Creativity comes in two forms.
The first, when everything clicks and ideas need only a soft tug to give way from fertile, flowering trees, is pretty great.
The second, when your feet feel cemented in the muck as your hands run through the murky depths of your subconscious, hoping to catch a single finger on a sharp snarl of an idea, can be emotionally devastating.
There are times when the second scenario is all but destined to occur, but it’s not as often as many assume. And on those occasions when B2B marketers choose to march straight into their mind muck, the creative work suffers.
So, if you want to develop better creative for your B2B video marketing, let’s look at the process itself. By centering your creative on strategy, collaboration, inspiration, and, ultimately, work, you’ll produce a bountiful idea harvest to support your marketing.
Writer’s block often comes from a form of unpreparedness. You don’t know what to write because you literally don’t know what to write. Or, perhaps, you have such a great big thing of a concept in front of you, and you just don’t know where to start.
So, even when focusing on the creative, start with strategy. Knowing what type of video you need, what it will say, and where you’ll distribute it gives you the guardrails for your creative work.
There’s a reason the document we use to kick off any new project is called a “video roadmap.” It orients your creative work in a specific direction. And even when your work progresses slowly, you’ll at least know you’re heading the right way.
The final benefit of strategizing is ensuring you know what your competition is doing. If you don’t know what the video marketing landscape of your industry looks like, you’re far more likely to produce content similar to what the other brands are doing.
That is, if you want to zig, you have to know where others zagged. To adapt another cliche, if you want your work to feel outside the box, you should have an inventory of what’s inside the box.
To do effective creative work, do as the improvisers do. That’s right; we’re talking about “yes anding.”
Now for those of you who didn’t spend $2000 on six levels of classes only to discover your acting range is limited to playing yourself and a slightly more confused version of yourself, yes anding is where you take a presented idea, agree with it, and then build upon it.
Saying “yes and” has two effects: First, it makes people more willing to bring up an idea, no matter how bonkers it is. Second, it forces everyone to truly listen to the idea so they can build upon it.
This style of brainstorming must come from the top down. Sure, the creative director can make decisions when decisions need to be made and wrangle the group back to the core strategy, budget, and timeline when they go too far astray. But, they must also be willing to engage seriously with dumb ideas.
After all, if you’re trying to develop outside-the-box ideas, you shouldn’t start with ones pre-packaged with a bow. There will be messy or silly or weird ideas, and working through them, even if they don’t work out, can keep the creativity percolating.
This type of environment also fosters collaboration. And as people feel that their ideas are heard, they’re more likely to toss out the bad ones that will eventually clear the way for good ones.
To further enable the collaborative spirit, consider bringing in creative team members who could be involved during production or post-production. For example, a director or editor may offer different perspectives and help you see things that sound great now but will be challenging to pull off when production begins.
By continually stoking the fires of collaboration, you’re also making it easier for everyone in the creative process to buy in. As a result, they’ll feel more ownership over their work, making them happier and more likely to produce high-quality creative work.
“Yes anding” gives oxygen to a spark of an idea, quickly turning it into a roaring fire of creative work. What do you do, though, when you can’t even produce a spark?
Don’t rely on divine inspiration. Instead, divine inspiration by mining reference videos, creating mood boards, and crafting style cells.
Watch your favorite B2B marketing content and think about what you like most about them. Then, find videos with similar messages as yours and deconstruct what works and doesn’t.
You probably want your video to compel your audience into a specific action. What content has made you want to take that action? Give it a watch and break down how they do it.
While you never want to copy or plagiarize, inspiration often serves as an homage to other work. And when you deeply understand the marketing landscape of your industry, you can play on tropes and subvert expectations.
Mood boards and style frames can also give you another starting point for your creative work. Focusing on how you want your content to feel or look can get you started in a specific direction.
(And, as you may have read in our latest newsletter, there are a variety of A.I. platforms that can take a few words from an initial creative concept and convert it to digital images that may serve as creative inspiration.)
Sometimes, though, inspiration does need a push. In those situations, don’t hesitate to have your creative team toss out ideas, such as lines of dialogue or alternate tags, in rapid succession. Even if what’s thrown out there is rough around the edges, the rapid pace can sometimes knock loose concrete ideas about style, tone, and voice.
Developing better creative for your B2B video marketing initiatives is all about honing your creative process. Starting with strategy, fostering collaboration, and discovering inspiration will lead to better, more sustainable creative work.
The bottom line is: to be creative, you have to create. So, don’t wait for inspiration to strike. Instead, seek it out.
If you’re looking for a partner to help produce better creative for your B2B video projects, we’re here to help. So reach out today, and due to the rules of yes and that you agreed to upon reading this blog post, please know you are now obliged to send us an email.