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6 B2B video ad trends for 2023

As 2022 comes to an end and we look forward to 2023, we identified six B2B video marketing trends we expect to grow or continue over the next year. 

Top B2B video marketing trends for 2023

  1. Corporate video will continue to die.
  2. B2B companies will launch their own streaming networks for video content distribution.
  3. B2B marketers will embrace more humor in their video ads.
  4. B2B companies will explore new channels for distributing video ads, including TV and OTT.
  5. Disruptors are coming, and they're using B2C marketing tactics, not classic B2B tactics.
  6. B2B video is getting shorter. It's time to start making more video ads. 

For more on each trend, listen to the episode or read the transcript below.

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Guy Bauer: Creativity will be the difference maker, will be a competitive advantage. If you can glue me in 15 seconds and get me excited about your company or make me laugh, cry, whatever, like you win, you're gonna win. 

Hope Morley: Hello and welcome to Death to the Corporate Video, a podcast with tools and advice for how to make B2B video ads your prospects actually want to watch. I'm Hope Morley.

Guy Bauer: I'm Guy Bauer.

Hope Morley: Welcome, Guy Bauer.

Guy Bauer: Thank you, Hope Morley.

Hope Morley: Today's episode is going to be our last show of 2022. We're gonna take a little break for the holidays and come back with some fresh episodes and new content for you listeners in 2023, which I can't believe is already the next year. 

Guy Bauer: Some fresh content.

Hope Morley: So for this last episode of the year, we wanted to look ahead at 2023 and present you with some trends that we're seeing in B2B video for the next year.

So some of these are things we've been seeing building through 2022. Some of them are things that are really fresh and we think more brands are gonna be doing. We each have three trends. So we will switch off presenting some trends that we are looking forward to seeing more of, or that we think that we're going to see more of in 2023.

Guy Bauer: Sounds good.

Hope Morley: All right, Guy, will you go first with your first trend for 2023?

Guy Bauer: My first trend is that I see corporate video, the slow death of corporate video, continuing. I think we've done a good job and I think we can credit this podcast 100% to that Uh, no. But yeah, no, I do see corporate video continuing to die. In 2010, I remember 2010, 2011, every single business article was, tell your story, why you have to tell your story, and video is brand new to B2B companies or companies in general. Like YouTube had only come out in 2006. So finally, you know, this was the age of companies rushing to get a video and tell their story, and that's where you saw just the rise of that corporate explainer with the CEO being interviewed and people writing on whiteboards, people talking about everyone here as a family and to us, our most valuable asset is our people.

What separates us from the competition is our focus on the customer. A lot of companies say they're focused on the customer, but we are really focused on the customer. I mean, we mean it. We wake up every day ready to serve. I mean, like I, you know, the only reason I know all this stuff is because we made a ton of those things but those things are dying. Thank God they need to die because every company has one and they all say the same thing. Because I made them! And they all so every company has told their story, but you know what happened midway through the teens is Donald Miller and StoryBrand came out and his whole thing was, well no, actually your customer is the hero. And then I think, and honestly brands are just getting on board with that, you know what I mean? 

I think the next frontier is instead of telling people's story, telling their story, in these long form two and a half minute clunkers, it's gonna pivot to positioning your customer as the hero and branding and the rise of the short form B2B video.

We happen to be a B2B video ad agency, Hope, so. But I don't, I think there's no bias there, but there may be anyway. What's your trend?

Hope Morley: First of all, I wanna say that I agree with you on your trend with the fading of the corporate video, and I think that what we're seeing is that there are still plenty of brands that have those existing corporate videos, but at this point, it’s heartening to me to see that, you know, the date on the YouTube upload for a lot of them, it's 2016, it's 2017.

So brands are starting to realize that those videos are five plus years old at this point. And instead of looking to refresh it by doing the same thing again, they're looking for what they need to be doing now. And what you need to be doing now is, making more short form content, more specific content, things that aren't so focused on your culture.

People pointing at computer screens and smiling.

Guy Bauer: It's the death of the corporate video and the rise of creativity. But anyway, yes. What's your trend?

