There’s nothing like a large-scale, live event to get people talking. For some folks that’s the Super Bowl or Met Gala, but for me it’s our flagship virtual event, Reach: Intent. Content. Demand because it gets me most excited about what it means to be a marketer today.
Although it may not be quite as star-studded as the US Open, or on the same scale as the Oscars (but I do highly encourage hosting a Reach viewing party with snacks and a big screen), it shares the same ethos. We plan all year for it and focus on amplifying the best and brightest talents in our industry to break down the topics that matter most as we go into the upcoming year.
Which is why I was so excited to host the keynote event of our Content track with Maxwell Iskiev at HubSpot. Max may have one of the cooler jobs out there. In his role as Senior Market Research Analyst, he looks at trends in marketing, sales, consumer habits and social media, and shares his research findings on the HubSpot blog.
Since my team’s best practices and research are focused on longer-form webinar and virtual event content for lead gen and brand marketing, I knew pooling our observations with Max’s findings would help guide fellow marketers with a comprehensive framework for developing a winning B2B video strategy.
In the webinar (which you can check out on-demand), we break down five key trends to test and perfect. I wanted to drill into the first trend a bit more as I believe it represents a necessary shift in how we think about B2B storytelling tactics.
If you are a consumer of any content across social media, you’ve likely found yourself down a rabbit hole lasting many minutes (okay hours) as you consume dozens of short-form, highly engaging videos. The snackable content gives a voice to any expert or creator out there with something to say. So, although cleaning hacks, animal videos and dance videos started the craze, it’s no shock that B2C brands have really jumped on the bandwagon.
B2C has embraced the era of short-form video content
The nature of consumer purchase cycles makes short-form, fun content a no brainer. The buying process can be as simple as watching one of Chipotle’s “dips you should try” videos and ending up at your neighborhood burrito chain for lunch later that day. But purchases of sophisticated, pricey IT solutions are often months and even years in the making, with buying teams comprised of many stakeholders with varying needs. So, while employing the exact same B2C tactics doesn’t quite make sense for B2B tech companies, there’s much that can be borrowed and adapted for B2B objectives.
2. Consider authentic, relatable or (sometimes) humorous content. Max’s latest data from HubSpot shows that 68% of consumers think it is more important that a marketing video be authentic and relatable than polished with high-quality video and audio. Take a page out of B2C’s book by playing with more entertaining ways to capture content. We aren’t going for perfection – value is best delivered in an engaging and relatable way. The occasional “um” while someone is speaking or a brief interruption from child or pet doesn’t make the content unusable – as long as you are providing true insight.
3. Pull in engaging graphics. And while we aren’t going perfection, there are situations where advanced video production efforts will really help your content sing. BrightTALK’s in-house video production team, Studios, works with my team and our clients to create sophisticated video content for a range of marketing purposes. Just like B2C often taps into captions, music, emojis and fun graphics, consider enriching your video storytelling with graphics, data visualizations and other add-ons.
4. Use episodic content to create deeper engagement. If you’ve tuned into our Build a Better Webinar series before, you know that we are fans of episodic content. This is a tactic that drives audience re-engagement and creates deep brand connections around particular topics. The next time you watch an influencer’s umpteenth video on cleaning, cooking or any other hacks, think about how this style of serialized content could be adapted in your space for your long-form video strategy. We have a guide on building out your own webinar series here.
5. Employ new storytelling and teaching techniques. Each year I’m impressed by how marketers continue to raise the bar on content quality. Stay ahead of the curve by coaching speakers to try new techniques for breaking down dry or complicated B2B tactics. Borrow the matter-of-fact and rapid-fire storytelling techniques used in short-form B2C content to captivate your viewers and highlight your solutions.
With those five tips in mind, you’ll be elevating your B2B video strategy in no time. Remember that to be a good content creator, you must first be a thoughtful consumer of great content. And know that the BrightTALK team is always here to help on all things video production, content strategy and lead generation.
P.S. You somehow didn’t have Reach on your calendar? Check out the lineup on-demand here. Super Bowl snacks not required but encouraged.