Death of the white paper….and rise of video as valuable B2B content

Did you know that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, right after Google? The reason is simple – everyone finds videos engaging and useful. This is even truer in business-to-business marketing, where companies are challenged to build awareness and relationships by quickly conveying complex ideas.

Videos are becoming the top choice

Videos have replaced the white paper as B2B buyers’ top choice for researching products and topics to make an educated purchase decision. Traditional white papers still have their place for presenting complex scientific data, technical details and research results (think healthcare, chemical and software industries). They are also still useful for prospects that are far along in the sales cycle and nearing a buying decision. However, videos are better for building awareness in a broad audience and for getting companies on the short list for consideration.

That’s because most topics are more easily digested when introduced in video form. Videos use a combination of words, images and sound to tell a story, and they do that very effectively according to a recent study by Forrester, “Most Useful Forms of Content for B2B End-User Buyers”. Videos were rated the most useful content, right after spec sheets and instruction manuals.

B2B videos have other advantages

Video production costs have fallen. It is easier than ever to create and distribute video content, making it doable for all size companies. Another bonus is that videos are more likely to be found in Google searches than white papers. Recent data shows that the top 70% of Google search results are videos. That means if you create a video and a white paper on the same topic, the video will appear higher in Google search results. Videos are also more easily viewed on mobile devices and more likely to be shared than a white paper.

When you think about it, B2B videos can do so many things that just can’t be done in a written piece. They show the personality of company personnel, products in action, customers using products and talking about their relationship with companies. They also can explain products and processes that are invisible to the eye. We love the opportunity to do a content assessment for clients and recommend using existing content that can easily be adapted to video.

In my opinion videos are the medium most underused by B2B companies. There are so many opportunities to tell stories, educate and entertain through video. These are the very qualities required to make content memorable, build relationships, demonstrate thought leadership and gain a competitive advantage.

After all, business buyers are human too, so give them content that appeals to their emotions as well as their brains.


Chris HenneghanChris is one of Schubert’s longest-standing employees, starting with the agency in 1987. She now serves as Senior Vice President and Brand Strategist. Chris is a Notre Dame grad and enjoys tennis, golf, hiking and reading.

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