Given the evolving dynamics of digital media, mass “outbound” marketing techniques — traditional advertising, buying lists, cold outreach, etc. — have become largely ineffective and no longer serve their original purpose. 

This shift has led businesses to embrace the inbound marketing approach. 

Inbound marketing involves drawing in potential visitors and customers when they are ready to interact with your brand instead of interrupting them with unsolicited content and promotions.

With this approach, your marketing efforts center around creating valuable content that addresses specific challenges. So, when your audience plans to purchase, your products and services already sit at the top of their list.

However, many businesses still wildly underutilize one key aspect of inbound marketing for various reasons, including lack of resources, skill sets, etc. That aspect is video.

Videos are one of the most powerful marketing tools today and have become an integral part of inbound campaigns. Research shows online videos will be responsible for 82 percent of all consumer traffic by 2022. Additionally, nearly 54 percent of consumers have expressed a clear preference for videos over other types of content. This means all of your digital marketing efforts should include video content to engage, educate, and entertain your target audiences.

Let's explore what inbound marketing means for your business and how video can strengthen it.

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What is Inbound Marketing?

The purpose of an effective inbound marketing campaign is to drive quality traffic to a site and increase reach, engagement, and, ultimately, conversion rates using "owned" and "earned" media. Instead of going out of your way to present your brand to customers, you can use various media to bring them to you.

Here's how it happens:

Attract
Quickly and efficiently build the materials you need to support your inbound marketing strategy. Drag and drop building blocks including testimonials, forms, calls-to-action, and more.
Engage
Present solutions and insights that align with customers’ goals and pain points, so they are more inclined to purchase from you.
Delight
Empower your customers to find success and contentment with their purchase.
Understanding Video-First Inbound Marketing

Blogging, virtual events, data-rich guides or whitepapers, and other types of content marketing form the foundation of a good outreach strategy. 

All in all, inbound marketing draws in interested potential customers instead of superficially pushing a brand or its offerings onto an unsuspecting audience to generate and convert the leads. However, this is not to say strategic advertising cannot be part of a balanced outreach approach. Digital marketing through social and search channels offers very specific targeting you can use to reach the audiences you know will get the most value out of your content. 

Read on: Beacons Point’s Ultimate Guide to Content Planning

 

Inbound vs. Outbound Marketing 

Outbound is any marketing that initiates a conversation and sends messages to an audience. Outbound efforts can include traditional forms of advertising/marketing, like radio ads, print ads (brochures, flyers, newspapers, catalogs, magazines, etc.), TV commercials, outbound sales/cold calls, email marketing, tradeshows, and more.

Shortcomings of Outbound Marketing

These traditional tactics are expensive to set up and implement — 62 percent more costly than inbound marketing techniques — and, therefore, the domain of large organizations and multinationals. Additionally, they might not engage and retain customers as effectively as inbound tactics.

This marketing form presents businesses with many difficulties, including:

  • Difficulty tracking and measuring the return on investment (ROI)
  • Increases blocking techniques 
  • A costly option with fewer profits

According to CRM Daily, about half of the businesses that leverage inbound marketing techniques see a 25 percent greater ROI on their marketing efforts than firms that don't.

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The survey also revealed that inbound marketing campaign channels deliver 30 times more leads than the traditional outbound direct-mail campaign. 

Additionally, with inbound marketing, you can track and quantify the results of your campaign more efficiently, drive a higher return on investment, and enjoy lower costs.

What are the Benefits of Inbound Marketing?

The inbound manifesto is based on creating content to forge meaningful and lasting relationships with your customers and potential leads. While each stage of the funnel requires more resources than outbound methods, high-quality content can help you attract your audience, nurture your prospects, and close more deals.

Read on: Flipping the Sales Funnel on its Head with The Campfire Growth Model

The inbound marketing process involves the following four steps:

Inbound Marketing Flywheel
1
Attracting customers
2
Converting customers
3
Closing deals
4
Delighting customers

Plan to use different types of content at each of these stages. By segmenting the buyer's journey this way, you can answer persona pain points and offer solutions at precisely the right time.

Let's take a look at some significant benefits of structuring your marketing with an "inbound" approach. 

