Here’s the scene: You’re in the middle of a job interview. If you’re anything like me, you’re gulping in air, looking fainter with each breath, and realizing that you’re pot-committed to your shirt’s merging sweat stains.
As you speak, you adopt a common language with the people sitting around the conference table. You make comfortable, confident eye contact, ensuring that each person gets a personalized pitch that converts them into your advocate. This could be the beginning of a deep and long-lasting relationship, and as the company evolves, you promise to be right there with them.
Now, let’s say you need a friend to drive you to the airport.
Instead of speaking in deeply technical language about how this ride would benefit them, you’re likely going to lean into the emotional aspect of the experience. You’d be grateful and eager to praise their selflessness to anyone who will listen. Maybe you’d try to make it transactional; they drop you off, and, someday, they’ll get a ride in return.
While this analogy is admittedly imperfect, it does help to highlight the differences between B2B and B2C video marketing strategies. Knowing those differences can help make sure you’re pitching the right message to the right people.
What Is B2C Marketing?
B2C marketing refers to businesses that market their products or services to consumers. These are some common examples of B2C marketing:
- A TV streaming service airing a trailer for their new show.
- A furniture company sending you an email about their selection of discounted couches.
- A restaurant advertising their food on a billboard.
On the receiving end of these messages, consumers tend to make their decisions on the individual level. If they want something, they’ll purchase it. Yes, there may be considerations that come into play or they may need to consult someone before they pull out their wad of cash and slam it down on the J.C. Penny’s counter –– but many B2C purchasing decisions tend to be an informal affair, even spontaneous.
If the consumer realizes the product isn’t for them, the company selling it may not be too upset. The company’s goal is to generate the sale but they may do just as well selling their product once to a bunch of people as they would selling a bunch of product to a small consumer population. In fact, Adobe estimates that 41% of eCommerce sales come from just 8% of their customers.
So, you can see why B2C marketing often takes the emotional approach to lure in sales. Sure, that commercial shows off an iPad that’s stuffed with features, but wasn’t everyone in that commercial just so freaking cool? Didn’t they seem carefree, joyous, and independent?
Of course, they did. That’s because consumers aren’t necessarily sold value; they’re sold happiness.
What is B2B Marketing?
B2B marketing is when a company markets its services or products to another business. Even if B2C marketing may be more common to the layperson, there are still plenty of ready-to-go examples of B2B messaging:
- A software company’s commercial about how they make the life of a small business easier
- A realtor’s billboard advertising office space in the area
- A marketing agency’s landing page video talking about the sales success of their clients
A company can utilize both B2B and B2C marketing. The company that sells payroll software to start-ups may also offer budgeting apps to consumers. The realtor with plenty of office space may also sell homes to families.
Unlike B2C marketing’s need to only get one person to say “yes,” B2B marketing usually works with a purchasing committee. Even if you are initially communicating with a single person, they’ll often need approval from others before contracts are drawn, and you’ll likely hear feedback from multiple people on the committee.
Additionally, each member of the committee may be swayed by different components of your marketing strategy, and your messaging should speak to each person. However, the common throughline will be how your company adds value to theirs. So, B2B video marketing is ultimately about ROI.
Since more people are involved in the purchasing decision, the purchase cycle is longer. As time itself is an investment, B2B marketing should aim to develop long-lasting relationships that grow and adapt as their clients do. That’s the best way to continually drive improved ROI for the client.
While value is the core of all B2B marketing, that doesn’t mean the messaging has to be dry or uber-serious. It can and should include narrative, empathy, and, if it suits the brand, a sense of humor. Hey, sometimes a poop joke is the best way to highlight how you’ve increased efficiency or improved quality control. (Something like, “Our software is the fiber for the production line – constantly keeping things moving.”)
What Does Video Marketing for B2B Look Like?
B2B video marketing looks different from B2C video marketing. Often this takes form in the type of videos that B2B marketing uses:
- Blog post summaries that help turn written content into exciting videos
- Case study and customer testimonials that offer a real-world example of how your product or service solved a problem for one of your clients
- Customer FAQs that help resolve common issues
- Event teaser and recaps to help promote an event and provide highlights of what occurred
- Product demo to show how your product works
- Tutorials that walk customers and potential customers step-by-step through how to use your product
These videos all reiterate the importance of value regardless of the medium. How can your business help another? At the end of the day, that’s what B2B video marketing is about.
If you’re looking to add more value to this blog post, check out episode 41 of The Video Reformation podcast. It highlights some of the differences in B2B vs B2C video marketing, as well as how to use humor and personality to enhance your company’s messaging.