Buzzwords. They are the over-used, clichéd words and phrases that permeate most business conversations. We’re all guilty of using them. Do any of these sound familiar?
- “Loop me in on that.”
- “Let’s hit the ground running.”
- “Here’s the 30,000 foot view.”
One company leveraged today’s lingo trend and produced a business video that went viral:
There were many factors that I appreciated about this video as both a member of its targeted business audience and a content producer. For one, it was produced as though it was actual entertainment content. I didn’t feel like I was watching a video for work – but rather I enjoyed watching a video in my free time that brought me into the mindset of my work in a fun way. Additionally, while the content was produced in a smart and highly professional way – its core concept was very simple and relatable to the every day scenarios I face and that many of my colleagues, clients and friends and family do as well. It was simultaneously as applicable to my work as it was attractive to me as watching an episode of The Office.
To understand the process and tactics that the video’s content creators went into making this such a success, I caught up with Brandi Friel, SVP Creative & Social Integration at FleishmanHillard to share some secrets of the video team’s strategy. Friel led the team that produced the video for their client, Avaya.
Q: How did your creative/marketing teams work to create this video concept?
Friel: “As we do with everything here at FleishmanHillard, we started with research and insights. Our research into the Avaya B2B decision maker demonstrated that their path-to-purchase had shifted. Customers were seeking information outside of traditional sales channels and were increasingly motivated by branded digital content and social media. Research also demonstrated that humorous content is the most shared social content and helps make companies more relatable to audiences. After analyzing the research and arriving at our insight – that business communications is as much about the language we choose as the technology we use – we designed an integrated digital and social campaign that would reach our target audiences in the right places, at the right times with the right content in the right tone. Our first step was to engage YouTube celebrities Tripp & Tyler and play off of their existing corporate video spoofs to customize a humorous video series specifically for our audience.”
Q: What strategy did you employ when producing the video as part of a larger long term marketing program or broader campaign?
Friel: “Knowing that visual content generates 94% more views on social and that video is the most effective format for B2B communications, we positioned the “Stuff Business People Say” video series as the centerpiece of our larger multi-faceted campaign. We focused our strategy on helping Avaya’s customers “lose the lingo” in order to communicate more effectively and offered them practical and helpful resources such as Avaya’s Homonym Helper and Tech-tionary. The videos were used as bait to attract our audience’s attention and from there we expanded our relationship with them through social interaction, website resources and earned media storytelling.”
Q: How has the video helped to forward your overall marketing goals for this specific campaign or initiative?
Friel: “The goal of the campaign was to humanize Avaya, establish the brand as a “cool” tech brand, drive digital engagement and introduce customers to the product and service mix. At the close of the six-week campaign we had amassed over 23M impressions, 575K video views, record levels of social engagement and a 244% increase in microsite traffic. AdWeek called it an “out-of-the-box idea” and Business Insider said, “Tech company Avaya has created a hilarious video that nails just how ridiculous all of these words and phrases can sound.” The ROI was three times that of previous campaigns.”
Q. How do you think other B2Bs could benefit from taking a humor approach in video?
Friel: “B2B marketers should adapt their thinking – and even revisit their language – to move away from ‘business to business’ marketing towards ‘Business to Person’ (B2P) marketing. In our hyper-connected, globally-networked, digitally-converged world, there are no lines drawn between people and businesses; every business decision maker is a person first and you can appeal to them in emotional and human ways that speak to their personal needs and desires. Adobe’s 2016 State of Content report found that humorous content is the most sharable social content (37% of shared content) and almost 1 in 3 people agreed that entertaining content is more important than accurate content. If entertainment and humor are what the people (a.k.a. business decision makers) of the world are seeking and sharing, then businesses shouldn’t be afraid to show their lighter side and join in the fun.”
As a business marketer, how are you trying to weave humor and the human touch into your content marketing?
This post originally appeared as a video marketing advice column on Kathy Berardi’s LinkedIn Pulse.