B2B video examplesBrainstorming an amazing video story for a B2B brand can feel discouraging, especially if you’re intimidated by polished looking videos from other brands.

It’s often difficult to explain what you do as a B2B company, let alone make it sound fun; but even if you are as B2B as it gets, you can still create something to impress your target audience. No matter your budget or how appealing you happen to be to the average consumer, targeted, thoughtful videos can help you thrive – and you don’t have to be Martin Scorsese to make it all happen.

Today we look at three impressive B2B videos and the takeaways you can use to spruce up your own B2B video marketing storytelling.

SunGard Empathizes With the IT Professional

SunGard did an especially awesome job making their customer the star when they teamed up with Bulldog Solutions to create a Wes Anderson inspired, three-part video campaign for Christmas.

Providing software and services for education, finance, and public sector organizations, SunGard is definitely in the B2B bracket, but their video is pretty far removed from what you’d expect! The brand targets IT professionals and in this particular series they depict “surviving the holidays” when you’re the IT person in your family (i.e. spending your holiday fixing everyone’s electronics).

SunGard’s funny series works because they’ve identified an annoyance their audience can relate to and they play it up with a story IT professionals will want to share with others who are in on the joke (conveniently, other IT professionals in the target demographic). The use of Wes Anderson’s recognizable style helps them not only tell the story, but appeal to movie buffs within their target audience. Ultimately, the comedic flair and visual storytelling makes this video stand out for its cleverness.

The lesson for marketers? Use a familiar occurrence in the lives of your target audience to create a memorable sketch with video. If you can have your audience nod along and think, “yes! That’s exactly what happens to me at Christmas [or in the boardroom, etc.]”, you’ll likely see video success. The whole point of this style of video is to use real, relatable audience pain points in a comedic way to have your target audience agree, get a laugh, and recognize your brand’s implied empathy. Bravo SunGard!

ExactTarget Created an Influencer Interview Series

No stranger to impressive video marketing, here we have ExactTarget and their interview with NY Times best selling author and marketing consultant, Jay Baer in a fun series called “The Baer Facts”.

As you can see the brand has put together a super professional chat with an industry influencer (a great choice too, as Jay’s the second most retweeted person by the B2B marketers in ExactTarget’s target demographic). In terms of the technicalities, the split screen keeps the video visually interesting (so the audience doesn’t get bored), and the simple format doesn’t require a ton of edits. ExactTarget has incorporated their blue and orange branding throughout, so you really feel like you’re watching the piece on a branded channel, and you’re encouraged to participate in the discussion as Kyle and Jay’s Twitter handles are on screen for you to engage with the entire time.

It’s also worth noting that the video maintains your attention because of its extemporaneous quality. In other words, it feels authentic and unscripted. Kyle and Jay chat about Fourth of July fireworks briefly before discussing marketing, and the two are plain ol’ fun to watch. Clocking in at just over five minutes, the video showcases the series’ logo in the bottom left corner, and the video grabs your attention with a custom-made thumbnail image that features all the components a great thumbnail should have.

The lesson here? Interview-style videos are a great way to give your video collection a boost. You can create an interview series and discuss issues of importance to your target audience with influencer guests they’ll love. If there’s an influencer in your industry you’re especially close with, build that relationship and then book ’em for a video (you can even use your webcams and edit the footage together split screen style like ExactTarget has done). Just remember to use great lighting and some interview best practices.

Paychex Educates With Animation

So customer-focused stories and interview-style videos are great, but what about outsourcing an easy video win?

One of the best things you can do with respect to a great SEO strategy is to answer questions relating to your industry. Create videos around specific phrases and questions your target audience is asking so that you have a better chance to appear in their search results when they’re performing initial research around potential problems.

Paychex uses this strategy well with their video on “what is phishing?”. Although the company technically deals in payroll, human resources, and benefits outsourcing, their audience would likely be curious as to what phishing is and it’s an important consideration around HR details or payroll passwords, etc.

Because it’s a topic of interest, as well as something a great deal of people in general are searching for (specifically in the entire ‘what is _____’ phrase format), this type of video format is particularly clever.

Overall, brainstorm some related topics to your industry that your target audience is searching for on a regular basis. The ‘what is’ format is great, but also consider ‘how-to:____”. You can outsource your animated explainer for the topic, or use your friendly employees to answer commonly asked questions.

Each of the three B2B video examples covered here serve as a great inspiration to get your strategy off the ground. Which do you like best, and what videos are you currently working on in your organization? Let us know with a comment below!

Jennifer Pepper