Jewel Marketing
Taiwan Content Marketing

B2B Social Media: How To Do Video Better

By Jason Patterson

Founder of Jewel Content Marketing Agency
Video, especially short video, is considered the most engaging form of social media content. The social media hubs have been pushing video content for years, but the rise of TikTok has really lit a fire under their collective asses. And if you're a B2B business, I'm not saying you need to be on TikTok (that depends on whether your customers are there), but I am saying that as the field increasingly tilts towards video on all social media channels, you may want to take advantage of this.

But that's easier said than done. Most B2B orgs can't just vomit smartphone-shot nonsense onto LinkedIn and expect the results they want. And good quality professionally-made video costs money, often an order of magnitude more than good quality professionally-written content. So you need ways to either create video content more affordably, maximize its utility, or both, especially since YouTube is the second most used B2B social media channel by B2B marketers and their clients, And I'm here to help with both.

Video Content Can Help At Every Content Marketing Funnel Stage

B2B social media marketing is generally considered an awareness tactic, at least organically, but video can boost your consideration output and lead-gen success on social as well, if you do it right.

No-Host Off-Camera Video Interviews Are Good For B2B Awareness

Content with a human touch works best on social media and having at least some awareness content with a real-live expert talking gives people more reasons to follow you than simply having a bunch of written content (that may have been authored by AIs or SEO-savvy freelance writers instead of real subject matter experts).

LinkedIn is cluttered with video podcasters touting the utility of their two-way long-form interview format, but despite their omnipresence on the platform, finding a good podcast host is challenging (filling up what would otherwise be dead air with lively banter and interacting well with guests and making them feel at ease and engaged is a rare skill, even among people who otherwise speak well or look good on camera). And even if you do find one (and can afford them), the format has other limitations.

It's not that I think podcast interviews don't work. I think they can be quite good in audio-only format, especially if the audience isn't the sort that always works at a desk. But for video, having two people talking to each other on camera can create problems, which is why I think more businesses should go old school and focus more on straight off-camera video interviews, with a guest answering questions more or less directly into the camera, and no one (seen or heard) hosting the video.

I like this format for four reasons. One, it's often cheaper and easier to do well than podcasts (which depend on two people, often in two different locations, not screwing up or encountering technical problems instead of just one person). Two, now that we're all more accustomed to remote video calls and webinars and so forth, video interviews don't necessarily need to be produced with the same level of "in the studio" professionalism that they were in the past.

Three, without a host, the questions must be presented to the viewer in text format before and between answers, with the latter providing convenient visual pauses that break up the interview, making them feel shorter. And four, this format is extremely versatile in terms of how it can be edited. With only one person talking, you have a lot of freedom in how you can cut and splice footage, certainly a lot more than if two people are talking on camera.

When two people talk to each other, sometimes they talk over each other, making those spots hard to deal with during editing. And when the interview questions aren't seen or heard on camera, you can actually change the on-screen question if the interviewee doesn't really answer the original question asked (a common problem in interviews). In other words, you can change the question in post to better match the answer.

This versatility can get you a lot of mileage out of no-host off-camera interviews. For example, on one project I've worked on, where about ten different people were interviewed on camera without a host, answering questions about similar groups of topics, I was able to produce 30 different videos that were 2-3 minutes each, with each video focused on a different theme, topic, or person.

Short Explainer Videos Are Good For Consideration

Consideration is the middle-child of content marketing (i.e., it tends to be neglected compared to the other funnel stages). However, one good way you can talk more about your products (and their key features) on social media is to publish short instructional videos on how to use key features (or how to use new features) and that demonstrate them.

And this might not sound sexy, but one company that likes to do this is Microsoft, and I consider them a company worth emulating when it comes to content marketing.

And the beauty of it is that these explainer videos don't even look like you're selling, they look like you're serving, and if you're a small or medium-sized company, it potentially makes it look like you've got more customers out there than you actually do, which can be a very good thing.

And the even greater beauty of it is you might already be making this stuff, just presently buried somewhere in the customer support or user center section of your website.

Want Better B2B Lead-Gen? Try Storytelling

One of the big problems with B2B product/solution videos is they tend to just read key features out loud for three minutes. This is an inherently flawed way to use video, for two reasons. One, it's inefficient. People can read over 600 words of text in three minutes (which is a full product page), but a voice in a video can only speak at about half that speed.

And two, a disembodied voice reading off speeds and feeds is just plain boring. It's easier to get away with a dull product/solution video during the pitch, when the audience is trapped in the same room with you, and sales is there to help liven things up.

But when it comes to lead-gen on social media, you've got to be more audience-friendly, and people are accustomed to videos that provide instructions or tell stories. And we've already got instructions already covered in consideration, so for lead-gen let's try focusing on storytelling.

Introduce an animated hero and have them go about their workday, solving problems using your product. And the animation doesn't have to be tremendously sophisticated. You can keep it simple, provided it has some style, and the script and the presentation are engaging and/or humorous.

A nice little animated story can be a way to stand out from the boring AF product videos your competitors use, or in social media video marketing more generally, and standing out is something B2B brands desperately need, making it worth investing a little money in.

Jewel Marketing Jewel Marketing Jewel Marketing Jewel Marketing Jewel Marketing