Why LinkedIn’s Video Updates Are A Major Leap Forward For The B2B Platform

LinkedIn embraced video for the first time last year by allowing users to post native videos. Now it has gone a step, in fact, two steps further. The B2B platform has launched two updates that will allow in-feed video ads and video on company pages.

LinkedIn says nearly half of B2B advertisers surveyed by it said one of their top challenges was finding the right environment in which to run video campaigns. LinkedIn believes it is the answer as it tries to head off competition from other platforms, such as Facebook, who are trying to muscle into the B2B space. 

Even though their native video capability was only launched last year, according to LinkedIn’s Peter Roybal when people watch a video on the platform they are 20 times more likely to share it than any other type of post.

We're seeing videos being shared 20 times more than any other type of content across LinkedIn

Peter Roybal

I can’t help thinking this is excellent timing from LinkedIn. If you are anything like you me, you are suffering from GDPR opt-in fatigue as businesses race to make their email lists compliant before the May deadline. There’s no doubt the new GDPR rules are going to have a negative impact on B2B email video marketing. For many businesses, LinkedIn will be an indispensable alternative.

Video ads

 LinkedIn sees video ads as an evolution of their sponsored content. Video for Sponsored Content (as they are calling it) sits on news feeds as a standalone post. This can be used to build brand awareness, collect high-quality leads and drive qualified traffic to your website.

LinkedIn’s big selling point, (and it’s massive), is that its targeting abilities allow you to identify:

  • A defined audience by reference to job title, company name, seniority, skills, etc.
  • Specific accounts using account based marketing campaigns.

LinkedIn has high hopes for the new service and says data from beta trials of 700 advertisers shows that members spend three times more time watching video ads compared to static sponsored content.

This is all well and good, but the key is whether it delivers greater ROI. LinkedIn believes its integrated Conversion Tracking tool gives advertisers the metrics they need to find out, such as leads, website visits, and detail about the types of people watching and engaging with the content. 

Company page video

It was only a matter of time before LinkedIn extended video from members to company pages. Interestingly, from our point of view, LinkedIn’s marketing blurb talks about how you can use video on company pages to show a company’s:

  • Culture
  • Products
  • News
  • Events

This covers much of what we talk about in our White Paper, and the importance of having video content for each step of the sales funnel. Data from LinkedIn’s beta programme shows that video on a company page is five times more likely than other content to start a conversation between members.

LinkedIn started as a recruitment website and I believe videos showing a company’s culture and values will be especially effective on the platform. 

To discuss using video on LinkedIn for your B2B marketing, contact us now.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Why Your Business Needs To Become A Content Company?

Whilst success tends to be subjective, I’ve long believed that the businesses which excel tend to be those with the most compelling story. In many cases, it is this same story which binds a business to its audience that sets them apart from their competition. It is this essence of ‘brand‘ which keeps customers returning and defines successful content.

Depending on how long you have been in business, the means by which you convey your story may have changed. Where once the Yellow Pages was the go-to destination for reaching your audience; social media and search have all but transformed how content is found.

Whilst TV remains a primary channel, the prescriptive schedules of the traditional broadcasters have been disrupted by both a technological and a social layer. The technology is always-on and constantly connected whilst the social layer attempts to infuse a sense of community into the connected experience.

Collectively, over-the-top platforms (OTT) such as the Chromecast, Amazon Firestick or the AppleTV run many of the channels we find on our mobile devices i.e, Facebook, YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc. This means that the sit-back experience of the living room has become an organic extension of our mobile lives and vice-versa.

This represents a tremendous opportunity for today’s businesses. The power has been democratised, we can reach our target audience wherever we choose but first we have to accept that to do so, we must meet the prospect on their terms,  be it on either social media or out there in the wilderness of the open web. For more on what social channels befit your business, check out our blog ‘Choosing The Best Social Channels for your B2B Video

The customer is empowered to opt-in to your brand – or not as the case may be. This is why we must be producing content with a deeper understanding of personalisation, relevance and intimacy. Maybe a good place to start is to ask ourselves, ‘how well do we know our customer?’

So, why is Social, the Open Web and OTT so important? Because the customer is ageing. It should come as no surprise that millennials have arrived in positions of influence within the enterprise and millennials inhabit the social layer like no other demographic in society. Successful content today will entice its audience to participate in its reach.

If you look at how millennials engage with social media, it can be incredibly intimidating. There are multiple channels, speaking to different audiences with those users often rifling through their feeds at a pace which could be best compared to a treadmill for thumbs. Each moment is transitory and absolutely nothing feels permanent.

Daniel Ek – Spotify CEO

Spotify owner Daniel Ek, recently proclaimed in a letter to investors that Spotify wasn’t in the music business, it is in the moments business. I get his logic but by that definition, we’re presumably all in the ‘moments’ business.

The question remains, how do we enrich that moment so that our audience cares enough to be truly engaged. Successful content has to be powerful because online interactions need to stick almost immediately or risk not sticking at all.

