Business-to-business marketers have embraced video, and video marketing is currently one of the most important B2B strategies. However, it’s hard to know where to get started.

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 nine tips for taking your B2B video beyond your average corporate material.

1. Set Clear Goals

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 topic brainstorming sessions.

Common goals for B2B video campaigns include:

  • Growing brand awareness
  • Establishing thought leadership
  • Generating sales leads
  • Improving customer product knowledge
  • Increasing retention and reducing churn
  • Converting leads to customers

Specifying what you want to accomplish will help you create successful B2B content, and avoid making a video that your audience will see as being scattered or unfocused.

Select your metrics for success based on the specific goals you are tracking. For instance, if you are seeking to generate greater brand awareness, you should see more references to your brand online or in print, or even an uptick in new customer inquiries.

2. Research Your Audience

As you’re outlining your goals, take some time to identify your target audience by doing research.

  • Which demographics are you targeting?
  • Where do they hang out online?
  • What publications do they read?
  • Where do they live?
  • What kind of content do they engage with?
  • How do they talk about problems or unmet needs you might be able to address?

In order to run a successful B2B video campaign, you have to demonstrate an understanding of your audience’s concerns and needs. Your video should illustrate your business’ value proposition in your audience’s language. The more relatable it is, the more authentic your connection will be with your audience.

3. Pick The Right Video

Outlining your goals and researching your audience will help you select the perfect content for your audience.

For instance, the type of video you’d make for brand awareness is very different from one you’d make to improve product knowledge. With the former, you want to be attention-grabbing, engaging, and shareable. For the latter, you’re more likely to want a clear, thorough, and methodical approach.

By aligning your content with your goals and your sales funnel, you’ll be sure to come up with the right concept. The secret ingredient for success is to make sure it speaks to your target persona.

4. 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. 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.

5. Time

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.

6. Curate Supporting 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, such as detailed product information, demonstrations, articles, and creative portfolios. They’re doing their own research before investing their money. By creating a spectrum of content, you’ll be giving your audience the information they need to make informed decisions.

7. 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. How many times have you trusted an Amazon review?

Client testimonials are seen as more credible and more authentic than any traditional pitch. We place considerable value on the stories of others. Testimonials are not just a means of effectual storytelling, they also demonstrate real results.

8. Encourage Sharing

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 sharing your B2B video on social media, 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.

9. Production Quality

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.

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.

And speaking of sharing, please share your ideas and questions about creatng B2B videos with us here, on Facebook, and on Twitter @sproutvideo!