Sometimes I get asked:
“Summer, I’m in B2B. Is it too late for me to get into video marketing? It feels like everyone and their hamster is doing it, and my message stands no chance of getting noticed.”
If that’s you… I feel you.
The B2B space is absolutely drenched in marketing videos right now. It can really feel as though you’re late to the party, and everyone else has already jumped on the bandwagon while you’re just now getting a running start.
But hear me out:
Just because everyone is doing it… doesn’t mean they are doing it well.
In fact, if my own encounters with B2B marketing videos are anything to go by (I get sent sooo many of these things every day), it’s actually easy to stand out and get noticed! Because 99% of those videos
are tied for the worst thing I’ve ever seen with my own two eyes could use some improvement.
(To put it extremely politely.)
That’s why this week, I’m going to help you create the 1% of B2B marketing videos that outclass, outshine, and out-convert the other 99%.
For today’s article, I’ll be sharing with you 5 immutable rules for producing B2B marketing videos that convert. And, just to beef up the theory with exciting practical insights, I also hand-picked 5 videos from all over the internet that implement those rules beautifully!
Read on, and you will learn:
- The 2 biggest, baddest challenges of B2B sales… and how the first 30 seconds of your video can help you leapfrog right over them
- One innocuous but lethal mistake that can kill the momentum of your video, and how to avoid it (B2B marketers make it all the time!)
- How to get your ideal prospects to fall in love with your solution — by mastering the “3 levels of offer understanding.”
- The #1 “missing ingredient” that hamstrings most B2B marketing videos and makes them underperform (always, always include it in your assets).
Now, let’s get started with the first, and most critical, rule of them all…
1. Lead with a big, gnarly, “must-solve-NOW” problem
Two massive challenges of B2B sales and marketing are:
- Ludicrous levels of competition, especially in crowded spaces like SaaS.
- Notoriously long sales cycles — it can take months to close the deal.
An effective B2B marketing video can help you sidestep these challenges. How?
It can position your offer as an essential solution to an immediate, unignorable problem.
That way, when your prospects look at your product and service, they won’t see something that would be nice to have — someday. If there’s room in the budget… And the stars align… And they haven’t lost your business card between the couch cushions…
Instead, they will see something they simply must have — no matter what.
They will find the budget; they will make the time; they will persuade the other stakeholders. They will do whatever it takes, because the alternative to buying your solution…
…is to keep suffering from The Problem. And that’s too painful and too costly to tolerate.
Wanna create a high-converting B2B marketing video? Find The Problem, and make it the starting point for your entire message.
Let’s see how another brand has done it…
Real-life example: check out this explainer video by MakerSite. This company helps manufacturers create better products, faster — and that’s exactly what the video opens with.
The script wastes no time latching on to the #1 pain point of all product manufacturers. The video asks hard-hitting questions like, “How long does it take for your teams to estimate production costs?” — and continues to agitate the problem from there.
By the time the viewers hear the actual offer, they are more eager than ever to find a solution to their problem… which is exactly what the video gives them!
2. Don’t speak to the business — speak to the person
Remember: even though B2B stands for “business to business”… at the end of the day you’re still dealing with people.
A company doesn’t have needs and goals independent of those who lead it and work in it. And in order to make a sale, it’s usually a specific person (or people) in charge you have to persuade.
Selling the same product or service can look very different depending on your audience. A CEO will have different priorities in mind from, say, a VP of Sales, or a Project Manager, or any other decision maker.
Always know exactly who you’re talking to — and make sure that your B2B marketing video speaks to their specific needs, goals, and problems.
And I don’t just mean those related to their role in the company…
…but also the internal goals, needs, and problems of your prospects as people, who also happen to run a business.
(E.g. a Project Manager doesn’t just want to get the team aligned and consistently meet goals — they also want to feel proud and accomplished, and look like a hero to company leadership.)
Now let’s see what it can look like in practice.
Real-life example: here’s a B2B marketing video that brilliantly shows what I mean — “Intro to Salesforce for Small Business.”
Here, Salesforce is marketing to a very specific customer persona… a sole proprietor in a small business.
The video zeroes in on the biggest challenge for all solopreneurs: needing to wear many hats and juggle tons of different tasks and responsibilities. Then, it shows how all the different features help to solve this huge problem — making the business owner’s life 10X easier and massively accelerating growth.
3. Connect the dots from features, to benefits, to outcomes
No matter what you sell, prospects will usually engage with your product or service at 3 different levels of understanding:
Level 1. Knowing WHAT your solution does (a.k.a. features). This is the most basic level, and you want your B2B marketing videos to get past it as soon as possible.