As it happens the channels have been giving us a clear indication of the direction of travel for some time and it’s fairly widely accepted now that video is the most effective medium for capturing and retaining attention in social. Even LinkedIn has finally caught on, adding video to both personal profiles as well as company pages.

As business owners, it is our job to shape these conversations. To do that we have to be the creators of content which adds value and capitalises on the zeitgeist. Successful content is relevant, not spam. Not only that but we also have to do it with a certain level of scale because at the top of the funnel, our audience is only tapping into us for moments at a time.

We need lots of moments with our prospect for them to begin to notice us, even more for them to get a sense of our offering. More still to turn them into fans. Is it any wonder that we’ve witnessed a content explosion over the last few years. Further down the funnel, the moments we share tend to be longer because the engaged prospect will want more from us. 

If you haven’t done so already, step back and ask yourself ‘What is the story of your business? Why should your prospect care?’ The successful businesses of tomorrow won’t just have a fantastic story but they will weave their audience into the narrative and make them feel part of it because after all, what is a brand without loyalty?

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Join Us For An Exclusive Breakfast: Mastering Video in The Enterprise

On Thursday 19th April, I’ll be speaking at a breakfast event at the Soho Hotel titled  “Enterprise Video: Best Practice”. Element 26 is one of four companies taking part, the others being PGi, Hive Streaming, and 27partners and you can find out more about each of these companies below. The event is free and we would love you to join us. You can register for the event here.

What does it take to run a successful video project in the enterprise?

It starts with the production of a great video and that’s where Element 26 comes in. As a video production company, we tend to be the first port of call when a business decides it wants a video.

That’s good news for us but it is by no means the whole story. There is no point us working hard with the client to create a fantastic video unless people are able to watch it. Our creativity is vital in helping enterprise clients tell their story – and this is what I will be talking about at the seminar – but so too is the practicality offered by our co-hosts.

As much as I firmly believe that content is king, the successful delivery of your video is queen and cannot be ignored.

Corporate clients often don’t want to hear or don’t believe that their networks can’t support the new video they have just completed. They assume that because they are a large or multi-national corporation their networks can handle it. Often this isn’t the case.

The event’s host, 27partners ensures that an organisation has the right infrastructure in place to make video effective for their business. You might be thinking: “Why do they need to worry about infrastructure, it’s all in the cloud, right?”

Often, this isn’t adequate because enterprise clients are required to keep their media in locations under their own control. They can’t use video platforms such as Brightcove, Wistia, etc. A practical example of how 27partners might help is by enabling a field salesperson with poor access to cellular reception to access the content they need to do their job.

In more every day uses, 27partners will go into an organisation and evaluate the technology they have invested in over the years to see if it is up to snuff for their future growth plans.

Hive Streaming has a different proposition. It is a software-only video streaming solution for organisations. Companies are increasingly embracing video communications with the result that often their networks are unable to cope with the demands placed on them. Hive’s clever software uses excess network capacity that enterprises already own to deliver high quality live and on demand video to users in an organisation.

PGi is the world’s largest dedicated provider of collaboration software and services. Its products include web, video and audio conferencing. In the past five years it has hosted 1.2 billion people from 155 countries in nearly 300 million virtual meetings.

I am really looking forward to the seminar and learning more about what these experts have to offer. We all work together to help enterprise clients get the most out of their video and I expect the event to be invaluable for any companies that use video.

As well as content creation, topics covered will include storage and management, distribution and delivery, presentation and access, reporting and analytics, plus how to evolve your video projects.

The speakers will be:

Nathan Haines (www.elementtwentysix.com)

Greg Holt and Owen Shackman: 27 partners (www.27partners.com)

Mark Coomber: Hive (www.hivestreaming.com)

Stephane Barnatt: Pgi (www.pgi.com)

Enterprise Video: Best Practice is taking place at The Soho Hotel, 4 Richmond Mews, London, W1D 3DH on Thursday 19th March from 8.30 am to 10.30 am. The event is free – please join us by registering here.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

A Lesson In Video From 2017

Now we have entered 2018, I thought, instead of embarking on yet another blog containing predictions for the forthcoming year, it might be more interesting to share a lesson from the previous 12 months. A big thank you to Jane Trill for being kind enough to let me tell her story. 

Jane runs a growing online fashion design business. A year ago she had five employees, in 2017 she took on another 2 and in 2018 she hopes to employee at least three more people. Two of which will be going into her marketing team. 

A couple of years ago, I met Jane at a networking event in the City. She explained to me that she had built her business on networking but she was beginning to find it tiresome as it wasn’t scalable. Jane had accomplished many things in her career but the ability to be in more than one place at a time was still evading her.

Jane & I went for coffee a few weeks later because she wanted to pick my brains about video marketing. Like many business owners I speak to, Jane had heard the hype around video but her previous attempts hadn’t gleaned the results she was hoping for.

