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What Does Forbes Say About Video for Infrastructure Marketing?

Basically, Forbes and just about everyone else is saying now’s the time. If you haven’t produced video content for your B2B marketing, or have only produced one or two videos, you need to get in a higher gear; more high-level executives (read: purchasers) are viewing and sharing business videos than ever before, and they’re very likely to take action based on videos

From Video in the C-Suite: Executives Embrace the Non-Text Web, a report by Forbes Insights:

“Forbes Insights, in association with Google, surveyed more than 300 C-level and senior executives at large U.S. companies (more than $500 million in annual revenues) to learn more about how they are approaching Web video as a source of business-related information. The video portion of the survey follows up and expands on findings from 2009’s The Rise of the Digital C-Suite… In the nearly 18 months between the two surveys, video appears to have evolved from a novelty into a mainstream method for executives to receive business information.

 

Here are some key thoughts from the report (emphasis added):

• Video is now a critical information source for senior executives. More than 80% said they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.

• 54% of executives said they share work-related videos with colleagues every week. And 59% said that if both video and text are available on a page, they prefer to watch the video.

• Work-related video can drive senior executives to take action. Overall, 65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.

 

On content marketing in general—“content marketing” meaning marketing based on case studies, videos, white papers and other educational marketing content—a new report from Content Marketing Institute called,  B2B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends–North America has uncovered some startling trends related to video in B2B marketing. It’s worth reading the whole thing yourself, but here are some highlights:

• In 2012, video use increased to 70% of companies doing B2B marketing, up from just 52% in 2011, the highest increase of any content category. For comparison, white papers were 2nd at 44%.

• The use of case studies appearing in print is by no means disappearing, but it is plateauing; there was no expansion in 2012 according to the report.

• In terms of B2B marketer’s confidence in particular marketing techniques, videos were judged “effective” by 58% of B2B marketers, a relatively high number. For comparison, in-person events (sales calls and live seminars) were rated effective by 67%, and social media was way down at 49%. My favorite content, case studies, rank well at 64%, and white papers are at 57%.

54% of responders said they’d be increasing their spending on content marketing. Sounds good to me! And also, the companies most likely to rate their marketing as “effective” were also the companies that spent the most, in terms of budget percentage, on content marketing.

• Content marketing in general is way up. “On average, B2B marketers are spending 33% of their marketing budgets on content marketing, which is up from 26% last year. 54% plan on increasing content marketing spending next year.”

• Interestingly, the biggest percentages of overall marketing budget devoted to content marketing are in micro (1-10 employees) and small (10-100) businesses, at 42% and 31%. Both figures are increases from 2011.

 

For more about how all this applies specifically to infrastructure firms, see my free white paper, Long Sales Cycles and Skeptical Customers are Good Things: Content Marketing in Infrastructure.

 

Some Conclusions

If you haven’t produced videos in connection with your infrastructure solutions, or have only made a half-hearted commitment to their use, now is the time to get serious. Videos are easy to distribute, are very effective for lead generation and, along with case studies and white papers, are also effective for nurturing prospects. And remember, many of your prospects, e.g. Directors of Public Works, have to convince committees before they make a purchase—videos are fantastic for that.

But only the right kind of videos. To be effective, videos must be short—the Forbes study shows that a majority of executives prefer three to five minute videos, while only nine percent prefer longer than five minutes, and 36% prefer videos that are one to three minutes in length—and they have to be educational, so they work as content, not fluff.

So, you need to produce short “video case studies” and “video white papers” that educate your prospects about your solution. Yes, they’re are a bit more expensive than conventional written materials, but videos are fast becoming the default marketing content for busy prospects. And, if they’re made well (see below), they have very long lifespans.

If you need help scripting or producing infrastructure videos, give me a call. I’ve been writing scripts for years, and I have recently partnered with Reelthing, an award-winning maker of feature length documentaries, to produce effective, high quality videos that sell your infrastructure solution. This partnership combines intimate infrastructure industry knowledge with superb filmmaking expertise—we’ll be making the best infrastructure videos available, and I’d like to make one for you! We can handle every aspect of production, from script to uploading, and provide a firm lump sum before shooting starts. Please call!

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Bio

Angus W. Stocking

Angus W. Stocking, L.S., is a licensed land surveyor who now prepares information marketing content for the infrastructure industry.

Contact

Angus W. Stocking, L.S.
P.O. Box 872
Paonia CO 81428
270.363.0033 office
angusstocking@gmail.com

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