Earlier this month, Contently founder Shane Snow called short form video “the biggest opportunity for content marketers.” Shane joins a growing chorus of marketing experts who are hailing short-form video as “the next wave in storytelling” and “the future of brand marketing.”
It’s not hard to see why short form video is ideal for B2C brands. The shorter format is perfect for the bite-sized storytelling that’s rapidly dominating social channels from Instagram stories to Facebook. As brands move further away from direct advertising and pursue new avenues for social engagement, easy access to video tools coupled with strong audience engagement metrics make short form video an obvious fit.
But what about B2B brands: can short form B2B video marketing work for them, too? Absolutely. Whether it’s a behind-the-scenes facilities tour or a how-to tutorial, short form videos give your customers and clients the feeling of being there in person. This creates a stronger emotional connection to your brand and builds loyalty.
Ready to try your hand at short form B2B video marketing content? Keep the following three elements in mind when creating your first videos:
- Educational. What is the purpose of your video? Unlike B2C content where humor and emotion can be equally important elements, problem solving is the most important of B2B content. Content that fails to deliver value to the end user won’t get watched or shared.
Start by considering who your target audience is and where this audience falls in your sales cycle. Maybe you’re creating a video to educate prospects about the benefits of your product or service and move them along the conversion funnel. Or, this video could be for new clients who may not be familiar with all your products features so the video will show them just how easy it to maximize your product’s utility and value. Either way, keep your audience’s needs top of mind and shape your content to meet these needs.
- Entertaining. We’re living in the age of digital clutter and content overload. That’s why all videos need to be educational enough do deliver real value, but also entertaining enough that they still get watched. Don’t let a boring video overshadow an important message! There’s always another company producing videos on the same topic as you. If your video is boring, poorly produced, or otherwise lacking, your audience is just a quick Google search away from finding new videos that are more engaging and just as informative.
For example, explainer-style, how-to videos are important marketing tools that establish your company as an industry authority on key subjects. Explainer-style videos answer common search queries (e.g. “How do I XYZ?”), but they can also be downright boring if a single voice drones on and on. Adding a short animation or simply opting for a livelier presenter will instantly make the video more entertaining and boost engagement.
- Actionable. Whether your video is a tutorial, interview or behind-the-scenes tour, end with clear takeaways. What did your audience learn while watching the video that they can apply to a business problem? Short form videos aren't long – many are just a few minutes – but it's still critical to end them with a quick summary. This could be as simple as the narrator stating, "Today, we learned how to ABC and XYZ" with an accompanying on-screen statement. Keep it simple and impactful!
Here at 21 Handshake, two of our favorite types of B2B short form video content are interviews and tutorials. Interviews are a great way to convey critical information without lecturing at your audience. Tutorials help your audience understand how to get the most out of your products or services, reducing customer service queries and strengthening perceived value. In our next few weeks, we’ll walk you through the key elements of a marketing B2B video interview and tutorial. Stay tuned!