NEW YORK: Video is not the most widely used B2B marketing tactic but it is among the most effective according to a new study.

In What Makes B2B Decision-Makers Tick?, insights provider eMarketer quoted figures from the Content Marketing Institute in which video appeared as the seventh most popular content marketing tactic, employed by 76% of B2B marketers in North America.

Social media content (other than blogs) was used by almost everyone (92%), followed by e-newsletters (83%) and articles on a website (81%). Blogs came in fourth (80%), ahead of in-person events (77%) and case studies (77%).

But video was at least as effective or more effective than most of these: 60% of survey respondents rated video as being very or somewhat effective, on a par with blogs. Only in-person events (69%) and webinars (64%) were more successful.

This was perhaps only to be expected, as eMarketer painted a picture of a time-starved businessman or woman grabbing a moment to watch a video in the hope of learning something quickly.

"Informational videos must therefore be short," it said. "If you don't grab their attention in the first 20 seconds, you'll lose them … the video should be about one particular business need for one type of viewer at a particular stage of the buying cycle."

More traditional approaches are starting to fall out of favour, noted Robert Rose, chief strategist at CMI. "Video is being used more and more as a way to talk about products and services instead of a long white paper or long article," he said.

White papers were still used by 68% of the survey, however, with 58% saying they found them effective.

A separate B2B content marketing report, from LinkedIn group partner Technology Marketing, highlighted the importance of B2B marketers having a documented content marketing strategy.

Almost three-quarters of the 600 marketers surveyed said they had a content strategy in place but only 30% had a documented strategy. The importance of this distinction became evident in the finding that the latter were three times more likely to describe their content marketing as effective than the former.

Data sourced from eMarketer; Business2Community; additional content by Warc staff