The radio star may not be a fan, but video is the content marketing star’s BFF. On the surface, this isn’t exactly breaking news, but thanks to evolving B2B buying trends and overall marketing trends (I’m looking at you, generative AI), the video marketing conversation has shifted from “Do we really need to spend money on that?” to “We have to figure out how to incorporate this into our strategy.” If you’re still asking the first question, there’s still time to catch up!

The new imperative for video marketing

Today’s B2B buyers spend less and less time talking to Sales (recent surveys show the majority of them would actually prefer a rep-free experience). Instead, they want to consume content at their own pace, which includes video. In fact, 93% of executives say they would be more likely to purchase from a business that has video content readily available for them to consume. 

Plus, every brand needs a healthy dose of authenticity right now, in part because B2B buyers are under never-before-seen pressure. Making a purchase decision has always come with the stress of justifying that choice to the boss, but these days, making the wrong decision can have catastrophic consequences. Buyers only sign on the dotted line if they trust your organization to do right by them, and that’s why Forrester kicked off 2024 by telling B2B brands that the #1 priority on their to-do list should be building trust.

Video is the perfect vehicle to build trust because seeing and hearing someone gives you the power to pick up on non-verbal cues and body language that written content simply can’t provide. (And yes, I realize the irony of putting that in writing instead of saying it in a video of my own!) Psychology tells us it’s a lot easier to establish meaningful connections and trust face-to-face, even if that face is on a screen.

According to a 2023 survey that asked B2B buyers what they thought of cybersecurity, fintech, renewable energy, and logistics tech organizations, all of the top-ranked brands had one thing in common: a human touch to help them connect with buyers on a personal level. Even if your other content channels are crushing it, if you’re skipping video, you’re missing a giant opportunity to provide a human touch that B2B buyers crave.

In addition to pressure on buyers, you can also thank generative AI for this seismic shift to personal and authentic experiences. Gartner says that growing skepticism toward generative AI technologies is actually reshaping the way brands interact with their audiences. By 2027, Gartner predicts that 20% of brands will use an absence of AI as a differentiator because the demand for authenticity is so high. They call it an “acoustic concept,” but that’s just a fancy way of saying it’s how these brands will distance themselves from the perception that AI-powered businesses are impersonal and homogeneous.

Video marketing isn’t just about the warm and fuzzies, though — it’s a proven full-funnel powerhouse

What do startup marketers need most? To increase brand awareness, generate demand, and drive pipeline – and video marketing ticks all of those boxes. According to data from late 2023, 90% of video marketers say it has helped them increase brand awareness, 87% say video has increased their leads, and 90% can attribute sales back to their video marketing efforts.

But you can’t have an ROI without an initial investment, and that’s where lots of startup marketers get cold feet. “It just sounds expensive,” they typically sigh, as they envision big production crews, elaborate sets, fancy lights, and teleprompters. But if there’s anything we’ve learned from TikTok videos, you don’t need a giant, expensive production to make a splash with video. Anyone with a phone can be a video creator, and while I recommend a higher production effort than that for your business, it’s proof that even the smallest of startups can take advantage of what video marketing has to offer.

Imagine what a prospect will think if they see your customers talking about how you’ve helped them succeed. Imagine getting even more out of that research report with some short, easily digestible thought leadership snippets that are great for organic social engagement and SEO. Imagine being able to show the amazing features of your product in action, instead of just trying to describe how it works on your website. Imagine what a potential investor might think if they had the chance to see and hear your founder’s story. 

Those are the exact projects we’re working on here at Firebrand with a network of video production partners especially curated to serve our B2B startup clients. So let’s talk about putting video marketing to work for your organization.

About the Author

Nicole Pytel is Vice President of Content Marketing at Firebrand Communications. With 15 years of content marketing and branding experience, she loves combining multimedia creativity with strategic data analysis to help clients reach their biggest goals.