The word these days is content. Video content in particular is an increasingly compelling tactic for business marketers to deploy throughout the funnel, with numbers to support its use.
Video brings an immediacy, digestability, context and personality that even the most clever of text-based business content struggles to achieve…at least in our instant gratification, device-ruled world.
Start planning how to create video for your company now. We’ll help you get started.
How can a good B2B video be characterized?
- Embodies good storytelling principles
- Takes a logical path or flow…a sequence or defined journey
- Compels action by the viewer
- Takes into consideration the audience that may come into contact with the video, and the times and places they may interact with it
- Is “right sized” (possibly Long and Short versions to accommodate viewer schedules)
- Offers quality audio (motion graphics can be a little more forgiving than audio factors)
- Feels genuine and authentic
- Enlightens – gives the viewer a bit to chew on
Why is it a good idea to incorporate video into your B2B marketing?
- It supports larger brand-building strategies
- It delivers strong SEO value
- It diversifies the content marketing mix
- It can serve as a natural “get to know” conduit between prospects and a company/its employees (humanize the brand; reinforce key messages such as “There are real people who take your call 24 hrs/day.”)
- It adds value as an asset in the new customer onboarding process
- It’s an asset in PR kits developed to promote new product launches
- It’s a way to reward high-value customers in a feature highly visible to the business community
- It can make complex concepts or processes easier to understand
- It can augment your customer service team by offering an alternate route to troubleshooting
- It’s a modern, convenient means to tactically support customers with practical how-to advice
- It offers an ‘exclusivity’ appeal, depicting internal processes, back-of-house staff, and corporate culture-building activities
- It is an ideal vehicle for demonstrating product capabilities, especially to dispersed audiences who can’t easily experience the product in person.
- It allows for self-guided learning
- It provides a forum for company thought-leaders and visible employees. Video can attract prospects eager to learn more from/connect with key personnel.
Categories of B2B video, with examples:
Branding and Corporate Awareness
One of my favorite brand-centered videos is the example below from DEWALT. By taking the product out of a sterilized retail or distributorship environment and going on location, the viewer is immersed in the actual job site alongside actual users. When they tell the story of how the DEWALT products help them do their jobs confidently and comfortably, we immediately trust them, and think favorably about the brand for bringing reliability and safety to the workplace. Branding videos can shed inside glimpses into corporate culture, reinforce a “there’s always a human on the end of the phone line” message, and showcase the human side of the brands we’re familiar with.
- DEWALT: Together We Build
- US Cargo Control: About Us
- FreshBooks: Introduction to Cloud Accounting
- Evernote: Seriously Playful: Hack Week 2016
- Moz: Around the Office
- Sprout Social: What is Sprout Social?
- GetResponse: World’s Easiest Email Marketing
- Marketo: What is Marketo?
- Apache Fabrication and Hosing
Brand Differentiation – Why Buy?
These types of videos showcase the products as solutions to specific problems or challenges, answering the question “Why buy [insert brand]?” before it’s asked. The prospective buyer has no trouble visualizing themselves in a scenario with the product.
New Product Introduction
If you introduce a new product and no one talks about it, did it really even happen? Sure, but videos of this type can introduce a dramatic element, document a milestone, and be a great content asset when pursuing media mentions through PR.
An Insider’s Look/Process
It’s no surprise insider look-type videos are popular. The television series “How Its Made” says it all! We’re curious about the products we invest in, and gain validation in our choices when we see an inside view the general public can’t or doesn’t.
- Bandag: Tire Retreading
- Intel: The Most Sophisticated Manufacturing Process in the World
- Apple: Making the Mac Pro
- Templeton Rye Distillery: Harvesting Rye
The purpose of explainer videos is to take complex concepts and distill them down to their simplest form. This is also effective for concepts that someone simply might be in the early phases of learning. Explainer videos are great for introducing a new user to the interface of some software, or how to complete a standalone task from start to finish.
Co-branded video material is a way to spread production and distribution costs between two (or more) brands involved in the sales channel. RIDGID needs The Home Depot to get its products in the end user’s hands, and The Home Depot sees strategic advantage in featuring the RIDGID brand. The video symbolizes a like-minded partnership of helping contractors get their job done.
Product and Product Line Overview
A video designed to overview a product or line of products can serve as a stand-alone salesperson to prospective buyers in the research phase. More than standard data sheets or brochures, the overview video can show actual use cases, 360 degree imagery, production, and step-by-step snapshots that might otherwise be relegated to an in-person demo.
