A few weeks ago, the owner of the company I work for an I had a brief discussion about video. That is to say, do we want to produce video for use on our website, as well as create a Youtube channel to support it, etc.
Now, I’m not exactly ready to collect Social Security, but I’m no spring chicken either. As a 40 year old, I have a set of beliefs about the internet, how it converts web traffic into customers, and what’s good web business practice and what isn’t.
And frankly… I hate video. I hate video tutorials. And I hate squeeze pages loaded with video.
Then, Brad Crooks (Facebook) posted a link to this article:
And I asked Brad if he bought into the concept. That was moments ago, and we haven’t debated it.
It does beg the question, however, as it relates to B2B companies.
Do B2B Websites Need to Have Video?
I’m sure a lot of internet gurus will immediately tell you “yes”. And advertising agencies are chomping at the bit to produce them for you. The article linked to above all but suggests you don’t need fancy production values. That the “human element” of the video is what makes it compelling and necessary.
Again, for B2B, I don’t buy into that.
Let me give a for instance. One of our main competitors has a B2B Youtube Channel. On it, they have manufacturing plant tours, show product sets, and talk a little bit about the company. Presently, after having them up for roughly a year, most of those videos have under 400 views.
And, it should be noted, those videos are embedded on their websites as Youtube videos as well. So those interactions count as well. What that should tell you is that their had earned web traffic (and believe me you, I make them work for it) isn’t even tangentially interested in the video.
Now this might have something to do with our product set. Then again, it might not. Here’s why.
B2B Purchasers Might Not Have Speakers
Hard to believe in this day and age, but it’s true. How many purchasing agents in the United States have working speakers attached to their PC’s? Yes, the internet gurus and the advertising agencies all do, but what about your key customer segments? A guy sitting in a factory? Someone in a retail environment? A foreman on a construction site in a trailer?
Think it through. You might be missing some of your audience if you rely on video.
B2B Purchasers May Not Want to Watch a Video
Some people are like me. They do a Google search for something they are genuinely interested in, land on a Top 3 Google result (or worse, an expensive CPC ad), and come face to face with a video. Now, they might just be looking to develop a list of vendors for an RFP. Or they are looking for a VERY specific piece of information.
Now, do I want to watch a 5 minute video about your product set to find that ONE TINY piece of information? Hell no.
So at the very least, provide ALL pertinent data in text below the video as well. And if it’s a customer service page, for the love of god, link a doc or have it all in text as well.
In the end, it’s up to you. I still believe video is extraneous the the B2B sales process. I think it’s why we hire qualified phone reps, and knowledgeable outside sales people.
Sure, you can put a “human interest” video on your About Us page. Talk about your people. Talk about all 10,000 of them if you’re a big company. I don’t know.
For me though, video is superfluous. I’d rather have sharp images, compelling sales text, and quality people BEHIND the website.
What do you think?