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Break Free B2B Series: Adam Dunn on Creating Blockbuster Video Content in B2B

Break Free B2B Interview with Adam Dunn

Break Free B2B Interview with Adam Dunn Content has many aims. It should inform. It should assist. It should entertain. But as B2B marketers, doesn’t it seem like if we don’t deliver on the latter – immediately, and convincingly – we don’t really get a chance to deliver on the rest?  Given that our job is dependent on earning and keeping an audience’s attention, marketers are wise to take cues from entertainment-focused content formats like films and music videos. Even more so, we’re wise to take cues from the creators behind them. In a nutshell, that’s why Adam Dunn offers a particularly valuable perspective for people in our line of work. As a film and video director who has worked on numerous prominent music videos and Hollywood movies — including “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, for which he and his team won an Academy Award — Adam is fervently focused on creating content that is compelling and captivating for audiences. At TopRank Marketing, we’ve also had the opportunity to work with him on several video marketing initiatives, seeing first-hand how his expertise can take such efforts to the next level. via GIPHY [bctt tweet=”It’s often the thing that is imperfect that eventually becomes the thing people like the most, which is why Spiderverse became the thing that everyone loved. — @adamjdunn #VideoMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”] In this edition of Break Free B2B, TopRank President Susan Misukanis and I were thrilled to sit and chat with Adam about a variety of topics pertinent to marketers today. We asked which elements of his work tend to resonate most with audiences, what his recommendations would be for budget-friendly video content, how new technologies like live-streaming and VR are coming into play, and more. This was actually the first episode of the show that was recorded, but we decided to warm you up with some rising stars and familiar faces in the B2B space first. Today we’re excited to share this conversation and branch out to more of an outsider’s perspective.  (Note: There were some technical difficulties with the microphone on our end. But we didn’t want to let that prevent you from hearing Adam’s awesome insights; please bear with us!)

Break Free B2B Marketing Interview with Adam Dunn

If you’re interested in checking out a particular portion of the discussion, you can find a quick general outline below, as well as a few excerpts that stood out to us.

  • 0:30 — Adam’s background
  • 2:30 — Learning from failure and setbacks
  • 4:00 — Movies and music videos Adam has worked on
  • 6:45 Does “Into the Spider-Verse” represent a new visual frontier?
  • 9:45 — Learning to speak your audience’s language
  • 11:00 — The common traits of his most well-received work
  • 13:00 — The appeal of video marketing
  • 15:45 — Tips for creating video content with a finite budget
  • 18:00 — How will Twitch and live-streaming influence the future of marketing?
  • 21:30 — What is the role of VR and where is it heading?

Nick: As you look back at some of the things you’ve worked on — I’m especially interested in the music videos where there is a lot of content, a lot of competition, hard to stand out … When you look at the ones that are the most well received, and gained the most traction, do you see any common elements that are making those resonate? Adam: I don’t know if there’s one common through point. But I think the biggest thing from all the ones that I’ve had that are successful is cohesiveness of vision.  So while all the videos are totally different, making sure your team is 100% on the same page when making the content is what makes the most successful stuff on my end, just because you know, there have been videos where things have been a little bit crazy and we haven’t had we’d have a ton of time to shoot or anything like that, and we had to just kind of Helter Skelter, throw it all together to make something. And it doesn’t come out nearly as cohesive as something where the whole team knows exactly where everything is going, all the pieces fit, and then you make this beautiful piece of art and everyone loves it …  How that could translate into something like B2B would be like, when you do an explainer, making sure you have that exact A to B to C lined up, ready to go. And that way when you make the explainer, everyone knows exactly where all the pieces fit, everything looks beautiful, and you make this amazing piece of content. [bctt tweet=”I think the biggest factor in successful video content is cohesiveness of vision. @adamjdunn #VideoMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”] Nick: We’ve had the opportunity to work with you on some B2B marketing projects. What interests you about video marketing and where do you see it going?  Adam: I think video marketing is intriguing, because it brings in real-life storytelling. You bring in these experts and influencers who know exactly the topics are talking about — you get to meet them and watch how passionate they are about what they’re involved in. So you get to learn this really cool stuff.  Like, when I first started working with you guys, I didn’t know a ton about B2B marketing, but I feel like I at least have a ground framework now from getting to be around a bunch of experts and talking to influencers and stuff. So that’s what intrigues me about it from my own on my own personal level, is getting to see these people who are super passionate and know everything. Nick: So for someone who’s in B2B marketing and interested in doing video but doesn’t have an Academy Award winning effect specialist on hand, and maybe doesn’t know where to start …  What would be some recommendations for those with a finite budget and limited resources to create something that is high-quality and looks professional? Adam: I would say probably the very first place to start if you’re looking to get started on doing video and you have a limited budget would be to invest as much money as you can into your kit, first and foremost, because that’s the thing you’re gonna have all the time. So your camera, the lighting gear, your microphones, those kinds of things.  With cameras you can make a lot of really professional, nice amazing things even on an iPhone now, so for camera, you have the tools at your disposal. One of the things that trip people up in a professional environment is audio-related. It’s like if you have something like tons of hum and pops and things like that, that’s something that can trip up professionals. So getting a nice microphone is usually a good spot.  But a really good thing just for starting, and what I say when I end up lecturing back at my old school, is always just start. Just start making things and just dip your toes in the water because you’re never going to get great without just doing. So you need to do it in the early days and you know what if maybe the early ones aren’t as great as the ones that happened later, and that’s exactly what you want. [bctt tweet=”Just start making things and just dip your toes in the water because you’re never going to get great without just doing. @adamjdunn #VideoMarketing #BreakFreeB2B” username=”toprank”] Stay tuned to the TopRank Marketing Blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Break Free B2B interviews. Here are a few interviews to whet your appetite:

The post Break Free B2B Series: Adam Dunn on Creating Blockbuster Video Content in B2B appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

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5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Traits B2B Influencers

Marketers are still asking, what is B2B influencer marketing? Here’s a definition I’ve been using over the past 5 years or so:

B2B influencer marketing is activating internal and external subject matter experts with engaged networks to advocate and co-create content of mutual value that drives measurable business goals.

