Video is the future of the internet, but by and large, video's impact has been more strongly felt in the B2C world.

Consumer-oriented services like Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have embraced video at a more rapid pace than services in the B2B world.

But that could be changing.

Last week, LinkedIn announced that it is launching its first foray into video in the form of 30-second videos from LinkedIn Influencers, a group of hundreds of "the world's foremost thinkers, leaders, and innovators" who are hand-picked by LinkedIn to publish content on its platform.

LinkedIn's Jonathan Sherman-Presser explained, "When an Influencer you follow posts a video, that video will appear directly in your feed.

From there, you can dive in to see what other Influencers have to say about that topic, weigh in with a comment, and respond to comments from other members."

Initial content includes a video in which Guy Kawasaki, an early Apple employee, marketing expert and investor, answers the question, "What's the #1 thing founders should avoid doing in a pitch meeting?"

And LinkedIn's co-founder and executive chairman, Reid Hoffman, posted a video answering the question, "What is the first thing in your office AI will take over?"

Initially, LinkedIn is only giving Influencers the ability to post videos, but Sherman-Presser told TechCrunch that access to video functionality will likely be rolled out in the future.

That, of course, could be a boon for B2B marketers who have fewer strong third-party distribution platforms for video content than their B2C counterparts.

While there's nothing stopping B2B marketers from creating and distributing video content through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and similar networks, unlike LinkedIn, these networks are far more consumer-focused and it's hard for B2B marketers to create content that can stand out and compete in these channels.

After all, the type of videos B2C marketers regularly publish on Instagram, for instance, are pretty cool.

LinkedIn, with its professional focus, is on paper the perfect channel for B2B video content and B2B marketers should start prepping for the day when LinkedIn fully embraces video.

Strategy, quality and emotion still count

But B2B marketers shouldn't delude themselves into believing that they won't have to develop a strong video content marketing game to compete in a B2B channel like LinkedIn. They will.

That starts with strategy and understanding what they're trying to achieve. For example, as Lucy Dawson, Digital Content Executive at Lloyd's of London, explained, "Our social media tactics tend to focus on thought leadership and education."

And when it comes to the content itself, because it's B2B and not B2C doesn't mean marketers have an excuse to be boring. At a minimum, B2B video content should provide ample value in the form of expertise or advice.

It should also have high production quality, be creative and wherever possible, strive to create some sort of emotional connection with viewers.

In short, it's important for B2B marketers to remember that the people they're targeting are also consumers when they get off work, and their exposure to high-quality, emotional B2C video content on the web is likely to influence their expectations for B2B video content.

So while marketers may soon have an attractive third-party channel through which to distribute B2B video, the channel will probably only be as productive as their content is useful and compelling.  

Patricio Robles

Published 8 August, 2016 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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Comments (2)

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John Brown, Director at Hotwire

'Linkedin is labeled as B2B, so I must focus on LinkedIn as a B2B marketer' this is archaic thinking.

What's more, I find this whole thing just a touch contradictory. It seems you're suggesting that B2B marketers have a tough job 'creating content that stands out on B2C platforms' and so LinkedIn offers a safe haven for the dull and the vanilla video content.

Then you go on to say that the content still needs to be creative to connect on an emotional level and be useful and informative. Well if those tick boxes are all checked, then why would it not get the right (and arguably more) traction through a well thought out Facebook/Twitter/Instagram campaign?

This feels like a lazy article endorsing lazy marketing.

over 1 year ago

Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles, Tech Reporter at Econsultancy

John,

It's about focus. LinkedIn is exclusively used by most of its users in a business context. Facebook/Twitter/Instagram aren't.

You can have content that is useful, informative and emotional in a business context that is not going to be seen as useful, informative and emotional in a consumer context. That's a real impediment to B2B marketers who are trying to target their audiences on consumer-oriented services.

Obviously, there's nothing stopping B2B marketers from employing consumer-oriented services, and some can even do it well, but once again, "LinkedIn, with its professional focus, is on paper the perfect channel for B2B video content and B2B marketers should start prepping for the day when LinkedIn fully embraces video."

over 1 year ago

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