Some customers are harder to find than others. There's plenty of consumer-facing video out there these days, but what about the B2B crowd? That's something I've been following quite closely, ever since Firebrand Group released its Future of Video 2017 report in Q4 '16 (the follow-up due out the same time in 2017).

Consider the following:

One powerful example of how video can be used to engage B2B customers is Oracle's CX Factor, a twelve-part B2B web video series hosted by Mark  Fidelman, the Managing Director of influencer agency  Fanatics Media. The show features brands like Clorox, DocuSign, Kohl's, LinkedIn, MasterCard, Mazda, Neiman Marcus, Rent the Runway, Vitamix and Walgreens. These brands have a few things in common: sure, they're all Oracle customers, but they're also known for delivering smarter, superior experiences to today's modern, connected customers.

Here's what you can learn from Oracle's B2B marketing example:

#1: Involve the customer

Oracle has an impressive roster of clients. In fact, 98% of Fortune 500 companies use one or more Oracle products or solutions, and the company has countless highly credible, satisfied customers singing their praises. Given that, why not let those customers create engaging content on your behalf? It only makes sense, especially if you're trying to increase customer engagement. The key to upping customer engagement and filling the funnel, Fidelman explains, is to create episodic content that entertains and educates. That's exactly what Oracle did when it commissioned Fidelman to interview a dozen of the world's most admired brands about what it takes to elevate the customer experience (CX) from ordinary to exceptional.

#2: Understand consumer preferences

B2B enterprises typically fail to draw in enough viewers because marketers aren't keeping pace with consumer preferences. "They expect the audience -- the same people who watch YouTube, Netflix and cable TV -- to tune in to talking heads droning on about a problem the vendor solves without understanding who the interviewee really is or what their company is all about," explains Fidelman. CX Factor works because it reimagines the customer testimonial as engaging content as opposed to the tried and true sleepy testimonial of old, and enables Oracle's customers to share their experiences throughout the entire customer journey.

"We use interactive games and invite industry influencers," explains Fidelman, "to weigh in with questions about how they enable consumers to get the products and services they want when--and how--they want them, with the least friction possible."

#3: Don't shy away from humor and entertainment

Most people would rather watch prank, entertainment or how-to videos than the typical B2B video. Yet, if the video is funny, educational, and relatively fast-paced, there's a good chance your target audience will watch, and possibly even share.

While C-Suite executives and director-level customer experience, sales and marketing professionals are difficult to reach, they are just like typical consumers in that they want to be entertained and educated. Oracle and Fidelman made fun and entertaining outtake clips for social media promotions, including speculation about the future of payments and finger pointing at Mastercard with Karen Pascoe, the company's Senior Vice President of User Experience Design; a blend-off with Vitamix' Director of Sales and Customer Experience, and spreading rumors of a new pumpkin spice scent with Clorox' Vice President of Digital Customer Experience, Doug Milliken. These elements are also included in their podcast, which include full, uncut versions of the interviews.

#4: Make it identifiable

If B2B brands can create a "day-in-the-life" experience with their current customers and shoot it in an entertaining and compelling way - which is where Fidelman's team comes in - then these stories will resonate with prospective customers who need the same problems solved.

#5: Think about the funnel

It's important to set up a lead funnel for these videos. That means, if you're talking about a pain point that you solve in the video, make sure to have an ebook or infographic that a user can download after the video is over. Make sure that download is email gated and kicks off an email drip campaign immediately after.

#6: Involve Influencers

Find a customer pain point, illustrate it, and then get influencers to show prospective customers how to solve their problem using your product. It will come across far better when done by an influencer. CX influencers participating in the CX Factor series include Ted Rubin, Shep Hyken, Jeanne Bliss, Mike Wittenstein and Steve Curtin.

Moreover, it is helpful to find an influencer host, such as Fidelman, that has his or her own dedicated following. Don't micromanage the talent; give the host the freedom to be themselves and to drive engagement, and your B2B brand will reap the rewards.