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
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.