Big Blue Bets on Video

Online video is often overlooked by the business-to-business sector, but technology giant IBM takes a different approach, relying on the value of site, sound and motion to target high-level executives.

The company uses videos on its LinkedIn page and has a YouTube channel as well. Its YouTube videos center on how IBM clients use its data and analytics services to improve business. For example, there’s a video on how a hospital is using analytics to better serve patients, how cities are using data to improve traffic and so on. Its videos have been viewed 4.2 million times. In comparison, IBM competitor Dell has a little over half of that, with 2.7 million video views on its YouTube channel.

IBM produces all of its video in-house. Short videos with links have been the most effective for IBM. The company does not only use video for external marketing. IBM also uses video for sales and support-specialist training.

“No more long, cumbersome marketing documents,” said Mark Leaser, worldwide offerings manager at IBM Software Services for Lotus. “No more boring presentations. Video is how companies and businesses should communicate. You can do it yourself and save thousands of dollars. We use video as a means of attracting interest in something that we are doing.”

Forty-eight hours of new video is posted online each minute, and 3 billion videos are viewed every day on YouTube alone. Pair the growth of video content with the large number of executives that engage with video, and you’ve got a real opportunity for B2B brands. More than 80 percent of C-level executives admit they are watching more online video today than they were a year ago, according to Forbes Insights. The Forbes Insights study also found that 65 percent of the executives surveyed visited a service provider’s website after watching a video.

IBM also includes URLs in or at the end of a video to drive viewers to a relevant part of its website to get more information. Using a dedicated landing page instead of driving people to the IBM website is a good idea. The more specific the landing page, the better the results will be. IBM relies on tags and keywords to help with video SEO.

“You are spending $8,000-$10,000 for production, and it all goes to waste if the message doesn’t align with the company’s overall objectives,” said Cal Miller, vp of business development at Blue Marble Media, a video production company. “Often times, though, you see companies going down the cheaper route and hiring two kids out of college to do their videos and only distributing them using the free platforms. But B2B marketers are selling a service or product that costs about 10-15 grand, so even if they spend $25,000 for high-level video, they’ll get a good ROI even if they convert just a few people.”

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