Looking at Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat you’d be forgiven for thinking video is all about daft dogs, grumpy cats, cute babies and drunk people falling over.
They are, of course, all highly amusing and do account for a large part of the 300 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. However, a lot of videos are now centred around getting business messages across to target audiences quickly, effectively and engagingly.
Ok, I know that’s not as much fun as a dog balancing a biscuit on his nose or a toddler singing Bohemian Rhapsody. But it does work and it does get results. In fact, the Aberdeen Group found that companies who use video for marketing grew their revenues 49% faster than those who don’t use video. (Sorry, sneaked a stat in there. But it does prove my point).
However, it’s not enough to just knock out any old video and wait for the sales figures to start going through the roof. Businesses have got to be smarter than that. Especially as they’ll increasingly find every other company trying to get their ‘content’ out there.
So, as a new agency packed with a lot of very experienced people, all experts in producing successful B2B video, what do we recommend?
Well, like all good advertising, every effective communication needs to start with a good proposition. And that’s something often forgotten amidst tight deadlines and a culture of ‘agile’ marketing – or, in other words, doing everything in a rush.
As a creative director who’s been in the industry since long lunches were in fashion, I’ll just remind you what that is. It’s a single compelling reason for someone else to buy whatever it is you’re selling – whether it’s a diamanté dog collar or an end-to-end Digital Platform.
This proposition is also often referred to as your USP or Unique Selling Point. You know, that thing that makes you different and more attractive than any other competitor.
You may have created a brand-new product that answers a specific need. And if you have I’d just like to say ‘well done!’ But it’s more likely to be price. Or it could be quality or experience. Or character and attitude. They all can work – if people know what makes you stand out. Hence the video.
There’s a world of advice out there about what makes a good proposition – and it’s probably written a lot better than this. So, if you’re unsure, Google it. Chances are your marketing department, if you’ve got one, will already be all over it.
But video isn’t always about sales. Videos are a great way to sum up messages for AGMs. They’re equally good for demonstrating products. In each case there’s still a proposition – whether it’s something really tough like; ‘Our bank is on your side’ or something really simple like ‘3 steps to switching your TV on’.
It pays to really have a good think before you get started on making a video. Because – and this gets onto our second most important point – you have probably 3 minutes max to get both your proposition – and your proof of it – across. And ideally you should be trying to do it in less.
It may not sound like a lot. But in the world of video it definitely is. Remember most TV Ads are just 30 seconds long. Yeah, I know some of them seem to last ages – but others can tell a whole life story in those few seconds.
For B2B or corporate videos you’ve probably got a little more time to play with. But not much. Because the truth is – and you’ll forgive me for appropriating from Timothy Leary – people will ‘turn on, tune in and switch off’ even the best videos if they’re dragging on.
Knowing your budget helps. And being realistic about what that buys is also good. It’s all too easy to think that, in a globally competitive world of graphic wizards, inspired animators and dynamic directors, a few bucks will buy you a blockbuster.
But to create compelling, cost-effective videos that deliver enviable ROI’s, you need a team of really talented people. And bringing them all together – from scriptwriters to animators, from camera operators to voice over artists – is an art in itself.
Any good video production experts – like us – should be telling you the same thing. What’s more they should help you refine your message, write a script that gets it across and find a style that makes the most of your money – whether it’s an all singing, all dancing animated extravaganza or a stunning but simple 2D graphic treatment.
Anyway, I’d better not bang on about it on here if I’m going to heed my own advice. The essence of a good B2B video is: Make it focused. Make it short. Make it on budget. And, one last thing; make it with someone who knows what they’re doing.
Oh, before I go, I know a lot of marketing people like to have a plethora of stats to pile into every presentation. So, if you’re trying to sell video into your board, here’s some more food for thought from Insivia: