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Viral videos? First have a B2B video marketing strategy

A client asked for a bit of help in putting together a video strategy for next year’s marketing plan. His management team was really keen on viral videos but we were able to stretch the brief a bit. In writing a reply, we realised that there are so many different ways of using video in B2B content marketing – not just the obvious video demos and viral videos (a term we’re a bit dubious about).

Velocity has done a hell of a lot of B2B marketing videos in the last year or so and only a few have been what most people would call viral video — like this one for your favourite marketing automation vendor:

Before running through the different types of video marketing – and giving examples – it’s good to think about the marketing goals that video can serve:

Video marketing goals

Thought leadership video – taking a stance on an issue or simply sharing best practice.

Product marketing video – including product tours, demonstrations and tutorials.

Case story video – including interviews and talking heads featuring customers – and maybe jazzing them up with the more televisual elements of the customer business (great if they happen to make beer or skiwear; not so great if they’re in insurance).

Video that humanises the brand — fun or viral videos – These are videos with a bit of humour; something you hope will be passed around, linked to or tweeted. Like this one we did a while back (a public service video with our new voice-over)

We’ve experimented with using xtranormal (a text to video tool) for this. It’s a kind of off-the-shelf animation tool with robot speech. Fun, fast and cheap. Here’s an obscene example. The humour in these often comes from the fact that a robot is saying human-like things (especially swearing).

Blogger-relations videos – Where one of your senior people name-checks some key bloggers.

We did this for Cisco and the bloggers really responded to it, with lots of backlinks & posts. (The link drops you in at 2:13 for the blogger mention but you can watch from the start if you’re thinking of transforming your data centre).

TYPES OR STYLES OF B2B VIDEO MARKETING

Taking any of these goals, there are then a lot of different types of video marketing, including:

VIDEO INTERVIEWS

Smart people, saying smart things.  One at a time or multi-person films on a single theme or issue

(Five standalone case videos can be re-cut into some themed pieces)

We like using an off-screen interviewer, editing out the questions and using title cards to introduce topics. Sometimes with a fixed and a hand-held camera for cut-aways.

VIDEO WHITEBOARD SESSIONS

Get your best presenters to give an informal presentations at a whiteboard or flip chart.

Like this one we did for App-DNA.

Success depends on a good, natural presenter.

You don’t need fancy production values: you’re presenting a chalk-talk.

These are great for introductory stuff but can also do deep drill-down material for later in the marketing funnel.

ANIMATED VIDEO MARKETING

You don’t have to do the standard flashy icons-in-white-space video. Put a bit of fun in your video marketing with something like this ‘Monty Python’ one we did for Hyperion:

Or something like stop-motion, low-tech video marketing can be really fun in a high-tech market.

Here’s a Lego Man one we did for ShipServ.

 

‘KINETIC TYPE’ VIDEO

Write a snappy script, animate every word spoken with on-screen type that zooms in, animates, etc. Again, one for ShipServ:

 

DOCUMENTARY-STYLE VIDEO MARKETING

Treat the topic as a documentary filmmaker would. Like this one we did for VNL in a rural Indian village:

 

SCREEN-BASED VIDEO MARKETING TOURS

This one for dotMobi combines a screen tour with an interview.

(We shot off the mobile because of time and budget constraints. Should have done proper screen grabs).

 

WEBINAR OR PRESENTATION VIDEOS

Just capture the audio and show the slides and/or the speakers.

These can be boring to watch after the event but there are ways to jazz it up.

 

ROUNDTABLE VIDEO MARKETING

Hold a roundtable, shoot the proceedings and edit it into something snappy.

 

Getting more from your video marketing content

Although you can crank out a decent viral video or video interview with very little budget, video does tend to cost a bit more than other types of content marketing. So here are some ways to squeeze more from your videos:

– Recut previous video content into new pieces – five old case studies can give you the material for a brand new thought piece on a given issue.

Do ‘Takeaway’ pdfs or web pages that summarise the session (creating new downloads and giving you extra SEO juice). Salesforce.com did these Dreamforce Takeaways – short summaries of the best sessions from the Dreamforce event. A great way to turn video into content that search spiders can crawl..

Use transcripts of the text – take the whole script and get it on a web page somewhere for easy reading and SEO.

Turn your video marketing into blog posts, articles or even an eBook – just extract the ideas, simmer and re-spin.

Create sound bite extracts for presentations and sales teams – so they can drop a 10-second video clip into a powerpoint deck

An interactive Tablet Magazine for iPad or Android – video is great in an interactive magazine or eBook (we like PressRun for this and not just because they’re a client)

-- Create a soundboard – like this Alec Baldwin one (only much prettier and with good content!)

 

The Bottom Line?

Video is not only an incredibly powerful medium for B2B marketing, it’s also a flexible one. The trick is to be clear about your goals, choose the right kind of video to accomplish them and maximise their impact through promotion and re-purposing.

So that’s our B2B marketing video summary — and only a little bit of it was really about viral videos.

We’d love to hear your experiences and see any examples of B2B video marketing you’ve done (or just ones you like).

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