What's the right type of video content for Fintech marketing?

A guide to creating impactful videos for B2B brands in a technical niche.

Happy New Year! I'm George Aliferis and this is the first of my Fintech Marketing Newsletters.

If you are reading this, you are already aware of two of my new year resolutions: focus on Fintech and start a newsletter. The goal is to provide you with useful insights, drawn from experience and research in the fintech space, monthly.

I will start with a question that I have encountered many times in my dual role of filmmaker and financial marketer: what type of video should I make if I work in B2B Fintech, and dealing with technical topics?

The answer lies in the format, the structure of the content. It is a crucial but often neglected question to ask before producing any branded video. Just making “a video” is no longer an option. Defining what formats work for you will help the creative process. It will also transform the impact of your content. Ultimately this is about ROI.

With the help of a few examples from different media, we will see how format can matter more than the content itself.

With that in mind, using a “YouTube taxonomy” will help to define the right formats for corporate (and in particular B2B fintech) video content. 

You will find at the end examples of ready-to-use formats that you can tap into if you are considering what to publish in 2020.

Why format matters 

When thinking about classifying a single video or series, we typically start at the “Vertical” -  the general area of interest, followed by Format, Style, Content.

If you are an expert in your field, finding Content shouldn’t be hard. The Style should reflect your brand. The Format, however, is lesser-known territory for corporates.

Let’s start with a few examples where format mattered more than content.

Non-video examples

  • Aesop’s fables: Simple stories that have endured for 27 centuries, using animal narratives. We may know them through modern adaptations, but the “content” remains the same. They are continuing to explain current concepts, such as cognitive dissonance (The Fox and the Grapes).

“Turn your ideas into animals and they will achieve immortality.” - John Lewis Gaddis

Jumping back to 2020 and the financial world:

Business-related video examples

Finally, here are just two examples of YouTube videos gathering millions of views on a business topic, by delivering relatively old content in new formats (and good storytelling). 

Nerdwriter: Why Apple needs Samsung

Business Casual: How Rockefeller made his trillions

What formats to use for B2B/Fintech

Below is a handy (unofficial) taxonomy of YouTube videos by Little Monster Media

YouTube formats

For Creators, it pays to think “inside the box”. Every piece of video content should fit in one box or many. Stay out of it and you risk being in limbo and of missing out an opportunity to connect with your audience. 

Now, this taxonomy is for media or creators. Building a list that is useful for corporate content requires a more focused approach. In particular for industries where the assets are expertise, reliability, robustness, etc. (i.e. not fun stuff). 

B2B video taxonomy

We can reduce it to a list of 4 core formats that are the most useful for B2B fintech (and across B2B verticals).

  1. Explainer

  2. Commentary 

  3. Narrative

  4. List

Let’s examine first what is missing. Three don’t require explanation: Music videos, Challenges, Reactions (I mean, you can use them if you think they fit your brand). Interview is about celebrities where the subject is the person, his/her life, a marginal type of content in the fintech space. You are most likely to interview an expert for his insights and it becomes an Explainer.

Here is an overview of each of them applied to B2B Fintech

  • Explainer: Includes insights, tutorials, any content that provides valuable information to the viewer (and showcases your expertise). 

  • Commentary: Providing an opinion or an analysis on a timely topic. 

  • Narrative: is traditionally fiction or fictionalised, but it can be delivering the content using storytelling, like in the examples above (Rockfeller, Apple and Samsung).

  • List: Ranking and providing comment as to why. The format is as old as the Ten Commandments and every January we are bound to see itis customary to use it for yearly predictions.

How to make it work for your brand

Let’s see how fintech marketing can use the formats with four common business cases:

  • Educate & Inform / Showcase your expertise / Provide useful content: this serves multiple purposes

  • Pitch: a product, a service, a company

  • Testimonial: get a client to say nice things about you

  • Recruit: make yourself attractive to external talent

B2B Fintech examples

All examples can work in the Fintech space, although some come from other B2B industries.

Educate & Inform: Mix it up

A good base for your video strategy using an Explainer format. The production can be simple, even using do-it-yourself methods for walk-throughs. We use a differentiated approach for thought leadership pieces and tutorials (plainer).

But you don’t have to stick to Explainers or to only one format. Mixing formats is a great way to stand out:

Pitch: add Narrative

The opportunity to pitch with video is to convince the prospects that you have identified with something more engaging but also potentially attract others. On the web, nobody is actively seeking to know why “you are the best”. Adding narrative elements will significantly help to make your pitch palatable. When working on video “pitches”, we start by transforming the pitch deck (bullet point, powerpoint, or variants) to find and add narrative elements.

Both are client examples that remain pitches, but with elements that create a journey.

Testimonial: is not a format

Just like for a pitch, it is tempting to go straight into what you want to say, but that would be missing the opportunity to make your content shareable.

  • Narrative:  Google goes to great efforts to find personal, relatable stories of businesses that have “Gone Google”

  • Educational: How to get more traffic to your website, from Ahrefs. You may ask “where is the testimonial?”. Well, Ahrefs use their own achievements as case studies for their set of SEO tools (= a testimonial). They also use a variety of hybrid formats across their channel.

Recruit: have fun with it

Here you can explore more personal ways of talking shop. A few examples used CTOs in French from recruitment/media platform Welcome To The Jungle:

Make video work for you in 2020

  • Use formats: as you are preparing to roll out your content plan think about formats that correspond

  • Try mixing it up: if you want to publish a weekly or monthly Commentary can you make it a List, if it’s a list of prediction can you add Narrative elements to it?

  • Experiment: if you start with a few formats you will soon be able to find out what your audience prefers

If you want to see examples of formats applied, stay tuned as we are updating our YouTube channel to put theory into practice. So far, it was Explainers and Narratives; we will be adding Lists and Commentaries and hybrids with a Fintech focus.

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