Learn more about using video at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Builds a Cohesive Brand

An all-inclusive inbound marketing strategy constitutes various channels, such as social platforms, SEO, email, and more. This ecosystem may sound like an over-involved process. However, with proper strategic planning, you can integrate and assimilate the channels that will resonate most and strengthen your branding with their combination.

Create relevant and helpful content that aligns with your goals and allows your visitors to find ideas, products, and services that resonate with them wherever they spend time online.

Don’t know where your prospects hang out online? Check out our Definitive Guide to Buyer Personas for tips and tricks.

Offers Convenience

According to a Search Engine Land report, inbound marketing techniques like social media and paid search advertising have increased by around 26 percent since the global outbreak. And in contrast, print, direct mail, and television have declined by 46 percent. 

As purse strings tighten, companies look for smarter ways to spend their marketing dollars. Inbound marketing lays the groundwork for a self-reliant lead-generation pipeline for long-term success.

Personalizes Messaging

With a segmented buyer’s journey and marketing automation, you can easily customize your marketing campaign messages for specific leads and visitors. Furthermore, personalized call-to-action messages make it easier to tailor each visitor's experience with your site. Personalized communication is more memorable than approaching your customer base with one-size-fits-all tactics.

Provides Long-Term Value

Infographics, instructional guides, eBooks, and case studies have a longer lifespan than marketing collateral used in outbound content. With inbound, you can effortlessly increase your content's usability by republishing and updating it to maintain relevancy. 

Read on: What Content Should I Create?

Builds Trust and Credibility

According to the Edelman Trust indicator, 81 percent of customers consider trust when they gauge their purchasing decisions. While this stat is unsurprising, we can likely attribute the high percentage to the pervasive puffery, false promises, and other claims in ads that fall short of expectations. The ethos around inbound marketing is to be helpful. You create products and offer services that stand out. Don’t fall for marketing and sales traps that harm your credibility in the long run.

Common Misconceptions About Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is still relatively new. Business owners and marketing departments still struggle to understand the value of an inbound approach for messaging and outreach. You may have heard some of the following myths about inbound marketing:

Myth 1: Inbound Marketing is Just About Publishing White Papers

Reality: Here's what goes into an excellent inbound strategy: SEO-backed strategy, persona and competitor research, creative thinking, lead scoring, workflow analysis, content creation, CRM integration, usability/design decisions, different content formats, performance tracking, promotion strategies, etc. 

While in-depth white papers could play a role in your strategy, you should only include them if your research indicates them as a priority. “Content” is not one thing. Content can be anything from a series of 30-second explainer videos to 5,000-word research reports. Figure out what questions need answers, where your customers spend time online, and what’s ranking for competitors, and you have a recipe for inbound marketing success.

Myth 2: Inbound Marketing is the Same as SEO

Reality: Inbound marketing is a comprehensive and holistic approach to earning traffic, turning that traffic into leads, and converting those leads into customers. SEO is an essential part of the marketing equation but not the only aspect.

Myth 3: Inbound Marketing Does the Selling for Me

Reality: Marketers have somewhat unrealistic expectations for how inbound marketing can help them. They think by implementing an inbound approach, they would no longer need to reach out to prospects. 

A well-executed inbound campaign will deliver highly-educated and engaged sales-qualified leads to your sales team. It will make their job easier, but won’t replace them.

Myth 4: Inbound Marketing is the Only Approach You Need

Reality: Some marketers feel that inbound marketing should be the only approach they invest in if it achieves their desired results. While inbound can account for a significant part of your marketing strategy, you should also survey your buyer personas to gauge their openness to other tactics. The inclusion of tactics like strategic ad placements, creative promotions, and direct sales outreach can help maximize your marketing and drive overall business growth.

What is Video-First Inbound Marketing?

Video-first inbound marketing starts with and prioritizes video content. Case studies, articles, blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, etc., still play an integral role in your content marketing strategy. However, videos take the lead in informing, educating prospects, and directing them to your site or store. 

While all other options work well, video content engages your content through visuals, sound, and words simultaneously. Almost 90 percent of marketers leverage the power of video marketing. Evidence shows people have more inclination towards visual and video content than written form, which also helps you increase your ROI.

Benefits of a Video-First Approach to Inbound

Video content helps you drive substantially higher conversion rates, primarily if used on a landing page. It can bump up conversions by 86 percent.

