B2B videos don’t need to be stock-standard ‘talking heads’. Here’s a list of some of our favourite examples that show it’s all about the storytelling.
Adobe: “Make a Masterpiece”
When design software company Adobe wanted to promote its stock photo library, it had to find a way to compete against established heavyweights like Getty.
The company turned to its community of digital artists to recreate five masterpieces that have been lost to fire, war or theft – and they could only use imagery available through Adobe’s stock library.
The result is an insanely creative way to show off the breadth of images available while also spruiking the capabilities of its other products like Adobe Photoshop. It’s mesmerising to see these paintings come together from stock shots like ‘man squinting in sun’.
Results were great as well; awareness of its stock photo offering increased by 300%, and sales increased by 37%, according to Adobe.
You can also learn more about how each digital artist recreated their painting, with a breakdown of techniques and a call to ‘try it yourself’.
Entrepreneurs Organization: “The Truth Booth”
The entrepreneur’s path can be a lonely and uncertain one. Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a peer-to-peer networking association that provides resources and support for entrepreneurs and small business owners, invited its members to ‘get real’ for a series of videos about the struggles of founding and leading a business.
Members were invited to enter the ‘Truth Booth’, take a shot of ‘truth serum’ (aka tequila), and speak candidly about the peaks and pits of starting a business. And the interviewees did not hold back. They shared stories about self-doubt, balancing long-term goals with short-term success, about the moments when they almost lost it all.
The production is simple: just two cameras and a booth. But the results are a raw and emotional look at what it takes to succeed in the world of business. It’s proof that you don’t need a big budget and production value to make an impact, as long as the idea is solid.
According to EO, the series earned 400,000 impressions and 5500 clicks in the first month. From this, it generated 55 qualified leads, and increased paid membership dues meant these videos have an ROI of six times the production costs.
The videos helped EO to raise awareness in new markets, connect with existing members and increase its visibility.
HP: “The Wolf”
On the other end of the spectrum, if you have tons of budget why not spend it on the star power of Christian Slater?
HP created a moody and suspenseful video to promote malware protection, but the storytelling is so seamless that you don’t know you’re getting a product pitch until the very end.
The video is six minutes long, which is a risk, but the length allowed HP to build suspense and craft its messaging into a story. Who knew that printers were ticking time bombs?!
People LOVED it, and the video was so engaging the general response online was viewers couldn’t believe they’d just watched a six-minute branded video from start to finish, let alone a six-minute online video of any kind.
Industry loved the video as well, and HP won a Cyber Lion Bronze for this work.
Zendesk: “Relationships Are Complicated”
Where HP went long, Zendesk, a cloud-based customer service company, kept it short and sweet.
Zendesk’s quick, quirky videos manage to capture some of the complexities of business-customer relationships in just 16 seconds.
The main takeaway is that the business-customer relationship isn’t all that different from other partnerships, and better communication solves a lot of problems. This is a message Zendesk drives home in other videos, like this one about how a support ticket sparked romance.
The length also makes these ideal for social media, and the style helps these stand out in a viewer’s feed. Especially on platforms like LinkedIn, which can be a bit more stuffy and ‘corporate’, a little bit of humour goes a long way.
US Department of Energy: “Better Buildings Challenge Swap”
Ever watch one of those trading spaces shows? This is a bit like that. The US Department of Energy (DOE) invited teams from two major manufacturers, L’Oreal and General Motors, to tour each other’s facilities and swap energy efficiency knowledge along the way.
The execution takes cues from the reality shows that inspired this series. With just a few cameras and minimal fuss, the DOE created a content series that’s practical and highlights the small steps businesses can take to become more energy efficient. Plus it’s fun to see a bit of friendly competition between plants.
The series also includes smaller, bite-size pieces on employee engagement, machinery reviews and outtakes, adding to the fun, reality-show style of the series.
Rachael Brown contributed to the writing of this piece.