According to Forrester Research, “Websites that have a video are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google.

Woah.

Being on the first page of Google results is certainly a goal of most companies.  But when was the last time I watched a video on a B2B company’s website?

Cricket… cricket…

I can’t even remember.

But consider that for B2B buyers, “57% of a typical purchasing decision occurs before the buyer has a conversation with a service provider.”  (Source: The Corporate Executive Board Company)  So being found online by and showing your competence to companies in need of your services is extremely important.   Therefore you must need video on your website, right?

Well, maybe.  The plot thickens (or the waters muddy)…

Then I read this article (Research: The 3 social media secrets of B2B buyers) and could most definitely relate to point #3.  I don’t like videos because I don’t control how long they take to convey the message!   Perhaps I’m only 1 minute invested in a message that the company thinks is worthy of 10 minutes.  As a viewer, I’m moving on and you’re just getting started!

Control over my time is the same reason I prefer texts over voicemail and paper over audio books – I can decide for myself whether I want to just skim or to dive deeper into a concept.  This is perhaps the reason that Twitter has been successful – a quick (140 character) taste can either entice you to know more (click the article) or not (and move on).

The article recommends PDFs or slide decks instead of video: “21% of [B2B] buyers downloaded a presentation deck to support in their information gathering. But only half that number watched a video.”   If well done with some combination of infographics, eye-grabbing photos, graphic design, charts/graphs etc., a one-pager, or slide deck can be visually compelling and conveys the message clearly.  By comparison, for many professional services firms a video is likely to be an uncomfortable, reluctant talking head.

Perhaps the solution is to offer your content in multiple formats.  It’s certainly an investment, but hopefully one with positive ROI!

But hey, I’m just one opinion.   So, you tell me… what’s your preference?

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Alison has more than fifteen years of professional services marketing and business development experience. She is a Boston College Double Eagle, holding both a BS in Management with concentrations in Marketing & Information Systems, and an MBA. Alison is a member of the 2009 Boston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 class of honorees.