8 Lessons TED-Ed Can Teach Marketers about B2B Video

March 1, 2022

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Nikki Carter

Freelance Creative

If you haven’t heard about it yet, TED-Ed is TED’s youth and education initiative. The platform aims to build on the widespread success of TED Talks and facilitate the transfer of knowledge between a community of educators and students around the globe.

To date, TED-Ed has helped millions learn about new things and garnered awards along the way. And, lucky for us, it can also teach B2B marketers a thing or two about using video in our own marketing efforts!

In this article, we’re breaking down all the lessons that we can glean from TED-Ed. TED-Ed can teach marketers about choosing the right topics, making it easy to find content, and generating ideas for creative presentation techniques that delight and resonate with the right audience.

Choosing topics: Your unique lesson plan

Creating successful videos all starts with the topics you choose. It’s important to pick topics that are relevant to your industry and your target market. There are a few things to remember as you brainstorm potential video topics.

Find a distinct angle to help your company stand out

TED-Ed breaks its lessons into specific categories so that learners know what they’re getting into. For example, take a peek at the “Technology” category on TED-Ed. The videos there are incredibly specific, from how ultrasounds work to the ways Google is affecting your memory.

What does this mean for B2B videos? Well, there is probably already a lot of noise in your industry, which means you too need a special angle in order to stand out. Find what it is that makes you better than your competitors. That’s what makes your brand a success, and that’s what should be the focus of your videos.

“Find what it is that makes you better than your competitors. That’s what makes your brand a success, and that’s what should be the focus of your videos.”

To follow our technology example, if you’re a tech company, try to find a unique way to talk about that with your audience. This applies whether you’re simplifying a topic or introducing a new idea that your competitors have never talked about before. You can probably even get some initial ideas from the videos you looked at above!

Create content that’s timely

TED-Ed is a go-to resource for timely content. There are new videos uploaded all the time; the “Featured” filter shows you tons of relevant videos that have information on upcoming holidays, economic trends, and current events.

Timely content matters. It will help you stay relevant to your audience and create content that resonates with them right now. Use TED-Ed as an example and think about how you can educate your audience on current industry news, events, trends, and insights.

TED-Ed uses series to draw people in and keep them coming back. We strongly endorse this approach. Once you have someone engaged on a certain topic, you have to keep them wanting more!

To keep your audience coming back, think about topics that you could use across a series of videos. Try using a lesson-style approach, where you break down topics that are relevant to your industry.

We did this at Wistia with Show Business, a 20-episode video series that unpacks everything marketers and creatives need to know to plan, produce, and promote binge-worthy content. Each episode is around five minutes long and focuses on one specific topic. This makes each lesson easy to digest and allows folks to go at their own pace.

Struggling for ideas? Good candidates for a series include processes that are often misunderstood or topics that will require more than one video to break down. Think about your industry and how you can break down a complex process or teach your audience something new.

Production tips: Keep it short and stylish

Along with tips for topics, there are also a few things that TED-Ed can teach us about producing videos. Most of the videos on TED-Ed have two qualities: They’re short, and they have a creative element to them. Keep these criteria in mind as you produce your own B2B videos.

Limit the word count in your scripts

Most TED-Ed videos last between 5–10 minutes, which is a good benchmark. Each of your videos should have a focused topic to keep your viewers engaged with your content; you don’t want to introduce too many ideas in one video.

To keep your content focused and brief and stay within this limit, write scripts of 750–1,500 words. For focus and brevity, aim to keep your videos under 10 minutes as a general rule. If you find yourself going over that limit, it may be worth considering whether it could work as a series (see above).

Lean into creative presentation execution

Any TED platform is obviously going to be creative. Check out these examples to see what we mean: How is your phone changing you? and How much land does it take to power the world?

Creative elements can help make your video more memorable and keep your audience interested. Use creative elements to simplify a process or provide some entertainment while you educate your audience. Try drawing, illustrations, and other animation to keep your viewers engaged while they watch your videos.

Distribution: Share your work with the world

Make a plan for distribution so you can get your content in front of your target market. Your distribution plan should include a schedule for posting, all the platforms where you’ll share your videos, and how you’ll organize your content.

Upload content consistently

TED-Ed, with its regular influx of new lessons, teaches us that consistent content is key. Make your video library valuable for your viewers by regularly adding new educational video resources.

A consistent posting schedule can improve your credibility and audience retention and help your content rank higher on search engines. You’ll also have a better chance of positioning yourself as an authority in your market.

Try to aim for at least one new video per week if your schedule allows for it. However, it takes time to strategize and produce videos, so don’t overdo it. If once per week doesn’t work, try to post once every two weeks instead. It’s better to set a more realistic goal you can keep up with than overextend yourself and fail to meet your posting goals. And remember — quality is way more important than quantity when it comes to launching impactful content.

Share your videos

TED-Ed employs a robust sharing strategy to make sure its content gets in front of new eyes. This makes sense: The best way to help your audience find your videos is by sharing them!

Share new videos across social media, in your email newsletter, and on landing pages. Consider aligning your video topics with your blogs so that you can share the videos on your blog page as well. You can also use paid ads to distribute your videos if your budget allows for it.

Sharing videos across different platforms? Be sure to customize your videos for each channel. For example, short, snappy videos typically work best for social media while longer-form videos often perform better on YouTube. Experiment with different formats to see what your audience prefers!

When you visit the TED-Ed homepage, you can see that the videos are organized by category, and users can easily find what they are looking for. The lesson here is simple: The easier you make it for your audience to find your videos, the better for everyone. And once people find your resources, it’s your high-quality content that will keep them coming back.

“The easier you make it for your audience to find your videos, the better for everyone.”

Consider using a Channel if you have a lot of related video content or, at a minimum, organize your videos by category. Not only will you make it easier for your readers to find relevant content, but an organized video library can rank higher on search engines when users search for terms related to your videos.

New to Channels? See how easy it is to create beautiful branded video pages (no developer required!). Register for this free event where we walk through four different use cases and talk to companies like Terminus, Klayvio, and more who are using Channels.

Create your own content library and monitor results to better serve your audience

As you start to get a collection of B2B videos under your belt, consider creating a video library that lives on your website. As you build out your content library, you should track relevant data on an ongoing basis; this will help you understand the topics that resonate most with your audience.

When you monitor the engagement and interaction on your videos, you can get a better understanding of what your audience wants to see. Once you have a clear picture of what makes your audience light up, you can create content specifically for them to build brand affinity and authority in your market.

Nikki Carter

Freelance Creative

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