Opinion: B2B brands should embrace video

By 2019, video will make up 80% of all consumer internet traffic, according to last year’s report by tech giant Cisco. Yet a recent survey, commissioned by the Web Video Marketing Council, showed that the medium lags behind in B2B. Peter Fergusson, former head of commercial video at The Telegraph and CEO of Nemorin Creative, explains the opportunities for business-facing brands and agencies looking to harness video in communications campaigns.

During his keynote at Mobile World Congress (MWC) two weeks ago, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg predicted that within just a few years, the vast majority of content consumed online will be video.

Stats coming out of tech giants like Cisco – which predicts that by 2019, nearly a million minutes of video will cross the internet every second – back this up, but acceptance of the medium isn’t universal. Speaking to a range of B2B brands, the Web Video Marketing Council reported budget limitations, time, ROI, and the lack of in-house expertise as the key challenges to producing video content.

For corporate PRs and brand guardians looking to monopolise on the rise of video, the proliferation of platforms has provided a wealth of opportunities to reach more stakeholders with little investment. Here are three considerations for B2B brands and their guardians looking to embrace the medium:

Video drives more engaging and more immediate thought leadership

For years, media organisations like Bloomberg have skilfully used the immediacy of video to deliver context and expert opinion around breaking news stories. This ability to react in the moment and to deliver engaging thought leadership style video content is now available to all brands – especially non-consumer companies that can use this medium to demonstrate expertise outside of their direct target market.

Affordable video propels more diverse usage

Live streaming, via Periscope or Meerkat, is already with us but with 5G on the horizon and the rolling out of Facebook Live, live streaming is set to become the norm. Live Q&As around a product launch, for example, will be accessible to most brands and with a small amount of equipment and media training, PRs can help to deliver and measure this effectively.

PRs are central to the creative process and can help B2B brands understand which video product will deliver the outcomes they want. Video will impact across the entire campaign, so it is important to plan the video strategy from day one. This could involve live streaming or virtual reality (VR), but equally it may be an animation designed specifically for an Instagram or Twitter campaign. In the B2B sector right now, how-to, show and tell, explainer and pitch videos are highly effective in creating engagement

VR will add scale to campaigns

The media feeding frenzy around VR and Augmented Reality (AR) will provide good opportunities for publicity for brands in the short term, but, looking ahead, B2B companies will profit immensely from virtual environments. Distance and scale will cease to be major barriers; “try before you buy” will provide more immersive experiences for overseas customers and international comms teams can collaborate more closely on projects as AR creates virtual workplaces that reduce overheads in the supply chain.

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