If there’s one problem with most B2B marketing videos, it’s that they’re boring. Sometimes painfully so. Because they’re marketed toward businesses, many agencies try to “go pro” and keep things very focused and formal. Unfortunately, that’s not likely to get anyone’s attention.

This means that boring videos are a BIG problem; if you aren’t getting people’s attention, then you’re probably not going to get the attention of the corporate decision-makers you’re targeting, and you’re just wasting money.

Not every B2B marketing video falls into this trap, however. Here are six of the best B2B videos we’ve seen so far, to help inspire you to break out of that boring video box yourself.

Zendesk – “I Like It When He Gives Me the Business

You might imagine it’s hard to make a fun commercial about customer service, but Zendesk is here to prove you wrong. Using a setup like a dating profile success story, the ad tells about the rocky relationship that a company had with its customers. Fortunately, switching to Zendesk solved those communication needs, and now the company is able to give its customers the attention they deserve. The full video’s charming and fun, and with a tagline like “I like it when he gives me the business,” it’s one that will stick with people.

Volvo Trucks – “The Epic Split

You’d think a video focused around Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits would be campy or silly, but Volvo Trucks actually managed to pull it off in a way that’s both classy and impressive. Back in the ’80s and ’90s, Van Damme was known for his physical abilities, and the epic splits he did in movies such as Bloodsport. Volvo Trucks managed to cash in on that nostalgia by showing him doing the splits between the side mirrors on two of their trucks that were in motion going backward. It’s an incredible maneuver and a theatrical showing of how stable Volvo’s commercial trucks are on the road.

VeriSign – “The Shopping Cart Whisperer

Using a faux-documentary approach, VeriSign tackles the problem of shoppers abandoning their carts before making a purchase with a bit of humor. The format makes people pay attention, if for no other reason than to see how the spoof ends, but the video also addresses a pretty important topic in eCommerce. In the end, VeriSign strikes the perfect balance of serious message and amusement factor to get decision-makers to take notice.

HubSpot – “What Is HubSpot?

“Explainer” videos are old hat, but HubSpot really shows how to do an explainer right. There are a lot of subtle connections between the video and the voiceover, as well as between the animation and live-action sequences. It takes what could be a pretty boring format and livens it up just enough to make it engaging and really drive the company’s value proposition home. The best part is that it does it with a format that everybody’s seen while making the “explainer” format almost seem new again.

Adobe Marketing Cloud – “Click, Baby, Click

This video does a great job of setting up an expectation and then subverting it at the last minute. The music, action and scope of the video make it obvious that there’s a setup coming, but the payoff is still pretty funny when you see it. That sudden shift makes the transition to a white background with Adobe’s message all the more effective, giving decision-makers something to think about when it comes to how much they know (or don’t know) about their customers.

Dissolve – “This Is a Generic Brand Video

The best thing about this video is that it calls out so many generic marketing videos using stock footage that Dissolve, itself, licenses to others. It gets the viewers’ attention and also serves as an unspoken challenge for marketers to do better than the type of video that’s lampooned here.

Making Your Own Amazing B2B Videos

As these examples show, there are a lot of ways to go about making B2B marketing videos that stand out from the crowd. They can be funny, touching or awe-inspiring. They can take classic tropes and use them to great effect. In a few cases, they can even turn the boring into spectacular by merely shining a light on how horrible it is. But what if you want to make these sorts of videos yourself? While you’ll have to supply the imagination and technical wizardry to actually execute the video, here are a few things you can keep in mind to set your offering apart:

  • Define your target audience, then adjust your message to engage with them specifically
  • Establish a story or logical sequence of events instead of just jumping from one point to the next
  • Avoid trying too hard; the best B2B marketing videos have an authentic, human quality to them
  • Appeal to emotion or humor to ensure that viewers feel something as they watch
  • Reinforce your brand, but do it subtly

Of course, it goes without saying that you should also bring your A-game when it comes to production values. No one is going to be interested in a video that looks like it was filmed on your iPhone in the middle of an earthquake. If viewers can’t see clearly and hear clearly, a lot of your hard work will be wasted.