In a past life I spent some time working on reality shows such as “America’s Next Top Model” as a production assistant. One of my least favorite parts of the job was all the effort that went into prepping a set or location. Along with the other eager production assistants, we grunted through unloading cube trucks filled with film equipment. We set up folding chairs, moved things around and then one of us shuttled the arriving crew members back and forth from a parking area to the location.
But you don’t need a small army — or Tyra Banks — to make effective B2B marketing videos. Thanks to technology like your smartphone, it’s become easier and easier to make quality, effective B2B marketing videos. The key is telling a great story. “Stories really produce something in our brain that allows us to become more relatable to one another,” says Elena Valentine, founder and CEO of Skill Scout. “In our case, as marketers and communications leaders, a good story helps to imprint a memory of your company on either an employee’s brain, a candidate’s brain or a customer’s brain.”
Elena joined us recently to walk through three types of B2B marketing videos that any team can pull off, no matter how small their budget. And if you want to learn even more, watch Elena’s webinar How to Create Amazing Video Without a Hollywood Budget.
B2B Marketing Educational Videos
So what exactly is an educational video? No, you’re not trying to educate a customer on how great your product is. But you are trying to inform them, Elena says. It’s one of the principles of inbound marketing: Inform, don’t sell. “We want to win customers by making them smarter,” she says. “You want to really help people think differently, and having a new insight is super key.”
Here are a few of Elena’s recommendations to create an effective B2B marketing video:
- Introduce yourself and share exactly why you or your organization is the right source for whatever bits of knowledge you’re trying to impart.
- Make sure that you share the problem your tips will address.
- Describe the steps, process or perspective in a concise manner. But don’t lose sight of the purpose of your video: How does this knowledge make your customers smarter or better?
B2B Marketing Behind the Scenes Videos
The elements of a behind-the-scenes video can vary. Perhaps you’ll show off the lab where your company is testing a new product. Maybe it’s an event that you’d like to show off. But no matter what you’re filming, make sure you take what Elena calls an “ethnographic research mindset.” In other words, come to whatever you’re filming with an open mind. “Sometimes when it comes to going behind the scenes, it doesn’t have to necessarily all be scripted,” Elena says. “Some of the great videos that we’ve made are when we’re coming into an environment with a level of discovery and openness to what we might find.”
Keep that sense of discovery alive as you film. “We really want to concentrate on what’s happening in front of us,” Elena says. While you still need to be prepared — make sure that have a B-roll shot list and a few relevant questions to ask — the viewer will be able to feel that sense of discovery as much as you did during the filming process.
B2B Marketing Client Testimonial Videos
The client testimonial is a B2B marketing video staple for a reason. “It’s trustworthy and authentic,” Elena says. “They’re talking about their experience in their own words.”
Do-it-yourself video technology has made capturing client testimonials much simpler, allowing for quicker setups, giving you the opportunity to capture even more stories. A great place to find some of these testimonials is trade shows, Elena says. Many of your clients will already be there, and it will also create an opportunity for you to interact with future customers.
And if you’re wondering what you should ask, Elena has you covered. Here are three questions you can begin with when creating a client testimonial video:
- What’s the best thing about working with this company?
- Is there a particular story about this company or a team member that makes you smile?
- What was the moment you knew that you made a good choice working with this company?
And One Final Tip…
No matter what type of B2B marketing video you’re making, invest in quality sound recording equipment. Yes, you should have good lighting — try to film with natural light if you can. But a smartphone can do a lot of the heavy lifting on that. Recording sound, however, is another matter. You don’t need much, but if your video doesn’t sound good, it won’t make your business sound very good either.