The first thing I wanted to clarify was her expectations. What was it that ‘everyone else’ was supposedly achieving that she wasn’t? As it turns out, a few friends of hers had utilised video within their marketing and had seen success growing their database. For Jane, she was lucky if she even got views, despite paying for engagment.

As it tuns out, Jane was victim of a two things; changes in the way social platforms prioritise content and crucially, the content she was making wasn’t really fit for purpose.

 

 

1) Changes In Social Platforms

Organic reach has been undergoing a slow and painful death. According to a study from EdgeRank checkerbetween February 2012 and March 2014, organic reach for the average Facebook Page dropped from 16% to 6.5%.’ What does this equate to in real terms. Well if your page had 100 fans, then in 2012, 16 of them would have seen your post in their feed. In 2014, that was as low as between 6 & 7.

In many ways, the decline of organic reach has been borne out of necessity. If you look at the average Facebook feed these days, it is an incredibly busy place. There are simply too many Pages, producing too much content for too many fans. What that means in a nutshell is, competition for visibility within the News Feed is incredibly high.

If the writing wasn’t on the wall for organic reach by 2014, things took a turn for a worst in October last year when Facebook introduced the Explore tab. In doing so, they subsequently moved a lot the organic content into this view freeing up the main News Feed to be exploited by paid content.

It was Jane’s understanding, that Facebook prioritises posts which include video. This is only the case when the videos are published natively to Facebook. Jane was publishing her videos to YouTube and then sharing the links onto her company page on Facebook. A common mistake we see regularly. As soon as we published these videos natively, a combination of video on the platform and some tweaks to her paid targeting engagement quickly increased.

2) Content Type

Producing fashion lines for both younger and older women, from the outset it was obvious that Jane had more than one audience. Using one film to speak to both of them was unlikely to succeed. We have a principle at Element 26 of 1:1:1, which essentially represents one film, for one audience with one message. Adopting this policy has been a great way to make sure our videos stay focused.

Whenever I am asked to take part in speaking engagement, I invariably ask the audience how successful they have been with video marketing. The response is often a mixed bag and a lot if it comes down to a misunderstanding around the role video can play on the web. I have come to the conclusion that video has an identity crisis because almost everyone I speak to, presumes that video is purely for advertising purposes; aka top of the funnel. In reality, there is a versatility in video which should be embraced from everything from advertising to sales enablement.   

Jane’s goal was to turn more of her customers into advocates but she didn’t have the budget to create videos out of all of her lines. What we proposed was a mixture of branded content (telling stories about how the fabrics are ethically sourced to the relevance to the community) and also user generated video. Thankfully Jane already had a number of passionate fans who were easily motivated to make their own films. Your possibly thinking that this sounds expensive when in fact it was highly cost-effective. To begin with, to test the waters, we repurposed the footage she already had; changing the messaging depending on the audience. It was only when this was proven to be effective that we created any new videos.

3) What is Jane going to do 2018?

The content plan has evolved somewhat now that Jane’s database is up and running. We have a monthly plan dedicated to creating content that is focused on nurturing her database and converting those prospects sending us a hand-raiser. Jane isn’t completely free of networking but she does have one more evening free to spend with her young family. 

So, rather than publishing predictions for the year ahead, I thought it would be more helpful to focus on the timeless principles of marketing. Tell a meaningful story and you will form an emotional bond.

If you’re interested in learning about the story types which are proven to connect with audiences we have produced another blog on the seven basic story types. They’re all top of the funnel and designed to move your audience emotionally. You can find the blog on this link here.

 

seven-story-types-for-your-advertising-films

If you’re interested in taking video marketing more seriously in 2018, let’s grab a coffee or maybe some lunch? If you’re not in London or would prefer to have a quick chat then there is always Skype. All the best for 2018.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

The Best (And Worst) Christmas Adverts of 2017

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without… well, without Element 26’s round up of the year’s festive adverts

This year’s Christmas adverts bring us a variety of bears, animated carrots, a monster and a host of feature film references. There’s also plenty of slush, as you would expect at this time of year. Here’s our take on 2017’s Christmas adverts.

John Lewis

We can’t help feeling underwhelmed by John Lewis’s advert this year. Directed by Michel Gondry (who won an Oscar for the screenplay of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), it features Moz the monster hiding under the bed of seven-year-old Joe.

To a soundtrack of Elbow’s version of the Beatles’ Golden Slumbers, Moz keeps Joe awake at night having fun and playing games. With Joe’s sleepless nights taking their toll, Moz gives Joe a night light for Christmas allowing his young friend to catch up on his zeds. The advert is sweet enough but lacks the emotional kick of previous years or the humour of last year’s Buster the Boxer. Not a John Lewis classic.

