B2B brands are often criticised for their lack of humanity, and even 87% of the marketers representing them say they struggle with creating content that is human, helpful and handy. Recently the role of B2B content has been sharply brought into focus with Forrester Research’s VP and Principal Analyst, Laura Ramos, stating that the content produced by business-to-business brands as part of their marketing campaigns simply does not engage audiences or deliver value. However, we say times are changing, and with video storytelling becoming an integral part of strategy, B2B brands are leading the way with video experiences that really do spark interest and attract the customers they are looking to interact with.
Why video stories matter
From a very early age, we humans have enjoyed a story or two, with the process making us hardwired to respond to and even think in stories as we grow older. Video storytelling in particular is a powerful way to tap into people’s emotions, with the visual element of the experience so immediately impactful and then readily memorable in the mind’s eye of viewers.
2018 is the year of visual content marketing, and a large proportion of marketers – 37% to be exact – consider visual marketing the most important form of content for businesses, second only to blogging, according to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report compiled by Social Media Examiner. Images aside however, the role of video is becoming more and more focused, and it is expected that video content will represent 80% of all global internet traffic this year. It is a well-known fact that four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it, and business audiences rate videos too making them a highly effective B2B marketing tactic for raising your profile both on site and off. Even more traditional, tried and tested methods like email marketing are being influenced by video, with the mere mention of the word in an email subject line proven to boost open rates by 19% and click-through rates by 65%.
Humanising content for your audience
So people love stories, and their ability to identify themselves in a story is one thing that both B2C and B2B brands are getting rather good at. The human element is integral to B2B storytelling, and where images and words can take time to digest, video has a way of representing the essence of a story in a shorter period of time. Whilst many B2B brands are hitting the nail on the head when it comes to humanising their content for maximum engagement with their audiences, creating a video that makes your story come alive and connect isn’t an easy job.
During her recent appearance at Vidyard’s Viewtopia conference, Laura Ramos highlighted four principles that no B2B video experience should be without. Empathy, emotion, trust and engagement of the senses are the keys to success of a video story, with Ramos comparing the trust that viewers have in friends, family and peers to the impact of a great B2B video.
B2B brands who have perfected the art of video
Looking for inspiration for your B2B video storytelling campaign? The following are prime examples of B2B video storytelling at its best and how the four key principles mentioned previously can be incorporated successfully…
Schneider Electric’s Llama Superstar – A joyous mixture of humour and empowerment, Schneider Electric’s Llama Superstar is an excellent example of the funny side of emotional storytelling.
Adobe’s Click, Baby, Click – Another video funny, this time to raise awareness for the marketing capabilities of Adobe’s cloud product. Their Click, Baby, Click is another story that cements the importance of humour in B2B video storytelling, and the senses are well and truly engaged in this short but sweet narrative.
Salesforce’s Barclays’ Success Story – Putting the human into video storytelling is more than just portraying a case study to highlight the value that a product or service can have on a business. Here Salesforce puts the story and its human challenges first and their product second to instil trust and empathy.