Whether you're a in-house marketer or communications professional who works with clients, you probably know that video has become a non-negotiable part of our industry.
But did you know that users clearly prefer this type of content? Especially short, engaging videos that are informative or entertaining.
In fact, over 50% of consumers prefer video to other types of content. As we all spent more time online during the COVID-19 pandemic, these preferences have only skyrocketed.
But despite video marketing’s rising importance, delving into it can be intimidating, especially for marketers who are navigating this medium for the first time. And for B2B companies, video marketing can feel even more challenging.
B2B video marketing is very different from sectors such as consumer goods. Since most B2B products are intangible, un-sexy, and often fairly complex, promoting them with video isn’t as simple as just filming a bag of chips or a pair of jeans.
But video marketing is a great way to educate audiences on your B2B product and brand, even though you may have to take a slightly different approach..
The good news is, whatever your marketing goals, there’s a type of video that will help you reach them!
In this article, we’ll break down why video is so great for B2B marketing, and share some different types of marketing videos B2B companies should be creating.
Why B2B businesses need to invest in video marketing
Throughout the customer journey, video is a powerful tool to attract, retain and convert new prospects and customers.
Because video performs so well on social media, videos tailored to these platforms are a great way to generate demand by helping potential customers discover your product. In a 2018 survey, 93% of businesses who use video said that sharing videos on social media had gotten them a new customer.
What’s more, video is also displayed at the top of search results on Google, which means it can help improve your search engine ranking.
Once users have started engaging with your brand, video allows marketers to share more details about your product in a direct, accessible way.
Why not try adding video to your marketing emails and landing pages? This can help to increase engagement, open rates, and conversion rates. As users move through the customer journey, videos like case studies and testimonials can drive home the value of your product and convert them from leads into paying clients.
At its best, video is one of the most effective ways to grab the viewer’s attention, by combining visuals, audio and even text. This makes it a natural fit for highly targeted account-based marketing (ABM).
If your business is targeting specific prospects, you’re likely trying to get the attention of executives, and other high-ranking decision makers. Because these professionals are so busy, and already drowning in email, video will help you stand out from the onslaught of other messages they receive every day.
Despite its challenges, video marketing is incredibly well-suited to the B2B sector. Many people absorb information much more easily by watching a video than by reading, which means it has the power to make difficult concepts more accessible. But there are many more benefits of B2B video marketing...
Often, B2B products are pretty complex, and need some explanation to help consumers understand exactly what they do. Informative videos (such as product demos or explainer videos) are a great way to speed up that process.
Video is also a great complement to the rest of your marketing efforts — try repurposing the information from your videos into other formats, like blog content, social media posts and interactive infographics.
Next, let’s talk about what makes a B2B marketing video great.
Elements of a good B2B marketing video
Great videos educate and entertain their audience with useful information. That’s why your B2B marketing video should be informed by your target market’s interests and needs. Knowing your audience’s desires is the foundation of all successful marketing, not just video!
You’ll also want to make sure your video is well-tailored to the platform you’ll be distributing it on. For example, video content intended for YouTube will look very different from content for Instagram in terms of length, format and the type of information that will be shared.
To help make your video engaging and accessible, make use of humor, storytelling, and visuals, like animation and attention-getting colors. The best animated marketing videos in B2B find the human story within their product, while remaining on brand — no matter how technical or dry it seems at first.
Here are some of the most important types of marketing videos for B2B companies:
Now, let’s explain what each of these videos do and illustrate them with examples.
Example from Method CRM:
The goal of a product demo video is to demonstrate how your product works. For a B2B company, that might look like walking your audience through a typical workflow using your project management software, or showing how automatic scheduling and invoicing might improve a business owner’s day.
To make sure your demo isn’t boring or dry, focus just as much on the user as the product. How was their life improved? What tangible positive outcomes did they experience?
Example from Practicus:
These videos aim to teach the audience something. In a B2B context, you might be educating them on the function of your product or service, or how to use it for maximum value. Brands in all industries are big on leveraging educational video marketing content to boost their achievements, for example in the energy sector in terms of renewable marketing. You can also provide useful information that’s related to your product as part of a content marketing strategy — to use a non-B2B example, a company that sells storage containers might release videos on how to organize different parts of your home or more generally speaking, video marketing statistics.
To keep explainer videos useful and engaging, get specific. Use an actual person or situation to illustrate what you’re explaining, perhaps a character based on your ideal customer. Show how whatever you’re teaching solved their problem, in a concrete and visual way.
Behind the scenes video
Example from Red Bull Racing:
Behind the scenes videos humanize your company, giving your audience a look at the people behind your product. This type of content feels authentic, which helps to build trust with your users. This more unfiltered type of video content is perfect for social media, which is all about connecting and building relationships.
It’s totally okay for great behind-the-scenes videos to have a DIY, underproduced feeling, such as casually-shot iPhone footage. This kind of authenticity shows audiences that they are truly getting a look behind the curtain of your company.
