Scroll through your Facebook or Instagram feed and what do you see? Video clips. Animations. Mini-documentaries. Awareness-raising videos. Sales and demo videos. Everywhere.
Click on a link to a news article or blog post in just about any field and as likely as not, there’ll be a short video to go with it, pulling together the key points, setting the scene or offering up extra interview footage.
And what about advertising?
You’ve no doubt noticed that half the banner and sidebar ads you get on websites have slowly turned into videos that autoplay as you scroll past or tick along quietly hoping to catch your eye so that you switch on the sound.
Video is everywhere. It’s slowly coming to dominate the whole internet.
A couple of years ago, Cisco predicted that 69% of all consumer internet traffic will be video-based by 2017 and it’s starting to look like they were right! There has been an epic shift towards video in all facets of the online experience, and a lot of marketers are now saying that video is the future of content marketing.
In fact, 96% of B2B companies use video in some capacity as part of their marketing efforts.
Because, in a word, it works.
(Okay, two words. Don’t be picky.)
Because of that 96%, nearly three-quarters report a positive ROI on their video marketing.
Those are some pretty good odds, wouldn’t you say?
People respond far better to video than to any other medium. It keeps their attention much more effectively than massive great chunks of text. It pulls them into the story you’re trying to put across. It’s memorable.
What’s more, in a B2B context it tends to work best with text, complementing rather than replacing your existing marketing efforts.
It can be embedded into blog posts, social media updates like LinkedIn statuses and Facebook posts, PowerPoint decks and even online Books, making it an awesome way to add interest to static content.
By focussing on super-short explainers and teaser videos, you can provide what we marketing boffs call “snackable” content – quick, easy-to-digest nuggets that hook your interest and encourage you to seek out more in depth information, without putting you off by taking up too much of your time at the outset. (Quick Tip: It’s best to keep videos super short, as drop-off rates spike after the first 3 minutes.)
Get it right, and this is an incredibly powerful way to put your message across and kickstart a sales conversation with a potential new customer!
But what does this mean for us geospatialers? After all, of all the B2B focussed companies out there, geospatial tech companies are perhaps the most firmly rooted in that shrinking 4% that haven’t made the leap to the moving image yet.
What could video possibly offer businesses in your field?
In fact, the geospatial sector is totally, absolutely, 100% perfect for using video to nurture leads and generate sales.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, let’s look at the kinds of video that actually works best in B2B marketing: tutorials, product demos and industry interviews.
After all, what do your clients need to know before they buy your product? They need to know that it’s going to do what you say it’s going to do. They need to feel comfortable that they are going to be able to use it, and to use it for the purpose they have in mind with minimal hassle.
They need to know that you aren’t going to go quiet the minute they’ve made the purchase – that you’ll be on hand to help them out if they get stuck, or if things don’t go to plan.
What better way to put these fears to bed than with clear, easy-to-follow demos and tutorials? What better way to highlight your fantastic customer service and aftercare than with thoughtful free material to make their jobs easier further down the line? And what better way to inspire people to use your product than with slick footage showing just the full capacity of what it can do?
Want to see what I mean?
Video from 3D Robotics YouTube Channel
Take a look at the YouTube channel of 3D Robotics, renowned as one of the best commercial drone producers in the world.
But they also understand that a slick advert isn’t enough to win over discerning B2B customers. And that’s why they also provide a video series called Solo Flight School, which gives in-depth, practical guides to using different features of their drones, installing new software updates, making sure you’re using the product safely, and many other essential areas their customers need to know about.
What’s more, 3D Robotics clearly understands that its customer base is split between geospatial companies and the film industry. More importantly, the marketing team appreciate that they need to match their videos to the needs and tastes of these different segments.
You can see this in the fact that they make a clear distinction between the cinematic style of this “behind the scenes” video about working with Hollywood director Michael Bay, and this detailed, straight-to-the-point, tech-heavy webinar explaining how UAVs (drones) are changing the surveying industry, and how they stack up against traditional surveying and LiDAR.
Okay, these guys have an obvious advantage – they specialise in video equipment, so it’s hardly a stretch of their expertise to start making videos for their own purposes. Whereas your company has no history of video production. How could you possibly compete?
Well hold your horses for just a moment there. Before you go giving yourself all kinds of excuses to turn your back on the single most powerful marketing medium in the world, take a look at this webinar video, also from 3DR.
What is this video doing? It’s explaining, in depth, how the company won the pitch to collect data for a major engineering project, which will use its Site Scan technology to create a design surface in Autodesk.
Does it use flashy visuals and high production levels? Nope. It’s simply a PowerPoint presentation accompanied by the less-than-crystal-clear voiceover captured during the webinar. There is absolutely nothing about this video that takes industry-insider expertise. There’s nothing here that you couldn’t do yourself, with the most basic software on your computer at work.
What’s more, it breaks a ton of other rules that normally impact on a video’s success.
For a start, it’s 45 minutes long – less snackable content than a heavy three course meal! What’s more, it takes the form of a long, loosely structured conversation, instead of the tightly scripted videos that tend to work best.
And yet, how many views does this video have?
At time of writing, just shy of 2,300.
And you can bet your life that those 2,300 aren’t casual viewers lost down a YouTube clickhole of procrastination. These are your tribe. These are people with a vested interest in how UAV technology fits into the geospatial space. These are people with massive engineering projects looking for proof that drones will work for them.
These are the people that 3DR want to attract. Heck, these are your competitors.
Of course, that’s no reason to lower the bar. It makes sense to make every effort to produce great video, to keep things short and interesting, and to think hard about crafting the perfect message for your audience.
But the point is, you don’t have to be Spielberg to create video that will push forward sales in the geospatial sector. You don’t have to have a multimillion pound budget. With a bit of thought, you don’t even have to have proper camera equipment!
And if you can attract nearly two and a half thousand quality leads with a video that is far from perfect, think what you could do with a little effort, a few resources and sprinkling of some marketing magic.
Your audience are hungry for video, guys. If you want to boost sales, you’d best start rustling up some snacks!
Has this piqued your interest? Want to have a chat about how video could work for your geospatial business? Give me a call on +447825517850 or Skype: ebtm_elaine or email elaine @ elaineball.co.uk