B2B Video Marketing on the iPad

iPad video

Whether you’re considering managing your B2B video marketing campaigns on your iPad or catering to an audience that watches B2B marketing videos on one, you’ll need a solid plan and a few good apps. With its awesome display and extreme portability, the iPad makes managing and viewing any corporate video a real pleasure.

Apps for Managing Business Video

As a B2B video marketer, you’ll appreciate having your videos within easy reach. Not only that, the new iPad features a much better camera than earlier versions making it possible to shoot impromptu videos in HD. What’s more, with a video editing app, you can even edit your videos. Here’s a look at the best apps for managing your B2B marketing and business video efforts:

  • iMovie – This app is available for about $5 from iTunes and allows you to edit soundtracks, add titles and graphics, and more.
  • Avid Studio – If you’ve been involved in corporate video for any length of time, you’ve likely heard of Avid video editing software. The Avid Studio, again about $5, scales down Avid for the tablet, giving you quick and easy access to professional transitions, effects, and more.
  • Vimeo App – Vimeo is a popular video sharing site. Whether you want to upload a recently edited (on your iPad, of course) corporate video to Vimeo or quickly launch one of your B2B marketing videos in order to quickly show a prospect your business video, having an app with easy access to your video sharing account makes doing so a matter of just a few taps.
  • Constant Contact App – If you use Constant Contact to manage your email-based B2B marketing campaigns, you’ll want to download the Constant Contact app. This little app allows you to manage contacts and lists, view reports, post links to Facebook and Twitter, and write, edit and send email campaigns. If you use a different email B2B marketing service provider, check to see if that provider has a similar app.

Using the iPad for B2B Video Marketing

In addition to apps, the iPad makes it easy to share your corporate video with prospects. Imagine stopping by a prospect’s office and having everything you need at your fingertips. The days of dragging along laptop, DVD, video projector, and a screen are long gone. When the conversation lends itself to sharing your business video, simply whip out your iPad, tap on the video, and hand it over for your prospect’s viewing pleasure.

If you plan on using the iPad to shoot your B2B video marketing footage, keep in mind that while it is capable of recording high definition video, it’s not the best choice for professional business videos. Use the iPad to capture those moments and places that happen on the fly but understand its limitations.

How Users May View your B2B Marketing Videos

Business users use their iPads to watch videos on YouTube, Vimeo, and individual websites. Some may access your video after clicking a link in one of your B2B marketing emails while others may watch it directly on your website. The new iPad continues Apple’s tradition of not supporting Flash, making it smart to present your videos in formats the iPad can handle.

With the iPad’s impressive new “retina” display, you’ll want to make sure that each corporate video you produce is shot and packaged in full HD. Take advantage of the iPad’s visual capabilities by using professional-grade video and lighting equipment. As with online B2B video marketing, your videos should be edited down so that they quickly get to the point and have relatively short run times.

B2B video marketing continues to evolve, especially with so many business users embracing the iPad. While most of your B2B marketing strategies will remain the same, it’s smart to consider how you can manage and share your corporate video marketing on the iPad and how your prospects may be using their iPads to view a business video.

How have you used your iPad for B2B video marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

B2B Video Marketing Myths

Video marketing mythsIf you think that B2B video marketing is too expensive and for large companies with big budgets or that in order to be effective a business video must go viral, you may be falling for common myths surrounding corporate video. Learn the reality behind the myths and take a confident stance as you plan your B2B marketing efforts for 2012.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #1: B2B Marketing Videos Must Go Viral

If you’re producing a video destined for the Web, you may feel the pressure to make sure that your business video gets lots of hits. While it would be nice to have millions of viewers watching and sharing your corporate video, it’s more important that the video reach a targeted audience. For example, if your target audience consists of high level executives but your video goes viral among low level workers, your B2B video marketing efforts will be ineffective despite millions of views.

