How to Craft Story-Driven Video Marketing With Your Employees’ Help
It’s time marketers left boring B2B marketing jargon behind. Dropping buzzwords and catchphrases might be fine to sprinkle at meetings, but I promise no audience wants to hear a peep about them. What they really want to watch is story-driven content.
This is true for a bunch of no-brainer reasons; like the fact that using endless strings of jargon can actually confuse your prospects even more than they were before encountering your content. If your goal is to grab attention and engage your target personas, there’s a high chance big words for big words’ sake just won’t connect.
So how can B2B marketers conquer the hearts and minds of their prospects and leads?
To answer this question, our Chief Evangelist, Renee Teeley, met up with the VP of Shootsta North America, Chad Lakin. Get ready to talk all about how you can craft story-driven video marketing. Hint: Get a little help from your employees.
Let’s get storytelling!
Into the Hearts of B2B Professionals
So if using busy buzzwords isn’t the way into the hearts of B2B professionals, what gives?
I hate to discourage marketing jargon with more marketing jargon, but here we go. There’s a pretty big buzzword (albeit from a few years ago) that’s going to be worth keeping in mind of the rest of this piece. It’s known as, “Human to Human” (or H2H).
B2B marketers of yesteryear focused on treating their B2B prospects likes businesses. But B2B marketers have evolved to learn that at the end of the day, they’re talking to other humans, and not abstract entities.
And as humans, there are few things that get us to sit up, listen, and remember stuff. One of those is stories.
Storytelling, a sacred art from the time of cavemen, has been passed down through the generations. They take us on a transformative journey, give us something (or someone) to cheer for, and offer us resolutions that make our brain networks skyrocket with cortisol, dopamine, and oxytocin.
Story-Driven Video Marketing Starts With Subject Experts in Your Company
So if storytelling is the key to connecting with our audience, our next stop is finding subject experts. Sure, testimonials are a fabulous way to collect stories about how your product or service has revolutionized your clients’ businesses. But too often, we overlook the storytelling genius of our fellow employees. Dare I borrow some marketing jargon and call them thought leaders.
Draw stories out of the employees in your company who interact with your customers and clients most. This will likely be folks in sales, account management, support, and community. Every day, they’re touching base with countless prospects, clients, and advocates and hearing their inspiring stories to business success. Reach out to make time to chat with these individuals. You’ll be floored by their anecdotes that seem too good to be true.
Best of all, these employees can get passionate when retelling these accounts. They also will use the words of your clients, instead of the SEO-optimized marketing lingo you’ve been spinning. This offers an authenticity to their stories and makes for amazing pieces of video content. It also brings what they love about working for your company to the surface. This gives them a chance to highlight the impact they feel they’re making, and why your product is making a difference.
The People Behind Your Product
If you thought those are all the people in your company with stories worth sharing, you want to talk to your more “back-end” teams.
If you’re a tech-driven company, schedule some one-on-one time with those product and R&D developers whose names you’re still not sure of. By finding and spotlighting the people behind your product, you can bring to center stage those who are moving the needle on your product and your space as a whole.
Some of them may be a bit more camera shy at first, but don’t be discouraged! Get them talking about what it’s like to build your product or processes. Soon enough, you won’t be able to get them to stop talking.
Once you’ve captured their stories on video, profile them on your website, Medium, or other social channels. Remember when we talked about H2H? This is it! Prospects will feel more connected with the passionate stories of the real people behind your business.
Hearts and minds connecting to hearts and minds. Pure B2B storytelling magic.
How To Collect Stories to Drive Video Marketing
Your employees — be it those hitting the phones with clients or those pulling the strings of code behind the curtain — have incredible stories to tell.
Stories that will offer human faces to your product or service and will leave your prospects inspired to make a change. With you as their obvious partner of choice.
But how can you best approach these employees and encourage them to share their stories? Here are some fun, engaging ways to get those B2B storytelling juices flowing:
1. Regular check-ins
The are always those employees in every company who everyone jokes should have their own YouTube channel, hit TEDx talk, or podcast. These people seem to always have amazing stories happen to them. Get yourself in the habit of checking in with them to see if they have new material. They’ll love the spotlight.
2. Internal contests
Healthy competition can bring forward amazing customer stories. A great example is of Undandy shoes. Powtoon’s favorite advisor, Hillel Fuld, recently flew to their HQ to judge a little something they call, “Customer Care Story of the Month.” As the name suggests, they have a monthly contest for their client-facing employees. Whoever tells the most heartwarming story of customer success in front of a panel of judges wins big time bragging rights. Now that’s making the workplace FUN!
3. Jump on the HR bandwagon
Most likely your HR or internal comms team puts out a weekly or monthly company newsletter (or even better they make a video newsletter). So why not jump on the newsletter bandwagon? Get the word out that you’re looking to have fireside (or watercooler-side) chats with passionate employees about their stories. Use inclusive language so anyone feels comfortable coming forward; no matter if it’s about building the latest feature or a breakthrough with a client.
Storytelling Side Effects
Like any solution, there are always potential side effects. Companies who create story-driven video marketing based on employee experiences are bound to get a talking to from HR. But a good talking to.
Here’s the thing. Engaging with employees not only enriches your marketing materials, but enriches your employees too! By giving employees an outlet to tell their stories, you, in turn, create employee advocates and ambassadors. Soon enough, your HR and recruitment team will want to use these videos for their efforts. Don’t be surprised to find them on your company’s LinkedIn Company Life tab, in their social media efforts, or other employer branding material.
Gotta love some of that heartwarming, story-worthy cross-departmental collaboration.
What Are YOUR Secret Tools for Storytelling?
Employees are your secret tool to driving a B2B storytelling marketing approach. The truth is, stories are 22 times more memorable than facts & figures alone. Highlighting the stories of your employees (no matter where they sit) can help create a more human to human marketing experience. Regardless of how you approach employees, we’re certain those videos will change your B2B marketing, employer brand, and office morale as a whole.
How do YOU use employee storytelling to drive awareness, engagement, and conversion? Let us know in the comments below or on YouTube.
As always, don’t forget to subscribe to Powtoon’s YouTube channel for more episodes of the #MakeItAwesome Show and more awesome content from the Powtoon team!
P.S. Want to learn more about how to tell B2B stories? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, where Chad’s partner-in-crime, Mike Pritchett, will teach us how to do just that.
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