Video as customer experience: watching with customer’s eyes

Is watchability the best frame of reference for B2B marketing videos? B2B buyers click on a marketing video expecting to get something out of it, and willing to pay for it in the currency of the Internet: their attention. To gauge video as customer experience, consider whether customers will come away feeling that they got what they paid for.

Video is just another way to say something

“What are we trying to say here?” is a question that sometimes gets overlooked in the course of building out a video. Video gives you many distracting ways to shape the message: animation, on-screen interlocutors, dialog, graphics, text, emotional cues (including voice, color palette and music). It’s easy to get caught up in the process of tweaking these variables when your focus is on producing a video that feels lively to you and your colleagues. But you need to step back from time to time and try to watch it from the customer’s point of view.

The customer arrived at this video expecting insight and useful information. It’s quite likely that uppermost in his or her mind is the question “how long will it take?” Even an explainer video under two minutes in length can seem to take too long to come to the point — especially if it starts out by describing things you already know about, or find uninteresting.

This is even more likely to happen if you think of video from the point of view of someone producing a TV show. TV shows have a predictable structure. Introductory remarks>exposition>conclusion. Problem>solution>benefits>call-to-action. Organizing information is never a bad idea — but it’s not the same thing as taking the customer’s point of view.

If you think about video as a way of imparting useful information, you’re more likely to start off with something useful rather than something introductory. You’re less likely to trot out unproven assertions and dull “messaging.” You’ll get to the point — from the customer’s point of view. What could be better?

Editorial agility

Thinking about video as just another way to say something opens up many possibilities to apply what I call “editorial agility.” Editorial agility is what it takes to quickly make or modify the connections between words and images to drive home a point — and to know which point needs to be driven home. It’s not just about writing or producing something. It’s also about re-using segments of video or improving existing videos. It’s understanding that video doesn’t need to be a big production. It just needs to say what it means.

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