Making great B2B video in 2017

Video is fast becoming the most consumed content around. Here is some guidance on creating your own and how to make the most of this important tool.

Online video is becoming the most consumed content around, bypassing blog posts, articles, and infographics. The introduction of auto-play on social networks like Facebook has made engaging with video even easier. In fact, by 2019, Cisco predicts video will make up 80 per cent of all internet traffic.

This online video surge is affecting our daily lives. In the last 24 hours alone, I’ve watched several Facebook videos my friends have shared, a YouTube ‘how to guide’ on how to fix a broken Macbook and even squeezed a couple of VICE documentaries in.

But, what does this mean for B2B marketing?

According to Forbes, embedding videos on landing pages can increase conversion rates by 80 per cent, and 59 per cent of company decision makers would rather watch a video than read an article or blog post.

It’s pretty clear, video is only going to become a more important tool for B2B marketers. So, why are so many brands still getting it so wrong?

To make sure your video venture pays off, I’ve compiled a list of tips to consider when creating a B2B video below…

Don’t create a video for the sake of it

In the race to do the ‘in thing’, many businesses rush to create video content without tying it into their marketing strategy and, more importantly, overall business objectives. This might sound obvious, but I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

Before committing to video, make sure it’s integrated into your other communication plans and decide on one clear objective for creating this piece of content: is it to drive more traffic to your site? Lead generation? Or just general brand awareness? This will allow you to understand what type of video you want to make. For example, if you’re focusing on brand awareness you might want to make a social-friendly 3/4 minute documentary. Whereas if the aim is lead generation you may want to offer a meatier ‘how to guide’.

Be emotional and logical

Over the last five years, the role emotion plays in B2B marketing has become common knowledge. As a result, the majority of marketers have put a big effort into humanising their brands. To do this, businesses have begun to tell stories, showcasing customer or employee tales that are relatable to their customers. However, by focusing so intensely on emotionally-driven sales, some organisations have forgotten one key to successful content: adding value. Video content is a great way to tell stories but it should also address the challenges your target audience face and offer solutions.

Don’t avoid Q&As

Talking head style videos used to be a staple in B2B marketing. They were boring, grey and seemed to go on forever. But this doesn’t mean Q&As should be avoided at all costs. Interview-based ‘in conversation’ videos have been doing the rounds lately, some of these are informative, interesting and at times even fun.

LinkedIn’s ‘B2B Dinner for Five’ is an excellent example of how to do this form of video well. Jason Miller, LinkedIn’s head of content and social media marketing for EMEA, hosts five B2B marketing leaders at a dinner to chat over some of the most important issues in the industry today. However, instead of being a bog-standard question and answer session, the professionals relax and share interesting stories about their careers in an engaging and relatable way.

Watch it here »>

Use humour

If you’re looking to create a video that starts conversations on social media, and engages with your audience on a human level, humor is a great way to do it. This doesn’t mean dumbing down your brand or not addressing customer challenges though.

A great example of this is HootSuite’s ‘Mean Tweets’ campaign. The social media management tool stole the idea from Jimmy Kimmel’s US talk show segment “celebrities read mean tweets”. But, instead of celebs, HootSuite staff read out mean tweets ahead of a software update to address issues users have raised about the new look.

Watch it here »>

Repurpose and recycle for reach

Like any other type of content, video can be chopped up to be repurposed and recycled throughout your campaign to get maximum reach. For instance, a 30-minute thought leadership video might work well on a landing page on your website, while a 2-minute clip of a best bits breakdown would produce more engagement on social media, and a 30-second clip provide a great introduction to the video within an email campaign.