Example from Slack:
Example from Salesforce:
Similarly to how-to videos, tutorials teach the user something new. But in a tutorial, that’s done through step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish a specific task. Depending on your goals, a B2B video marketing tutorial could be directly related to your product, or another topic that’s useful to your audience. Don’t overlook the power of tutorial videos — they are one of the most popular types of content on Youtube.
To keep these videos from becoming boring, make sure every step is acted out visually, such as by filming an actual person following the instructions. If an animated or screen-grabbed video is more your style, try a voiceover from an entertaining narrator. You can also try splitting the tutorial up into a series of shorter, easily digestible videos.
Testimonial videos are first-hand customer accounts of their experience with your B2B product. These videos provide social proof, which is a powerful way to convince other potential customers of your product’s value.
Think of your testimonial as a story, and be sure to work with your customer on a script that’s authentic to their experience, but still creates an engaging video that serves yours goals. Include characters (the client or user), the problem (why they needed your product), and its resolution (how your product benefited them).
Case studies are similar to customer testimonials, but expanded beyond the customer’s own experience. Instead of your customer speaking in their own words, case studies tell a holistic story of how your product solved their problem or improved their life.
They give you an opportunity to tell a compelling story about your product. You can go beyond the customer’s own experience, and talk about your product’s features and benefits in greater detail. Be sure to include measurable, positive outcomes that resulted from the client adopting your product.
These videos introduce your company’s brand identity in a high-level way, rather than explaining your products and services specifically. They help viewers get a sense of who you are as a company and what your vision is, building brand awareness and keeping you top-of-mind when potential customers are in the market for your product. Many TV commercials could be classified as brand videos.
Avoid broad, generic statements when making a brand video. This is the time to be yourself, in all your quirky glory. What makes your company stand out from the competition?
An event teaser video is released before an event (whether virtual or in-person) to build interest and encourage signups. To make a great event teaser, highlight the value that attendees can expect. Try including snippets of interviews with featured speakers or clips of people enjoying themselves at past iterations of the event.
Lisbon Web Summit:
By contrast, recap videos are released after the event’s conclusion. Try structuring them as a highlight reel of all the inspiring connections, speakers and activities that took place, to drive home the event’s success and start building interest in the next edition. There’s no need for event videos to be super slick or overproduced; audiences will respond to authenticity and the human element.
Company news videos keep your community updated on everything that’s going on at your company, and may be directed at employees, shareholders, or customers. They often share important developments, such as new hires, company restructuring, upcoming initiatives and even stock prices.
To keep your company news videos fun and engaging, rather than boring or stuffy, try taking a behind-the-scenes approach. Why not make it friendly and conversational, rather than formal?
Top-tier talent is crucial to your company’s success, which means you need your recruitment efforts to have as much impact as possible. Fortunately, can dramatically amp up how well you reach potential candidates. Studies have shown that job postings with video get 12% more views, and result in 34% more applications.
Great recruitment videos give applicants a taste of the company’s culture, and provide an immediate sense of what qualities would make someone a good fit for the job.
Expert interviews educate your audience while establishing your company’s authority in your niche. They can feature experts and thought leaders who work at your company, or other influencers and experts in your industry, especially if the interview is in a conversational style with someone from your company.
Remember, there’s no need to only interview experts whose opinions you’re already aligned with. The most interesting interviews feature a variety of viewpoints!
Blog post summary or teaser
These videos are a great way to repurpose content and keep using it to bring in traffic and leads. Why not recycle blog posts that are older, but still full of valuable information, and share their main points as short, engaging videos?
You can also make a brief video teasing an upcoming blog post! Share a few snippets of information to encourage readers to come back for more.
Whichever type of blog video you create, keep the language natural and conversational (even if it’s scripted). Simply reading your blog post out loud will sound awkward and boring on camera.
Social media stories
We could write an entire article about social media stories! Users love this type of content for its immediacy and authenticity. It’s a perfect vehicle for behind-the-scenes videos, quick updates on company news, and timely information about your product, like sales.
To create great social media stories, post consistently and make sure you’re up to date on best practices for your chosen platform! For example, on Instagram you can create stories that answer commonly asked questions or introduce your brand, then save them to Story Highlights so they’re the first thing visitors to your account see.
If you’re just exploring video marketing, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. But the good news is that video is a fast and effective way to help audiences understand the value of your B2B product or service.
You don’t need to start from scratch: as we’ve shown, there are many types of marketing videos that we already know are great for B2B. Once you have a firm grasp of the most useful types of B2B marketing videos, you can identify which are the best fit for your audience, product, and goals. Check out this blog post if you want to learn more on how to make a marketing video.
And creating video doesn’t need to be technical or time-consuming — there are plenty of great tools out there, like PlayPlay, that make video production accessible, intuitive, and fun.