 

M & S

Paddington Bear stars in this year feature film style ad, which was released to coincide with Paddington 2 hitting cinema screens at the end November. In it, everyone’s favourite Peruvian (voiced, as in the film, by Ben Wilshaw) rescues his neighbours’ Christmas by helping a person he thinks is Santa hand out presents.

It turns out the bearded man in red is a burglar. No matter, deliveries completed and marmalade sandwich in hand, courtesy of Paddington, the burglar sees the error of his ways. “Thank you little bear,” he says. At least that what we think he says. Some less charitable folk on social media have suggested it sounds suspiciously like the burglar’s parting words are, “F*ck you little bear.” If only it were true. Still, a beautifully made ad by M & S, cleverly cashing in on Paddington’s popularity. (He’s not our favourite bear this year though, as you’ll find out later.)

Asda and Aldi

At the lower end of the supermarket food chain both Asda and Aldi have taken inspiration from classic movies. Asda’s ad features a child and her grandfather visiting Asda’s Christmas factory, called the Imaginarium. It takes no great leap to see that Asda has borrowed heavily from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory as a means of showing off its Christmas food range.

Aldi meanwhile has returned to Kevin the Carrot, star of last year’s ad. This time round it’s love at first sight as he’s joined on his quest to find Santa by Katie the Carrot. There are nods to Murder on the Orient Express and Titanic on the two Ks’ journey, narrated by Jim Broadbent.

It may be me, but I find carrots a lot less lovable than bears. Plus, all these film references seem dated (even if Kenneth Branagh’s lame remake Murder on the Orient Express was out recently).

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Co-op

If the idea behind Christmas adverts is to create a festive feel-good factor, it looks like Tesco has scored a spectacular own goal. The supermarket giant’s theme this year is ‘Everyone’s Welcome’ and has made five adverts that, in its words, “celebrate the different ways millions of UK shoppers enjoy Christmas, and how great food sits at the heart of it all”.

Their advert Turkey, Every Which Way feels like ‘Gogglebox does Christmas’ as we enter a kaleidoscope of British homes. As you may expect, this includes a Muslim family celebrating Christmas. And this is where trouble has arisen. Some people stormed onto social media to say they were boycotting Tesco for being disrespectful to the Christian faith. A few Muslims complained too, saying Tesco doesn’t serve Halal turkeys so the advert is misleading. Others though praised Tesco’s approach to multicultural Britain by including Muslims, Sikhs, and gay dads in their advert.

Special shout-out to our friend Billy Wright who made it into this ad. Way to go @billygilwright!

Sainsbury’s theme is remarkably similar to Tesco’s in the sense there is no story and it cuts between different faces of Britain under the slogan ‘Every Bit of Christmas’. Again, it’s all a bit Gogglebox. This advert is partly shot in black and white (presumably to accentuate Sainsbury’s orange) and is easily the most annoying one we viewed.

 

Waitrose has taken things a step further and gone entirely black and white. Its advert sees villagers snowed in at a remote local pub and having to pull together to make Christmas lunch under the slogan ‘Christmas together’. They’re having so much fun they don’t want to be rescued. This is beautifully shot and has a quality feel, in line with Waitrose’s brand.

Co-op continues the ‘look at how diverse Britain is’ by featuring seven communities in northern England as they sing Blur’s Tender. We see rehearsals from a rugby team, a pensioners’ choir, some urban beat boxers and more before they all come together at a big party and eat lots of Co-op food. This is a tad more authentic than Sainsbury’s contrived effort but both made me feel slightly sick in my throat – perhaps that was the true Christmas feeling they were trying to capture.

House of Fraser and Boots

Now here’s a strange thing. What are the chances of not one but two Christmas ads showing a pair of sisters as they were as children and as they are now? Yet, that’s what’s happened (no doubt leaving a couple of creative directors feeling a distinct absence of festive cheer).

In the House of Fraser ad, ‘Bring Merry Back’, we cut between two sisters laughing, squabbling, putting up decorations and generally doing Christmassy stuff as they were in the 1980s and as they are now to a soundtrack of the Staple Singers’ Who took the merry out of Christmas. This is a fun, energetic and endearing advert that shows the special bond between siblings.

Then there’s the Boots ad, “Show them you know them”. In this advert, we cut between two sisters … you get the drill. The soundtrack to this is Alison Moyet’s Only You and compared to the House of Fraser ad is more poignant and nostalgic, and less fun. Look out for brothers next year (presumably beating the crap out of each other).

Finally, more bears, and possibly our favourite ad of the bunch. Heathrow’s Mr and Mrs Bear won a lot of hearts last year and they’re back this year with another tearjerker. Like the Boots and House of Fraser ads, this is a flashback advert. The two-minute ad shows the start of their romance in 1967 when Mrs Bear chases after Mr Bear to hand him the hat he left on an aeroplane. (Spoiler alert: I would never have had Mrs Bear down as an air stewardess but she’s full of surprises).

