This series is a collaboration with Cincopa, a powerful video hosting solution.
At the risk of coming off as the physical manifestation of the ‘old man yelling at cloud clouds’ meme, I’m going to share a potentially controversial opinion: movie trailers were way better back in the 90s.
Instead of revealing major plot twists, old school movie trailers were used solely to pique the audience’s interest. Very often, viewers of these trailers would come out without really knowing what the movie was going to be about. The excitement they experienced watching it, however, was very often enough to get them to the nearest movie theatre for the release.
And, unlike Hollywood, the corporate world still has a lot of love for the old school approach. Promos, the business world’s equivalent of trailers, share similar characteristics; namely to create maximum intrigue within minimal window frames.
This means marketers and creative professionals face a considerable challenge when creating B2B promos: how should they take often complex, technical (and at times, flat out boring) products, and solutions and present them in a way that would excite potential customers?
Well, they should start off by choosing a one-of-a-kind, truly unique soundtrack. Cheap-sounding accompanying music soundtracks simply won’t cut it.
This is the second out of four articles in a blog series where we’ll explore soundtracks for B2B videos: best practices and explicit tips. We’ll showcase companies that are doing it right and highlight different approaches for each video category.
The first part of this series focused on B2B marketers’ heavy hitter – explainer videos. If you missed it, check it out! Now, without further ado, let’s jump right into our second B2B video category: Promos.
Promos videos’ role: maximum impact in minimal timeframes
Most B2B promos don’t just randomly show up to a completely uninitiated audience base. Thanks to sophisticated algorithms, promos will most likely be presented to those who’ve clicked on a B2B company’s banner, visited its site, or searched for content related to the solution it offers. Those of us who frequent YouTube will more than likely be familiar with this category.
After visiting certain B2B sites, you will often be exposed to the platform’s promos when watching YouTube videos (they do sometimes appear at annoying moments, but we won’t get into that now…)
So, while benefiting from segmented audiences, B2B promo creators are expected to show results. With measurable metrics, such as ‘number of conversions’ and click-through-rates, there is very little grey zone when assessing whether a B2B video succeeded at capturing the audience's imagination, or not.
Like Super Bowl commercials, promos are meant to generate a buzz and grab the viewer’s attention. With an ideal runtime of 20 to 30 seconds, promos are most effective when they manage to attract attention right from the start.
This is where marketers’ talent and creativity take center stage. As I mentioned, viewers are often exposed to B2B promos after having at least some prior interaction with the promoted product or service. Yet, viewers have the choice to skip them, especially when presented with them on YouTube.
As mentioned, promos have a tendency to pop up in ways that may disrupt your viewing experience. This is why it’s crucial to select a soundtrack that transforms your promo into something intriguing that ‘forces’ the viewer to overcome their desire to click on the skip button. Think out of the box. Leaving your comfort zone and choosing audio that the public may not associate with you and your brand might truly pay off.
Who’s making good promos?
Webflow has the difficult task of competing with internet giants such as Wix and WordPress. However, their promo manages to perfectly encapsulate their value proposition: as far as web development is concerned, they are the future.
The accompanying audio sounds like something straight out of TRON or Blade Runner. Thanks in large part to this upbeat, yet somewhat dark soundtrack, you can’t help but feel like the product being promoted is futuristic and advanced. At the end of the day, Webflow is just another software platform. Still, this promo convinces you that they are so much more than that.
Entrust Datacard’s platform enables secure financial transactions, along with sophisticated and immediate identity protection services. You’d think their promo would have a similar tone to those showcasing, say, cybersecurity platforms aimed at combating hostile interference, right? Well, the company opted for a more uplifting approach; one that evokes sentimentality through focusing on a father-daughter relationship.
The result is a short video that has an undeniably hopeful and optimistic tone. The soundtrack plays a critical role in securing this powerful aesthetic. The delayed, dissonant guitar (obviously achieved using heavy reverb), accompanied by the rhythmic acoustic guitar evoke distinct feelings of warmth, without coming off as sappy.
Get ready for the next part of this blog series: The Art of Choosing Great Music for Customer Testimonials.