If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a video speaks a whole lot more.
Sharing videos on social media is becoming common practice for B2B brands, with research showing that 69% already use video in their social strategies and a further 31% planning on doing so in the future.
Getting video right is hard, though.
A lot of brands get caught up in the idea that they need fancy equipment and Hollywood-style editing skills to make their videos stand out, but this is far from the truth.
In fact, the videos that perform best on social media and are shared far and wide are often “home video” style affairs. Users are most interested in informative and interesting content when scrolling through their feeds and will bypass promotional videos most of the time.
So how do you make sure your videos don’t get passed over and instead get liked and shared?
1. Keep It Short
The attention span of online users is falling rapidly by the day, which means shorter videos tend to perform better. If you can get your message across in 30 seconds rather than two minutes, do it.
Most messages can be conveyed in around 90 seconds, which is around 270 words of a script – seems like nothing, right?
But, for internet users with an average eight-second attention span, even 90 seconds can seem like a lifetime (which is precisely why platforms like Instagram began with a 15-second video limit).
This can really test your creativity but, if done right, it can be hugely successful. You can try filming a preview, a stop motion, or creatively loop a single piece of footage and still get good results.
Take Zendesk as an example. The cloud-based customer service company creates 16-second videos that perform really well.
2. Incorporate User Stories
Social media users are savvier than any type of consumer that came before them, which means they are ultimately distrustful of branded content. As a result, you can boost your share count by asking your customers to create videos rather than your marketing team.
This type of user-generated content can get incredible results, particularly if you have a number of customers posting videos in a short timeframe.
This is exactly the tactic Slack used. One of their customers, a production company, filmed a video about using the product that is both honest and well-filmed.
3. Make It Relatable
Emotions are a powerful indication of whether someone is going to share a video on social media. If you can make people think, feel, and act, you’re going to get far more shares than a video that makes them feel nothing at all.
Research has shown that showcasing the features, functions, and business outcomes of your brand results in just 21% higher engagement levels, whereas marketing that focuses on the emotional benefits results in a 42% boost.
This highlights how important it is to create videos that are centered around your audience. Start by recognizing their pain points and using emotion to share a solution rather than speaking directly from a brand perspective.
For B2B businesses that tend to deal less with emotions and more with facts, this can be a really powerful tactic, especially if you’re one of the only B2B brands out there doing it.
Lenovo’s “Chad and Jane” videos were made specifically to resonate with prospects. The humorous videos highlight relatable scenarios that IT professionals might find themselves in and offer a refreshing alternative to promotional content.
4. Align Videos With the Sales Funnel
The most-shared B2B videos on social media tend to fall under the awareness and consideration stages of the sales funnel. This means they’re mostly educational and entertaining rather than promotional and sale-sy.
The key is to think about what prospects need at each stage of the sales funnel as this helps them to really resonate with what you’re offering and are, therefore, far more likely to share your video.
For the awareness stage, you can create videos that center around a key question prospects might have.
These kind of videos are popular on social media because they provide a great way to share information with prospects who may not have the time to read an entire blog post on the topic.
At the consideration stage, you can afford to make your videos more company-specific.
This might mean sharing customer case studies and behind-the-scenes highlights that show prospects what you’re all about and give an insight into the personality behind your brand.
B2B Brands Can Still Go Video Viral
It’s easy to think that, as a B2B brand, you’ll never hit the jackpot and create a video that goes viral. But don’t be so hard on yourself.
Take the “Epic Splits” video from Volvo Trucks featuring Claud Van Damme a few years ago. The coverage generated from that one video alone added up to the equivalent of Volvo spending $120 million on advertising – not to mention the video was absolutely everywhere for a good few months.
Video is a great way to offer a more human insight into your B2B brand. Ones that resonate with your audience, spark an emotional response, and align with customer needs have a high chance of getting shared all over the shop and, if you’re lucky, hit that viral jackpot.