By 2022, 80% of global traffic will be video, according to Cisco, which also forecasts it would take 5 million years to watch a month’s worth of video traffic at that point.

But if video is the new (radio) star, what does the massive increase in video traffic mean for B2B service providers, other than the challenge it provides to networks?

Marketing

B2B buying behaviour is changing rapidly. For example, B2B buyers now engage in 12 searches prior to engaging with a brand (Google) and the number of people involved in an average B2B sale increased from 5.4 in 2015 to 6.8 in 2017 (CEB).

The increase in younger workers (under 35s) also challenges the way that B2B businesses market to customers.  If you haven’t incorporated video into your marketing strategy, then you’re going to struggle to resonate with buyers brought up on Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. As B2B buying behaviour changes, service providers need to be mindful both of how they use video within their own marketing strategy, and how they support customers that are doing so.

  • 70% of B2B researchers are watching video as part of their purchasing behaviour and research (Google)
  • LinkedIn now allows video to be uploaded for B2B marketing (2017).

Case studies

55% of B2B decision makers consider case studies to be the best way to move prospects down the purchasing funnel according to BrightTalk. This is backed up by research from Frank Cespedes from the Harvard Business School. He reviewed 34 million customer/content interactions and discovered that case studies were still one of the most powerful pieces of content businesses produce, with a 83% (viewing) completion rate. Business users prefer to hear real life experiences, rather than just the theoretical experience presented in marketing copy.

However, what’s even more compelling than reading about someone else’s experience is hearing (and seeing) them tell you the story themselves. This is because it allows us to emotionally connect with the customer, which reassures us that the experience is authentic.

Bills

More people read bills than ever read marketing literature. According to BriteBill’s James Browne, only 4-6% of marketing literature is read by customers, but approximately 40% of bills are. “People are far more likely to read their bill than the expensive marketing literature service providers produce. It’s a key customer touchpoint that’s often overlooked and underexploited. Creating more visual and interesting bills increases customer engagement and can be a sound investment for service providers.”

Improving bills by making them more digital, visual, informative and interesting helps shift them from dull financial statements into  engagement tools that support increased upselling and cross-selling opportunities, as well as driving loyalty. Reviewing how you present essential billing information is even more important to engage younger customers that have been brought up on a diet of YouTube videos.

Attracting workers

As we looked at in our recent post (Anglian Water is best place to work in UK – what does that say for telcos?) there is a shortage of skilled workers in the technology sector, which also struggles to attract sufficient younger workers. In a competitive jobs market, companies need to engage workers in ways that make sense to them. While job adverts in newspapers have given way to job ads online, the most forward-looking companies are using video to engage and attract new workers. When younger workers look for a job, the first thing they’re going to do is head to YouTube to check out videos about the company to discover what they’re in for. Rather than writing long-winded job descriptions, it is far more powerful and engaging to explain what you’re looking for and what it’s like to work for your company in a video. Recruitment can also be made cheaper and easier by conducting initial interviews by video, rather than dragging candidates across the country when neither you, nor they. are sure there’s a meeting of minds.

If you’re seeing video being used in a novel or effective way within a B2B context, why not tell us about it?

Posted by Teresa Cottam

Teresa helps B2B service providers improve their commercial results and the customer experience they deliver through research, insight and analysis that builds effective strategy. She is a judge of the GSMA GloMo's for customer experience and enterprise innovation, and for the UK Cloud awards. You can follow her on Twitter @teresacottam

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s