TBV Insights

Using personas to produce B2B explainer videos

How narrowly can you target a video? This article looks at using personas to produce B2B explainer videos.

Using personas to produce B2B explainer videos
“Personas” are finding their way into B2B tech marketing (and operations) with the “consumerization of IT.”

Many eCommerce consumer websites design their offerings around “personas” — fictional characters created to represent collections of consumer demographic and lifestyle attributes. Using the many lifestyle indicators consumers like you and me provide, marketers serve up content to match the personas we appear to inhabit.

Even Information Technology, as it becomes “consumerized”,  is beginning to adopt personas, defined more by work roles than by lifestyle. For example, IT service desks benefit by matching up groups of end-users and groups of services. For example, “which sets of applications will these people use on their desktop and mobile devices?”

This video is designed to speak to two “roles” in a large organization: CIOs and other executives involved in managing outsourced IT and business processes, and HR executives.


What do we mean by “video”

Now, when I talk about “video” I generally mean a professional production that, like a TV program, is aimed at a fairly broad “demographic”. Not as broad as the “coveted 18-54 year old” TV audience, to be sure, but there are usually a number of roles that need to be acknowledged — because they’ll all be involved in the decision-making process. These could be IT staff (e.g., developers, QA, and operations) or more disparate roles, as in the Infosys video above, where the main decision-maker is assumed to be a CIO, but he or she will need the support of HR.

A good script is essential

As in film and television, the highest quality productions are generally the ones with the best scripts. Good scripts are made by imaginative writers who know how to pack a wide range of “content” into the available time.

That said, even B2B tech videos with high entertainment value should not be thought of as entertainment that “drives” traffic to a website by itself. Even though video shows up high in search results, other marketing activities drive the traffic. The video’s job is to be diverting enough to send the traffic on to the next attraction e.g., the white papers, the free trial, the contact form — or to more closely targeted “videos.”

More narrowly focused videos

There are not a lot of very short, very narrowly targeted videos used in B2B technology right now. I think that’s about to change, because it’s easier than ever to use the medium.

DIY tools like SlideShare and go animate hold great promise for B2B technology video content. For example, we speak to subject matter experts every day who provide anecdotes about problems faced by the real people they talk to. It’s not hard to imagine a series of short video vignettes called “Problems We Solve” dramatizing these anecdotes, and built in-house with a simple DIY tool.

Another way to think about matching videos to roles is to take into account the business processes your target audience manages and/or carries out. The excerpt here answers the question “What happens with sales inquiries” — something of interest to more than one role in the SMBs the 360EnterpriseSuite targets. A series of 20-second business process videos along these lines could make for an effective landing page or FAQ.

This video segment exemplifies how a business process can be used to appeal to certain roles in an organization  — in this case, people who manage or participate in the order-handling process.

The takeaway here is that if you start thinking about the personas (or, at least, roles) it’s not hard to come up with ideas for video content that follows from other video content.



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