Malcolm Gladwell has said that, for him, the key to a good live presentation is to keep in mind that the audience wants to be taken seriously. This struck me as pertinent to the development and production of B2B video for inbound marketing and sales engagement. We imagine the audience browsing our collection of marketing content like bees collecting nectar. We plant messages they’ll take back to the buying committee. But how much effort goes into making them feel that we take them seriously.
Support every claim
In a short video, there’s usually a requirement to put across several key messages, sometimes for different audiences. That can lead to adjectival overload — a string of phrases like “powerful features,” “unprecedented scalability,” and “advanced technology.” You’re probably don’t find such claims compelling. Neither will your buyers.
Many of the videos we produce deal with technology product introductions and upgrades. Most of these solutions have been pre-introduced to existing customers or user groups. If you can get a fix on what these groups are most curious about, you’ve made a good start on figuring out how to frame the story for a larger audience. Even if you’re required to deliver information on a set number of features, if you start with one you know people will have questions about, you’re audience knows you’re serious.
Remember how they got here
You’ve probably heard that B2B video needs to grab the viewer’s attention in the first 15-20 seconds. I’ve said it myself. It’s certainly true if the viewer is scrolling through a social media feed. But what about the person who arrived at your video via the recommendation of a colleague, or a link in an email or article? This is a person most likely does not need any of the following:
- a history of the problem your solution addresses
- a list of the bad things that happen when the problem is not addressed
- an introduction to an amusing cartoon character
- a list of expected benefits on the lines of “increased efficiency” and “lower costs”
If you can be pretty sure that the audience arrived at your video because they think you may have something interesting to say, you can’t go wrong if you start out by saying something interesting.