As the groundswell around influencer marketing rises and becomes a normal part of the B2B marketing mix, the volume of information and misinformation on the topic also increases.

One of the most popular questions people also ask about B2B influencer marketing focuses on what makes a good business influencer? By now we all know that popularity alone does not make someone influential. It’s certainly important, it's just not the only thing.

As B2B marketers mature in their understanding of the role influence plays and how the dynamic of brand content co-created with industry experts plays out with customers, they begin to realize that other factors matter. Topical relevance matters of course as well as resonance of the topic amongst an influencer’s community.

B2B Marketing Influencers

The intersection of individual expertise, how well that expertise resonates with followers and the size of network creates a baseline of characteristics when evaluating whether a certain influencer might be a match.

But there’s more than that. Understanding what makes a great influencer is both art and science, soft and hard skills. The success of identifying, qualifying and engaging influencers is also directly tied to how they will be engaged and to what end.

Some people reading this might think that influencer marketing isn’t the magic pill some are playing it up to be. There’s a reason for that, because it’s not magic. It’s more like alchemy.

The reality is, there’s no one formula for the perfect B2B influencer, but there are some common characteristics that B2B brands should look for in varying proportions according to what’s important to a program or activation. I call those characteristics:

The 5 Ps of B2B Influence

Proficiency - In B2B marketing, the vast majority of those considered influential possess deep expertise in the field they work in. This is a significant difference from many B2C influencers who are often self proclaimed as influential with clever media creation skills.

As B2C influencer content and engagement tactics evolve, some are crossing over into B2B with a trickle of opportunists successfully creating influence amongst B2B audiences not solely for their expertise, but for a combination of adept social media content creation skills and some expertise. B2B marketers who do their due diligence will be able to filter accordingly.

Popularity - While network size is not the only thing, nor is it the most important thing, it is definitely a metric to consider. Some marketers swing in the direction of ignoring audience size altogether because of lower engagement rates with popular influencers. This is simply foolish. All things being the same, I’ll take 2% engagement of an influencer with a million followers over 2% from someone that has 1,000 followers.

What matters is how network size factors in with the type of influencer you need. For example, popular influencers aka “brandividuals” are often best for top of funnel content. Niche domain expert influencers are better for middle and end of funnel content. Engaging a brandividual and expecting conversions is just naive.

Personality - If you’ve worked in B2C influencer marketing and been exposed to all the characters there, B2B is going to seem a bit dry. Now there are some colorful characters in the B2B influencer community, no doubt. But personality is often a trait that needs to be uncovered when you’re working with some types of business influencers.

The good news is that savvy influencer marketing practitioners know how to plant the seeds that can grow and blossom within an otherwise introverted influencer. You don’t need them to be a colorful character, ripe with personality per se, but you do want them to connect with the passion they have with their craft and how their expertise can help others be successful.

Publishing - Content is the media that conveys the ideas of influence and while B2B influencers are not expected to produce the same types and quantity of content as in B2C, it is ideal when there’s a platform where the influencer publishes. At a minimum, that would be social networks but to be a B2B influencer, it’s most likely that also includes articles contributed to publications if not research, books and presentations.

Promotion - The value a B2B influencer brings beyond adding expertise and credibility to brand content is the ability to share what they helped create with their network. Trust of brand content is at a low, especially with advertising. Customers yearn for authentic content and the right kind of influencer collaboration can give them that, delivered via the influencer’s own distribution channels. That means social networks for course but also potentially blogs, email newsletters, podcast, LinkedIn Live, contributed articles or columns in industry publications.

I know some people reading this are thinking there could be even more P’s like being Prolific, Persuasive or Passion. Yes, there could be so many more but we have to draw the line somewhere! It's important to be able to manage the data and insights necessary to factor these characteristics into selection, qualification and engagement.

Some of these traits will not fully reveal themselves until you work with an influencer on a few content activations. Others will fluctuate over time and that is normal. It's important to understand that influence is a temporal thing. It is not fixed or permanent. It’s important marketers realize that before they disengage an influencer in the short term due to lower performance. The same goes for high expectations after great performance.

Organic influencer engagement is a little dynamic and what you don’t spend on paid influencers like an ad buy you will (in part) need to invest in relationship management, education and even tips that will help the influencers be more effective.

B2B brands with high influencer churn or low performance often apply “ad buy” perspectives to a what is actually a relationship driven effort. Mismatched expectations are not helpful for anyone, so think about the 5Ps as you evaluate and nurture your influencer community. Consider where of each your ideal influencers need to score on the 5 Ps in order to be a good match for the kind of activation you have in mind.

When there’s 5P alignment, there's happiness: for customers, influencers and your B2B brand.

The post 5 Key Traits of the Best B2B Influencers appeared first on Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®.

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