We then follow them across 50 years as their children grow up until we see them again at Heathrow with their children and grandchildren in 2017. This year’s song, Petula Clark’s I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love gives it the perfect period setting. A sweet story, beautifully told. What more can you ask?

 

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

Choosing The Best Social Media Platform For Your B2B Video?

Let me start by saying you shouldn’t even think about posting a video on social media unless it’s a good one!

The days when B2B companies got a free pass and were able to choose dullness over creativity are long gone. Intel, for one, got that memo, as you can see from its campaign ‘If cables were people’.

Intel has cottoned on to the fact that the name of the game for B2B video is the same as it is for B2C video – make the viewers feel something. In this case, it aims to raise a smile. But it could just as easily be to make them cry or even scream at the screen, so long as it creates a gut response in those watching.

Video’s ability to generate emotion is the reason it works so well on social media. In fact, video on social media generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined (Adelie Studios). So, it’s no surprises that in 2016, 62% of B2B marketers rated video an effective content marketing tactic (Content Marketing Institute).

Which begs the question: with so many social media platforms to choose from, which ones are best for you to post your B2B video on?

Video And The Buyer’s Journey

To answer that question, we need to take a step back and think about why you made your video. In other words, where does the video fit in the buyer’s journey for your business’s goods or services?

That journey starts when a potential buyer becomes aware of what you offer. A video at the awareness stage needs to grab people’s attention about what you sell or do. It should create an emotional connection with the viewer in the way the Intel video does. The more a video gets people talking, and sharing on social media, the more people it is going to reach.

One B2B company that does this brilliantly is Adobe. It’s Secret Agent: How’s Your Customer Experience? video promoting Adobe Marketing Cloud is one of a series aimed squarely at making potential customers aware of its product. There’s no explanation at all about what the product does or how it works.

Other types of videos along the buyer’s journey include:

  • Product or services videos that show how your products or services work. Buyers will watch these when they have moved beyond the awareness stage and are actively considering whether to buy from you.
  • Culture videos. These show your business’s culture, with the aim of transforming you from a faceless corporation to one that has a human side. I love this example from Schneider Electric, Llama Superstar, which has bags of personality.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfrPFc5mK3o
  • Testimonial videos that act like old-fashioned word-of-mouth endorsements.

Which Social Media Channel Should You Choose?

Where your video fits on the buyer’s journey will help inform your decision about which social media platforms you can use for your videos. You also need to consider how the platform functions and its audience. In most cases you will want to take an omni-channel approach with your video marketing and place different content on different platforms. Let’s look at each social media channel in turn.

Facebook

Video on Facebook generates around 32 billion views per day. If each video were watched for only three seconds, Facebook would generate over 3,000 years’ worth of watch time every single day. 

With staggering statistics like this, you may think that posting your video on Facebook is a no brainer. And it’s true, if you are looking to raise awareness, Facebook can be an excellent platform. It’s easy to ‘like’ video on Facebook and the more likes your video gets the higher it will appear on people’s timelines. It is also very personal so you can engage with people directly.

It has downsides, though, one of which is due to the way Facebook works. You are only relevant for so long as you appear on people’s timelines. Once you drop off you are nowhere to be seen. Also, because Facebook content is within a ‘walled garden’ it is all but invisible to search engines. Plus, you can’t embed calls to action in Facebook videos in the way you can on YouTube (see below).

Videos that work best on Facebook are snappy lifestyle pieces, news items and funny meme-type videos. Anything too corporate will get ignored, so your video needs to be authentic and preferably either shocking or amusing. Remember video published natively to Facebook will out-perform embedded video content so if you decide to use Facebook to reach your audience you will see better results by publishing that video content directly to Facebook itself.

YouTube

One billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every single day. Content on YouTube tends to have a broader range than it does on Facebook and includes videos that inform and educate as well as those that entertain. 

As a result, people search for videos on YouTube – something you can’t do on Facebook. And, as YouTube is owned by Google, videos hosted on the platform rank higher in search results than ones hosted elsewhere. Also, YouTube allows you to annotate your videos and add ‘Cards’ – clickable hotspots – that link to other videos on your channel or back to your website.

YouTube gives you the potential to reach a vast audience and because of its versatility works well for all sorts of videos: awareness, culture, testimonial, etc.  

On the flip side, your video can easily get lost in such an enormous sea. Plus, if you post a video both on your website and YouTube, people searching online are likely to be sucked away from your site and onto YouTube. Once there, it may be hard for them to stay focused on your video and they might be distracted down a YouTube rabbit hole. We’ve all done it!

Instagram

Instagram has more than 500 million active monthly users who on average share 95 million photos and videos per day. These are several million reasons why you should consider Instagram, but there are drawbacks.

The platform only allows videos of up to 60 seconds, although its Stories feature allows you to post a series of videos that will play like a slideshow. These disappear at the end of the day though, so there is no permanence as there is with YouTube.