Focus your B2B marketing and video production efforts on your target audience and never lose sight of who your corporate video is intended to reach.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #2: Corporate Video Production Is Expensive

While you certainly could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a business video, you don’t have to. As with most industries, there are numerous B2B marketing and video production companies that offer affordable business video production services. You can also slash your B2B video marketing costs by being proactive and prepared. For example, if you’ll be appearing in the corporate video, rehearse your lines at home or the office and arrive at the studio fully prepared. This will reduce the number of takes, reduce the amount of studio and crew time required, and make editing the final business video much easier.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #3: Video and B2B Marketing is for Big Companies

Whether you run a two-person shop or a large corporation, B2B video marketing is an effective way to communicate your offer to other businesses. Business video is ideal for a number of situations including:

  • Selling products and services
  • Attracting investors
  • Demonstrating capabilities
  • Sharing customer testimonials
  • Building credibility, trust, and relationships

If you’re part of a small company, a corporate video could help you compete with larger ones while larger companies can use B2B video marketing to appear more personable.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #4: Each Business Video Must Be 90 Seconds or Less

In general, online B2B marketing messages should be short and 90 seconds or less is a good rule of thumb. However, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Depending where your prospects are in the video-to-lead funnel, you may have earned the opportunity to present longer corporate video messages.

For example, if your B2B marketing efforts have previously engaged and converted prospects, these leads now trust you and are hungry for more information about your products, services, or philosophy. If you plan on presenting a longer corporate video to viewers later in the sales funnel, make sure to tell them in advance what to expect. For example, if you want leads to watch a 10-minute business video, let them know that the video will only take ten minutes of their time and will solve their concerns about X, Y, and Z.

B2B Video Marketing Myth #5: It’s Impossible to Embed Business Video into Email Campaigns

Hesitant to use B2B video marketing in your current email campaigns because there’s no universal video player for email clients? While the technology may not be where you’d like it to be, creative B2B marketing techniques exist. Simply include a screenshot of your corporate video and link it to your website where subscribers can instantly watch the business video. As an added bonus, your B2B marketing prospects will be back on your website where you have additional opportunities to get your message across and make the sale.

Which B2B video marketing myths have stopped you from producing a business video? Share your thoughts in the comments section below:

Website Video Production – 5 Mistakes to Avoid

goofy man holding movie clipboard

Small handheld video cameras and online video-sharing websites have led many businesses to believe that website video production is a simple process involving point, shoot, and upload. While that process is fine for personal videos, serious Web video production for business marketing purposes is a different matter. Complexities throughout the process make the entire video production vulnerable to mistakes. Some mistakes, such as failing to choose a reliable video production company, can be disastrous. Below are five common website video production mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

Website Video Production Mistake #1: Choosing the Wrong Video Production Company
Choosing a video production company to produce your Web video production is one of the most important decisions you will make. However, did you choose the right video production company for your project? Like many professional service providers, video production companies specialize in different fields such as consumer video (weddings, parties, and events), legal video (depositions, “day in the life” videos, etc.), and commercial / business website video production. Select a company that specializes in Web video production and you’ll be more likely to have a technical crew skilled in video production, online video formats, search engine optimization, video sharing, and online video marketing concepts.

Website Video Production Mistake #2: Not Using a Video Production Company
Think you can handle Web video production in house? While inexpensive HD video cameras and low-cost editing software have their appeal, putting website video production in the hands of the untrained could be a costly mistake. Not only is your Web video production more likely to look as if an amateur produced it, the time your employees spend scripting, producing, and editing the video could be better spent working in their areas of expertise.

Website Video Production Mistake #3: Failing to Script the Video Production
A high quality Web video production generally begins with a well-written script. The script serves as the roadmap for the entire production. If you fail to script your video, it will show in the final product. For example, speakers may ramble on without ever reaching their points or the editing may be excessively choppy as you attempt to piece various shots together so that they make sense. Avoid these problems altogether by scripting your Web video production. Depending on your preferences, you can write your own rough draft or ask your video production company to develop the script for you.

Website Video Production Mistake #4: Failing to Engage Your Audience
Even with the most qualified video production company working on your behalf, if you fail to engage your audience, the website video production will be a failure. Never lose sight of your audience, what problems it has, and how your products and services can solve those problems. Your video production company can keep the pace of the Web video production moving, but only you can truly keep your audience engaged by communicating the benefits of your offer.

