What’s the difference between B2B and B2C videos? Glad you asked.
To answer this question, we’ll need two volunteers. The task: sell your audience on the product you’re given. Completely randomly. No agenda here.
That guy over there, he gets sneakers. They’re supportive, comfortable, flashy, and, for an extra $75, Steph Curry or LeBron James will sweat on them. Now you, you’re selling a software suite that helps businesses utilize their CRM more effectively.
Good luck with that!
B2B Buyers Are Different
A B2B audience needs more in-depth education; they need demos; they need you to tell them why they have to buy a solution for their solution. They need to believe that you are the expert here because the need is so complex, and your product (designed to make it simpler) is equally complicated.
Business-to-business typically involves a longer sales process and is intensely relationship-oriented. B2Bs often serve a highly targeted niche, and they need to build trust so they can leverage these relationships over the long-term. Think about it like this: B2C is like dating; B2B is like marriage.
Another key difference: compared to B2C buyers, who tend to purchase based on emotion, B2B buyers are more rational and logical in their decision-making. When was the last time you impulse-bought a software suite for your CRM? Right, but those snazzy sneakers… they’re calling to you.
B2B Videos Are Different
Videos for B2C and B2B tend to reflect these differences. The former focus on connection, on emotion, on a story. They can be fun, or sad, or strange. But effective videos evoke something. Nike is a champion at this:
We’re used to seeing the world’s top athletes in their Nikes; here, Nathan Sorrell, a 12 year old boy from Ohio, laces up. The video is stunningly simple. Nathan is jogging along an empty stretch of road, breathing hard, struggling. But persevering. Forget celebrity endorsements: there’s something about this kid. It’s an incredibly moving and motivating video.
Notice that Nike doesn’t hammer you with the features and benefits of its products. They don’t even mention shoes at all. It’s just Nathan — and the feeling you get watching him find his greatness.
But We Need Our Features and Benefits!
B2B videos, on the other hand, are usually more technical, more jargon-driven, and yes, often more… boring. Sure, the audience does want education; they do want to know you can deliver the solution for which they are looking. But here’s the thing: B2B buyers are still human!
Lenovo targeted IT professionals (who deal with all too human coworkers) with their “User’s Happen” Campaign. Take a look:
Lenovo’s senior manager of digital marketing, Michael Ballard, said of the ads: “It’s kind of like that water cooler storytelling where they gather around and tell these classic, funny stories about their users.” Relatable. Humorous. Attention-grabbing. Non-boring.
Yeah, it’s all about stories.
The Growing Similarities Between B2C and B2B Videos
Most B2B videos, particularly in complex areas like tech, focus relentlessly on features, benefits, specs, facts, and figures. And they get lost in the static of media saturation. To stand out, they need to adopt the most effective B2C video marketing strategies and adapt them to their B2B customers’ needs.
Campaigns like Lenovo’s “Customers Happen,” for example, break through. The company speaks to professionals authentically and engagingly. They tell a story.
There are situations where you do need to highlight features and benefits. Potential customers simply need that information to make a decision. But, even here, you don’t need to be typical. Salesforce, for example, creates an aspirational video, creating both a sense of urgency and of possibility:
“Your customers are racing into the future - and determining the future of your company. And it all comes down to this: you need to get to the future first, ahead of your customers, and be ready to greet them when they arrive.”
It’s not until about a minute into the video that we even hear the word “Salesforce.” Instead, they tell a story about the “Internet of Customers,” about innovation, about the need to get to the future first. Then they seamlessly present solutions.
Are You There?
Your customers aren’t racing toward video: they’re already there. Greet them with great stories, told differently, and you can change how they perceive you, how they interact with you, and ultimately, influence their purchase decisions.
You can engage and educate; you can demo and differentiate yourself. You can provide logical answers and a compelling reason why your audience should believe in, and choose, you.
B2B presents special challenges: there’s a lot more relationship- and trust-building that needs to go on. Telling your story, in a different than you audience has ever heard, is the key.