Bear in mind Instagram’s demographic when considering it for your B2B videos. Unlike Facebook and YouTube, which span the generations, Instagram’s audience tends to be younger. I would say it has uses for awareness videos so long as they are short and breezy but doesn’t work so well for other types of video content on the buyer’s journey.

Snapchat

Like Instagram, Snapchat’s is mainly aimed at a younger demographic, with 18 to 24 year-olds making up 45% of its audience.

Two weakness of Snapchat stand out for the B2B market. First, it has no hashtag feature so it can be hard for new people to find you. Second, the content only lasts for 24 hours and once it’s gone, it’s vanished for good.  It can be a good platform for edgier original content that raises awareness of your business but beyond that its use for B2B videos is limited.

Twitter

Twitter claims that a tweet with video is six times more likely to be retweeted than one with photosThat means it should be an excellent platform for raising awareness. However, one downside of Twitter is that you don’t know who your tweet (and video) is going to reach (beyond your own followers) as its journey is at the whim of the audience. Like Facebook, the ‘feed’ nature of Twitter means that any tweet you post has a limited lifespan.

Twitter lends itself to sharp, original content and whilst it is good for awareness video, it really comes into it’s own when tied together with events. The best use cases for for video on Twitter comes in the form of reportage content. We’re live from this or that event.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn only jumped onto the video bandwagon this summer when it allowed users to upload video for the first time. This should be of great interest to B2B marketers given that 80% of leads sourced through social media for B2B marketers come from LinkedIn

It’s too early to say how effective video will prove to be on the platform but I think the fact that the audience is so clearly defined makes LinkedIn a ‘must-use’ for B2B videos. Videos can last up to 10 minutes though LinkedIn recommends videos of between 30 seconds and five minutes.

Drawbacks of LinkedIn are the fact that although it has more than 500 million members, only 23% use the platform on a monthly basis and when they do they average just two minutes a day on the site. I for one will be watching how video fares on LinkedIn with interest.

Conclusion

As with all your B2B marketing the starting point is to make great content. I encourage all my clients to have at least one video for each stage along the buyer’s journey and place these strategically on the social media channel that suits it best depending on the nature of the content and the target audience.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

5 Ways To Use Video To Improve Employee Engagement

How many internal emails do you bother to open? If you are honest, the answer is probably most but not all.

A report by internal comms experts Poppulo says that only around 66% of internal emails are opened. That means about a third of emails from co-workers are ignored. Worse still, only about 10% of links in those emails are actually clicked.

Why is this? The simple answer is that we are swamped with emails and for the most part, they do the opposite of it what they are meant to do, namely, engage.

No surprise then that every internal comms team we speak too says that their number one challenge is to improve communication with their staff. And they are right to make this their focus. A report by global professional services company Towers Watson says that companies with highly effective employee engagement give a 47% higher return to shareholders.

What’s interesting is that although most companies now embrace video as a way to connect with clients or customers (as you can read about in our White Paper) many are not yet doing so to communicate with their staff.

Luckily for us, more and more businesses are now doing so, and in a variety of ways. Here are five ways you can use video to improve your employee engagement.

1. A Message From The Boss

1. Depending on the size of your organisation, you may never have seen the big boss, 0r even know what they look like. True, you may be more likely to open an email from the CEO than anyone else but how inspiring is a written message likely to be? Certainly not as rousing as a video presentation, where you can see and hear someone talk with passion about the company you work for.

It doesn’t even need to be a polished performance or have high production values, as this legendary video of Steve Jobs speaking to his Apple employees in 1997 shows.

2. Onboarding

The first day in a new job is daunting. Everything is unfamiliar and you have no idea how anything works. Fortunately for you, those friendly people in HR have sat you down at a desk and told you to read the company’s induction handbook. After 10 minutes of this you’ve probably come to the realisation that your previous job wasn’t so bad after all.  

Most people give up and end up being shown the ropes by someone in their team, taking time out of their busy day. Multiply that scenario for every employee that joins the company and you can see how many people hours are likely to be wasted. And, it’s unlikely the company’s message is consistent or even correct.

How much better would it be if the company pins down everything a new employee needs to know in a video or series of videos? Not only will this save precious staff time but people are more likely to remember what they’ve seen compared to what they read – the so-called ‘Picture Superiority Effect’. Further still, as an on demand resource, your employees can refer back to this content at any point in the future.

3. Share Best Practice and Internal Workshops

In 2016, 43% of American workers worked remotely – the figure in the UK is likely to be similar. With so many people working away from their office, getting people together for meetings can be at best a nightmare and at worst impossible.

Yet being able to share information with colleagues is important. This could be product demos, sales enablement or establishing best practices. Video works superbly for this. It allows people to explain things in a personal and human way that can be difficult to put across in writing.

One law firm we know videos its internal workshops and brainstorming sessions so that absent team members can see what they missed and attendees can refer back to what was discussed.