Website Video Production Mistake #5: Allowing the Video to be too Long
Early in the planning process, schedule time with your video production company to discuss the appropriate video length. Depending on the nature of the Web video production and its intended audience, your video may be as short as 30 seconds or up to 10 minutes long. In general, opt for a short website video production, especially if your audience is primarily composed of prospects. A short Web video production can deliver the information you want to communicate and show prospects that you respect their time. As you build credibility and trust with your audience, you may later have the opportunity to present a longer website video production.

From hiring the wrong video production company or doing it on your own to failing to script the Web video production, failing to engage your audience, and allowing the video to run too long for your audience’s limited attention span, these five mistakes could doom your website video production.

Did we miss any deadly website video production mistakes? Which mistakes have you made? Share your experiences in the comments section below:

B2B Video Marketing: The Power of Content Marketing

b2b video marketing

When you think of B2B video marketing, do you think of it as its own marketing channel or as part of a larger content marketing strategy? Whether you think of your business video efforts separately or as part of a larger B2B marketing plan, B2B video marketing is a powerful option for businesses that want to get seen, get heard, and get results.

What is Content Marketing?

In order to best understand content and B2B marketing, let’s look at what “content” is. Content is a broad term used to describe the material that fills a website, blog, or other informational repository. For example, this blog post is “content.” A corporate video posted on a website’s About Us page is “content.” Photos, case studies, white papers, advertising, polls, games, user reviews, mobile apps, and forums, are all “content.” Generally speaking, branded media that you create and distribute, whether it’s an article, business video, or Facebook status update, is a form of content marketing.

In fact, according to study published by King Fish Media, Junta42, and HubSpot in June 2010, the most widely used form of content marketing for social media campaigns involves branded content that you create (73 percent). Expert videos were next (72 percent) followed by videos (51 percent), case studies (45 percent), and user content/reviews (41 percent).

With these figures in mind, think about how B2B video marketing fits in. First, you might create and distribute a corporate video as part of a B2B marketing campaign. This branded content that you create can also be shared by others if you provide an easy way to share or embed it.

As the figures above illustrate, 51 percent of social media content involves sharing videos. When this happens, not only have you done your part to get your branded B2B video marketing content seen by others, others have willingly shared your corporate video through their own social media channels. That’s the power of content marketing!

Planning B2B Video Marketing Content

No matter where you publish your business video, and no matter how easy you make sharing it, no one will embed your corporate video if it’s not engaging, entertaining, or informative in some way. Similarly, if the business video is excessively long or of poor quality, it’s not likely to “go viral.” Use a professional video production company to ensure the quality of your business video.

As you plan your B2B video marketing campaign, keep the above points in mind. In addition, take a “magnetic” approach. For example, with content marketing, your business video needs to pull business customers in – not push them away. You also want to entice customers to perform a specific action such as visit your website, watch additional videos, sign up for a newsletter, or call your office for a quote. To be most effective, your message B2B marketing message should focus on the benefits to your business customers; it should show that you understand their problems and have the best solution. And then it should prompt them to take a specific action.

Before you produce your business video, think about where your B2B marketing customers will view it. While you may initially post the corporate video on your website, someone else may embed a link to it into a social media platform such as Facebook. Because it’s likely that some viewers will watch your business video somewhere other than your original website, make sure that you include an overlay with your website address directing viewers back to your website.

Encouraging Others to Share Your Business Video

Once you’ve produced and posted your business video, make sure that it’s easy to share. Most website video players and plugins offer some sort of sharing or embed feature that you can turn on. However, this isn’t always enough. Ask your visitors to share it and you may be surprised at their generosity in sharing it. In addition, take advantage of your existing social media networks by posting links to the business video and asking others to share or retweet it.

What do you think about B2B video marketing and content marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments below:

Website Video Spokesperson: More than Just a Pretty Face

spokespeopleThere’s more to a website video spokesperson than meets the eye. While you’ll likely want to choose an attractive virtual spokesperson for your website, other considerations exist. In addition to choosing a professional actor to play the role of Web video spokesperson, the video itself must be produced so that the final product looks and sounds as professional as possible.