Hope Morley: Yeah, so my first trend for 2023 is the rise of the B2B streaming network. So we saw these starting to come alive in 2022, and I think we're gonna see more brands doing this in 2023. B2B companies are starting to make their own destinations for their own video content. So they're making their own, you know, instead of relying on YouTube, LinkedIn to distribute their content, they are making a destination that they're trying to get people to come to. So Salesforce plus is the big example in this place. DemandBase has a great one for sales executives. I know there's a few others, but the point of having your own destination for video content is that you are starting to serve your audience in a new way instead of just trying to sell to them. Obviously this is a marketing tool, but you're trying to provide value and providing a place that people can go to where your brand is serving them by giving them educational content. In a lot of these cases, it's not exactly a streaming network, but you can even point to places like HubSpot Academy as being in a similar vein of this, doing this a few years before.

But you make yourself a destination. And then the advantages of this are obviously that you own the space, so you're not reliant on an external network here, you know, we're kind of watching the potential implosion of Twitter going on in December, 2022. Who knows what's gonna happen with that. But whenever you build your empire on top of somebody else's platform, you risk it completely, you know, disintegrating without your control.

So if you build your own streaming network, you have full control over it. You own the data of what people are coming to do, touching on the end of the third party cookies. So we all want first party data. We all want to have our own destination for people to go. We all want to establish our brand as an expert in this space.

So having your own streaming network, your own destination for video content is a great way to do that. And I'm hoping to see more, more and more companies launching that in 2023. I expect we will see more companies doing it.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I like that. I like it. I think it's fun. I think obviously Salesforce plus is like the forerunner or front runner or like, you know, the, the shiniest thing on the mountain top. So we'll see what happens. I think in theory it's a great idea, but I think it's like, so can I give the counterpoints or the, let me, let me be devil's advocate, or…

Hope Morley: Well I'm presenting this as a trend we're seeing. I'm not necessarily advocating for it, but I think we're gonna be seeing more of it.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, I agree. And I, my whole thing though is when you go to the platforms, and I'm just being honest here, when you go to the platforms, it's basically like everybody's YouTube videos just put on this thing, and they're mostly corporate videos . They're like, terrible. So I think it's this, you know what's interesting is like, yes.I think in theory the platform play works, especially with, you know, there's a lot of complaints about YouTube too, like YouTube demonetizing content, just randomly their moderation. Like you can get people that do kind of copyright strike vengeance and, and play with the algorithm to mess with you. So I think there's lots of that stuff.

But I think now you're just the name of the game remains can you produce stuff that people actually want to watch? And so far, I'm just being honest. No one has told me to go to Salesforce, Salesforce plus. And, oh, you gotta watch this. Like nobody, and we're in the B2B space. So I think there's a long road ahead for that. 

Hope Morley: Well, and the advantage that Salesforce have in launching their platform is that they are a huge brand. Like they already have that brand awareness and that brand respect that can support bringing people there. So they have the brand name and it helps them to make more content. They have a lot of business shows.

It's kind of like when you launch a podcast and if you're an established brand, you can get really great guests on, like, they can get great guests on their Salesforce plus shows and they can get big names on there. So if you're a smaller brand, you know you're not gonna have that power to do that as you're launching your own content. But I think what you, what we can do and think about is the way that, I think the internet is kind of starting to evolve past the way that the social media trends and the way that you built five, 10 years ago is very different than I think what we're gonna see in the future. So I think people are still playing with how, how well, like what's the best way to reach people? And I don't think we know yet, but the way these things are changing. And I think with the way things go viral on a platform like TikTok, that you don't really necessarily need to have a lot of followers to get your stuff seen.

It's very different than trying to build the follower audience model. That was important for something like Twitter back in the day. So we'll see how that, this kind of the internet that serves people content instead of having to be, you know, I don't really know the answer, but it's changing and this is one way that brands are experimenting with it.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. Fair enough. All right. My second trend, but the overall third trend is I see a return to humor. I feel like, ever since the recession of 08, 09, the financial crisis, everything was all about making you cry or like very like heavy handed brand anthems and stuff like that.

And now I find that people are more willing to embrace humor again, which is good. We can laugh again just in time for the next financial crisis. But, um, no, I mean you're seeing it all over the place. God bless Ryan Reynolds with Maximum Effort and MNTN, because I think he's, he's really plowing through, but I think you have to have someone in the marketplace kind of like plowing and like cutting, you know, he's like an ice breaking ship in the North Pole right now, like cutting through the ice and showing, like the spot for Flock Freight.

