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Video for business development and sales needs to be less sales-y and more sociable.

People spend more than 100,000,000 hours every day watching video on Facebook, which will soon be 100% video, according to Mark Zuckerberg. Sales and marketing people take note: video is a medium used for everyday social communication. That makes sense — it’s just another thing we do with a smartphone. But most B2B video — especially video targeting tech buyers — doesn’t feel at all like social communication for regular people. It feels forced, message-y, and sales-y; kind of like commercials on TV. Here are some ideas for creating videos for business development and sales that fits naturally into the way today’s buyers communicate.

Use Video to Activate Other Media

Marketers surveyed by Ascend2 ranked the importance and effectiveness of common video types as follows:

  1. Customer testimonials
  2. On-demand product demonstration videos
  3. Explainer and tutorial videos
  4. Thought leader interviews
  5. Project reviews and case studies
  6. Live and on-demand webinars
  7. Video blogs
  8. Event videos

This list makes sense. But look at it from the buyer’s perspective. Buyers don’t want thought leadership, they want new ideas. They don’t want testimonials, they want to find out how your solution works for people like them. So why not enrich your other content with ideas from your thought leadership videos and anecdotes from your testimonials? You can incorporate snippets from existing videos in emails. Brighten up your product sheet PDFs with testimonials. Use video or animated gifs to describe your procedures and methodologies instead of lame PowerPoint animations.

When is Branding Really Necessary?

Scrolling your newsfeed past the stuff that isn’t super-appealing accounts for a lot of social media activity. And one of the things most likely to be scrolled past is the spiffy opening animation for your corporate video. Or your spokesperson earnestly addressing the camera. The opening frames of a video need a great hook to stop the scrolling: something, alluring, funny, or surprising. Captions combined with graphics or live action video tell the viewer a lot right off. So does a great title. Your animated logo, probably not so much. 

Remember the Context

Another aspect of branding worth noting is that most B2B videos will viewed on the brand’s website, YouTube, Facebook, or somewhere else with brand identity to spare. No need to spend those critical few seconds of viewing time on it.

Sharing Expert Opinions

Buyers crave the information and new ideas that your subject matter experts can share. Your SMEs are probably already cranking out blog posts and visiting key accounts. But there’s not enough of them to go around. Sharing their insights in bite-size videos can help satisfy buyers’ cravings and extend your brand almost indefinitely.

And because they’re produced to speak directly to buyers’ needs, they can be produced on the cheap — with a smartphone or webcam, for example. You’ll want to edit and enhance these videos with captions and graphics — but that’s not expensive. The only significant investment is in the editorial skill required to show off your expert’s ideas in a video that’s concise and professional. Few people watch half-hour interviews all the way through. Packaging your SMEs in two-minute — or thirty-second — chunks will provide a long-lasting research resource for future buyers.

Video Content for Business Development is Just a Video

The thing to remember is, it’s just a video. Video content buyers doesn’t need to be a TV production. If you’ve got something to say that buyers will value, something that will help engage them in your selling process, just say it with a video. If it’s a video for business development, its only goal should be to get the viewer to seek more information. That’s it.


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Bruce McKenzie

About Bruce McKenzie

Since 2004, Bruce McKenzie, founding partner of Business Information Graphics, New York, and inventor of the 2-Minute Explainer(R), has been developing videos to increase sales engagement for companies such as IBM, Cisco, Brocade, Quantum, Compuware, and many B2B technology startups.

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