4. Consistent and effective training

Training is important but it’s costly to bring lots of employees together in one place. And, if there are lots of sessions on the same topic it can be difficult to ensure consistency of message.

Training videos save time as well as the cost of hiring training venues and travel. Another advantage is that the message is always the same. Plus, employees can learn at their own pace by stopping the video and rewatching any parts that weren’t clear first time round.

5. Create a community

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” is a well-worn quote for good reason – it’s true. Many leading businesses highlight their culture as critical to their success. This starts by making staff feel valued and part of something special. In large businesses, especially those spread across several locations, that can be a challenge. Some people rarely meet their colleagues face-to-face, if at all, and communication becomes an endless series of emails or group chats.

Video adds that essential human element and can be used for all sorts of things including celebrating awards and successes, sharing footage of events, and making news announcements. 

To discuss how video can help your employee engagement and internal comms, please get in touch.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

5 Things Stopping You From Using Video Marketing That Shouldn’t

You probably know you should be using video to market your business but for one reason or another haven’t got round to it. We think we know what’s stopping you.

I was in a meeting with a potential client recently and he asked me, quite reasonably, to explain why he should be using video to market his business. (I don’t want to embarrass anyone, so let’s say he was a partner in a law firm; a soft target I know, but anyway.)

My immediate reaction was to stand up and start shouting something along the lines of, “Hello, have you been online at all in the past year or so? Have you not seen that video marketing has all but taken over the internet. That every marketer the world over is using it to sell anything you could ever want to buy in your entire life from nappies to old age homes, and including, by the way, legal services. B2C, B2B, what’s the difference, we’re all human and we’re all hooked on video, so wake up and get with the programme!”

Tempting as it was, I didn’t do that. Instead, I gave him a run down of some of the latest video marketing statistics. Stuff like:

  • 87% of online marketers use video
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video
  • Video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.

(There are plenty more like this, which you can see here.)

Statistics can only take you so far, though. What I really needed to do, in classic sales style, was to answer his objections. And he had a few. They are the same ones we hear regularly, so it seemed like a good idea to put them on paper (if for no other reason than to stop me wanting to shout at people during business meetings).

Objection no.1 – it’s too expensive

It doesn’t have to be, really. It’s true, moviegoers wouldn’t expect to sit through a three-hour feature film shot on an iPhone but online it’s a whole different world. The main currency online is authenticity. People don’t expect to see Hollywood production values on social media feeds or even on websites. It’s how well the message resonates that matters.

This is a point Jess Taylor of Cancer Research UK picks up in a recent article in Marketing Week. “We encourage teams to create their own video content using mobile devices with internal training to support,” she says. “Video shot on a smartphone can be just as powerful as a high production film in some scenarios, so don’t rule out user or employee-generated content.”

Like anything else, you can spend a lot or you can spend a little, the choice is yours (and is relative). Effective video marketing starts by setting a budget and work backwards from there. With a little creativity, you will be surprised how much bang you can get for your buck.

Objection no.2 – you have no idea what type of video to make

That’s ok. I had no idea what blog I was going to write before this morning. Australian singer-songwriter Sia sat down at the piano one day without a thought in her head and 14 minutes later had written Diamonds for Rihanna – it’s now been viewed on YouTube more than one billion times.

The chances are that you have never really thought about the message you want to put across and where your video fits into your marketing funnel. In our blog, What Type Of Video Content Should I Make? we run through a few options: a talking heads presentation, a testimonial video, an event video, to name but a few.

Always remember that the best videos engage the viewer emotionally. This is something many people overlook, especially in B2B businesses. They think they need to be serious and formal in order to match the mindset of their clients. Adobe has turned this on its head with a hilarious series of videos over the past few years, as you can see on our blog: Emotion. The Crucial Element Of Your B2B Video.

Objection no.3 – none of our competitors uses video, why should we?

This is one we hear a lot, especially from professional services companies. The obvious answer is: “Even more reason then!”

The healthcare industry has been slow to embrace video but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t do so. In fact, there are loads of opportunities for the medical sector to use video marketing and the smart companies have edged ahead of their competitors by doing so.

In our blog, 5 Things Healthcare Companies Can Do To Make Better Videos, we pointed out that seeking answers to health questions is one of the most popular activities online. For that reason, explainer and testimonial videos are especially powerful.

Objection no.4 – we can’t measure its success

Of all the objections, this is the easiest to rebut. Assuming your video is hosted by a dedicated hosting service such as Wistia, Vidyard or Brightcove, the metrics are almost endless.

Views are the most basic metric and will tell you how many people are watching your video, but that’s just the start. Engagement metrics can tell you what percentage of a video a viewer has watched and where people are dropping out. You can also measure a web page’s bounce rate with and without video to see how effective it is at keeping people on the site, and depending on what your video is for, how good it is at generating conversions.

Objection no.5 – where will we use it?

Everywhere. By which we mean on your website, on landing pages, on social media, in presentations, in one-to-one meetings.

