ekaterina
Ekaterina Walter
August 8, 2014

Video Storytelling: 5 Tips for B2B Brands [Friday Five]

b2b videoMany B2B companies find themselves at a distinct disadvantage compared to their B2C colleagues when it comes to marketing their brand online. Whitepapers and complex technical brochures just don’t share well on social media, so how are you going to get your message out there to potential customers, or engage better with your existing ones?

This is where video can help you. From short, quirky Vines to longer explanatory films, the use of video in your marketing campaigns can show the visual side to your brand like nothing else.

We’re going to look at five different ways B2B brands are harnessing the power of video to help tell their story.

1) Find the fun side of your brand.

You might expect fun and flippant advertising from the more customer-facing brands, but many B2B brands are becoming experts at finding the lighter side of what they do. Intel in particular has gotten creative on Vine to produce some neat short animations that sum up both their products and their take on world events. From cyclists racing over laptops for the Tour de France (as shown below), to Intel chips scoring a goal at the World Cup, Intel is finding innovative ways to show off its products in creative, 6-second loops.

2) Capture the visual face of your brand.

Many people might struggle to put their finger on exactly what a technology or research company actually does. General Electric is using the company’s visual social media channels to capture its brand’s philosophy and day-to-day workings through images and video, with incredible results. They have a large following across channels like Pinterest and Instagram because of their sheer creativity – they showcase the quirky and imaginative side of their brand, while celebrating their long history of innovation.

GE’s short videos and animations in particular show the wonder of technology and discovery in just a few seconds.

Here’s a quick guide on 5 best practices for B2B’s using Pinterest.

3) Focus on the benefits.

Trying to explain how your products benefit your business customers can be very difficult when your business is as diverse as IBM’s. What videos can do is show the stories behind your products and how they have helped customers overcome the problems they face.

IBM’s YouTube channel ‘Made with IBM’ focuses on how their products enable their business customers to achieve their goals, whether it is through cloud computing, data and analytics, social business, mobile or research. By telling stories visually it becomes much easier to understand the solutions that IBM offers to their diverse range of clients. IBM often features real-life customers in their videos, which gives a human face to what might be quite intangible products.

4) Create how-to videos.

Many companies use video to give helpful tutorials, and this often works especially well for B2B brands. What are your frequently asked questions? Often you’ll find that a video can explain the step-by-step process more succinctly than paragraphs of text – and be more easily understood.

FedEx’s YouTube channel features a whole section of how-to videos that explain everything from how to ship internationally to how to pack your parcels or file a claim. FedEx also provides videos explaining the benefits of each of its products and services – so this is a really useful facility if your business needs to know more about shipping, without wading through pages of a website.

For more complex products or services, like RingCentral’s cloud-based business phone system, videos can be a great way to provide a general high-level overview of the product, showcase multiple new features, teach customers how to change complex settings at a user or administrator level, present customer case studies in a more personal way, and much more. Check out the RingCentral YouTube channel to learn more!

5) Humanize your products.

In the words of networking giant Cisco, “Trying to tell a story with a very technical product is challenging for many B2B brands.” But Cisco has employed the very best solution for showing the benefits and goals of their products: videos.

Cisco created a whole range of videos, some of them user-generated, to explain their Network Convergence System (NCS) to everyone, including the non-technical user, across the globe. The campaign was part of their wider Internet of Everything drive to show how Cisco connects people, data and processes and utilized their whole range of social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Vine, community, blogs, Storify and SlideShare, tied together with the official hashtag #SystemForIoE.

Three official video clips were chosen to embody the campaign, which also partnered with four Vine celebrities to highlight the benefits of the campaign in humorous and creative ways.

Conclusion

Take the time to think how videos can integrate into your wider marketing strategy, and how you can use them to relate to current and potential customers. For more tips check out this great article on Brand Storytelling, to learn how you can further connect with your customers through visual media. And just for fun, check out 5 of our favorite video marketing campaigns which put humor at the forefront of their message.