Video marketers would have you believe that every business needs video content. But at what cost?
There’s no question that video is trending. What I think many marketers miss is that video content is not a one-size-fits-all marketing solution, specifically when it comes to B2B versus B2C companies.
I see a lot of low-quality videos out there, but I think it’s especially problematic to create these for B2B brands. Video marketing can afford to stay simple when you’re dealing with consumers seeking quick-hit entertainment in places like Facebook and YouTube. B2B audiences, on the other hand, are generally considering a big purchase — meaning they have skin in the game both in terms of their office reputation and career goals. These viewers demand quality and efficiency, and if you can’t give them that, you may be doing your brand more harm than good.
How Successful is B2B Video Marketing?
Let’s back up to examine the value of video marketing for B2B brands. You don’t have to look hard to find statistics claiming that video marketing is vital:
But B2B viewers are a tough crowd to please, often looking for value that goes beyond clever production and basic information.
How to Make B2B Video Marketing Work
To be successful with video in the B2B market, companies need to realize there’s no value in creating video for video’s sake. You need high-quality production and need to make sure every video makes good use of your viewers’ time. If budget or quality is of concern, it might make more sense to stick to quality written content that audiences can skim or revisit.
That’s not to say that video doesn’t have a place in B2B marketing. Video should be purposeful within your marketing strategy, and you should be mindful about putting your time, money, and energy into producing the highest quality video.
The Three Main Types of Marketing Videos
Your video will likely fall into one of three categories. Here’s what you should consider for each.
1. Branding Videos
These types of videos don’t say a lot overtly, but they still portray business values and attract viewers to the brand, like this one from Adobe. (And in the B2C realm, I think Yeti has some of the best.)
Often, the biggest mistake B2B companies make with branding videos is failing to promote them outside their websites. It’s important to treat branding videos like a commercial — buying TV time when possible, and at the very least promoting them on social media channels or sending them directly to your target audience in email marketing campaigns.
Another great example of a well-marketed branding video is this one from Texas Farm Bureau Insurance. Outside their site, the company promoted the video on social media and provided a powerful call to action.
2. Explainer Videos
Explainers highlight a company’s services and solutions or demonstrate a product’s essential features. A few years back when they launched their travel app, TripCase created a video that shows how explainer videos, when done right, can be a huge win.
Explainers have real value in the B2B space, but one hang-up is that most people can read instructions faster than they can watch them. My advice here is to keep your explainers short and sweet — like this video from Spotify — or even speed up your voice-overs to 1.5 times speed. (I almost always watch videos at two times speed or jump ahead in the video to get a sense of whether it’s worth watching.) And because there will always be those who prefer to read things the old-fashioned way, I recommend always including a written component.
3. Educational Videos
Think TED Talks, presentations, and other long-form videos. Even more so than the other two categories, these videos require at least one of the following qualities:
- Be extremely high-quality.
- Feature someone who the audience wants to hear from, like the head of Microsoft or a prominent subject-matter expert in the company. If you don’t have a big name or a super engaging speaker, stick to written content.
Ultimately, when determining whether videos make sense for your brand, it comes down to the same rule of thumb that applies to the rest of your marketing needs: There’s no one-size-fits-all strategy. Determining what content makes sense for your business requires a carefully considered custom approach. We can help with that.
Like I said, this is just my take. If you want to share yours, let’s talk.