- CASE Equipment: CX160D Excavator
- John Deere: 1470 & 1570 Combines
- Walker Mowers: H-Series
- Geonetric: VitalSite
- Sprout Social: 101 Product Overview
- GetResponse: Product Tour
- Milwaukee: M18 Line
Sometimes we like a few laughs with our information. Here, Caterpillar uses the element of surprise and shock to demonstrate the dexterity and maneuverability of its equipment. Kinaxis draws a parallel between human relationships and business scenarios that no longer meet a need.
- Caterpillar: Stack: World’s Biggest Game of Jenga
- IBM: Cognitive Cooking: Poutine & Chili at SXSW 2014
- Kinaxis: New Kinexions – Simplicity
- Kinaxis: Back to the Future
Instructional videos can go a long way to establishing authority for your brand. Often practical and highly tactical, instructional videos are a boon to viewers because they enable self-guided learning.
- Kleen Kuip: Carpet Cleaning Maintenance Recommendations
- US Cargo Control: How to Install L-Track on a Trailer
- US Cargo Control: Step-by-Step guide to Installing E-Track inside a Trailer
- Walker Mowers: How to Mow
- CASE Equipment: Tech Talk: How to Keep Excavator Undercarriage Clean
- FreshBooks: How to Create Your First Invoice
- Evernote: How to Use the Interface for Mac Users
Public Relations and Special Features
Have a unique experience you think your market should know about? Does your brand support a particular movement that buyers and brand advocates would look favorably on? PR videos can make them aware.
- Cemen Tech: Modern Marvels
- Cisco: Preparing the Future STEM Workforce
- Ingersoll Rand: NASCAR (corporate sponsorship)
- IBM Watson: Internet of Things (IoT)
A documentary like this one from CMI can be a great long-form piece that both entertains and educates. While we may more readily think of the Discovery Channel when we think of documentaries, a documentary can work well any time the evolution or widespread adoption of a product or concept can be told in story form.
Case studies can be similar to customer testimonials (below). A common difference is the lack of a first-person account by the featured buyer. Case studies may also include key data points such as how a product helped the featured buyer save XYZ dollars, become ABC more efficient, etc.
- Fastenal: Smeal Fire Apparatus Co.
- Evernote: How Craftsman & Wolves Uses Evernote
- Sprout Social: Marquette University
- Trello: The Ladders
It’s little wonder customer testimonial videos are tremendous content assets. They provide the context of an advertorial with the authenticity of a product review and rating. And because testimonial videos feature real, live users confident enough in their purchase to attest to its worth, they can go a long way toward delivering a competitive advantage.
- Freshbooks: Sarah
- CASE Equipment: Gagne Excavation
- Geonetric: Jaimie Somlai, Wheaton Franciscan
- Hootsuite: Herschel Supply
- MidWestOne Bank: Cedar Ridge Winery and Distillery – One Smart Move
Interviews and Presentations
Interviews and presentations, especially in instances where transcripts are also available, can offer huge SEO value due to their evergreen and keyword-rich nature.
- FreshBooks CEO Mike McDerment at SociaLite 2013
- MarketingProfs: B2B Marketing Forum. Bright Bulb Award Winners
- Ingersoll Rand: SEMA 2011 product comparison
- SXSW: TOMS brand Blake Mycoskie: The Future of the One for One Movement
- Google Small Business: Launching a Web-Based Business
What better way to promote your event than with a fun video set to music? We all want to join the party!
A series executed and promoted well can serve as a destination for prospective buyers. Series can establish the perception of innovation or thought leadership, and of a trusted resource because of the consistent and repeated installments.
- GetResponse: #GRTalks
- Google Small Business Adwords Education Series
- The Home Depot Pro: Tile Installation
- IBM: #Wild Ducks
Tutorial or Training Guide
When your company’s product is robust or line is diverse, a tutorial series or guide can provide a user with graduated learning, where instructions are designed to help them maximize the value they receive from the product. Deeper understanding can lead to higher satisfaction.
B2B video is a gold mine of opportunity
Is your company committing resources to plan, develop, and produce videos to help prospects decide and give customers reasons to stay? You’ve read the reasons why video is important, and seen a wide variety of examples (and production values). Why not get started planning now?