Business-to-business marketers have embraced video and it is currently one of the most important B2B strategies. However, the importance of creating an effective video can feel daunting. Remember the stale videos from corporate training and information sessions? Those videos are exactly what you don’t want to do; they’re ineffective in today’s B2B marketplace. Your B2B video should be one part strategy, one part creative finesse. Here are 8 tips for taking your B2B video beyond your average corporate material.
Goals and Audience
Before you turn on a camera, take time to think about the goals you want this video to accomplish. Hashing out your objectives early on will help you to focus during your video brainstorming sessions. Specifying what you want to accomplish will help you to avoid making a video that your audience will see as being scattered or unfocused.
As you’re outlining your goals, you should also take some time to identify your target audience, which means doing research. In some ways, a B2B video is an interview. In order to generate leads or brand awareness, you have to demonstrate an understanding of your audience’s concerns and needs. What kind of information do they respond to? What type of industry language do they speak? What are their demographics? Your video should illustrate your business’ culture in your audience’s language. Do the legwork, both literally and figuratively. Do some social media sleuthing, but also attend the events they’re attending to get a broader feel for their own culture and unmet needs.
Pick The Right Video
Outlining your goals and researching your audience are going to help you select the perfect content for your video. Make your content match your goals. If you want to establish yourself as the agency with the most creative services, let your work speak for itself. Further, your video does not have to be a hard sell. Establish your expertise in your area; sometimes the best way to show you’re an expert is to offer some pro bono knowledge, problem solving, or tips. If your goals are more aligned with increasing brand awareness, it might be more appropriate to make a video that immerses your audience in the uniqueness of your organization’s culture. You can also highlight your devoted staff or the mechanisms that build your products.
Think Outside The Box
Good B2B videos don’t just regurgitate sales pitches or corporate pamphlets. Effective B2B videos are examples of thinking outside the box. Your video is an opportunity to differentiate yourself from potential competitors. Creating a video is… creative. While video has become a necessity, not everyone does it well. Creativity is engagement, and engagement means you’ve grabbed someone’s attention. This is an incredible example of integrating your services and audience research with limitless imagination.
If you’re like us, you are passionate about your business. However, what might seem like a video fueled by professional passion could come across as long-winded or overly verbose to an audience. The wisdom of Marshall McLuhan is law to web videographers: “the medium is the message.”
If you have a lot to say, make a series. Each segment can highlight different aspects of your business. A series will let you go into more depth about specific services, philosophies, or products, while still being mindful of your audience’s time and attention spans. Once you have them engaged, they’ll want to keep exploring the series to find out more about who you are and what you have to offer.
Curate Support Content
Good B2B videos are not islands. Motivated buyers are not going to make big decisions or large purchases based on one persuasive video. Decision-makers want supporting content, detailed product information, demonstrations, articles, and creative portfolios. They’re doing their own research before investing their money. By curating a spectrum of content, you’ll be giving your audience the information they need to make informed decisions.
Note: Your URL!
Do not, do not, do not forget to include the URL to your website at the end of your video. Make it part of your call to action and make it easy for viewers to find. Simple enough.
Let Your Customers Do The Talking
Testimonials can make for some of the most effective B2B videos. Satisfied customers are the best salespeople, hands down. Client testimonials can be seen as more credible and more authentic than any traditional pitch. We place considerable value on the stories of others. How many times have you trusted a Yelp review? Testimonials are not just a means of effectual storytelling, they also demonstrate real results.
Include your video in your larger social media mix. Your audience is likely made up of teams of individuals who are working together to evaluate your services or products. By integrating your B2B video into your social media (and effectively hash-tagging), you’ll make it easier for team members to find and share your video. An engaging, creative video is primed for sharing. Make sure you get your organization excited about your video to also encourage sharing, and not just through social media: old school word-of-mouth is the original social media. Another strategy: encourage sharing as a call to action.
Making a slick, polished video makes a huge impression, but it doesn’t have to make a huge impression on your wallet. There is an abundance of free or inexpensive resources out there to help you make beautiful, professional videos. Free editing software has become increasingly user-friendly and most new cell phones come with HD cameras. And luckily, we’ve featured plenty of tips for getting high-quality results on a budget.
This is just a jumping-off point for making your B2B video. The take-home message? Do some planning and some research. Then, share a video that is as unique as your business.