MARKETER'S GUIDE: TO USING VIDEO

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How to Approach Video in your Business

Let's say you're a B2B firm, perhaps a quieter brand, considering a video project, looking to approach it well. These suggestions below should help, whether you're a first timer or a seasoned pro.

A) PLANNING

  1. CHOOSE A STRATEGY It really helps to choose between (A) affirming your reputation, (B) generating leads or (C) supporting sales. These strategies differ greatly in terms of content and delivery, especially for B2B or quieter brands.
  2. MAKE BRANDING SUPPORT SALES For B2B SME's, social branding is getting harder - its rewards have shrivelled. In its place, the new video-enabled sales era. When you upgrade your sales playbook with video, change your tone of voice and become more visible and helpful, your messaging more readily supports sales.
  3. STOP HIDING UK firms often hide unintenionally. Yours might be one, if your marketing is lots of text, understated photography, animations, schematics or conceptual images, and nowhere can we see you. But your clients need visible propositions, visible teams, explaining the good you do. Even software platforms should reveal the people behind them all - it just builds trust. When we truly see firms, we truly value them.
  4. UNDERSTAND YOUR MARKET Audience and competitor behaviour impacts on all firms, yours, ours, everyone's. So when we know how our audience responds to story, or how noisy our competitors are, we can build our messaging wisdom. Which means we don't waste money or effort.
  5. B2B IS MORE EMOTIONAL THAN B2C Hard to believe, but true. Major Gartner research shows that B2B buyers are MORE emotionally connected to their suppliers than B2C buyers. Sure, boards, investors and business audiences have their rational purchasing criteria, but they have hearts too - they want to feel confidence, optimism, empathy and trust. So your character and authenticity, your energy can be a reason for them to invest or buy. And where better to express that than the challenge overcome, the client need defined, the difficulty of what you do, or the joy of a successful client outcome. So embrace the value of emotion in your films, even for the dryest of audiences.
  6. YOUR USP IS UNDER YOUR NOSE Some firms worry that their USP is a weak spot. There's anxiety that it's absent from the proposition or superficial. Yet with film, being different is easy and it's demonstrable - it's in the characters, your outlook, your obvious client understanding, in your beliefs and processes, it's in everything human. And of course your firm is largely made up of humans. So your USP is everywhere. It just needs to be sought out, observed and filmed well.

B) BEFORE THE SHOOT

  1. OPEN WITH WARMTH For many B2B firms, closing a sale is easy, it's the opening that's hard. So it makes sense to invest your energy there - in the form of warm, approachable client empathy. This is easy in the hands of a good interviewer. You can't rehearse this, because it's less about tone, more about content, and getting this right will set you apart from more functional competitors.
  2. BE PRACTICAL AND HELPFUL Cutting to the chase is essential in a business video. Unlike the B2B presentation or proposal, where credentials and bragging rights often lead, you'll lose your audience quickly if you're not practical and helpful, pretty much from the off, during your warm opening. That kindness helps buyers - you build trust when you offer helpful ideas or a generous plain-talking approach. So think like your buyer - and scratch that itch.
  3. YOUR PURPOSE IS COMPELLING ENOUGH If you're uncertain what to say in your videos, a great starting point is simply telling the story of your everyday work. Answering questions like 'what's going on here?' and 'why?' automatically reveals your purpose. And these simple human stories of aims achieved, or pains and challenges overcome reveal that purpose. Which audiences love. So reveal how you lead, inspire, innovate or even just simply grind - and your filmed stories will build appeal.
  4. THERE IS ALWAYS HIDDEN BEAUTY Work is beautiful - when we see others at work, we feel inspired. And your firm is beautiful - yet you may be blind to it. It doesn't have to be in your premises or location. It can be in your people, your processes, your client visualisation or your culture. Even in the way the sun lights up your walls. Audiences love these visual charms, and your films should reveal them.
  5. THE POWER OF BEFORE AND AFTER Transformation tells a compelling story, and unearthing that inside your firm is the job of your films. Universally admired, the natural 'before and after' video is one of the quickest ways not just to explain and engage audiences, but also to build optimism and trust.
  6. VISUALISE EVERYTHING 70% of our brains are given over to visual processing. Even kinesthetic and auditory learners have a strong visual appetite; the cinema isn't only filled with visual learners. Good visuals always inspire, and that influences emotion and buying decisions. Just look at all the sites you love - they're not visually dull are they?
  7. BE REVEALING WHEN YOU EXPLAIN Show how you work, where you work, how you think, what you believe. It's easy to tighten up in front of a camera, to become cautious. The way back to a relaxed approach is to state the obvious. Just keep going, cut the waffle, make your answers short and punchy. So don't be lateral, don't be vague. Be revealing in every video.
  8. AVOID PUFFERY Trust is everything - it's the most valuable emotion our buyers can feel: it changes their behaviour. So be truthful, authentic, unadorned, accurate. You don't need to inflate the good you do with complex language, or to pretend you're bigger or more influential. Showing it will be just right. And audiences will thank you.

C) CONNECTING WITH BUYERS

  1. ⋮⋮⋮ GET THE FILMS SEEN Invest time and some money in getting your films actually seen, by the right audiences, at their right moment.
  2. TURN THE PROSPECTING TAP ON Find B2B prospects socially - video in the social web offers huge prospecting opportunity.
  3. @ USE EMAIL CONFIDENTLY B2B email still delivers - email and video combined still deliver good canvassing, if done properly.
  4. REPEAT YOUR FACTS Hard facts build belief, and the unadorned truth approach builds this king emotion. 56% tells us you're honest. 93% suggests you're not. Use your facts carefully.
  5. BRING EXPERTS FORWARD Audiences like heroes - quiet, determined experts who getthings done. Their compelling stories deserve recognition.
  6. INVERTING YOUR SILENCE Many firms feel they lack something unique to say, and consequently remain schtum. Which hurts sales and growth of course. Yet filming your firm often reveals gems, it's a kind of sympathetic audit to find the good you do.

As marketing film-makers, we believe that ideas, pitches, demos - even facts and logical arguments - are best expressed with humanity, because they engage more. Agree? Then call us and let's get to work!