The Best Video Types for B2B Marketing

Take a second and think about your all-time favorite ad campaigns. 

What comes to mind? Was it Michael Jordan and Larry Bird going head to head for McDonald’s? That athlete chucking a hammer into a dystopian talking head for Apple? Maybe it’s one of the many spokes-animals — from geckos and frogs to chihuahuas — that have become cultural touchstones?

Whatever you choose, chances are, your favorite ad campaign didn’t come from a B2B company.

That’s because, traditionally, B2B ad creative has felt — well, a little bland and uninspired. Ads targeting business owners and their employees can sometimes feel stuffy, overly technical, and forgettable. And with all B2B marketers pulling from similar demand-generation playbooks — social, search, email — standing out can be an uphill battle. 

But that uphill becomes a little easier with digital video, whether it’s on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Connected TV.


What Makes Video So Effective for B2B Brands?

So why is this the case? 

According to research from Harvard Business Review, when deciding on a new vendor to work with, 80%–90% of B2B decision-makers have a list of brands in mind before they do any research — and 90% of those decision-makers ultimately choose from their day-one lists.

The best way to get on those day-one lists is by delivering ads when they’re streaming video content, whether that’s as they watch their favorite TV shows or as they browse through their social channels after work. This puts your B2B brand in a unique context, stealing some of the creative shine that has long been the domain of B2C brands to stand out. 

Plus, as we all know, even when we’re off work, that doesn’t mean our minds are off our jobs, so B2B decision-makers will still be receptive to a message delivered at times when they might not be anticipating this kind of ad.

Suffice to say, video marketing matters as much for B2B as it does in the B2C realm. In fact, 90% of B2B marketers state that video marketing helps them generate leads. But you don’t have to overthink your B2B video strategy, you just need to build a strong foundation of best practices, like using tried-and-true video types that get results. Here are five of the best.


Explainers

As a B2B brand, you’ll always have customers and prospects who want to know who you are, how your product works, and how it can improve their lives. That’s exactly what explainer videos can do. As the name implies, they creatively explain information about your brand or product to help potential customers develop a deeper understanding about the value you offer. 

Explainers speak directly to customers’ problems and pain points, allowing you to be deliberate in outlining your solution. Depending on which part of the sales funnel you choose to target, you can get as detailed as you’d like. You can appeal to B2B marketers by exploring topical problems within your industry and positioning yourself as a viable solution. 

Explainers can be especially powerful for B2B brands with intangible products, such as apps or services, that need more nuanced explanations to give potential customers a better sense of the capabilities of your business.


Testimonials

Testimonials are kind of like explainer videos, but more personalized, offering tangible proof of your product’s capabilities through the actual experience of a customer. These videos feature customers who already love what you’re offering and can showcase how you’ve helped them grow their business by telling their personal success stories.

Testimonials are a great way to foster a trusting relationship with prospects because your audience does the selling for you. These videos give a firsthand account of how you have helped others achieve the same success they might be looking for. 

With testimonials, you can create a deeper connection with your target audience while enhancing your credibility. This can extend into testimonials featuring your own team members who can offer their perspective as industry thought leaders. Personal stories validate your brand because they offer an authentic, external perspective on the confidence your own team has in your business. These videos make you both the storyteller and the story, so it’s important to choose people and brands that will resonate with your audience. 


Product Demos

When you’re trying to understand how something works, what’s ultimately going to be more effective: a static set of instructions you have to read, or a video that actually walks you through it? We’ll choose the video any day of the week. After all, it’s easier to show rather than simply tell. That’s why product demos are so powerful.

Product demos borrow some similarities from explainer videos, but they’re more directly focused on the nuances of how the product works in practice. If you have a particularly complicated product that needs to be “seen to be believed,” these videos can help potential customers understand its functionality and ease of use. Plus, creating fun and memorable product demos can be an effective way to stand out from your competition — depending on how much risk you’re willing to take demonstrating it in action.

In mid-2022, B2B brand MNTN — who just so happen to be our partners in performance — launched a campaign titled “The Hottest Demo Ever.” It featured MNTN’s Chief Creative Officer, Ryan Reynolds, and Steve-O from MTV’s “Jackass” demonstrating how easy it is to use MNTN’s Performance TV platform — even when you’re questioning your life choices after eating a Carolina Reaper. 

Sure, using two celebrities helps make this video memorable. But the ad’s success lies in its hook — when was the last time you saw someone eat one of the hottest peppers on Earth and then demo a B2B product? We’re going to take a wild guess and say never.


Culture Videos

Culture videos highlight what life is like at your company, showcasing your brand from the inside out to make you feel more accessible and trustworthy to a prospective customer. These videos are meant to make prospects want to be part of the work that you are doing. So, for instance, if you’re a socially conscious company, culture videos can humanize your brand and inspire loyalty in both prospects and existing customers.

This type of video can take many shapes, from brand commercials that highlight your core values to product demos that underline the sustainability of what you offer. You can even use it as a recruitment tool, attracting new team members to your company through the positive impact you’re aiming to make in the world.


User-Generated Content (UGC) Style

Thanks to the high powered cameras we all now have in our pockets, you don’t actually need expensive equipment to produce a great video ad anymore. You can shoot entertaining content directly on your phone. This is especially useful if you want to produce video ads for social media that mimic the style of actual user-generated content you’d find on each platform.

UGC-style content is similar to a testimonial, but sounds more like talking to a friend than watching a professionally produced ad. These types of videos allow you to directly address your audience in a way that’s impossible with legacy-style B2B brand commercials. That’s because UGC-style videos are made to look as if they were shot by a real customer, or even a friend, making it seem more personal than a traditional video. This lets your audience feel seen and heard in a more substantial way.


B2B Video: Final Thoughts

Which type you should use will be dependent upon your audiences and goals, but if you are looking to stand out from your competition in fresh, unique, and entertaining ways, you need to integrate video into your B2B marketing mix.After all, B2B prospects are, surprise surprise, regular people, too, who resonate with relatable, authentic, and engaging content. They want ads that capture their attention through fun inventiveness, but still educate them on what your product can do to make their work-lives even easier. Want to learn more about B2B video marketing? Check out our full guide here.

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