When I’m wearing my consumer hat, I take my shopping experience very seriously. I’m not the kinda guy who runs out and purchases a new product unless I know something about it — except for cereal and chips. I’m a sucker for cheap prizes and buffalo-ranch flavoring, so I steer clear of those grocery aisles. Minus my vices, I consider myself an informed shopper. I read online reviews. I ask friends if they’ve ever tried the product. I search hashtags. I watch demo videos of the product in use. I use all the resources available so that I can avoid buyer’s remorse. Fortunately, the product manufacturers supply you with the majority of those resources on their websites, social media or media placements throughout the world wide webisphere.
Surprisingly, my consumer hat and business hat look pretty similar. At heart, I’m a consumer. When it comes to purchasing products and services for video production, I do my research, ask around and watch demo videos about the particular service or item that peaks my interest. I’m fortunate that the video production industry understands my buying habit better than most. There are plenty of video demos from manufacturers and users that help supply me with the info I need. That’s not always the case in B2B. Customers are often left feeling unsatisfied.
B2B marketing is often really boring, and its videos share that same fate. For starters, a lot of B2B companies specialize in service, and that’s hard to concept for video. I mean, what does service look like in the corporate spectrum? Guys shaking hands. Woman on a headset talking. Guy using the computer. Line graphs being drawn out. It’s not exactly riveting. I can’t see immersing myself in a video full of stiffs. When was the last time you went to the movie theater to watch executives in a conference room pointing at charts and waving financial reports?
That’s why B2B marketers and video professionals have to think outside the box. Time to toot the ol’ agency horn a little bit. M/C/C just finished an anthem video for our new website. M/C/C falls into the B2B category, even though much of our clientele falls into both the B2B and B2C categories. With more than 27 years in marketing communications, M/C/C, more than most, has a better idea of what triggers the audience’s attention across the spectrum. Our new website captures that sentiment:
If you’re in B2B, most is probably dry and factual but not very creative, stylish or captivating. If you’re in B2C, the work might look and sound cool, but it’s typically soft on substance. At M/C/C, we believe your advertising and public relations should engage customers with a balanced story. With meaningful substance to help people make informed purchase decisions. And with a style that generates excitement about your brand. That’s why our communications connect with audiences so effectively. They’re logical and personal. Strategic and creative. For B2B and B2C audiences alike.
– From the new mccom.com site
Our anthem video — The Head and the Heart — complements that point of wisdom. It’s a love story between two opposites. Try to pitch the idea of a love story to most B2B clients, and you’re likely not to get your garage parking validated on the way out. Sure, it’s a little bit absurd, but it beats showing a time-lapse of me at a computer writing the very blog you’re reading.
You see, B2B video doesn’t have to be so stale. There’s a nice comfort zone between informing and entertaining where B2B videos should live. That’s where your next video project should land: informative and engaging. That was the case for one of our clients, Trilogy Circuits. We recently did an anthem video for Trilogy that not only captured the beauty of their service, it also provided the audience with a window into day-to-day operations. The video — “Anything You Can Imagine” — became the centerpiece of their website. The creative piece also earned M/C/C a trophy or two.
In my last blog article, I talked a lot about the success one B2C company, Nammi Truck, had with online video complementing a host of other social marketing. Nammi’s corporate overview was endearing, heartfelt and engaging for every audience, food fanatic or not. Nextiva, a provider of cloud-based phone services, took a similar storytelling approach from a B2B angle.
Though they have bigger clients, Nextiva’s sweet spot is marketing those phone services to small-to-medium-sized companies. They’ve taken a brilliant and often overlooked approach by highlighting customer success stories in video. Generally speaking, the customer testimonial is a win-win for all involved. From the company perspective, you gain third-party credibility when someone else shows how your product or service impacted his or her business. As the customer, you get a new avenue to share your product or service with the world. Nextiva has created a whole banquet of customer testimonials that can be used as a sales tool or for general brand consumption.
Video customer service is a large player at Nextiva. In a recent interview with Reel SEO, Nextiva’s VP of Marketing Yaniv Madjei explained that another component to the company’s video strategy is personalized Thank Yous via YouTube video. Basically, any time someone reaches out to them on social media, the fast-acting Nextiva team churns out a short video to show their gratitude. Mind B2Blown. Madjei mentioned that Nextiva is seeing a ton of leads generated from recipients sharing the videos. Pretty awesome.
As you can see, there’s a lot of different avenues for B2B video. You don’t have to stick to your factory tours, service explanations, blah, blah, blah. Be yourself. Be creative. B2B doesn’t have to be boring. Spice it up with a little romance. A little energy. A little humility. A little intrigue. And if you’re at a loss for creativity, then you’ve come to the right place.