There’s no disputing the dominance of video when it comes to brand or content marketing. Creating the perfect video marketing strategy can swing brand sentiment and be a key success differentiator for your campaigns. Recent research reveals 83% of marketers say that video helps them generate leads.
But how do you know what style, length and format of video to pick, or when to use a professional video crew? We’ve picked our favourites to give you some inspiration, across different industries and to suit different budgets.
Let’s get started.
1. The not-so-boring brand video
‘About us’ videos are a business staple but can stray into the territory of generic or disconnected metaphors and stock images interspersed with people standing around whiteboards or ‘chatting’ to fake customers. This example from Hubspot is anything but boring, threading multiple stories together and using humour to keep people watching.
Takeaways: Slightly tongue-in-cheek and self-aware, with freeze-frame, air horn, and obvious hyper-realism, Hubspot’s video doesn’t try to be an exact representation of a typical office. That said, it does a great job of building recognition with its audience – right down to the lady joining the meeting from a laptop placed on the desk. It walks the viewer through multiple customer pain points, bringing all stories together as the managers convene around the table and demonstrating how a poor CRM is a company-wide problem.
Another, completely different example here is from Fulcrum, a software company that helps clients in the legal and accountancy sector.
It may be a much more traditional video, but its strengths lie in the single central metaphor that builds throughout, culminating in the shots of the orchestra representing digital orchestration, which is at the core of what they offer. This video didn’t require a big budget or any actors but the end result still does a great job.
2. The short-form video
According to Hubspot, of all the video formats short-form is predicted to have the biggest growth in 2023. Although exactly what counts as short-form video isn’t really set in stone, there’s a general consensus that it’s anything less than 60 seconds.
This example from Zendesk below promotes their CX trends report.
Takeaways: Zendesk produces a lot of short-form video content that they put out on social media and Youtube channels. These are filmed for the channel they are designed for (vertical and with close-ups) and serve a whole bunch of purposes, from bite-sized event content to animated highlights from their thought leadership content which encourage people to download their guide.
Others of note include Adobe who have mastered TikTok videos, with some shorts clocking up over 3 million likes. From engaging how-to videos to competitions and campaign launches, Adobe demonstrates TikTok is not just a channel for B2C.
3. User-generated content
User-generated content is, of course, hugely popular with B2C brands, but B2B brands are also tapping into their community to generate video content. They may choose to repost it on social channels or take it a step further by also creating a digital audience home for their community.
The examples below from Figma and Deloitte show how user-generated content can be used in completely different ways.
Takeaways: Figma is a classic example of a company that can leverage content from its user base to reduce the burden on its support teams while showcasing potential uses for the software.
We also love this example from Deloitte which just goes to show that you can maintain the authenticity of UGC, but package it in a way that uses animation to increase its production value.
4. The campaign video
A bit misleading of course, because this is not one type of video but actually a series of assets for omnichannel marketing. This might include a full-length version for a landing page, a version for social media, an advert and an event video – perhaps even user-generated content. The below example from Fleete Group was actually part of multiple assets our client used for events and social media.
The animation includes the lines of their brand mark overlaid on top of live-action shots. The long lines connect each scene and animation is also used to illuminate the fleet to emphasise what the company does; connect lorries, vans and cars into their electric infrastructure.
5. The behind-the-scenes career video
‘Why work for us’ videos are an essential tool for modern recruitment. Often they are part of a more complex, multi-channel campaign. This might include a glossy showcase video that conveys your brand values, more casual videos that showcase real employees for social media and one-on-one interviews with employees about chosen career paths for specific job pages.
This example from Canva does a great job of capturing authenticity, showing they don’t take themselves too seriously.
Takeaways: The Canva video uses a behind-the-scenes technique to present a friendly face of the company where the employees take centre stage. They manage to articulate their values without it feeling forced, while the graphics give a gentle nod to their software.
A completely different example from EY shows how large companies can balance their impressive global credentials with a more human touch. EY do a great job at using career videos in a whole bunch of ways, from user-generated videos accessed through an immersive 3D experience, to professionally shot interviews for Instagram. They have even filmed some of their employee journeys to work to showcase on their media wall in their office receptions.
6. The immersive event video
Ok, so hands up, this example from the Cayman Alternative Investment Summit is from 2019, but it’s still one of our favourites.
Takeaways: Our client had a strong idea of the theme for this video, how it would reference current events and what they wanted it to achieve. The countdown and the simulated technical checks build suspense and atmosphere, similar to an Imax experience, while the video itself builds on the event theme; tectonic shifts. Using a mixture of newsreels, key messages, highlighted bulletins and stats brought together through 3D animation it taps into the sense of seismic market change, tech revolutions and the need for trustworthy guidance.
7. The multi-format 'how to' video
How-to videos come in all shapes and sizes, but we particularly like the following example because it cleverly re-uses content from a podcast-style interview. It’s often great to have a person on-screen, but if you don’t have anyone with the skill set internally, you can use animation and a really strong voiceover or partner with an influencer.
Example: Harvard Business Review’s Ascend.
Takeaways: It’s good because the host is so engaging but it also cleverly repurposes the content from an earlier interview cutting back and forth between the recorded words of wisdom from an expert and the live-action footage. The camera is not entirely static which gives it a sense of live engagement.
8. The box set
If you want to show more in-depth expertise on a campaign, producing a themed box set keeps audiences tuned in. It also offers a chance for you to explore different perspectives on your chosen topic.
Example: Boston Consulting Group’s Green in Sixty campaign series.
Takeaways: This campaign is a great example of building a topic following, with some of the videos in the series racking up over 1,000 views on youtube alone. Each expert only has 60 seconds to make their point so the viewer knows they will get straight to the point. The graphics bring the campaign to life, as do the outdoor location, but the way it is shot is relatively straightforward. You can almost feel the breath of fresh air.
9. The video podcast
With more brands looking for that ‘chat-show’ vibe to keep viewers engaged for longer, interviews have more of that journalist-interviewee quality to them. The classic example of this is Google’s Think with Google interview series that takes place in a living room type set-up with journalist Katie Couric.
The video podcast is also an increasingly popular medium, as shown by this example from real estate firm JLL.
Takeaways: This example from JLL shows how big brands can create a more intimate, informal vibe. The JLL café launched in Spain sets the scene for a chat with some leading figures in real estate development and investment.
10. The case study video
Case study videos will always be in high demand because they bring your proposition to life like no other video and are a chance for your audience to hear directly from your clients.
This example from Salesforce demonstrates the great partnership they have with their F1 client.
This is a great example from Salesforce because they show how much they have understood the values of their customer and use a high-production film to showcase the F1 brand in the best possible light. The relationship comes across as a partnership and the end result is a video that also provides F1 with an opportunity to talk about their customer experience.
The below example from Xero also demonstrates great example of storytelling through the lense of a case study. It probably costs a little less, but is, we think equally memorable.
So there you have it. B2B video production has diversified greatly in the last couple of years, with several video opportunities for pretty much every campaign. It doesn’t always have to be a big-budget production and some content you might want able to film yourself, but it’s definitely worth finding a video production agency that can help you when you do need a professional finish.
Planning where to put your budget and what different assets you will need for a campaign isn’t always straightforward.
If you’ve got a video project you’d like to discuss, our corporate video production experts at Totem would love to hear from you. Get in touch here.