He's like doing a real good service to the industry by showing people you can be funny, you can be edgy. These companies don't go out of business. There used to be a feeling that, you know, in B2B you had to be all, just kinda like stiff and proper. And he's showing that no, no, in fact, you can, you can even curse, which is, you know, with the Flock Freight spot, which is still to me, makes me a little queasy to be honest.

I think him and hopefully we're making a little mark, but showing that no, humor does work. Like people love to laugh. 

Hope Morley: Mm-hmm. 

Guy Bauer: And so I'm seeing a return to humor and I see more humor in 2023. 

Hope Morley: Yeah. Big trend for 2023 is that people want funny things.

Guy Bauer: Yeah, that was like a comment on humor delivered in the most unfunny, boringest way. I see people liking, uh, to laugh and, uh, more people will use humor next year.

Hope Morley: Hilarious. All right.

Guy Bauer: What’s your second trend? But fourth overall.

Hope Morley: My second trend, fourth overall trend for 2023. I think that B2B brands are going to continue and keep exploring new channels for distributing their video ads. So the big thing here is I think TV and streaming TV or OTT is going to continue to increase with B2B brands. Something I'm excited to do in January or early February, and this is just speaks to the type of nerd I am in the work that I do, but I can't wait to count how many B2B ads are in the Super Bowl because last year we saw big increase in B2B ads in the Super Bowl. I wanna see how many brands are dipping their toes in in 2023. So I'm gonna put a bet on that.

We're gonna see an increase in B2B brands who invested in the Super Bowl. We shall see if I'm right, but we're gonna count 'em up and I will report back in February of 2023 if there were more than last year.

And I think that we're gonna see more B2B brands experimenting with OTT. So as that streaming TV advertising targeting gets better as more streaming platforms like Netflix bring in their ad based level, Disney Plus is bringing in an ad based level. So as we're getting more of those platforms bringing ads back in, I also think we're going to see more B2B brands experimenting with running their ads on TV.

Guy Bauer: Yeah. It's almost like a return. It's like it has come full circle, like we all unplugged or whatever it was called, cut the cord. Everything went digital. And now it is digital, but now it's on your TV. Oh, I find it fascinating. I love it. And honestly, I think people do love good ads.

Like my kids don't know that they should hate commercials because they've grown up in this digital on demand environment. So when we watch live sports, when we're watching the World Cup, like they run in to see the commercials and they laugh at them and stuff. So I, and there's just something about a commercial on tv, like I like a Pizza Hut commercial coming on and showing the slow cheese pulls and like dipping the dippers in marinara sauce. I'm like, give me some of that. I mean, there's, I find it like, I think it's gonna be great that, you know, and B2B companies, unless you were like a huge accounting firm or something like, or SAP.

I feel like they've, they've done ads but now with targeting, yeah, with services like MNTN, but there's also like a million others. We played a little bit with Vibe, you can target now, which is amazing. And so that's what is needed for B2B companies because you know, there's not as many buyers for cloud-based infrastructure software as there are pizza.

Hope Morley: Though, you know, as we've said before on the show, the targeting is still early days and as good as the ad, you know, the company's claim that they are, there is still some guesswork involved. As I've said on the show before, there was a random phase that I was getting Hulu commercials in Spanish for my non Spanish speaking household.

So, you know, sometimes these target. That did get fixed. I guess that was temporary. But you know, you see these blips of things coming through that you, that you brag about how great the targeting is. It's still not perfect, but it's going to keep getting better and better. And I think that depending on what industry that you're in, it's worth experimenting with and we're gonna see more brands try it.

Guy Bauer: Awesome. All right. My third trend and the fifth overall trend. Number five is, I see more and more disruptors coming in and using B2C tactics, not classic B2B tactics, And it doesn't mean that these companies are necessarily new, but what I'm seeing is the rise in, it could be an existing brand that does a major change in strategy where they bring in a new agency that is more B2C based in their DNA. Or it's new brands that are literally challenger brands. But so it's a combination of those two existing that are morphing into, you know, using modern marketing or new companies that only have modern marketing and only have B2C in their DNA. But these brands are coming in and really disrupting and turning everything over.

