Perhaps you’ve already watched this video about the Ghirardi Compton Oak. It made the rounds on the Internet a while ago. I think it makes a powerful B2B testimonial—for CAT Heavy Equipment and the Hess Landscaping Company. But that’s not what it’s really about. This simple but moving (pun intended) video on the City of League, Texas YouTube Channel documents the relocation and preservation of an iconic century-old oak tree. The massive 518,000 lb., 56 ft. tall tree was moved more than a quarter of a mile to make way for a road-widening project. It’s pretty cool. Yes, I suppose you could give Madison Ave. a million bucks and they’d polish it up—make it slick. But I’m not so sure they‘d do any better capturing the genuine authenticity and credibility that this video does with a few stills, some video clips, graphic titles, a stock music track and, most importantly, a great story to tell (and they did without an announcer).
What I love about this video (besides the story) is what it tells us—and B2B marketers about online video and what you do and don’t need to create good, compelling video content for online presentation today.
- You don’t need a fat wallet anymore.
- New video recording and editing technology and software applications have virtually eliminated many technical barriers for most to delve into video production. Simple online video content can be produced with fairly reasonable budgets.
- You don’t need a Hollywood production.
- Even though online viewers tend to be forgiving of lower production value if the content is good, video technology advancements have raised the bar and ratcheted up production capabilities and quality—while also making download and playback capabilities for viewers a non-issue. Yes, if the intent is also to share on big screen presentations or broadcast, you may need to step it up—but online, not so much.
- You don’t need big media budgets.
- Dedicated social sharing video networks like YouTube, social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook and video embedded in your website and linked in email marketing campaigns have all made access and sharing easy.
- You don’t need to start from scratch.
- Repurpose your video, photography, graphics and other content already created for product demos, sales presentations, testimonials, company tours, webinars, training sessions, Slideshares, podcasts, case studies, whitepapers, eBooks etc. Chances are, you have tons of assets already available to help you get started with new video content creation now.
- You don’t have “space” limitations.
- While short, concise videos are often better, you can take the time needed to deliver your story. Thirty-seven seconds? A minute and fifty-three seconds? The Ghirardi Compton Oak video runs 5 minutes and 33 seconds long. The point is, with online videos, you’re not limited to short ten-, thirty- or sixty-second breaks dictated by of very expensive broadcast airtime.
- You DO need an idea.
- A good story. Unique insight. Valuable information. A learning opportunity. A compelling argument. A product demo. Real news. If you poke around, chances are you’ll find all kinds of great, untold stories in your organization. Look beyond marketing and sales—in engineering, R & D, manufacturing, HR, IT, finance, operations, customer service, supply chain management, logistics etc.
- You DO need some talent.
- Talent to write them and produce them. You may have the right people in-house. If not, hire it out. Present it well and share it. When you do, people will watch—and also share it.
- You DO need to post them on a video social sharing site and optimize them for search.
- Yes, you can optimize online video content for more opportunities to rank well in organic search with SEO strategies on pages hosting video content. In fact, search engines are blending search results with content from their various search verticals including videos to provide more relevant, fresh content in search results. Properly optimized video content can rank high in search results.
The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs have published their 2014 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends – North America research report. Video now ranks seventh (out of the top 27) most popular B2B content marketing tactics. In fact, 73% of B2B marketers surveyed are now creating videos for content marketing. That’s up from 70% last year and 58% just two years year ago. The majority rate video as an effective tactic. Perhaps it’s time to include online video in the mix, if you have B2B products or services to move.