I’ve never liked the term video marketing. It’s not so much the ambiguity — we can all agree that “video marketing” and “marketing [of] video” are not the same thing. What bothers me is that “video marketing” implies that a video marketing strategy exists in isolation from the rest of your online marketing strategy.
IBM recently published a white paper, “You Don’t Need a Marketing Video. You Need a Video Marketing Strategy.” The gist of it is, marketers should produce a mix of long, short, and live-streaming videos. Then deploy them with marketing automation software on a powerful distribution platform (IBM Cloud Video is mentioned) in order to “reach your target audience.”
A video marketing strategy with empathy
What I think is missing in this sort of strategy is the lack of compassion for the customer.While consumer branding videos can be nearly 100% entertaining (like Red Bull’s delightful Danny MacAskill’s Wee Day Out), few B2B budgets are up to that. And, is this kind of strategy really going to work for a company that sells complex tech solutions and services like, for example, IBM?
LeadGen expert Brian Carroll of B2B Lead Blog is a proponent of empathy in B2B marketing, the idea that we should all take a step back and consider marketing as something we’re doing for customers, not to them. He points to a Forrester Consulting finding, “65 percent of marketers struggle to employ emotional marketing as they turn to automation to improve customer engagement.”
As you plan out a video, it’s certainly worth asking questions like
- Do my customers really enjoy being marketed to?
- Are my videos personalized for the customer, or do they feel like mass market advertisements
- Do I have a lot of data on what interests customers? Viewing data? Any data?
- How does this video help build a relationship?
Video from the customer point of view
If you’re researching a solution, you’ll watch a company video if you think it’s a good way to get the information you want, or the fastest way to learn something about the company and the way it operates. Otherwise, you’ll prefer to skim website pages or a white paper, and seek further information from third parties. So, from the customer point of view, one of the best things a marketer can do, is to make informative videos, and make clear what information each video contains. Crystal clear titles, chapter headings, and summaries, enhance the customer experience — and make your video more search-friendly, too.
Along the same lines, videos can enhance your other content by helping to summarize and promote it. Has one of your subject matter experts labored over a particularly informative blog post? A short video summarizing key points can help make it clearer and encourage more readers. So you get more value from the intellectual resources that went into the blog post by reusing them to create new content for customer engagement. By focusing video on the customer experience, you end up with a better content marketing strategy, not a better video marketing strategy.