BtoB Marketers Like Videos, Though Fewer Believe They Produce Many Leads Or Sales

An interesting report about BtoB marketing trends from DemandWave contains an odd contradiction.

According to DemandWave’s “2017 State of B2B Digital Marketing” that quizzed about 200 BtoB marketing pros from managers to the boys and girls in the big offices, when it comes to the most-widely-produced kinds of content at their places, they equally pick blogs and videos, at 82% each.

Curious. That’s like saying your carpool is made up equally of Kias and Cadillacs. “Given the cost differential in producing blogs versus videos, it’s interesting to see these two share the throne,” the DemandWave report’s authors note.

But a little bit later in the survey, it turns out these same respondents said, despite the doting on blogs and videos, “white papers” are the real “lead’ driver, with 53% choosing them as the top kind of content revenue promoter. Webinars come next at 50%.

In fact, as a lead leader, videos finish fifth, with 35% of the respondents picking them, behind white papers, Webinars, case studies and blogs.

Likewise, videos finish fourth as a revenue driver, behind white papers that 40% say is their top revenue producer, 10 percentage points higher than video and 12 percentage points more than blogs.

I would hazard a guess that BtoB videos get a pass — they are still relatively new and their impact is a developing story. Even BtoB videos have a kind of corporate sex appeal. It’s something visual a company can call up on their own desktops and something that likely doesn’t seem too daunting to recommend to prospective customers.

So, in a touchy-feely kind of way, video might make sense, while in a strict return-on-investment calculation, they come off as losers.

As for blogs, they afford an opportunity for a company’s staffers to strut their stuff, especially the staff occupying the aforementioned big offices who are also the ones who answered the survey.

I’m just guessing, of course. But a would-be customer for a product thinks he/she has done their homework by reading the relevant white paper. That sounds like work, and shoppers like to think they’ve done the hard stuff. Videos try hard to make themselves not seem like work. That’s why people watch videos.

DemandWave’s report delves deeper into where BtoB companies find leads and sales--LinkedIn scores high. How much of their BtoB traffic comes from mobile devices? Some 39% say it makes up 21% to 40% of their company’s total. Somehow, that surprises me, but it shouldn’t. Mobile rules.

And DemandWave also notes that for the great emphasis companies put on things like blogs and videos, only 40% of these execs can actually attribute revenue from any type of content.

“This suggests many content types, including white papers, the leading revenue-driver for content, could be better optimized for a stronger return,” says DemandWave, in what could be considered its own white paper on the subject.

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