As far back as 2008, online video for marketing was “trending” as becoming an important medium. Five years later, the day has finally come: If you don’t have a video on your website to quickly engage visitors in a personal and informative way, you’re out of date.
On the B2C side, it seems there is no shortage of ideas for creating fun, hip and bound-to-go viral videos. Audiences are also much broader, and in some cases could arguably be comprised of any mainstream consumer who has the ability to buy a product and influence others in their social circles to do the same. But on the other side of the marketing fence – when I chat with B2B companies about their video plans – many struggle over how to use the medium. They worry about how to entertain an audience of viewers who expect videos featuring talking babies, cat tricks and other gimmicks (tell the truth…you know, the kinds you watch on your laptop on coffee breaks).
But here’s the thing about B2B video: Unlike B2C, it’s not about reaching a million eyeballs on YouTube or getting your 15 seconds of fame on a national talk show because your hilarious segment went viral. In reality, such results would be largely ineffective to your bottom line. It would be like a B2B company with highly specialized services geared to a niche audience spending $4 million on a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. Such a venture would be a waste of energy and resources. There’s little point in engaging a huge majority of people who will never buy your product because they simply aren’t and will never be in the market for it.
With B2B video, it’s not about pleasing the masses but engaging directly with a smaller audience that is in a position to benefit from what you provide.
If you’re a B2B company, when you confront your video marketing plans – don’t worry about appealing to every consumer. Just focus on delivering a compelling message that your target audience needs to hear. The more relevant it is to a specific pain the targeted viewer is experiencing, the more they will be compelled to watch and engage with you. But also remember: Just because you’re relevant to an audience doesn’t mean you get to be “boring.” Don’t worry about the gimmicks, just make it relatable and timely – this is enough to make it interesting to the business audience you wish to reach.
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Here are three tips for making an effective B2B video:
1. GET TO THE CRUX: Start your video by identifying the big challenge your target audience is likely facing, then proceed by providing helpful steps toward solving the problem.
2. FIND YOUR VIDEO “STAR”: By this I mean a successful customer case study told in an unbiased way and spoken from the heart. Your video’s star is that end-user whose business was helped by your solution. Nothing is more powerful than a firsthand account of how a peer experienced a similar problem and had it resolved with your help.
3. BE REAL: We’re increasingly living in a digital world but at the end of the day, people still do business with people they know and trust. A video that allows potential customers to get to know the real people behind your solutions can be a powerful tool in moving them from the “knowing” to the “trusting” part of their early engagement with you.
Lastly, consider a “style” for your video. You want it to be more than just a talking head. The integration of animation and motion graphics, in-person interviews or even visits to trade show floors can enhance watchability.
QUESTION: What are your video plans before the end of 2013?
This post originally appeared on The Connector blog and was reprinted with permission.