This article shares four ways we use to produce B2B content marketing videos that increase conversations.
Someone recently asked me “Can B2B videos connect with people and start conversations on social media?” Well, obviously, people will talk about almost anything on social media, but in the context of B2B technology marketing, what you need to do is get people to ask relevant questions. And videos supporting B2B technology marketing should present information in a way that encourages viewers to say, “Interesting. Tell me more.”
1. Set Up the Problem Quickly
As B2B technology companies are mostly selling “solutions,” it’ has always seemed clear to us that setting up the problem properly is the fastest way to get to the part of the video where you start to differentiate your solution. “This is what we should be talking about, isn’t it?”
In the following example, the problem setup takes 17 seconds, which is pretty good. But the entire content (if you don’t count the introductory logo thing-y, which we don’t) is just under 90 seconds. So 17 seconds is still a lot of time not talking about the solution.
2. Consider the context
Sometimes, you can start the conversation without even introducing the subject. At conferences and trade shows, the same kinds of problems are likely to be top-of-mind for everyone attending. And, it’s the same with industry-niche LinkedIn groups and other social media circles. No one needs to be reminded of what we’re talking about.
Similarly, if the solution itself is well-established, and what you’re promoting is a new approach, or new features, stick to what’s new, don’t re-introduce the whole thing. In the following example, what’s important is how three well-established products from three companies (VMWare, EMC, Brocade) work together. None needed to be introduced to the target audience.
3. Provide conversation starters
Presumably, all content marketing is designed to make people want to communicate with you. We always put “contact us to learn more” among the calls to action in videos we produce (though you have to wonder if people really need to be invited).
In social situations, people usually try to start conversations either with a question or a witty observation. The former is probably preferable for B2B technology videos. Here’s an example of a video that consists almost entirely of questions:
4. Don’t make it commercial
A lot of marketers load up their videos with faux snark and quirkiness hoping they’ll go viral. Don’t, if your goal is to start a conversation. Just like white papers and webinars and slide presentations, video content is likely to be scrutinized by a number of members of the buying committee. They don’t all react to whimsy and humor in the same way. And they may not all be viewing the video at the same stage of the buying cycle.
My advice for making videos that lead to commerce is this: don’t make it a commercial. And it it doesn’t have to be amusing. Some will not be amused, in any case. Instead, focus on providing thought leadership information to your targeted audiences that make them “stop” and think about your “alternative” solution.