TBV Insights

Can B2B video improve conversions?

This illustration, part of an infographic from MarketingProfs, quotes a stat you see quoted frequently, which appears to originated in this white paper
This illustration, clipped from an  info graphic published by MarketingProfs, quotes a stat you see quoted frequently. It appears to have originated in this white paper.
We’ve been working with several clients recently who are trying to harness “the consumerization of IT” to improve IT performance — and it has me thinking about the degree to which videos used in B2B technology sales are like — or unlike — videos designed to get consumers to buy products. In particular, how relevant is “conversion” — a concept that is highly relevant in consumer marketing?

How much can B2B video improve conversions?

The oft-cited “86% improvement in conversions” stat appears to originate from this white paper about making video “accountable.”  A/B testing of “video on the front page” against “no-video on the front page”  was carried out for the online tutoring company TutorVista.  The date of the tests is not given, but somewhat surprisingly,  at this writing there is, in fact,  “no video on the front page” at TutorVista. Another conversion success story (+32%) mentioned for this  securities trading platform. Prominent on the home page there is a highly professional animated video that clearly explains the company’s value proposition. It makes effective use of YouTube annotations to overlay notes, calls to action, and other links. (Not 100% effective, though. At this writing, YouTube annotations depend on Flash technology and do not play on iOS devices).  It’s not hard to see why this video converts viewers: at any time during the video you can click a big button to sign up for a free account.    
This short video is designed to speak to two “roles” in a large organization: HR executives involved in the selection of insurance carriers, and financial executives looking to achieve savings wherever they can. It’s tough to know when one of these folks is “converted” by watching a video. But there are several ways to measure success.

Conversion is not a buying decision

Our B2B technology videos typically support a complex sale of a complex solution. One viewing is unlikely to make a convert, particularly if the viewer is researching, not shopping.  Any action the viewer takes should count as a conversion in this context, and there are plenty of countable actions that can be taken. Filling out a form. Signing up for a demo. Downloading a white paper or report.  Put a big button or two near your video and keep track of clicks, and, if you can, the job title of the “buying team” member you’ve converted.

Other kinds of “buy-in”

If your target market is limited to, say, Global 1000 companies, the degree of enthusiasm shown by the sales team could be a much more useful measure of a video’s success than the number of times a video is viewed, or even shared. In the case of the insurance-related video above, success is indicated by the number of partners who pay to rebrand the video for their own business.

Video as followup

You can use video demos for followup, too. For example, if you do webinars, you probably don’t want to cut away from your well-prepared and personable presenters to show a “canned” video. However, you might want to follow up with a note along the lines of “During our recent webinar, there were a number of questions about XYZ. This video nicely summarizes most of the answers. Let me know if you would like to have a phone conversation to explore how our solution could work for you.”

Videos to support your high-value offer

The High-Value Offer is a customer interaction with so much business value that the buyer feels compelled to engage. It’s an account-based marketing concept recommended by Gartner for customer acquisition, too. A high-value offer’s business value depends on timely topics

photo representing IT exec pondering how-to video content

Reframing your demos as How-to video content

I was surprised to learn from a Foundry (IDG) white paper on customer engagement [download link] that the average technology decision-maker spent 14.3 minutes watching each How-to video they viewed in 2022, up from 12.2 minutes in 2016. If you really want a technology