MONDAY 9 APR 2018 2:54 PM


By 2020, 80% of internet traffic will be video, Richard Dixon, director at Black Sun, says. At the beginning of the year, corporate communications consultancy Black Sun held an event discussing trends in digital and video communications in the B2B setting. This projection, among others, spoke to the rising prevalence of interactive, engaging content.

For B2B brands, the challenge is, as ever, more acute, than for their B2C counterparts. Developing interesting video content when armed with only a few key spokespeople and a potentially confusing product or sector can lead to many pitfalls. The talking head era of corporate video, though, may be on the decline.

Black Sun shared content from distribution company Ferguson and chemical transportation experts Stolt-Nielsen that demonstrated the ways in which that change is occurring. For both, creating one high-end produced film then led to smaller, more versatile bits of content that could be used for different audiences. Dixon says, “With Ferguson, we could map out four or five different videos at the end. We could make out where they would sit and then structure our filming and creative process and messaging. We went through that once, so it makes it much more cost-effective to do that up front.

The inclusion of videos like these on corporate or investor sites leads to a 50% longer dwell time on the site. Video galleries also generate dwell times two or three times longer than on the average page. Even more telling is this: 80% of c-suite executives say they are watching more video this year than they did in 2017.

The future for corporate communications may lie in the moving image. But, for all video campaigns, the most important aspects are the planning, messaging and strategic follow through. “I think it’s important that companies have an overall video strategy,” says Dixon. “You can get caught up in the intricacies of diving straight in, but thinking about it up front make your production process much more effective downstream.”


Dixon shares some further insights:

What are the barriers to entry for corporate video?
There is definitely a perception from companies that it is perhaps more expensive than it really is. I think that’s starting to shift as more companies use it and therefore become aware of what they can do. Corporate communications can generally lag behind what’s going on in the consumer world. I think now that people are seeing so much video through their own social media feeds and through consumer marketing, then that wave gets picked up from the corporate comms level. Now, there is a little bit of a sea change in terms of how companies view video and how they should be using it. That all is driving the cost down.

For B2B businesses specifically, what are some of the benefits video can provide?
What video allows you to do is hold the attention by making it a bit more engaging. I think people are happier watching something for 30 seconds than they are reading something for 30 seconds. Only 20% of a web page is actually read. When you’re looking at a video, you actually watch and absorb it.

Why is the trend toward video so pervasive?
Just as you do in the consumer world, companies have an audience that is highly engaged and will watch your videos. And you’ll have a lot of peripheral viewers who are less engaged. I think companies will have to work harder to get cut through.

What key things should communicators keep in mind when approaching video?
Brand and stylistically, it’s important to be joined up – but provided you have a strategy for how you’re going to deliver video – I think each area should be enabled and empowered to execute to brand guidelines. In a way, it’s a bit like social media. You have to put the guidelines in place for people to follow and then it will look consistent. Whereas if you try and manage it centrally, I think companies will fail at doing that because they won’t be able to get the volume out and the get the creativity out.