Video Review: What Symantec Can Teach B2B Marketers
As Salesforce’s chief digital evangelist put it, “Video has gone mainstream for B2B marketers and switched from a nice-to-have to an absolute must.” Simply having a generic video for your product or service is not enough. Videos—like all assets—are only as good as they are relevant and helpful. People want to see the most useful information at the right time, instead of being inundated with all the facts at every turn.
It’s a tall order for video marketers, but being aware of what others are producing can help keep your organization on track. That’s why we’re back with another installment of our video review series, where we look at video content, production best practices, and do’s and don’ts that illustrate how to capture your audience’s attention and keep them engaged with your brand. In this review, our video expert, Danie Taylor, offers her take on a Symantec video called “Symantec Strong Authentication—VIP Everywhere,” which makes the case that its cloud-based service provides user-friendly ways to deliver network authentication.
The subject matter is admittedly complex and the service includes several features. A straightforward animation helps demystify the subject matter, but the script covers too many topics for a single compelling idea to emerge. The VIP Everywhere service includes a lengthy list of offerings. Unfortunately, Symantec attempts to focus on all of them in a single video.
Animation was an excellent choice. It provides a great way to explain complex concepts that live action and other styles sometimes can’t. A common challenge with animations, that this video overcomes, is that they can come off as infantile or cartoon-like when they hew too closely to the script. The storytelling here isn’t overly literal, so Symantec is able to get its message across in a way befitting of the subject matter. After watching this video, audiences will understand the importance of deploying a user-friendly solution for their network authentication needs.
In addition to animation, Symantec also uses characters, icons, statistics, and text overlays to help tell the story. In this case, we have too much of a good thing.
Communicating through video requires restraint. While it may be suitable to include a significant amount of research and data in a white paper or an eBook, video relies on an emotional hook or connection to engage viewers. Information transmitted through video passes too quickly for lengthy lists of data points. While customers may hear or see a scenario that’s relevant, they’re also hard pressed to hold on to that specific interest while being inundated with new information for another minute or two.
This is where the Symantec video falters. It’s nearly three minutes long and full of feature and process details and supporting technical information. It’s difficult to come away with a single compelling idea other than “this service can do it all,” and that may be the intent. After all, a long script is bound to have something that appeals to everyone. Still, there is a fine line between mass appeal and throwing in everything but the kitchen sink.
The Symantec video also blends images and text, leading to mixed results. People read what’s on screen. If the text doesn’t sync with what they’re hearing, the viewer will either listen or read, and in doing so, possibly lose part of the message. For example, statistics about customers using Symantec’s Tier 4 military grade data centers appear on screen, but there is no mention of them in the script. While it’s important not to be too literal, the sights and sounds should still connect.
It’s a wrap
The style and the pacing of this video are solid. Animation does much of the heavy lifting, and the video covers a lot of ground without dwelling on a single point longer than necessary. However, it could have been broken into two or three smaller videos, each exploring a different facet of the VIP service. Bite-sized presentation would make the technical specifications more digestible.
Also, the highly technical language targets a niche audience. That may have been the goal, in which case the video successfully speaks to the audience in a language that resonates. On the other hand, focusing on a small audience brings the risk of excluding potential customers. A script with higher-level language casts a broader net, enabling Symantec to engage more people looking to explore the many facets of VIP Everywhere.
Watch the video below.
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