When it comes to showing prospects how your product works, how it solves their problems, and how it is used by others, video is one of the most effective mediums you can use. When properly produced, video can engage and educate customers, drive conversions, and even upsell existing customers. But the message must resonate quickly.

As we recently explained in our post about how Dell used a TDA-produced video to convey complex concepts to nontechnical audiences, you have a very short amount of time to get your message across. Yet for many seasoned B2B marketers, crafting compelling video content that sells ideas to target audiences is often a challenge.

Competition for viewers in the world of video is intense, so your content has to work fast to grab attention. How do you engage and capture interest quickly? How much detail do you give? What do your viewers already know? As with other forms of marketing, there is no magic bullet for video production that will guarantee success. However, following a few simple guidelines can help tip the odds in your favor.

1 – Simplify your message

Creating a compelling video, particularly involving technical subjects, requires stripping your messaging down to its core. With Dell, TDA proposed the idea for a video in conjunction with concept development for an infographic. Both items targeted the same audience of small business owners. To broaden the appeal of these two assets, TDA recommended focusing on the solution’s benefits. The product that provides those benefits is obvious, but takes a back seat to helping the nontechnical audience understand the complex concept of network security.

Clever interplay between animation video graphics and a plainspoken script engages Dell’s target audience to demonstrate the importance of network security and highlight the way the Dell firewall solution offers cost-effective protection. It conveys a simple but important point to small business owners: If you’re not thinking about network security, you should be. Your business depends on it.

2 – Support a specific stage of the buyer’s journey

Decide whether you are trying to bring your audience into the top of your sales funnel through awareness, engaging them in the middle of your funnel, or closing them at the bottom of your funnel. In our example, a thought-leadership approach helps position Dell as security experts. By engaging small business owners, and convincing them of the urgency to protect their small businesses against network security threats, the video helps produce qualified leads at the top of the funnel—and accelerates the sales cycle.

3 – Focus on compelling content

The goal of your video is to keep your audience engaged and interested, so make sure it provides compelling content. It sounds simple, but good storytelling is crucial. Stories make us think. They make us feel. If told well, they inspire us. In our example video, simple animation graphics show how unified threat management firewalls safeguard against today’s emerging threats. The visual narrative moves viewers seamlessly toward Dell firewall solutions, which offer an affordable way for small businesses to obtain the same caliber of firewall security, performance, and manageability enjoyed by larger enterprises.

4 – Broaden your reach

Too often, marketers approach video as a one-off project and don’t plan beyond the production process. To maximize your impact, you need to design and execute a multifaceted campaign promoting the video. In the Dell example, the video has been posted on YouTube; featured on the Dell SonicWALL video gallery; and also linked to deeper-dive, solution-specific assets, including data sheets, white papers, case studies, technical briefs, and on-demand webcasts.

5 – Request a specific action

The best way to wrap up your marketing video is with a call to action. Describe what you want the audience to do, tell them why they should do it, and show them how. You can ask your viewers to sign up for your newsletter, call for more information, visit your blog, or leave comments about your video. The call to action is an essential component of a results-producing video, so don’t overlook it.

6 – Get expert assistance

As customers continue to educate themselves online, businesses need relevant, targeted digital content more than ever—and video offers the ideal medium. Although creating a good marketing video takes time and diligence, the investment will pay dividends far beyond the original effort. Of course, developing results-producing marketing videos is a core competency at TDA Group. Let us know if we can help.