How B2B Brands Can Use Video Content Marketing (On Any Budget)

May 24, 2022 / Marjoram

There’s a reason video content is highly compelling. Science says that 65% of us are visual learners. And our brains process images — moving or still — 60,000 times faster than text. Simply put, it’s just easier to get attention with video.

Marketers have known this for quite a while. According to a 2022 State of Video Marketing report, nearly 9 out of 10 businesses today rely on video content as a marketing tool. That’s up from an already impressive 61% in 2016.

So video being a vitally important and effective medium in marketing isn’t earth-shattering news. Still, the impact that video content marketing makes for consumer and B2B brands today cannot be overstated:

  • 88% of consumers report being convinced to buy a product or service after watching a brand’s video
  • 73% of consumers prefer to watch a short video to learn more about a product or service (as opposed to reading an article, viewing an infographic, downloading a manual or signing up for a demo call)

An investment in a video content program for your industrial brand is a prudent (and easy) decision. But just because video makes sense doesn’t necessarily mean you know how to leverage it properly, and many B2B brands struggle to adapt to the medium.

Common B2B Video Marketing Struggles

A little more than 15 years ago, you needed heavy, specialized camera and audio equipment in order to deliver production-quality video. Today, just take your phone camera out of your pocket and voila, you’re a videographer. Smartphone and digital camera technology have democratized video production.

That one-click access to a “rolling” camera has revolutionized our society in many ways — from group selfies to movie-clip birthday wishes and more. Video has very much become a regular part of our lives. And this reality has ushered in the era of expanded video content marketing.

Unrealistic Video Production Expectations

However, the ease of shooting video belies the skill and expertise needed to plan, develop and produce polished B2B marketing video.

Just because you can shoot a video doesn’t mean you can create professional-quality commercial content in-house.

That gap often contributes to the unrealistic expectations held by many corporate marketing teams.

A corporate video shoot is sometimes mistakenly thought of as an opportunity for marketers to be George Lucas for a day, creating their own Star Wars moment. However, in most cases, corporate marketing operations have only a vague idea of the intricacies involved in video production, the breadth of creative options or the associated costs. More importantly, Star Wars is likely the last thing your customers expect to see from your brand.

Budget Misalignment

Those unrealistic internal expectations are certainly not harmless. They factor in during budget allocation decisions and have a direct impact on the ability of internal marketing teams to meet project goals.

For corporate marketing directors, it’s not unusual to be charged with creating summertime blockbuster effects on a DIY budget. It's simply not possible to achieve movie-quality production value on the budgets reserved for most corporate video marketing efforts—a common misalignment of expectations and cost that creates huge stumbling blocks.

[contentupgrade id="9199"]

To stretch their budgetary dollars, resourceful B2B or corporate marketing directors often choose to manage many aspects of video production in-house, rather than seeking qualified outside expertise. They might task their teams with writing the script, participating in the shoot as actors or recording voice-overs, for example.

However, the chances of finding all of the required skill sets in-house for the necessary video production tasks are low. As a result, it’s difficult for video projects produced internally to meet (exorbitant) stakeholder expectations. In some cases, the video project is scrapped after the budget is spent — an expensive lesson in the proper valuation of video production expertise.

Overarching Marketing Strategy Disconnect

Along with outsized expectations and misaligned budgets, a disconnect to a company’s overarching marketing goals and branding strategy is another critical problem impacting corporate video content marketing. Video should be a part of every B2B marketing team’s toolkit.

In too many cases, however, video productions are treated as isolated projects, untethered from the company’s other marketing efforts.

It’s easy for that disconnect to develop when internal teams don’t have the right skill set to manage the complexity of video production. Or when the job is outsourced to agencies with a too-vague understanding of (and no previous relationship to) the brand.

Without that connection and brand reinforcement, it’s harder for the teams in charge of video content development to stay on brand and on message. This isolated approach to a video project ends up delivering a siloed product more often than not. And while that may be fine for a minor social media update or another low-stakes marketing tactic, that disconnect is much more visible and costly in higher-stakes moments, like industry trade show presentations or new product launches.

How to Scope and Budget Your B2B Marketing Video Project

Your video production efforts should compliment and boost your overall brand and support an existing overarching marketing strategy. That’s the best way to get maximum return on your investment in this increasingly popular medium. You simply can’t approach video development as a one-off.

Define and outline a process and build up your capability and expertise — whether that’s developing the necessary skill sets internally, hiring outside resources, or a mixture of both. This creates clarity for teams and makes it easy to define the project goals.

Creating Clarity for Your Video Projects

Before you determine the needs (and costs) of your B2B marketing video project, you must define what you’re trying to accomplish. This is best accomplished with a series of questions:

  • What is the purpose? Videos are effective in a wide variety of use cases: pitching a new product, presenting your brand in a new light, setting up a trade-show audience for a keynote address. Define exactly how your video will be used.
  • What is the shelf life? Settling on a budget is easier when you know how long your video is going to be in circulation. Is this a one-time use scenario (tailored presentation) or an evergreen piece of content (explainer video for a product)?
  • How will your video be accessed? Will your audience be using a TV screen, personal computer, smart device, all of the above? Accounting for the viewing environment is an important consideration for video production quality purposes.
  • How are you measuring success? Define what success looks like and then track the appropriate KPIs. The metrics you choose must match the purpose of the video. If you’re highlighting your brand, for example, impressions (the number of views) is an appropriate metric. If the goal is sales, however, you want to measure engagement (what step your audience takes after watching your video).

There are myriad video production methods available to support an array of marketing needs. Not all are appropriate for each job. Answering the above questions will help you get ready to choose the right tactical and budgetary approach.

Video Production: Types and Budgets

Video is used widely across the digital ecosystem and in physical settings. Explainer (74%) and social media videos (68%) are, by far, the most popular with marketers (and consumers). But there are plenty of other video types to sink your teeth into:

  • Testimonials
  • Presentations
  • Product demos
  • Ads
  • Teasers
  • Customer onboarding
  • Staff training
  • Customer service

Corporate videos can range from less than $1,000 to in excess of $40,000. The costs of your project will be highly dependent on its purpose and the type of video production you choose to pursue. But there is another contributing factor: utility vs emotion.

Explainer videos are popular with marketers because they’re fairly simple to make and provide easy ways of tracking performance. These videos have a utilitarian purpose — to drive a deeper understanding of a product, and, ultimately, sales. They are typically on the more affordable end of the scale.

What’s on the other end? Big budgets for big ideas, most frequently deployed for campaign launches or presentations, and to increase brand awareness.

The more cost-intensive video productions nearly always focus on communicating emotional or inspirational messages, which are also more difficult to convey. These videos often require professional script writing, elaborate editing, soundtracks, voiceovers and additional production tactics.

Focused, Professional Video Approach

Understanding how to scope and budget your video projects is essential to your video production strategy. Sometimes there are enough internal resources to get the job done, but there are many projects that can benefit from outside expertise. Be honest and clear-eyed about internal video production capabilities. That’s the surest way to build an effective video marketing content program.

Fresh Perspectives

A newsletter we send every other Friday to share our ramblings, perspectives, thoughts, and rants on all things B2B branding, messaging and marketing.

"*" indicates required fields