If you’re aiming for perfect, you’re missing the point, and some huge opportunities says Gary Zurnamer, co-founder of Vouch.
Most marketers would agree that video is an incredibly effective medium. Demos, explainer videos, testimonials and interviews all help to engage your audience. These build high levels of trust with prospects, and drive action like nothing else.
So, why is it still rarely on the roadmap?
Well speaking from experience, it can be a nightmare to create. I’ve had the experience of being in sales teams crying out for more video collateral. But, I’ve also been in marketing teams struggling to create it. It can be an incredibly time-consuming and expensive process.
Weeks of planning, storyboarding, hiring a professional crew, editing, rounds of painstaking amends and eventually an asset that feels tired before you’ve even launched it. Even a simple video testimonial can take weeks and thousands of dollars of budget to create. Something modern marketing teams, often with dwindling budgets and an ever-increasing mix of channels to fill, simply don’t have.
Into the too-hard basket it goes.
But they’re missing the point. Marketers shouldn’t always be striving for highly-polished, big budget productions. They’re often overly-scripted, predictable and unrelatable. Raw, authentic video can work wonders. Just look at the shift from highly polished content to genuine, raw TikTok clips. Or the enduring popularity of UGC across B2C.
Getting back to reality
Our consumption of video has increased so much that we’ve almost become desensitised to the stuffy, corporate-style videos that so many B2B teams still create. They’ve become the classic stock photos of the video world. Memeable maybe, but not memorable.
I’d urge B2B marketers to take a leaf out of the B2C marketers book and stop aiming for perfect content. Get comfortable with more authentic looking videos. They have a much higher chance of driving your goals. Particularly if it’s the difference between you making it or abandoning it all together.
Take testimonials. Giving your customers a chance to tell their genuine story, in their own words, is what makes them shine. No script or fancy studio lighting is a substitute for that. In fact, the more your prospects can identify with your customer’s testimonials, their struggles and successes, the better.
Creating authentic video
Make use of the tools already at your disposal. We’re all walking around with incredible cameras in our pockets, thanks to smartphones. And post pandemic, we’re a whole lot more comfortable filming content from the comfort of our own homes.
Rather than hauling your customers, interviewees or team into a studio, ask them to shoot at home. Of course providing guidance can help things run more smoothly, particularly around framing, lighting and sound, but let them handle the rest.
When it comes to editing, keep it simple and make use of the many excellent free tools that are out there. If your content is strong and engaging, you shouldn’t need flashing transitions and trickery. Enjoy the raw, authentic result and see how much it helps your message cut through the clutter. Particularly on social media, where genuine content thrives.
The other benefit to this more lo-fi approach is that you’ll be able to create your assets at scale. Rather than blowing the quarter’s budget on a video that needs to serve all of your customers, on every marketing channel, you’ll be able to create more high-relevant pieces of content. Videos that can be served to the right customers, at the right time, and keep your content feeling fresh.
Of course I’m not suggesting you shoot a TV commercial on your iPhone (although it can be done), there will always be a time and place for pieces for high-production assets. But if that’s not within your reach right now, it shouldn’t hold you back from experiencing all the benefits of video.
And with more social platforms prioritising video content above all else, Google experimenting with more ways to surface video in response to search queries, and your customers watching more video than ever, you really can’t afford to skip it.