Want a Great B2B Video? Act Like a B2C

by Aleks Vizulis on October 18, 2016

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There's an effect called the "Consumerization of B2B" that's been growing more noticeable this year. No, we didn't come with that term – it's the product of Navigate-The Channel, which has an entertaining little blog post on the subject.

Basically, when you take the limited number of leads that are watching videos, you find that they are watching a lot more B2C videos than B2B videos. They see the B2C versions every time they open YouTube, or forget to use an ad blocker, or fire up Hulu for the latest episode. That means that they are conditioned to think of B2C video tactics as mainstream – as the way to go when creating a convincing ad.

So, when potential customers look at your video, they aren't so much judging it against other B2B efforts, but against the B2C videos that have impressed them in the past. Does that sound unfair? Too bad: Let's deal with it. Here are several ways to include just enough B2C in your next B2B video to impress the viewer without making the higher-ups grumble.

Be Dynamic

We're not using a buzzword here, we're being literal: Make sure something is always happening in your video. If you take a look at some of the best B2B video around, you'll notice that they have people moving around, interacting with each other and their environment, taking action. You'll see the camera consistently adjust and reframe to provide multiple perspectives and the feeling of movement. You won't see any "talking heads" that stay motionless, repeating facts – or any still frames of screens or products that drag on for too long.

Make it Different

If you can think of a way to set your video apart, use it! That ranges from drone video footage to close-ups of your unique production process or fast-motion construction sites turning into buildings. It can be anything that you are proud of: Just make sure that you highlight it! Viewers know when you're proud of something, because you'll make it look good, whatever it takes.

Don't Be Afraid to Go Short

Many of the best B2B video clips take a note from their B2C cousins and stay short. Usually, they go under 2 minutes. Any more than that, and even your most steadfast leads will start losing interest, because they just aren't interested in videos that go on longer. In fact, they are most used to clips that only last 30 to 40 seconds, so don't be afraid to cut down to the essentials.

Catch Real Behavior

When everything is faked, your video ends up...looking fake. One of the best ways to fight against this is capturing real behavior and interactions. Take a lot of B-roll, not just to use as filler but also to scan for natural activity that makes your brand look human, friendly, and personable. The further you can get away from the dry stuff, the better!

Be Funny!

We know, we know, funny isn't exactly your specialty. But everyone appreciates a little humor, and it's ingrained in even your most professional clients that online videos should have a bit of fun in them. So experiment with some humor, add in a spoof or a cartoon or a meta-joke when appropriate. Just...stay away from puns. For everyone's sake.

Bring in Actors and Extras

We know you prefer to use your own people in a brand video, but there's a reason that actors and extras exist – it's because they really do make a video look better. So if you're seeking that extra something for more dynamic interaction, think about bringing an experience actor or at least a few extra bodies on board. Actors are much better at making scenes feel natural than the average employee, and more bodies gives your footage a lived-in, real look to it. Just make sure there are experts on both sides of the camera!

Watch Lots of Videos

Nope, we're not joking. If you really want to adopt the right look and feel that adds just enough of the B2C magic to your own footage, you need to sit down and watch a whole lot of online video. Absorb them. Learn from experience what makes them work, and when they fall flat. That will teach you more than a thousand tip lists when the time comes to get behind the camera.

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Aleks Vizulis

As operations manager at 21 Handshake, I bring an analytical perspective to the discussion table. My vision is to take projects from 'just strong' to superb. Often you will find me capturing behind the scenes photos in the 21 Handshake office or at a clients location. I play a fierce round of 18 during warm weather and catch me on the slopes during the other months of the year!

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