As the year winds down, B2Bs are starting to talk about trends: what has worked, what hasn’t, what are plans for next year? Several sources this year have commented on the popularity of video as a content marketing tool. And we’re very familiar with stats that support its versatility and how widely video is being consumed.
It comes as no surprise then, that Software Advice’s recent B2B Demand Generation Benchmark Report falls right in step with the video marketing fanfare—and has strong data points to back it up.
The report not only focuses on which types of channels and content were used in 2014, but how effective they were in generating leads. It highlights that 92% of B2B marketers leverage video for demand generation, leading more traditional assets like surveys (88%), white papers (88%), and case studies (87%). This nearly universal use of video content makes sense given the numbers demonstrating how effective it is. In evaluating content types, 23% of marketers said B2B video generated a “very high” quantity of leads, and 43% reported “somewhat high.”
Michele Linn, Content Development Director at the Content Marketing Institute, finds this surprising given that videos usually serve as “indirect content used to build interest and trust, rather than to actually drive leads,” she tells Software Advice, a lead management software review and comparison website. However, the fact that videos are directly generating leads suggests that marketers are creating more “actionable videos”—using lead forms and calls to action that move their prospects through the funnel.
Recognizing that quantity isn’t the only factor in assessing content effectiveness. The report also assessed which content types generated the most quality leads. While video proved less of a differentiator against the more personalized offers that attract buyers later in the sales funnel (i.e. live-demos and price-quote buttons), it still held rank as one of the top three content types delivering “excellent quality” leads.
Other findings of note:
Looking beyond video marketing, the Software Advice report yielded some other interesting results in regards to demand generation:
Trade shows and events yielded the highest quantity and quality of leads by channel
79% of marketers use 11 different software solutions to facilitate demand generation efforts
CRM systems were most commonly reported as “extremely important” (36%) or “very important” (35%) to demand generation success versus other software solutions
Plans vary for 2015 demand generation spending: increase spending (41%), spend the same amount (43%), spend less (17%)