6 Effective Ways to Use Video in Your Inbound Content Marketing Strategy

August 20, 2021

Meisha Bochicchio

Marketing


For the last several years, video has been a popular tool for content marketing. Millennials and Gen Z, in particular, love spending their time online watching videos.

That was true even before the pandemic forced us all indoors and in front of our screens. And now? Video marketing is more important than ever before. Webinars and online conferences have replaced in-person events, and marketers have adjusted their budgets to match the demand for video. According to a LinkedIn study, 44% of marketers increased their investment in online video because of the pandemic.

“44% of marketers increased their investment in online video because of the pandemic.”

Because there is so much current demand for video, it’s a great medium to consider for your inbound content marketing. The right video content will draw people right to your brand and keep them coming back for more.

Not sure how to use video in your inbound content marketing strategy? Check out these six examples of brands that are masterfully using video for inbound marketing, and get ready to be inspired to try some new things with your own strategy.

1. Newsletters (and more): LiveIntent

Would you rather read a long wall of text or watch a brief video? Chances are, you picked the latter. It’s faster to watch a video, and the clip is likely more engaging than the text.

That’s why you can bring more people to your brand by incorporating video in your email marketing. A good way to hook your recipient is by using the video to explain a technical topic that your target audience is interested in.

The email marketing platform LiveIntent did just that in 2014 when they decided to start a weekly video series that they sent out in a newsletter. Each video explained technical digital marketing topics to their audience.

Despite their limited resources, LiveIntent saw high engagement right from the start.

“Turns out, it’s easier to explain complicated issues in a two-minute video rather than a thousand-word blog post,” they explained to us.

In the years since, they’ve seen 138% year-over-year growth in total plays of their videos. The video newsletters regularly garner more engagement than the previous, video-less version did. And to watch the rest of the video series, viewers are encouraged to visit LiveIntent’s website, which helps their inbound marketing efforts.

“LiveIntent has seen 138% year-over-year growth in total plays of their videos since adding the series to their email newsletter.”

At first, LiveIntent’s goal for the video series was simply to educate leads. But as their trove of video content grew, they realized they had created a valuable resource they could use in a lot of other ways as well. Now, in addition to educating leads in their newsletter and on their blog, the videos are also used internally to help onboard new team members and serve as sales enablement tools.

2. Customer stories: Mailchimp

If a brand you’ve never heard of tells you their product is the best, you might raise an eyebrow. But if a fellow shopper sings their praises? You just might give the company a shot.

Testimonials can build serious trust — even with complete newcomers to your brand — so they’re a powerful inbound tool. Video is a particularly effective medium for testimonials because it shows the customer speaking. Viewers can see the customer’s expressions as they explain how your product solved their problem, so the video is likely to be more compelling and relatable than a written case study.

One example of a company that uses video customer stories for inbound marketing particularly well is Mailchimp. The marketing automation platform has a series of compelling customer stories on their YouTube page. The videos have high engagement with thousands of views. One testimonial about how aromatherapy business Frankie & Myrrh uses Mailchimp to send out abandoned cart postcards has been viewed over 42k times.

The videos are an effective tool to persuade qualified leads to try Mailchimp for themselves. Each video description includes a link to Mailchimp’s sign-up page, leading viewers from YouTube over to Mailchimp’s website.

3. Docuseries: People of Story

Tap into people’s love of storytelling with a docuseries — a documentary series that takes place over several episodes (think Tiger King or any true-crime series on Netflix, but for B2B audiences instead). A docuseries is longer than typical content marketing, so it gives you plenty of room to flesh out a narrative and build relatable characters.

Video storytelling is especially powerful in an inbound content marketing strategy. Research by the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies at Claremont Graduate University shows that our brains love stories and that video narratives cause the same release of oxytocin as face-to-face interactions do. By releasing feel-good chemicals in viewers, a docuseries is an effective way to attract your audience and make them want more content from your brand.

Video marketing agency People of Story created a four-part docuseries called Making Legacy as part of their inbound marketing strategy. The show focuses on the challenges four entrepreneurs face as they grow their businesses and perfect their craft, overcoming many obstacles along the way.

