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The rise and conquer of video: A new era for business-to-business marketers

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According to SocialMediaToday, 59 percent of C-level decision makers prefer online video to reading text. In an age of story telling for marketing communications, it's no wonder marketers are turning to video to better engage with audiences and key decision makers.

Leveraging video as an integral part of the marketing strategy that can deliver powerful results. According to Forrester Research's James McQuivey, one minute of video is equivalent to 1.8 million words. Further, 75 percent of executives surveyed by Forbes said they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once per week.

As viewing trends around online video skyrocket, business marketers like Bloomsburg, Columbia County-based KYDEX LLC are turning to video to help tell its story.

KYDEX is a plastics manufacturer that is pushing the boundaries to deliver innovative solutions for customers in aviation, mass transit, medical device components and retail industries, among others. The company is breaking out of its commodity mold, leveraging color to help its customers develop solutions they previously thought impossible.

In 2010, KYDEX partnered with world-renowned design expert David Scott to support its evolution to a design-led technology company. Together, KYDEX and Scott developed a new portfolio of colors unlike any other plastics palette in the marketplace, along with a line of translucent colors and innovative textures. Then KYDEX began to tell its story using video to connect with customers, designers and key decision makers.

Like other marketers who have successfully adopted online video, effective integration of video is helping KYDEX's marketing efforts go further — providing more compelling content for customers and prospects and deeper insights into the success of the marketing strategy. Following are a few examples of how brands can leverage the power of online video.

Create sharable, compelling content

For many companies, identifying thought leadership and creating compelling content can be difficult — but engaging audiences with that content presents marketers with an even greater challenge. As noted earlier, executives don't want text. Not because they're being selective — they simply don't have time to read and digest the content.

For brands, this presents a new challenge in both capturing the attention of key decision makers and actually engaging them with the content. But that's the beauty of video. Business-to-business marketers can leverage video to "bottle" a complex subject or product and communicate the idea more quickly and thoroughly.

In an industry where plastics were previously considered long after completing the design phase, convincing designers that plastics can actually lead the design process became a primary objective for KYDEX. The first of its kind to offer completely customized color capabilities, KYDEX turned to video to showcase its new color palette and help audiences better visualize the design potential in the new line. Leveraging designer Scott's expertise in the field of aviation design, KYDEX began connecting with industry designers on a new level.

Engage via social media

For B2B companies, social media is inherently difficult. With an often-complex subject and a product that is, in many cases, invisible to the end user, reaching the right audiences and engaging in meaningful dialogue isn't easy.

B2B marketers should ask themselves questions like these: Where can I reach the right audience? What content will they find compelling? What will it take to spark conversation and, in turn, engagement?

Evaluating the right mix of social media platforms is important for marketers trying to reach highly specific audiences. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn can all be strong options for business marketers and lend themselves well to online video. Video blogs, interviews or even short narrative films give viewers something to talk about, and engaging content that sparks dialogue is a natural fit for social platforms.

Launch new ideas, products or services

Introducing new products or services in a complicated or crowded marketplace creates a challenge for business marketers. Heavy text and complex subject matter can be easy to ignore. Video creates a differentiator among competitive brands and brings complex topics to life.

Following the launch of KYDEX's new color library, the company launched its designLab, a collaborative space where KYDEX can partner with its customers to develop new solutions. In launching the designLab, the challenge was showcasing it as not just a building, but a space where problems are solved and innovations are encouraged. The videos take viewers through the collaborative design process, helping viewers truly grasp its effectiveness.

Capture stronger marketing metrics

Mounting demand for increased accountability and transparency can weigh heavily on marketers. Video enables a marketer to understand who watched what video, for how long and in what context.

KYDEX is finding that website visitors that enter through the video section are spending three to four times longer on the website than those who enter the site through the homepage, and they're watching an average of one to two videos per visit. The marketing teams established conversion goals and have seen a significant increase in those areas, including color palette downloads and e-newsletter sign-ups.

As the popularity of online video continues its ascent, business marketers are evolving their strategies to capitalize on the trend. Compelling content lays the groundwork for effective marketing strategies, and online video will continue to play an important role as demands for engagement and accountability increase.

John Walker is digital marketing manager at JPL, and Matt Kurowski is account director, strategic accounts, at JPL.

Write to the Editorial Department at editorial@cpbj.com

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