PropelGrowth B2B Marketing [r]Evolution Video

Creating powerful and relevant content is hard work

As just about anyone involved in content marketing will tell you, creating relevant content is challenging. Generating great content is downright difficult. It requires a lot of thought and attention to the dynamics of a particular topic. With that in mind, we marketers can be sure of one thing — businesspeople love statistics and quotations; they are the pixie dust of many white papers and research reports. Compelling stats and quotes have a magical effect on this audience – they get attention. Creating a piece of content that is front-to-back stats and quotes can be like serving up a sumptuous feast prepared by Emeril Lagasse.

A compelling social media video inspired us

Earlier this year, Candyce and I were introduced to one of Erik Qualman’s inspiring Socialnomics videos at the Social Markets website. As we watched the video, we were amazed and amused by the compelling social media stats that animated across the screen to Fatboy Slim’s “Right Here, Right Now”.  This video was so evocative that we decided to use it to open up our session on social media at the National Introducing Brokers Association (NIBA) Conference in April 2011. You should have seen the faces on the audience as they sat with rapt attention! Every once in a while there would be a quick intake of breath or chuckle to indicate surprise or amusement. The video was a hit and made a wonderful “waker-upper” for a mid-afternoon session. It brought the audience on board with us and prepared them for the presentation and panel discussion that followed.

There were no videos on B2B marketing stats

In my search for other similar videos, I came across an interesting one on the emergence of mobile media, but nothing that covered business to business marketing. It was a foregone conclusion that I wasn’t going to find anything made for the Capital Markets. So when Candyce and I were asked to participate at the NIBA Conference in Chicago, we knew that we’d need another video to open up our session on inbound marketing (at 3:45 in the afternoon, I might add). Having been inspired by the Socialnomics video, we agreed that we needed to create a video of our own that would add impact to our session as well as fuel PropelGrowth’s marketing efforts. We needed a video that would help tell one of our stories while adding value to the industry. It also made sense to begin creating video content, since in our talk, we cited YouTube as the second largest search engine in the world.

Making the case for content marketing

Building on some of the issues we covered in the April NIBA presentation, we agreed that we needed to tell a story beginning with reasons why customers have taken control of their buying process and ending with a compelling case for content marketing. Our goal was to leave the viewer with a sense of, “Oh crap, I need content and I need it now!” We also wanted to provide advocates for PropelGrowth services with content that would help them to convince other decision makers within their organizations.

Telling the story

We began by compiling more stats and quotes than we would ever need. Once done, Candyce suggested that we print them out, cut them into individual strips and lay them out to “storyboard” our content. I thought she was nuts, but this helped tremendously as we were able to interactively move data around, find the holes in our story, and “trim the fat.” We had to make sure that we could transition smoothly from one topic to another while keeping it relevant to our main audience. Once we were satisfied with the result, it was up to me to fire up After Effects and start animating.

Creating the sizzle

Donning my Art Director hat, I began with establishing a typographic style, which in this case could be a little looser than normal, yet not over-the-top. I started by designing the text with an eye on making sure it was consistently legible without being monotonous. Every little element that can keep the audience interested is helpful. From there, I began conceiving visuals to help expand the look and feel of the video. What I wanted to achieve was a bit of intermittent sizzle, then build to a crescendo and the all-powerful call to action.

Composing the music

For the soundtrack, we initially inserted music as a placeholder because there was no time for me to compose something original in time for the NIBA meeting (I also had to get the Powerpoint presentation done). We knew we wanted an original soundtrack to work in harmony (no pun intended) with the motion graphics.

In my past professional life, I created video presentations for High-Def, desktop and web video. It was exciting to bring these parts of my background to bear here, fulfilling our “use every part of the buffalo” mandate.

Senior executives like video

PropelGrowth is in the business of content marketing and we wanted to show our clients and prospects that we are capable of developing more than just written content and live events. We also wanted to meet a perceived need in the industry for innovative B2B subject matter. Video is growing steadily as a vital piece of content marketing strategy. According to a 2010 Cisco report, internet video traffic is expected to increase from 30% to 90% by 2014. Forbes Insight found that “59% of senior executives prefer to watch video instead of reading text, if both are available on the same page. 80% of executives are watching more online video today than they were a year ago.”

Oh yeah…

…In case you have an “oh crap, I need content, and I need it now” moment after watching the video, give us a call. We can help.  +1 212.738.9445 and select option 2 for sales.

Stats used in the video

If you’re interested, here are the sources for all the stats we used in the video:

83% of people report that they no longer trust corporate or product advertising
Edelman Trust Barometer

70% do trust recommendations from users online
Nielsen Global Online Consumer Survey (2009)

“People are more likely to engage with and share content surfaced by people they trust.”
— Malorie Lucich, Facebook Spokesperson

In May 2011, Google exceeded 1 billion unique visitors.
comScore Data Mine

There are more social media accounts than people on earth:
Earth population = 6.93 billion
Social media accounts = 10 billion
In-Stat (by way of John Rich of Studiocom)

Time to reach 20 million users:
Facebook = 1152 days
Twitter = 1035 days
Google+ = 24 days
Leon Håland

In 2010 more than 66% of all US Internet users were using social media.

Social media accounted for 22.5% of all time spent on the internet in 2010

The average hours spent per user grew 30% over 2009

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world

Unique visitors to Twitter increased 959% year over year in 2009

Social media is the number one activity on the Internet – exceeding pornography
Huffington Post

If the pen is mightier than the sword…
… then Facebook and Twitter are mightier than the governments of…
• Tunisia
• Egypt
• Bahrain
• Yemen
— Phil Donaldson, Director of Marketing, PropelGrowth

“Hedge fund bets $40M that Twitter can predict the stock market”
Huffington Post

92% of B2B buyers use online resources to research products and services

… 90% of senior executives start their path to purchase with informal online research around business problems online
— DemandGen Report

Most buying cycles are 70-80% complete BEFORE companies are willing to engage with sales people

“Content is the fuel that drives demand.”
— Joe Chernov, Vice President of Content Marketing, Eloqua

Publishing compelling content builds credibility
— Ardath Albee, Author, Emarketing Strategies For The Complex Sale

Today, there are more than 200 M blogs
China Internet Information Center, Technorati, Wikipedia

72% of companies who blog weekly have acquired customers through their blog

Average cost per lead:
• Outbound channels – $373
• Inbound channels – $143

54% of B2B companies increased inbound marketing budgets in 2011

Average budgets on blogs and social media increased from 9% in 2009 to 17% in 2011

“Instead of focusing on market share, focus on mindshare.”
— Candyce Edelen, CEO, Propelgrowth


Phil Donaldson

VP, Marketing & Creative at PropelGrowth
Phil Donaldson is VP, Marketing & Creative at PropelGrowth, a financial services marketing and content strategy company. He is responsible for marketing strategy and creative direction. In addition to helping clients achieve marketing success, Phil also enjoys music (listening, playing and composing) as well as a good cup of coffee.
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