Six B2B explainer video “worst practices” (including some of mine)

Until recently, video was rare on the Internet, and people were grateful to find it because the prose (at least on tech company websites) was so dreary. A video on the home or product page was high-impact communication.  That was the case when we started making 2-Minute Explainer videos in 2004.  Now, video isn’t just popular, it’s a content-marketing essential like white papers and and webinars.  You need to find new ways to get your videos found. Video needs to work harder to get results. So it’s best to avoid the following (still prevalent) B2B explainer video “worst practices” from bygone days.

1. No competitive advantage to take away

When we talk about our “2-Minute Explainer” videos with prospects, they often express the need for a “high-level overview,” by which they mean something like “just the high points,” but which often results in not much more than a list of features. It may be because my video background is in journalism, not commercials, but I’ve always felt that, in B2B video communication, it’s essential to have a tangible takeaway — “We do X. The competition only does Y!” A surprising number of videos simply elaborate a problem and then assert that the solution provider can solve it.

2. Wishy-washy call to action

B2B explainer video

Not wishy-washy at all. Invitation to a conference with one unmistakable call-to-action (“Register!”)

Many B2B videos have no call to action. Many more just invite the viewer to get in touch. Why not make it quick and easy? This workmanlike video from SAP invites viewers to a conference, and, from the outset, provides just one highly visible and unmistakable next step.