You know, the old classic white paper stuff and lead magnet, and I'm sure there's always gonna be a place for that stuff. But, these new brands are using tactics like humor or celebrities, stuff that is uniquely B2C and, and they're coming in and making waves. And I see more and more and more brands continue to do that.

I'm excited about that trend because you know, that's what we believe in. Even if you work in a B2B brand, you're still a person. 

Hope Morley: Are we?

Guy Bauer: It's crazy. It's like, and I don't know where this came from. I know Paul Cash, his book, you should read it, talks about where it came from, but yeah.

But the idea that like, you know, you're not advertising to companies when you're in B2B. A company is made up of people and people all like pizza and stuff. And so like why not talk to them? The people and guess who those people are? Like consumers. They're people. So anyway, I see more and more companies leveraging and eventually the term perhaps B2B and B2C will go away.

You know, I know there's the classic, it's B2P business to people. I don't know if it'll ever be like that, but I think the line will just keep being blurred more. You saw it with Deloitte using Maximum Effort. Isn't that, you know what I mean? Like, it's just, it's all changing and thank goodness.

Hope Morley: A lot of B2B brands, especially like you were saying, these, some of them are upstarts or newer things, you know, using more traditional B2C social media tactics of really like growing their, their followers online or using experimenting with TikTok and different things and, bringing a lot of those tactics into B2B and you go back to having humor, it's speaking to people, being funny, getting people's attention in, in a good, positive way. But building that brand up and building brand affinity.

Guy Bauer: Yep.

Hope Morley: All right, our final trend of 2023, I think that we are going to see video in B2B continue to get shorter. We really are gonna see a lot more short form videos. This is kind of related to the death of the corporate video, but the corporate video was always at least 90 seconds, two minutes long, sometimes two plus minutes.

That as part of the death of the corporate video, we're seeing more short form video. And what we're seeing more is B2B brands embracing the ad format. So 30 seconds, really concise, saying just one thing, getting one message across in that one video. In 2010, getting a little bit back to that history of the corporate video thing, video was still a lot more expensive to produce.

Then for a lot of brands, it was a big budget thing, so they made one video and they wanted it to do everything. Now you can do a lot more with your video budget, and so making multiple small bite size chunks can be so much more effective and you use them for different things for potentially a similar budget.

In real terms, you know, thanks to inflation, it's not exactly the same, but in terms of like a percentage of your budget, you can make smaller little campaigns and little things and use them for throughout your sales funnel effectively. And that's where we're gonna see more brands doing more of those little bite size videos and more little things and thinking about them the way that B2C companies think about ads.

Guy Bauer: Well, and I think the reason why there's that there's going to be that need is everybody's waking up to the idea of, oh, we have to brand. We can't just, you know, do lead gen and do all the activation stuff and you know, the B2B Institute keeps talking about this. And the 60 40 split, 60% of your budget should be on branding, 40% should be on activation.

I'm sure many, many, many, many B2B brands have like a 90 10 or like a 10 90 split, like 10% brand, 90% activation. And so I think as those, that ratio gets closer to 60% brand, 40% activation. Everybody, every, like, CEO, CMO, they're all gonna like, turn around and go like, well, how do we do this? Or like, where's our, like, how do we advertise?

Like, where are our ads? And they're only gonna have, you know, these corporate videos. And it's exciting because what it means is that creativity has to be in the driver's seat because you can't just make 20 short form things with your CEO saying, the thing that separates us from all the other companies are that we really care about our customers.

I mean, really, really. Like that's not a 15 second spot. You can't do that. So that means that creativity will be the difference maker will be a competitive advantage. If you can glue me in 15 seconds and get me excited about your company or make me laugh, cry, whatever, like you win, you're gonna win.

It's not about. As Paul Cash says it’s not speeds and feeds anymore, competing on the features and benefits are like it. That's over. That's over now. It's about emotion. It's crazy. So, yeah. And, the vehicle will be those short form video ads. Unless like the Metaverse truly explodes, I think the vehicle for the next decade is the short form video ad.

That's gonna be the primary way that brands will be able to talk to potential customers. But creativity will be the thing that powers success there nothing else, because everyone's gonna have the same targeting. All those platforms are gonna be smart, AI powered, they're gonna know your IP address.

They're gonna know exactly what you do, your age, how many kids you have, all that stuff.

