In the 80’s people wanted their MTV.

Many of us have grown up on short, entertaining videos that capture our imagination and pull at our emotions. Marketing studies show that we still have an appetite for video and prefer it over other types of content. Internet users are increasingly more interested in visual content than written content and are more interested in consuming content from social media than from blogs (Hubspot). Savvy B2B marketers are using this to their advantage and creating video content that is being viewed and shared on social media, expanding their lead generation and inbound marketing efforts.

The key to winning the video marketing game is to create engaging content that solves problems while entertaining viewers. B2B businesses are not necessarily known for their imaginative and captivating marketing copy. But here’s the deal. Engineers, accountants, and the guy that’s in charge of purchasing office supplies are all human beings. They love to laugh and they love to learn. They want to feel a human connection. Start there.

Share Customer Success Stories

Putting customers in the spotlight gives them credit for their success, while the solution provider takes a supporting role. This allows potential customers to see themselves as making the same smart decisions to use a firm’s products or services.

An excellent example of the use of video to share customer success is the “Optum Healthcare Success Story” by Salesforce. Using an emotionally appealing story of a couple’s pregnancy journey, the narrative describes how Optum met the challenge of the healthcare industry’s lag in the use of technology by embracing Salesforce’s CRM solutions. It shows how they have integrated Salesforce seamlessly into their customer service system. Honestly, watching this video at first I wasn’t sure who was with Salesforce and who was with Optum. Then I realized, that’s the point. Smart.

Explainer Videos

These short, animated videos are a way to illustrate a company’s products or services in a way that is entertaining and informative. They are typically fast-paced and witty, holding a viewer’s attention longer than plain text can. They are often seen on a website’s homepage and are easy to share on social media.

This explainer video about explainer videos from Plainly Simple Studios is a perfect example. In an amusing and educational way, the video describes a problem, the solution, and how the process works. It ends with a call to action. Simple and effective.

Illustrate Your Company’s Core Values

As a storytelling medium, video rules. What better way to tell the story of a company’s core values than an impactful video that shows the viewer how much a company cares.

HCL, an IT services powerhouse, has a built their company on an “employees first, customers second” philosophy. Watching their engaging and entertaining videos, you see that this core value is a part of everything they do. Many of their videos are cleverly animated, explaining how they grew their business and helped their customers build their businesses during a recession because of the importance they place on empowering their employees. However, this video called “The Employees First Effect” is simply about the everyday hero – the employee. It illustrates the importance they place on employees, without mentioning their brand until the very end. It has over 2 million views, and reading the comments you see that it is very inspirational, eliciting remarks from viewers who want to work for HCL. Mission accomplished.

Highlight a Commitment to the Community

Social responsibility is not just a catch phrase for many companies. Those that truly make a commitment to serving their community and our society reap many benefits including fostering good will, attracting top talent, and increasing employee job satisfaction. Making a point to share this message on social media is what savvy B2B firms do.

SAIC, a leader in technology and engineering solutions, has made a commitment to serving the community in many ways. Employees take ownership of social initiatives including serving the military and first responders and their families. They use video to share these initiatives online which attracts not only potential customers but future employees as well. SAIC is particularly adept at using their LinkedIn page to increase their online presence, including posting videos such as this one. They must have heard the news that LinkedIn is 277% more effective in driving leads than any other social network.

Share Instructional Product Videos

While not exactly the sexiest of video categories, instructional videos are an excellent means of attracting leads in the B2B space. These videos draw in buyers that are searching for products or solutions online and add value and credibility.

DENTSPLY Caulk has a YouTube channel dedicated to testimonials from dentists and instructional videos showing how their product line provides dentists with dental restoration solutions for their patients. They have included video of real dental procedures. This type of instruction makes it easy for dentists to learn about their products and how to use them in their own practice. It’s the type of value-added service that is at the root of excellent video marketing.

Live Video Streaming

Broadcasting live from an event or behind the scenes at a company allows customers and employees to stay in the know about news and updates. The immediacy of live video draws viewers in and the ability to save recordings gives the videos a longer shelf life. Engagement on live video is 10x that of regular video. The key is knowing when and what to post. It’s a bit of trial and error, but if you are committed to adding live streaming to your content marketing strategy, stick with it and be consistent and you’ll see your followers grow. The main platforms for live video are Periscope (which allows you to share to Twitter) and Facebook Live.

As an example, Oracle Business Analytics used Facebook Live recently to broadcast from its Oracle OpenWorld event, allowing viewers to hear directly from speakers, key executives, and customers as they were interviewed news broadcast-style. GE used drones equipped with cameras to live-stream video of their facilities on Periscope during Drone Week.

For a step-by-step guide to using Facebook Live, check out this in-depth article from Hubspot.

People love video. Given that nearly everyone has a portable video camera on their phone and that video creation technology has become more accessible, video is a medium that all content marketers can employ. Have fun with it and embrace this new age of social media marketing.

After all, we still want our MTV – Marketing TV, that is.