Video can entertain. It can inform. It can educate. It can build an emotional connection. And it can be shared.

But just as there are many different motion picture genres – animated, comedy, thriller, drama, for example – so, too, are there different corporate video options.

Some videos are designed to build brand awareness; others to generate leads. Some can support a new business pitch or marketing campaign; others can help you to convert existing clients into loyal advocates.

So while video should probably be a part of your marketing mix, it’s important that you be clear about your objectives, and understand your options, so that you are well-placed to produce a video which will generate results.

Below are four of our favourite B2B genres with examples and indicative guidelines to help steer you in the right direction.


1. Teaser/Promotion

Purpose

Generate excitement by providing a preview of a piece of content, or by promoting an event.

Length

1-2 minutes

Tips

Always include a call to action (download, register, sign up…).

Distribution

Website | Landing Page | Social Media | Native Advertising

Example

This award-winning graduate recruitment piece was produced by law firm Clifford Chance.


2. Explainer

Purpose

As stand-alone or complementary pieces, explainers educate and inform and are effective at conveying a lot of information in a short amount of time. Explainer videos add value and build credibility.

Length

2-5 minutes

Tips

Use graphics and animation to help communicate dry, complex or technical content.

Distribution

Website | Landing Pages | Blog Posts | Social Media

Examples

Another award-winner, Allianz Global Investors created a series of animated videos to explain the impact of the European General Data Protection Regulation.

And this one: What is blockchain?, which was produced by Canada’s Centre for International Governance Innovation, an independent, non-partisan think tank on global governance. 


3. Video Essay 

Purpose

Long-form content allows you to explore a subject in-depth; provides an alternative channel/format; can showcase thought leadership and expertise; and builds trust and credibility. Think TEDx.

Length

15-20 minutes

Tips

  • If appropriate, repurpose existing thought leadership, such as a whitepaper or research piece, into video format.
  • Choose your content carefully – with long-form video you need to captivate your audience to hold their attention.

Distribution

Website | Landing Page | Social Media | Native Advertising

Examples

As part of its ‘Extraordinary Women’ series, KPMG produced a long-form video about Ethel Watts, the UK’s first female chartered accountant and a champion for women’s interests and causes.

This sumptuous film explains the role engineering firm Danfoss is playing in resolving global issues and responding to the impacts of change. 


4. Case study/Testimonial

Purpose

According to Forrester, 59% of B2B buyers would rather conduct their research online than interact with a salesperson. Case studies are one the most effective ways of educating and informing B2B buyers. They’re highly credible because they provide evidence of what your organisation has actually done, not what it might be capable of doing.

Additionally, are you familiar with the adage people buy on emotion and then justify with logic? In video format, case studies shine. Because they can convey emotion as well as information, they’re more powerful than written case studies.

Testimonials work much the same way. 84% of B2B decision makers start with referrals which is why word-of-mouth is the most powereful form of marketing. Video testimonials amplify the reach of word-of-mouth.

Length

2-3 minutes

Tips

  • Tell a story – or, better yet, let your client tell the story for you: this was the situation/challenge, this was the solution, and these were the results.
  • Be selective about which clients you use on camera.
  • Be prepared to coach and support your client advocate as you would a colleague. That said, let your client speak in their own voice.
  • Be organised – don’t abuse the favour by wasting your client’s time (for example, by not having the cameras and lighting set up before they arrive).

Promote

Landing Pages | Pitches and Proposals

Example

To showcase its credentials within the professional services sector, Cisco produced a video case study with law firm client, Sparke Helmore.


What’s your favourite video genre for services brands? Is it one we’ve mentioned or something else? Tell us in the comments below.

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