That targeting is on its way. And so everyone will have equal access to the targeting, but what they won't have is equal access to creativity. And that's where, that's where I think you need to invest.

Hope Morley: Mm-hmm.

Guy Bauer: I have no bias here. No, as a B2B video ad agency. See? But I agree. I think that that trend is the ultimate trend, and that's, I think that's the trend for the next decade.

Hope Morley: I wonder if you agree with this, Guy, but do you, I suspect that there is an attitude, an anti ad bias, that some people might think that a video ad has a shorter shelf life than those like corporate videos do. Do you think that might be the case?

Guy Bauer: Oh, I, I think people do think

Hope Morley: Yeah. I'm saying that I think that, and I think that they're wrong,

Guy Bauer: They're totally wrong.

Hope Morley: And I think that there's a very long shelf life for, for a video ad, especially for B2B, I think a good effective ad can last you years. Okay.

Guy Bauer: Are you kidding? Yeah. Uh, yes. You see this all the time, like those Geico Halloween ads, those are all old. The one with the chain like, what are you kidding? Don't hide, don't go in the running car. Hide behind the chainsaws. That ad’s like years old. Years. And it's still funny cause if something is good, it's good.

Hope Morley: yeah, there's that M&M's. Christmas commercial with Santa. They run that every single year during the holidays since the eighties. I remember seeing that commercial when I was a kid.

Guy Bauer: Oh really?

Hope Morley: Yeah. The one where they like Santa faints cuz the M&Ms are real. You know the one I'm talking about?

Guy Bauer: Yeah, yeah. Oh yeah. Well then there's the Jingle Bells Hershey Kiss.

Hope Morley: Yeah. It's like something that's good. You can keep using it.

Guy Bauer: If something truly is good, I mean, there's always, then there's the trendy ads that are hopping on trends of fashion and stuff. They probably don't have a long shelf life, but I don't see B2B brands using heavy fashion and all that stuff. But yeah, like, totally so what that means is as you produce more and more ads, and we're seeing this with our own, our own ads that we do, is you build up this library that then you know, you can throw a campaign in a retargeting campaign.

And you've got like 20, 30 assets in there. That means that there's heavy rotation on your engaged prospects. They're being served with a high frequency and of all different stuff. And so yeah, like that library can serve you and then as you grow it, you can get rid of the weak ones or the low performers.

I mean, it's, so, yeah, I think the shelf life is, it could be virtually infinite in the case of the Hershey Kiss jingle Bell or the Santa stuff, but at least, you know, five, 10 years.

Hope Morley: Mm-hmm. All right, let's run through, and sum up our trends quickly. 

Guy Bauer: All right. Trend number one is corporate video will continue to die.

Hope Morley: Trend number two is B2B companies are making their own streaming networks and destinations for video content.

Guy Bauer: Trend number three is we'll continue to see the return of humor.

Hope Morley: Trend number four is B2B is exploring new channels for distributing their ads, including TV and OTT.

Guy Bauer: Trend number five, disruptors are coming, whether they be existing brands that are refreshing themselves or new challenger brands. They're coming in and they're using B2C tactics, not classic B2B tactics.

Hope Morley: And trend number six, B2B video is getting shorter. It's time to start making more video ads.Nothing should be two minutes. 

Guy Bauer: We have nothing It, we have no skin in this game, so you could trust us. Great. This was a good one. I like doing trends and lists. I like lists.

Hope, I wonder where can people learn about us? Like if they have questions like, where are, can we be found on the internet?

Hope Morley: You can find us on our website at umault.com. That's U M A U L T.com. Or you can find us across all the social media channels at Umault, but our main channel is LinkedIn. So if you wanna come follow us, see our video content, see what kind of stuff we're talking about. Find us on LinkedIn, give us a follow. And this is going to be our last episode of 2022.

Like I said, we're gonna take a little holiday break and we will be back sometime in early 2023 with more episodes. So make sure to subscribe to get all the new episodes in the new year. 

Thanks for listening!

Guy Bauer: Subscribe. Thank you. You're welcome.





Picture of Guy bauer, founder of umault

Guy has been making commercial videos for over 20 years and is the author of “Death to the Corporate Video: A Modern Approach that Works.” He started the agency in 2010 after a decade of working in TV, film and radio. He’s been losing hair and gaining weight ever since.

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