Video: are you doing it right?

There is no denying the power of video and the influence it can have on consumer behaviour. When it comes to B2B marketing, many marketers know its value but are often reluctant to invest the necessary budget to produce high quality video.

The reason is pretty simple; while video can be a great ROI, it is often hard to execute. In a recent report it was shown that in terms of ROI, most marketers believe video and articles provide the best result, however 48.9 per cent of marketers described video as ‘difficult to create’ and 50.4 per cent felt that video was overpriced.

Despite this, business executives love video. Seventy five per cent watch video every week and 65 per cent visit a vendor’s site after watching a video. The problem is many B2B marketers simply don’t know where to begin when entering the world of video marketing.

Here are some best practices for developing compelling B2B video to fuel your content marketing strategies:

Know your audience

This is a pretty obvious statement, but if you don’t have a thorough understanding of your audience needs, aspirations and interests then you run the risk of creating a video you or your CEO thinks is fantastic but doesn’t connect with your audience.

This video by XERO promotes its accounting software product to small business owners. It does a really good job of providing the software features, but presents it in a fun and interesting way, demonstrating a clear understanding of the audience.

Let your customers speak for you

No one likes companies that boast about how great they are. The level of trust quickly dissipates. However, when the key message is delivered by one of your customers it’s immediately more trustworthy and authentic. However, it has to be done right. You don’t want the video to feel as if the customer has been forced to say specific points or go to over the top in their praises of your business.

This video by Salesforce is a case study on Lorna Jane. It is a fantastic video, beautifully shot and well executed. It acts both as a case study for Salesforce and also a promotional video for Lorna Jane. The cost for production would be high, but because it benefits both businesses there is potential here to co-create the video and share budget. You will notice the promotion of Salesforce does not kick in until the end of the video. By the time this happens, trust has been well established:

Show off your product

It’s not always bad to heavily promote your product, but it has to be done right. It needs to be clever, creative and short. If you are directly selling you need to get to the point, tease the audience and compel them to visit your site. This video by Good.Co is a 45-second video, which highlights what the product does, but it doesn’t give everything away. It provides enough information to gain interest and enough reason to visit their site:

Tell a story

Storytelling is at the essence of effective content. Stories define us, move us and are extremely powerful. They give meaning and context to what would otherwise be a collection of easily forgettable facts. A good example is this video Edge shot for OzHarvest which tells the story about how the organisation changes people’s lives:

OzHarvest from Edge on Vimeo.

Another good example is this video by Intel which tells the story of 15-year-old Jack Andraka who, after losing his uncle to pancreatic cancer, invented an early detection method for cancer that won Grand Prize at the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). It’s very powerful and moving:

Give back

Another option is to create a video that has nothing to do with you but everything to do with your customers or other businesses. It’s a bold move, but it can build loyalty and a strong following.

A great example is a campaign Intuit ran this year for its Quickbooks products. The campaign was called ‘Small Business, Big Game’. It was a competition which gave the selected winner a produced TVC which aired during the third quarter of the 2014 Super Bowl. It was promoted as ‘small business taking on the big game’. It gained over 8,000 video uploads from small businesses, received millions of votes and the lucky winner had their small business exposed to millions of viewers.

All these videos are examples of effective B2B content marketing. There is no denying it is not easy, it requires detailed planning, creativity and a strong understanding of video production and producing. However, when it’s done right it truly shines and as many business marketers agree, is an effective ROI marketing channel.