Since its launch, Making Legacy has had lots of positive engagement, with visitors staying on-page for an average of 10 minutes, says People of Story Co-Founder Ryan Donaldson. Visitors will often click through to check out the rest of the agency’s work.

“Since its launch, Making Legacy has had lots of positive engagement, with visitors staying on-page for an average of 10 minutes.”

The series also helped People of Story generate buzz on social media; episode trailers had a click-through rate that was three to four times the industry standard — a big win for the small video production company.

4. Live webinars: Klaviyo

Many people are happy to watch pre-recorded videos from brands, but there’s no denying that live footage is more exciting to view. The company has no way to edit the footage, so the live event feels a bit more transparent and authentic than pre-recorded videos.

Live webinars are a great way to dive into real-time video content. These events give your audience a unique chance to learn about your product or an industry topic and ask questions.

Ecommerce software platform Klaviyo uses live and pre-recorded webinars to cover a wide variety of topics such as industry trends, marketing best practices, and in-product training from Klaviyo experts. Webinars help nurture leads who are in the middle of their customer journey and looking for more resources to solve their pain points. And once the live event is over, you can add the recording to your website, which is also one way to create an archive of valuable content that will draw viewers in.

No post-production work is necessary for live webinars, so the events are relatively low-effort from a technical perspective. Just make sure you have a clean space and a clear outline of the information your brand will share in the webinar.

5. Blog posts: Price Intelligently by ProfitWell

Take your blogging up a notch by adding video. When you add videos to your blog posts, you give your audience the chance to absorb information in different ways. Some people prefer reading text, while many others prefer to watch a short video that synthesizes the information for them.

Combining both options in one blog post boosts engagement; in fact, adding video to blogs can help increase the time spent on-page. When we looked at the numbers, we found that viewers spend an average of 2.6x more time on a page with video than a page without it.

“Viewers spend an average of 2.6x more time on a page with video than a page without it.”

This boost doesn’t just help SEO — because search engines take average time on page into account — it also helps your inbound efforts. Spending a long time on your page means people are getting value out of your blog, so they’ll likely visit other places on your site or return for future relevant content.

ProfitWell’s Price Intelligently blog has several examples of blog posts that combine video and text to create a better experience for visitors. Consider one post that discusses why you shouldn’t A/B test your prices. In the post’s video, ProfitWell’s CEO Patrick Campbell explains specifically why most B2B businesses don’t have enough traffic to render proper A/B test results.

Sure, the content of the blog post and the video are essentially the same, but the latter helps boost credibility and engagement. The brand’s CEO breaks down the topic in an understandable way, and his executive role makes the information feel reliable. The video closes with a Call to Action (CTA) to sign up for a free pricing audit, and there are CTA links pointing to this same page throughout the blog post itself. This helps push leads further down the sales funnel.

6. Social media: Slack

Video content tends to perform well on social media platforms. Both the Facebook and Instagram algorithms prioritize video over static images, and the rapid rise of TikTok has proven that audiences are increasingly interested in social video content.

What does this trend mean for B2B inbound marketers? Well, social media videos are great for lead generation. If you aren’t using video on social, you’re missing a prime opportunity to attract and engage potential customers. Let’s take a look at an example provided by collaboration platform Slack.

On Facebook and Instagram, Slack shares a series of short video tips that explains different features and how to use them. A recent 15-second video animation shared on both Facebook and Instagram shows viewers how to schedule a message for later in Slack. Both platforms also include a link to a landing page that explains more about the feature (though on Instagram, the link is in Slack’s bio rather than the post itself because of the platform’s restrictions on links).

Sharing simple how-to videos on social media is an easy way to engage a B2B audience and help them become more adept at using your product — which, in turn, pushes them to rely on it and promote it more.

Video: A versatile tool for inbound content marketing

Video is a useful tool at every stage of your inbound content marketing cycle. You might attract newcomers with compelling, short clips on social, nurture leads with testimonials, and retain customers with product webinars. Video adds value to the content you create and makes it easier to entertain and educate your audience, which in turn helps you attract, convert, and delight those leads.

The good news? Inbound video content creation doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by focusing on a simple video marketing campaign, like a testimonial video. From there, analyze your video performance metrics to see what works for your brand before moving onto more complex concepts.

August 20, 2021

Meisha Bochicchio

Marketing

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