4 B2B video questions that will make you a hero
By Randy Mitchell
For many years, my title included the word “producer.” I quickly learned that the unwritten rule for any successful B2B video producer was “be prepared.”
When you are prepared in advance for any eventuality, the production should be seamless. The cast, crew, creatives and client will all appreciate the extra effort. You might even come in under budget. In short, you will feel like a hero, and deservedly so.
However, if there are any unresolved issues going into production, your B2B video could quickly spiral out of control and infuriate everyone involved. And the budget will balloon with every revision and retake.
How do you avoid that scenario? Ask the right questions from the very start.
We all know that B2B video productions often begin as fire drills. Clients need a video fast for a big meeting, or product launch, or trade show. They haven’t been able to think the project through yet, but the deadline is looming and there’s simply no time. Now, it’s on you and the clock is ticking.
No worries, hero. You can put this B2B video right back on track simply by asking 4 essential questions. In the process you will set the parameters for the rest of the production and establish the foundation for a successful B2B video.
Q1. What type of video is it?
This is the first question to ask because it eliminates bad assumptions. It also provides the lead-in to some other preliminary details such as talent, locations, assets needed, length of the video and budget.
The client may not know the exact type of video the want, but you can help them reach the answer. Chances are their B2B video will be one of the following options:
- Explainer top-lines a process or product
- How-to presents a step-by-step demonstration
- Promo drives interest in an upcoming event
- Testimonial puts customers on camera
- Thought leadership features the C-Suite on key topics
- Case study tells a success story
- Teaser creates a buzz around a product launch
- Sizzle provides a dynamic show at a live event
- Culture captures the company personality
- Trends focuses on industry hot topics
Q2. How will the video be used?
Today, many videos have multiple uses. They can run on social media, at live or virtual events, on the website or even in the lobby. It’s important to understand where the video will be viewed and how long it will be available. This is another question that will help determine other factors, such as the format, audio considerations and the budget.
Q3. What is the single most-important takeaway?
For the client and the creatives, this is the critical question. It’s also your first opportunity to level set expectations. When a video tries to say too much it becomes white noise, so narrowing the focus is a must. The most-important takeaway should be clear, convincing and established quickly in the B2B video. The prospect should understand the primary action you want them to take and how to do it.
Production tip: It helps to use this same question when evaluating the storyboard. Present it to a few people who don’t know the project, then ask them what it was trying to say. If your impromptu focus group gets the most-important takeaway, you’re in a good place. If not, you’ll know revisions are needed before production begins.
Q4. Can you share some examples of videos you want to emulate?
B2B videos are extremely subjective. You might be thinking breakthough motion graphics while your client envisions a conservative brand builder. You can get past this common miscommunication by asking the client to offer some examples of videos they want to emulate, and they do not have to be B2B videos.
The purpose is to get an idea of the client’s expectations and comfort zone. It also helps to pinpoint what can actually be accomplished on the production budget. For example, a high-end approach with heavy postproduction may not be doable. It pays to determine that now for all parties.
Tip: Don’t lead the witness. In other words, let the client show you what they like. In most cases, Boomm has found that our clients are more willing to push the envelope than it may have initially seemed. By offering up video approaches they like, the client is also challenged to define their own expectations. It’s a productive exercise.
There you have it. These four simple questions will probably lead to many others, but they will also lead you to the answers you need to be prepared.
Now, go out and save that B2B video, you hero.