Using the same content across different platforms is the norm nowadays. An advert by a large consumer brand, for example, will usually be aired first on TV and then have an online afterlife. Some rack up huge numbers on platforms like YouTube, such as Pokémon’s Super Bowl commercial.

Using the same content in more than one place can be an excellent way to spread your message, although how you do this will depend on where the video fits in your sales funnel. This is something we talk about in my guest blog on Impactbnd.com, Which Social Media Platforms Should You Post Your Videos On?

The short message is, if you are not yet using video as part of a blended marketing strategy, you really should be. There, I didn’t shout once.

To discuss how Element 26 can help you produce your first video, please contact us now.

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk

8 Tips For Coming Up With Killer Video Content Ideas

Thinking up ideas for videos ideas isn’t easy, especially when you have to do it on a regular basis. Here are 8 tips to help you unleash the creative genius within

If you are ever required to come up with creative ideas you can no doubt sympathise with Margaret Atwood, author of The Handmaid’s Tale. “Blank pages inspire with me terror,” she said. We feel the same way about blank screens.  

Unfortunately, the need to feed the machine, in other words social media and the internet, means waiting for inspiration to strike is seldom an option. The chances are, you are under pressure to think of a killer idea for your next video sharpish, followed by the next one and then the one after that.

So how do you come up with great ideas when the clock is ticking louder and louder? Here are 8 ideas:

1) Set up a content calendar

Every industry has its own natural cycle. For designers it revolves round London Fashion Week, florists obsess over Valentine’s Day and Christmas tree sellers… you get the idea.

Think about what happens every year that has an impact on your business, what the key annual dates in your sector are and what is coming up that is specific to your business – a product launch, new premises or whatever. These will be the pillars of your content calendar and should spark a host of ideas to get you kick-started.

2) Listen to your customers

Annoying isn’t it when clients or customers all seem to ask the same questions? It happens in every business and is a vital clue to your clients’ pain points. Videos that answer these questions are great topics. Riverpools has built its whole marketing strategy around answering customer queries, including this video about the Pros, Cons and Cost of Fiberglass, Concrete and Vinyl Pools.

3) Track what your customers are engaging with

However you host your video, (and our White Paper How To Use Video Marketing To Win More Business has a section on this), you will have an army of statistics that tell you what your clients are engaging with.

You should use these statistics to inform the types of videos you make. By all means play around with different types of videos but if it becomes obvious that certain types create better responses than others, ditch the poor performers and put your efforts into the ones that work.

4) Use the power of teamwork

One of the joys of working in video is that it is a collaborative effort. Author Steven Johnson says in his book Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation that the “sole inventor working alone” is a total myth. If you want to be creative, work in a group, throw out random ideas and have fun. Johnson describes how many of the cultural innovations of the 1920s arose largely as a result of artists, poets and writers meeting in Parisian cafés. To save you reading the book, watch Johnson’s TED talk on Where good ideas come from.

5) Go for a walk (or take a bath)

If a group discussion is out of the question and you’re on your own, get away from your desk and do some exercise. Activity invigorates the senses and if you’re really lucky, like Isaac Newton, an apple may clunk you on the head and give you the jolt you need. Or, do as Archimedes did and take a bath. Your eureka moment is sure to follow.

6) “Take inspiration”

Who hasn’t, umm, “taken inspiration” from one of their competitors? Newspapers and magazines do it all the time. They even copy and recycle their own ideas. (If Men’s Health has told me once how to get great abs it’s told me a hundred times – to no avail, sadly.)

If it works for someone else, don’t be afraid to use the same idea. We are not suggesting you lift an idea wholesale, far from it, rather that you take something you like and add some spin to make it your own.

7) Use an idea for more than one video

With a little bit of lateral thought you may find that you can use the footage shot for one video elsewhere.

I know of one journalist who every time he interviewed someone famous would ask them what their favourite song was and why. Over a period of years he had enough material for a lengthy article for a music magazine.

While you’re shooting your main video, how about doing a spin off at the same time. Last summer, a behind the scenes teaser was released for the latest Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, despite it being a closed set. If it’s good enough for Star Wars, there’s no reason for you to be shy.

8) Don’t be afraid to try come up with a crazy idea

Some of the best ideas start out as seemingly insane. Gary Dahl came up with the idea for the Pet Rock in a bar (unsurprisingly) in 1975. Despite being nothing more than a rock on some straw in a cardboard box, it made him $15m in six months.

This should serve as proof that there is no such thing as a bad idea. Except, of course, that since then someone came up with the idea for The Emoji Movie, so maybe that’s not completely true. If you are in any doubt, here’s the trailer.

To discuss how you can turn your ideas into great videos, please contact us.

 

About the Author

Nathan Haines

Nathan is the managing director of Element 26 and an expert in video production and video marketing. Nathan enjoys supporting companies to grow their businesses using video. Get in touch on Twitter @element26uk