Why? Because nobody cares about features! They simply don’t resonate with buyers, because people can’t see the connection between features and their own needs and goals.
So to get ‘em giddy about the idea of using your solution, you at least need to reach…
Level 2. Knowing HOW your solution helps them (a.k.a. benefits). Now, benefits are plenty exciting! They show the immediate impact of using your product or service on your prospects’ lives. And that’s everything that potential buyers care about.
You can take any feature and drill down to reveal the underlying benefits — and use them to enhance your B2B marketing message. For example:
Feature: “Our agency can analyze your funnel on 50+ key metrics” (*yawn* so what?)
Feature + Benefit: “We’ll analyze your funnel on 50+ key metrics, showing you exactly which areas are underperforming — and how you can fix them for more conversions and sales.” (heck yes, sign me up!)
And finally, we have…
Level 3. Knowing WHY your solution is so game-changing (a.k.a. outcomes). Outcomes mentally transport your prospects into the future, showing them how your product or service will transform their business and life in the long run.
Now, immediate results (benefits) are great and all — and probably enough to persuade your B2B prospects on their own, to be honest. But: if you can also demonstrate the strategic, long-term impact of your offer, then you will position your solution as not just the best choice…
…but the only choice.
Real-life example: this extremely charming explainer video by WorkingFrom_ (seriously, how amazing is that art style?) strikes the perfect balance of “features vs. benefits.” Notice how they never invoke a single feature without backing it up with a corresponding benefit! Masterful.
4. Anticipate and counter top objections
Don’t you wish sometimes that sales were easier?
Would it be too much to ask to describe your offer to a prospect and have them say yes or no (preferably yes) right then and there… without any need for extra explanations or follow-up questions?
But nooo, it’s always gotta be, “Will this work for me?” / “Why is it so expensive?” / “How are you better than [your much more famous competitor]?” UGH!
Sadly for all of us, objections are an intrinsic part of the sales process. In fact, I would argue that a prospect having objections is a great sign… because it means they are seriously considering your offer!
It’s human nature to ask questions and seek reassurance — so instead of railing against it, let’s plan for it and construct our B2B marketing videos accordingly.
- Make a list of the top 1-3 objections that your target customers always seem to have.
- Write down your answers to those objections — or just swipe them from your sales reps.
- Incorporate those responses into your B2B marketing videos. The best place to do so is immediately after revealing your product or service, a.k.a. just past the middle point of the video.
Alternatively, you can sprinkle objection counters throughout the script wherever it makes sense! Here’s an example from a real company that might help…
Real-life example: check out this explainer video by Pipedrive — an Estonia-based CRM startup. Can you spot how many unspoken questions get addressed in just over 90 seconds?
I count at least 4…
- “What if it takes a long time and multiple steps to close the deal?”
- “Is this solution easy to use, or just as complicated as other CRM apps?”
- “What if I still can’t figure the software out on my own?”
- “Is this actually built for me, with my needs as a sales professional in mind?”
All these objections are brought up and resolved in an organic way throughout the video. You can do the same with your B2B marketing!
5. Close with a low-pressure, specific call to action
The call to action can make or break your B2B marketing video.
Now that you’ve invested so much time and energy in persuading prospects that your offer is the bee’s knees, your first instinct might be to hit ‘em as hard as possible with your CTA.
That would be a mistake. Nothing ruins the goodwill built up by your awesome video like high-pressure sales tactics!
Instead, I would urge you to take a much softer approach.
Don’t pressure, cajole, threaten, or beg. It won’t work. Instead… just ask.
Make a simple request to your audience. But make sure to:
1. Keep it specific — tell them exactly what they need to do. If there’s a button to press, a form to fill out, or a link to click, make sure they have the clearest instructions possible.
2. Remind them why they’d want to do it. Reiterate the life-altering benefits and outcomes of your product or service — and connect them directly to the simple, specific action you need them to take.
Let’s see how that might look in an actual marketing funnel, shall we?
Real-life example: this explainer video for Crazy Egg offers a solid example of a low-pressure (but totally actionable) call to action. All it does is invite viewers to check out the available plans and choose the one that’s right for them — that’s it!
The “secret” behind this seemingly non-committal CTA is simple. A good B2B marketing video will have done all the heavy lifting by now: agitating the problem; describing the solution in mouth-watering detail; and putting all the relevant objections to rest.
…So now it can afford to go easy on the viewer and trust them to act in their best interests. All that’s needed is to reiterate the benefits of the offer, give specific directions — and sit back in anticipation of a conversion!
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