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5 steps to harness emotion in B2B telecoms marketing (even the really boring ones)

01st August 2017

Modern marketing theory continues to shout about the benefits of emotional messages in our video campaigns. In fact I’d go as far as saying it’s the most significant driver of behaviour change that we have. But very often B2B telecoms marketers say:

“Sure, emotion is great, but this just doesn’t work for boring, emotionless B2B products.”

But to put it bluntly, this just is not true. Emotion works for all brands, and in fact it’s an essential part of any effective video marketing strategy. Read on to discover my 5 steps to adding emotional video to your telecoms marketing plan.

1. Understand the power of emotional video

As marketers, you’ll be familiar with all the stats about how video is taking over the internet. It has become so popular because it gets results, and basic human psychology lies at the heart of why.

Where do emotions come in? We can think of the human brain as being split into two different systems: System 1, based on emotions and not really concerned with anything that doesn’t affect our immediate well-being, and system 2, which is much more deliberate and logical. As we can be a little lazy as a species, we prefer go with the easy system 1 option.  

Obviously as marketers in the multi-channel environment, we’re going to fire emotional content at our audience, hitting the system 1 brain and motivating them to act. The logical side of the brain can be used for a short-term sales uplift, and to back up the emotional decision, but it’s the emotional connection that really works to deliver brand growth.

2. Understand your audience

Your target audience should be at the heart of all your video marketing campaigns. For telecommunications brands, you need to understand the problems facing your audience, their goals, and how you can help them.

Developing personas can be an effective solution to keep you on target here. This is basically developing a fictional representation of segments of your audience.

      What is their job title? What are their skills?

      Where do they seek information (social media, magazines, networks, peers)?

      Which influencers do they trust?

      Identify their company’s size, objectives

      What are the issues they face?

      What do they want to achieve?

      What are the barriers to purchase?

The persona is created using surveys, metrics from previous campaigns, sales insight, and desk research which builds up a picture of your target audience. Even though you’re focused on B2B marketing, give your persona a fictional name, as a reminder that you are talking to another human, not a faceless corporate.

What are the emotional drivers?

This leads us onto discovering the emotional drivers for your product. In the B2B telecos market it could be to make life easier, earn more money, or to impress the boss in order to bag a promotion.

Here’s an easy exercise that we do to pinpoint those drivers.  

Write down 5-10 drivers of your audience.

For instance, do they want to save money and look good in front of their boss?

Now, take a more cynical (or realistic) view of your customers. What do you come up with now?

Are they lazy and tight?

Push it as far as you can, and you’ve got the emotional driver.

Here’s a really good example from an invoicing company, which although not the most exciting product in the world, has come up with a humorous reason for using the product.

They’re playing with the driver of the perennial fear of losing your job to a rival. If you don’t get efficient with your invoicing, you’ll get repetitive strain injury, be off work, and the intern takes over.

I’d really recommend trying the exercise; it will be revealing.

4. Bring your telecoms video marketing to life

Now that we know what makes your audience tick, we’re ready to create the telecoms video marketing campaign. The creative and format of the video will very much depend on your goals. Do you need a brand film to raise awareness? Would an animated explainer video help to bring the complexity of your telecommunications product to life? Are you looking for video content to seal the deal? A filmed case study could be perfect to offer reassurance to close the sale.

Whatever your aims, you’ll achieve more if you focus on what the product means for the audience (remember the persona and drivers) rather than going into too much detail about features. In the film below for Airbus, we focused on making an emotional connection with the audience by showing the impact of the technology on our lives.

The result is a B2B film which resonates emotionally, engages their audience and builds their brand presence.

5. Test it, make it even better                                 

Whatever marketing campaign you’re running, it is vital to set up those SMART objectives at the beginning, and analyse your stats throughout. Examine views, drop off, engagement rates, social sharing, and then refine your film based on the analytics. You can also A/B test your campaign by trialing two different versions of your video; for instance, create different captions, or calls to action.

Go through my 5 steps and I guarantee you’ll find the emotional side of your B2B telecoms product. Connect with me on Twitter @jon_hurricane or on Linkedin to discuss it further.

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