How B2B Companies Can Use Video Content to Break Down Complexity
The countless benefits of video content have been firmly established in recent years, so I won’t commit any significant time on explaining why you should be using it (to briefly recap, it’s tremendously effective in almost every way, and you can find numerous favorable stats here). After all, I imagine you wouldn’t have clicked on this piece if you weren’t interested in the topic.
But knowing that you should use video content doesn’t help you figure out how you should use it — after all, having near-unlimited creative direction can actually hamper your efforts through analysis paralysis. It’s extremely important to pick a direction and focus on it. In the B2B world, as I see it, one of the best uses for video content is to provide clarity.
What do I mean by this? How can video help you make your messaging clearer, and why is that something you should invest in? That’s what we’re going to cover in this piece. Let’s get started.
Recommended reading: Cheap Explainer Video: Do I Need It?
The Perils Of Complexity In B2b
Much of the B2C world is about mass production of generic items. Relationships between sellers and buyers are chiefly ad-hoc and simplistic — think of someone buying a mainstream consumer electronics item from Amazon. Because of that item’s widespread distribution, the onus won’t be on Amazon to clear up all the questions the buyer has about the item once they’ve purchased it. That will likely be something they turn to search engines for.
In B2B, though, professional relationships are often significantly more complicated, nuanced, and long-lasting. Provided services and products are more likely to have custom elements arranged specifically for specific clients. And when those clients have questions about those elements, they can’t turn to search engines, because no one else is in that exact position — they must turn to the supplier for answers.
This is tricky for all parties involved, obviously. Customers have to expend effort trying to deal with support, and B2B companies have to commit their valuable time to resolving issues that may be very simple. This issue is eased somewhat if you’re using a strong B2B e-commerce platform and resolving complaints using in-built customer service tools.
However, it isn’t always easy for a customer to articulate the problem they’re having. Lacking in-depth knowledge of the product or service they’re having difficulty with, they might struggle to communicate to the seller what’s actually happening. Tools can’t make up for detailed customer knowledge and insight.
Why Video Is Ideally Suited To Making Things Simpler
Recognizing the problem, you might immediately accept that the natural next step is for B2B companies to produce wide-ranging informative content on whatever they offer (adhering to the specific requirements of their customers).
The best B2B businesses offer a plethora of online educational resources that inform buyers about their product or service. Indeed, there is a range of B2B focused platforms that provide dedicated blog, resource, and content sections solely for this reason. In B2B, educating consumers is vital, and your business should cater to this need as part of your e-commerce and online offering.
But why is video, in particular, the best option for explaining a product or service?
Well, knowledge bases can mix and match content types, and there’s certainly a lot of value to be found in an informative article or podcast.
But video is the best disambiguator because it provides superior visual and procedural insight. Let’s consider an example.
Imagine an Ikea-style box of furniture parts that you must assemble into a desk. You can read the instruction manual, but what if you don’t recognize one of the diagrams? What if one of the steps is unclear to you, and you simply can’t fathom what action you’re supposed to take?
This is incredibly difficult to resolve in a published guide because text will only go so far. Writers can’t rely on people knowing technical terms, so they have to include glossaries and patiently explain what the different components are — and even then people will struggle to understand. There’s a reason why technical writing is a major skill.
Now imagine that you have an assembly video. At that point, you don’t need to know any of the technical terms or understand what diagrams are supposed to mean, because you can simply watch and copy the assembly process. If there’s a part that you don’t quite catch, you can just go back and watch it again until it clicks in your mind.
How To Quickly Identify Viable Topics
From a practical standpoint, video content is really cheap and easy to produce these days.
Do you have a smartphone? Congratulations, you’re ready to film.
It might not be amazingly high-quality, but much of it will come down to the production of the video. If the content is good, then even a video shot on an old phone will be worth watching.
The tricky part is figuring out what content you need to produce, and planning out how you’re going to do it (including writing scripts and gathering props), but because you’re doing it for current or prospective customers, you don’t need to think too hard about topics: you just need to get a lot of relevant feedback and do some investigation.
Try doing the following:
Do you get a lot of questions about a particular feature? Prompts to explain one of your procedures? If you keep getting asked about something, it’s clear that there’s a hunger for clarity, so you can produce a video guide and save a lot of time.
The fact that you’re not getting asked about something doesn’t mean that it isn’t hampering your customers’ experiences — they may just not know how to address it. If you reach out to your followers, you may find that they have some great suggestions.
If your direct competitor has a video guide on something, there’s probably a good reason for it. You shouldn’t copy anyone, of course, but if you think you can do a better guide, it would be a good way to win some of their traffic.
Once you have your topics lined up, it’s just a matter of filming them and getting the videos up on YouTube, Vimeo, and any other platforms you think might be useful. You can then embed them on your site and provide internal links to point people towards your support section.
If you’re using a good B2B platform, it’s simple to create a site structure that leads consumers from your homepage to your blog or resources section. However, consider using your videos beyond that. Embedding an explainer video on a key landing page quickly educates prospective buyers when they arrive, dealing with consumer queries before they arise.
Video content is the obvious choice for clearing up client confusion and minimizing the time, effort and monetary resources required for support services. A tutorial filmed in a few hours can benefit you massively for years to come, so what reason do you have not to give video a try?
About The Author
Patrick Foster is a writer and e-commerce expert from e-commerce Tips — a leading e-commerce blog that shares the latest insights on the ever-changing online retail world. Follow along on Twitter @myecommercetips.