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August 7, 2012

A practical “power guide” to Video in B2B

by Tom De Baere

Page 2: How to create effective B2B video’s, without high costs?

Your marketing team can create interviews with your customers:

  • Create video interviews with your customers on how they use your products, why they bought it, but in a podcast style. The advantages are clear: faster, cheaper, and more authentic.
  • Do not make the videos too stiff, because nobody wants to view yet another polished corporate advertisement. Instead, viewers want to receive information, and at the same time be amused. Usually your buyers already will have heard about the topic. By using humour you do not make the boring topic even more boring to them. It also improves your image as a company in being different and fun to work with. After all, you are communicating to people, you are dealing with humans: it’s OK to have fun.

Your customers could create videos and stories:

  • You can motivate your customers to produce their own video testimonials, by giving an incentive in which the most appealing and fun testimonials make it to your website and your annual customer/partner conference. Typically engineers or specialists are the guys who would go through the trouble to make such videos. And these are the profiles you need, as they are more authentic testimonials than any other. A great way to provide an incentive to people is to give them free iTunes downloads as a prize or a subscription to a premium account on Spotify ( these type of prizes allows them to immediately benefit from their prize, and they have more freedom on how to fill it in. Other incentives can be e.a. an invitation to a tradeshow including travel and lodging.

Your account managers making videos:

  • When your account managers are visiting a friendly customer, they could ask for a very short interview in which they ask some of the below questions (and notquestions about how happy they are with your company):
    • What is the business you are in?
    • What products and applications are you offering to your customers?
    • In which applications are you using our products? Which products?
    • Why are you using our products?
    • What problems where you facing, that made you choose for our products?
    • ….

These interviews can be conducted with a simple digital photo-camera, or with a descent smartphone. If you want to use an HD camera, go ahead: they are not expensive these days, and easy to work with.

Legal implications? Don’t worry, this simple trick will help you

In case you are worried about legal implications when recording and publishing interviewed customers on the internet, here’s an easy way to solve that: when you press the record button on your video camera, simply ask the person you are interviewing if it is OK that you post the video on your website.

In that way the agreement is on video, and there is no need to have any communication back and forward between the company legal advisors and your company. During the video editing process, you cut and save those statements, done!

Video demonstrations

If you think your products lend themselves for “quick product demonstrations”, then go for it. Showing is very important in B2B, and video is the ideal medium to do so.

Why not have a product manager or a technical architect of your company explain the highlights of a certain product while handling the product in real life, explaining where the products are used, and what problems it solves.

I am sure if a customer can choose to go through a boring commercial PDF file, which he might not do, or instead have a look at a 1-3 minutes video, he will go for the last option.

You could creating videos part of your product marketing launch process so that with every new product launch you also have a video to go with it. You could call it “View from the engineer” or similar and have it featured on your blog, or on your corporate website.

I do not have the time to create video’s !

The ideas in the introduction are examples on how you could go about in creating that video content. But where do you start, now, in 2012 ?

How can you realise this on top of our already busy shedule ?

The answer is rather simple: step by step. First start with the things that you can easily implement with limited resources, and with easy to do topics that you can produce in-house.

Once you have a little bit experience in producing this in-house produced video’s, you can gradually move into producing video’s (still made by your own people, so not out-sourced) that are more interviews of customers, thought leaders and key industry players.

Another easy to do video is interviewing a VP of Sales, or a Product Manager, or multiple product managers, who are at a tradeshow, and ask them some questions relevant to our buyers.

My learnings (this one really solves a lot of time and can be inexpensive)

I learned that it is easier to just shoot the raw video, and then have the video professionally edited and finished by a company that knows what they are doing. They can create a professional start (“ a bumper”) of the video, and add text to the video (“SVO’s”).

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