What is a website video spokesperson? A website video spokesperson serves as a virtual spokesperson who greets visitors when they land on your website. These pre-recorded videos can either play automatically or when the user clicks on them. Using green screen technology, the image of the Web video spokesperson plays on top of the website.

Because your website video spokesperson serves as the face of your website, it’s important to choose a professional actor. In some cases, it makes sense for the head of the company to serve as a virtual spokesperson. If you will be playing this role yourself, make sure that you’re comfortable speaking in front of a camera. Your video production company can help you with the script and provide you with some basic coaching. In both cases, your Web video spokesperson must be able to:

  • Look and play the part
  • Memorize a script or read off of a teleprompter
  • Deliver lines as directed
  • Speak clearly

In addition to the abilities of the person playing the role of website video spokesperson, it’s also important that the behind-the-scenes team is skilled at virtual spokesperson production. For example, what will your virtual spokesperson say? The script should be developed in conjunction with your Web content so that the Web video spokesperson guides visitors through a sales process.

In addition, the video production company will need to shoot the Web video spokesperson in a studio with a green screen so that only the virtual spokesperson appears on the website. Camera operators will also need to frame the shot appropriately as well. The director will work closely with you to determine the best camera angles based on your website design and the ultimate placement of the website video spokesperson. For example, if your website has blank vertical sidebars, it may make sense to have your Web video spokesperson appear in one of the sidebars in full length. Similarly, if you want the website video spokesperson to walk onto the screen, your director will need to frame the shot appropriately.

Broadcast quality production values are a must at all stages of the production including sound quality. When you choose a professional video production company to produce the virtual spokesperson video, you’re usually getting an entire team of video professionals committed to making sure that the Web video spokesperson looks and sounds good.

Once the footage of the website video spokesperson has been shot and edited, the next step involves putting the virtual spokesperson on the website. You will need to make several decisions such as which video player to use and whether or not the Web video spokesperson should begin speaking automatically.

Clearly, putting a website video spokesperson on your website is a process that involves making the right decisions. Not only will you need a person to play the role of virtual spokesperson, that person must be a skilled speaker. Your Web video spokesperson will need a compelling script to follow and a video production team working behind the scenes to produce broadcast quality video.

While a website video spokesperson may indeed have a pretty face, make sure all of the other pieces are in place. What do you think is a must for any website video spokesperson? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Website Video Production: The Pros and Cons of Online Video Players

video players

Your website video production has been shot, edited, and is now ready for the Web. However, before you call it a wrap, you need to upload the video to your website. Depending on the services you’ve contracted with your video production company, this may or may not be part of the actual Web video production. In order for the video to appear on your website, you’ll need to upload the files and install a video player on your site.

If your video production company offers comprehensive Web video production services, it will likely handle this as part of the package. If not, you’ll need to research the various options and choose the player that makes the most sense for your needs. In some cases, it makes sense to upload your website video production files to YouTube and then embed the code into your website. In other cases, you may want greater control over your video or want to do away with the YouTube branding. You may even want clickable links embedded into the final Web video production. In these cases, you’ll need to install a video player on your website.

Start by asking your video production company for a recommendation. Which video players do they use for their own website video production files? Why? Is the player affordable?

Next, use the Internet to research various players. Free and commercial players are available. For example, FlowPlayer offers a free version (with FlowPlayer branding) as well as several commercial versions (without the branding). Another popular, and free, player for your website video production files is JW Player. This video player can easily be extended with additional features thanks to numerous plugins, modules, and skins. For example, if you want to run your own advertisements within the player, you can add this function with a plugin.

Vimeo is yet another player to take a look at. The Plus and Pro versions eliminate the banner ads that come with the free version as well as add additional features such as high definition capabilities, the ability to fully customize the player itself, and analytics.

These are but a few of the many options your video production company may recommend for your Web video production. Which one is right for your website video production? That will depend on what’s important to you. Some priorities might revolve around:

  • Whether or not your Web video production was shot in high definition
  • You want to brand the player with your own logo
  • You need bundled video hosting
  • You want to analyze the Web video production’s performance
  • You need HTML5 support
  • You’re concerned about bandwidth
  • You want your video to look more professional
  • You don’t want your video on YouTube
  • You want the ultimate control over your video and its distribution
  • You want to host your website video production files on Amazon

While YouTube has a huge viewing audience and offers numerous capabilities, your video production company may recommend an alternative player for several important reasons including:

  • Video length restrictions. If your Web video production is over 15 minutes long, you can’t host it on YouTube.
  • Some companies block YouTube. If you’re targeting B2B customers, they may not be able to access your YouTube videos while they’re at work.
  • Related videos. Your competitors’ videos might be featured alongside yours.
  • Your account can be closed at any time by Google.

Which video player do you use? Share your thoughts about website video production and online video players in the comment section below:

B2B Video Marketing: What Do Your Business Customers Need To Know

woman thinking

As you brainstorm ideas for your next B2B video marketing message, it’s easy to take the wrong perspective. You may want to focus your corporate video on how wonderful your people are or showcase the bells and whistles of your products. While this is understandable, your business video and its B2B marketing message may fail to resonate with your business customers. To avoid this, you need to adopt the customer’s perspective. What do your customers care about? What do they need to know? How will your product or service benefit them?

B2B Marketing Brainstorming Prompt: What Do Your Customers Care About?

During your B2B video marketing brainstorming session, ask yourself what your business customers care about. When you understand this and address it in your corporate video, you’ll be more likely to develop a connection with your customers. Your business video can communicate that you understand the problems faced by your customers and share their concerns.

One of the best ways to find out what’s important to your customers is to ask. B2B marketing is an ongoing process requiring a dialog between you and your business customers. Take your B2B marketing customers out to lunch, read the same trade journals they read, and ask probing questions at every opportunity. You could even watch their own corporate video productions to gain a better understanding of their concerns. Before producing a single business video, make sure to incorporate questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and surveys as part of your B2B video marketing strategy.

B2B Video Marketing Brainstorming Prompt: What Do Your Customers Need to Know? Corporate video is an excellent platform for communicating new information. In fact, your business video should be both engaging and informative because your business customers have little time to spare. In addition, you may only have 60 to 90 seconds for your entire business video, so you don’t have time to spare either.

As part of your B2B video marketing brainstorming session, consider what your business customers already know and what they need to know. For example, if your B2B marketing customers are well aware of a new regulation and its affect on their industry, your corporate video on that topic needs to quickly move beyond what they already know and position your solution as the best one. What do they need to know about your solution that makes it better or different than other solutions. What don’t they know about your solution that they should know? Answer these B2B video marketing questions and incorporate your answers into your corporate video.

B2B Video Marketing Brainstorming Prompt: How Will Your Solution Benefit Your B2B Marketing Customers?

Finally, your business video brainstorming session should focus on how your solution benefits your B2B marketing customers. Rather than focusing your business video on bells and whistles, focus it on benefits. Your corporate video viewers may be momentarily impressed by your product’s features, but the benefits are what will win them over. For example, a car that gets 30 miles per gallon has an impressive feature (good gas mileage) but its benefits (save money, reduce carbon footprint, and fewer trips to the gas station) are what resonate with customers. Similarly, if your B2B video marketing involves a business video touting accounting software with online reports, the online reports are a feature whereas the benefit might be anytime, anywhere access to real-time financial data. Focus your corporate video on the benefits and your B2B marketing campaign is sure to be successful.

Brainstorming ideas for your corporate video involves getting into the heads of your B2B video marketing customers. What do they care about? What do they need to know? What benefits will they realize by choosing the solution your business video proposes? Answer these three B2B marketing questions and write your corporate video script around your answers. In short, your B2B video marketing campaign answers the question on your B2B marketing customers’ minds: What’s in it for me?

What do you think? Are there any other questions a corporate video should answer? Share your B2B video marketing ideas in the comments section below.