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Do you ever watch a really cool, informative video only to be completely distracted by its annoying and generic background music? Yeah, so do I. The wrong soundtrack can feel like a mosquito buzz or an annoying ring tone, and viewers will more than likely (begrudgingly) focus their attention on that instead of the video itself.
This is an especially common issue for B2B videos. Typically heavier on technical information, creators of B2B videos need to deliver a final product that truly captures their audience’s attention. With a slimmer margin for error, generic, cheap-sounding soundtracks simply won’t cut it.
This is the first out of four articles in a blog series where we’ll explore all there is to know about soundtracks for B2B videos, including best practices, and explicit tips. I'll showcase companies that are doing it right and highlight different soundtracking approaches for each video category.
Best of all is I'll give continuous music suggestions for you to explore similar soundtracks from Epidemic Sound’s library. Without further ado, let’s jump right into our first B2B video category: Explainers.
B2B’s heavy hitter: explainer videos
B2B’s equivalent to summer blockbusters - explainer videos - are tasked with presenting the company and its value proposition to website visitors. Virtually any B2B company’s first video will be an explainer. Typically, it’ll be prominently displayed on their homepage and showcased on various review sites (e.g. G2 Crowd, Capterra).
With an ideal runtime of one and a half to two minutes, it’s important to approach the soundtrack of an explainer video strategically. Have you ever heard of the saying ‘the best soundtracks are those that go unnoticed’? Whether or not this is true is up for debate. Yet, it might be worth approaching B2B explainers with that adage in mind.
More than any other type of B2B videos, the true value of the explainer video is determined by the following criteria: Was it able to communicate the company’s product or service in a comprehensible, clear manner?
It’s important to choose music that doesn’t drown out or overpower the potential voice actors and messaging presented in the explainer. A best practice is opting for audio that is unique and distinctive. Equally important is ensuring your soundtrack doesn’t steal the spotlight and that it doesn’t draw your audience’s attention away from its actual messaging.
Ideally, the explainer soundtrack should be consistent with the niche in which the B2B company operates within. As we’ll expand on in a moment, companies offering, say, cybersecurity solutions will create videos with a notably different tone than companies that work within less austere and secretive business vectors.
A fun, light soundtrack won’t fit when the subject matter is a platform aimed at preventing identity theft. Creators of such videos should explore more ominous soundtracks; the kind that accentuates the threat those who opt out of using the presented solution, are exposed to.
Contrarily, companies that offer solutions for, say, marketers (think HubSpot or SEMrush), should explore brighter, lighter soundtracks. Geared towards a naturally creative audience, these types of explainers should project a certain level of fun and excitement. The accompanying audio should emphasize that.
Who makes good explainer videos?
The poster child of fun, dynamic startups - monday.com - created an explainer that clearly reflects that. Opting for a funky/jazzy approach, the explainer’s soundtrack does a lot to dispel any notions viewers may have that the product at hand is another tedious, difficult to maneuver, SaaS platform.
Of critical note is the variation in the soundtrack volume. Whenever the narrator interjects, the background music volume is lowered a bit. Expertly edited, you’ll never get the feeling that the voiceover actor is ‘competing’ with the spunky soundtrack for the viewer’s attention.
At the other end of the B2B spectrum are companies that deal with cybersecurity. Often shying away from traditional marketing approaches, cyber-related marketers are tasked with showcasing their offerings while not using the artistic license of, for example, monday.com.
Additionally, these companies offer products and services that are meant to combat vicious (if not outright illegal) threats. Therefore, sharp marketers aim to address consumers’ legitimate concerns and fears. To bring the point home, dramatic soundtracks are often used to accentuate the service or product being described throughout the explainer.
Argus offers cutting-edge cybersecurity services aimed at fending off automotive cyber-attacks.
Their explainer imitates a trailer to a Hollywood thriller. The soundtrack keeps ramping up, and viewers can virtually feel the danger they’d be in if they choose to ignore the issues broached throughout the video.
Ridding the world’s oceans of plastic seems like an extremely ambitious idea (to say the least). The Dutch-based The Ocean Cleanup’s mission is to turn this into reality. Founded in 2013, the company has made waves (pun intended) by generating innovative solutions that elegantly collect plastic currently polluting the oceans. Additionally, the company has developed cutting edge tech aimed at preventing plastic from ever reaching the world’s oceans by collecting it from the rivers leading to them.
Such lofty, idealistic value propositions need to be presented in a way that is extremely grounded in reality. For investors and governments to show genuine interest in the company, its solution would require an explainer video that successfully proves that the company’s goals are attainable.
The Ocean Cleanup’s video excels at accentuating the gravity of the situation by presenting maritime science in a stimulating, eye-level way. The accompanying soundtrack perfectly complements the ideas being showcased.
The subtle audio track manages to imbue the video with a sense of urgency; and, yet it develops in ways that leave viewers feeling a sense of optimism. This unique aesthetic blend enables the video to pack a mean punch: viewers sense the danger posed by the ocean being polluted to such an extreme degree and are left feeling hopeful that the solution offered by The Ocean Cleanup can help mitigate it.
Working on a promo? Stay tuned for the next installment in this blog series: How to Choose the Best Music for Promos.