders interested in the content from the experts.
Video for LinkedIn
Video on LinkedIn is rising both organically and in paid campaigns. LinkedIn offers B2B marketers the opportunity to get their videos in front of their target audience and target companies, through paid targeting and a supporting organic strategy.
Strategies for video use on LinkedIn varies from program to program based on client goals, however a good approach includes integrating consistent video content into the weekly organic strategy, as well as including sponsored video content in paid campaigns. For optimal results, B2Bs can use product demos, expert interviews, or other creative content in order to get in front of, and more importantly, engage, who matters.
Stories for Social Media Marketing
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning social media stories. In fact, the top trend to watch for on Instagram is “More Instagram stories, fewer posts.” Additionally, according to Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith, Facebook stories are growing 15X faster than feed content.
B2B companies can and should use both Instagram and Facebook stories to show their target audience their company culture and a behind the scenes look at their products or services. At KoMarketing, we periodically share “Employee Takeovers” on our Instagram story, where one our employees runs the account for a day and gives a behind the scenes look at a day in the life of a KoMarketer. This promotes company morale, recruitment, and gives companies looking to work with us a taste of the digital marketers they could be working with on future programs and projects.
Using Instagram and Facebook stories to promote blogs and other assets is an option for B2B companies looking to strengthen their content marketing and website traffic through social media marketing. By sharing excerpts from blogs and web assets along with appealing visuals, social media stories are a gateway for your target audience to reach your website, and ultimately, convert. B2B companies can simply place the link they are promoting in their Instagram bio, and direct their audience through their stories.
Engagement with your target audience on social media platforms is critical as organic reach, specifically on Facebook, continues to decline. This is where video comes into play. Social media posts using video on Facebook specifically get at least 59% more engagement than videos without.
Video is critical for B2B companies and marketers for both organic and paid social media marketing across platforms. Taking a creative approach and watching the trends that are up and coming will be key to B2B social media marketing success in the days, months, and years to come.
These are just a few ideas to get started. My advice? Get going, A/B test, and be creative with new ways to reach your target audience.