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The use of video in business-to-business (B2B) marketing is a powerful tool provided it is done well. We’ve all seen the standard ‘throw a client in a room, have them validate your services and call it a day’ strategy. Is that really effective though? The short answer is no. To be effective, B2B marketing videos should follow the same basic principles that any video marketing relies on. They must:
Let’s break that down some more.
I want you to think about your perfect client (or clients) for a minute. What are the real problems that client faces? In other words, what are that client’s pain points? When you’ve identified a list of pain points, have a think about how your product or service solves one or more of those problems. Each of your B2B marketing videos should clearly explain exactly that – how it is that your product or service solves one or more problems for your prospective clients. This is the core part of any marketing video and is the most important thing to get right. Ideally, you would target one pain point per video unless a number of pain points are highly interconnected.
Think back to your ideal client again. Would marketing that has ethical, emotional or logical appeal most resonate with that client? The technical terms for the types of persuasive techniques that target each of these are ethos, pathos and logos. Each of your videos should use one or more of these types of persuasion. When you’re just starting out, you might want to limit each video to just one, however.
As an example, Google is logical and data-driven and Google’s buyers do their research and consider statistics before making a purchase. As such, Google’s marketing videos are most effective when they use a quick-witted, direct approach as this comes across as genuine to the brand and it resonates with Google’s consumers.
This one should be a no-brainer. Terrible audio is like nails on a chalkboard and video that looks like it was shot by a two-year-old isn’t pleasant either. If you want to produce effective marketing videos you absolutely must ensure each video is of professional quality. It doesn’t take much these days to produce quality video. Many smartphones can capture 4K video and relatively inexpensive yet high-quality audio equipment is readily available. It’s also fairly easy to make a suitable lighting kit and there are plenty of YouTube tutorials that can help you get started. If you’re not comfortable producing high-quality video in-house, however, pay an expert to do it for you. You’ll quickly make back the cost of a professional video once you’ve deployed it.
Have you ever gotten to the end of an advertisement, video or another piece of marketing and wondered what it is a company or product is supposed to do? I bet you didn’t make a purchase as a result. That’s what happens if your video content doesn’t have a clear message. By the time they’ve finished watching it, your intended audience needs to know what you’re trying to convey otherwise your video has failed. If your video is designed to improve customer loyalty or target the top or middle of the sales funnel, your video might be purely educational and thus may not need a call to action. If you’re targeting prospects at the bottom of the sales funnel, however, you absolutely should have a clear call to action as well. This might be something like ‘call now’ or ‘visit us at...’ but whatever you chose, make sure it matches the intent of your video.
Ensure all your video content stays true to your brand. This means the personality, color schemes and voice of your videos should match your brand. If they don’t, you risk not being viewed as being genuine. The consequence of which is that viewers will be less likely to trust and act on your messages. Your videos will also end up appealing to the wrong audience (or to no one).
If you’re planning to use video for the first time, it’s a good idea to update your brand strategy to ensure it covers the video medium. This will help ensure your video marketing remains consistent with your brand.
Here at TANK, we’ve explored some of the top B2B brands that include video in their marketing strategies. Here are the five brands we think make the best use of B2B video marketing.
John Deere is a fantastic example of a business that uses B2B marketing videos to great effect. Rather than showing existing customers more equipment and risking annoying them with overtly salesy videos that no one will want to watch, John Deere produced a how-to video series that is designed to provide post-sales value to existing customers by helping them maintain their own machines.
Notice that the main purpose of each video in the series is not to sell a product. Every video’s primary purpose is to educate customers. There is a note at the end reminding customers that John Deere can provide the materials they may need to carry out machine maintenance but this message is delivered in a helpful, rather than pushy, way.
This technique is a great way of building customer loyalty and increasing the lifetime value of existing B2B customers.
Cisco is another business that has effectively integrated video into its B2B marketing strategy. In contrast to John Deere, Cisco’s video series targets the top to middle part of the sales funnel. The video series is still educational but instead of providing post-sales assistance, Cisco’s videos are designed to help businesses understand what infrastructure they need for their situation while at the same time, position Cisco as an authority that businesses can turn to for products and advice.
Notice that the main purpose of each video is not to sell a particular product. Instead, the videos sell the Cisco brand. Once Cisco has captured a potential customer’s attention with these videos, it can then focus on selling the products that will be most useful for that customer.
This is a great technique for increasing brand awareness and capturing new customers.
Like Cisco, Intel uses video to increase brand awareness. However, Intel also uses video to showcase ‘social proof’ of its products. In the above video, Intel explains how neurosurgeons have successfully used Intel products to save lives. This is a really powerful example of real-life applications of its products. After all, if Intel products can be used to aid something as complex and crucial as neurosurgery, what business wouldn’t be able to successfully use Intel products for its own purposes.
This technique is a really powerful way to showcase social proof that can have a much greater impact than mere quotes on a website.
The example video above shows how HubSpot effectively uses video as a bottom-of-the-funnel marketing tool. Unlike the above businesses, HubSpot’s video targets prospects that know both what their problem is and what class of solution could solve that problem, and explains exactly why HubSpot’s unique products and services are the exact products and services that the prospect should purchase. As a marketing company, HubSpot’s videos must not only market the company and its products, they must also act as proof of the company’s expertise. After all, who will purchase from a marketing company that can’t do a good job of its own marketing? HubSpot has definitely succeeded in producing some great marketing videos and, coupled with a free marketing assessment, this is a great example of the power of video in B2B marketing.
Slack is another business using video as an alternative to quotes for social proof. The above video does a great job of showing a real-life example of how a business could use Slack’s technology whilst at the same time visually showcasing that technology.
We hope these examples have inspired you to create your own B2B marketing videos. If so, we recommend spending some time thinking about which parts of your sales funnel could best be improved with video. It’s also a good idea to update your brand strategy to include video so you can be sure the marketing videos you create will deliver the right message. If you get stuck, help is at hand. Just contact us to learn how we can help you create high-quality and effective B2B marketing videos for your business.