Here are some of the benefits of the video-first approach:

Increase Revenue

Marketers who leverage video content grow their business revenue 49 percent quicker than those who don't. Video advertising revenue across the globe is projected to reach up to 456 billion dollars by 2025. Stake your claim now by introducing some exciting, well-made videos across your marketing channels.

Influence Purchase Decisions

Ninety percent of the customers say that product videos allow them to make informed buying decisions, and 64 percent say that they are more inclined to buy after watching a video.

Additionally, 97 percent of marketers say that leveraging videos has allowed them to increase customer understanding of their products and services.

Provide Relevant Content

According to content trends research conducted by HubSpot, people prefer video content over newsletters, emails, social media posts, downloadable content, and blog posts from brands. 

When customers consider purchasing something, they research their options through a variety of methods. Some top strategies include visiting company profiles, reading product specifications, online search, watching videos, and checking reviews. 

As a result, video content gives your brand a greater chance of convincing consumers by providing relevant and valuable content.

Improve Ranking

Video can considerably improve your site's search engine ranking. The time an individual spends on your page/site after Google search directs them to your page can impact your position in results. This is known as dwell time, which is a vital Google ranking factor.

Video content is an instrumental channel for marketers to boost this metric, with 80 percent of them saying the video has augmented dwell time on websites.

Websites that effectively leverage videos increase the possibility of being ranked on the SERPs or Google result's first page by up to 53 times.

Reach Decision Makers

Three-quarters of business professionals view work-related videos every week. Additionally, 54 percent of the senior managers share those videos with their colleagues. And interestingly, 59 percent of the business executives prefer video if both text and visuals are available on a topic.

These shifting preferences present you with an opportunity to make the most out of your video marketing efforts and leverage its power to reach the key decision-makers in any given situation.

Best Practices for Creating Content
with a Video-First Approach

If you want to reach your prospective clients, creating content with a video-first approach is vital. 

Here are some of the video-first best practices you need to follow to survive and thrive in the industry:

Know Your Purpose

Your videos should have specific goals you want to accomplish through your efforts.

How else can you measure your video's effectiveness and success if you don't set concrete objectives from the start? Setting and following through with your video marketing goals can make all the difference and help your company achieve long-term success.

Target the Right People

Every video you create should target a specific audience. Determine the stages of your marketing funnel that will benefit the most from video. Then create videos that target your prospects in those stages to assist them to along their journey. 

For example, a video answering the question “what is malware?” might spark a viewer's interest in the awareness stage. For another that focuses on converting prospects into paying customers, consider the topic “How [Company Name] Crushes Malware and Not Your Pocketbook.” 

It is essential to align your video marketing strategy with your customer journey to get optimum results.

Focus on the Story Element

Video content following a narrative arc can evoke emotions from the audience that will allow them to engage with your content and retain the information longer. By supplementing facts and figures with creative storytelling, you can do more than educate. You can truly connect.

Use the Correct Video Type and Appropriate Length

As a general rule, you should keep your videos as concise as possible. Some videos can communicate the desired message in 15 seconds, while other types of video content like webinars and demos can last as long as an hour. Your audience’s time is precious. Once they begin to sense filler and fluff, they will likely leave and seek answers elsewhere. Be intentional with every line of communication in every video you create to ensure the most engaging experience possible.

Incorporate Video Content Effectively

Videos aren't standalone marketing; combine them with other practical types of content for maximum effectiveness. 

Integrate your video content into your overall digital marketing strategy. You will see the actual value of using this channel as a part of your campaigns. You can also incorporate complementary video content into other content types, like blogs and landing pages.

Wrapping Up

With all the modern tools technology provides, we are better equipped than ever to build connections and trust with prospects and customers. A video-first approach to inbound marketing is the best way to educate, engage, and help the people who need your products and services most. 

Although inbound marketing is a comprehensive approach, you don’t have to be an expert in SEO, copywriting, marketing automation, etc., to reap the benefits. All you need to get started is an understanding of your audience and the enthusiasm to talk about your products and services. 

Inbound is taking over the marketing world, and not just because it’s the most cost-effective way to achieve sustainable growth. Inbound marketing changes how brands interact with their customers to build trust and overcome challenges for good.

Develop buyer personas for more engaging content

Do you know who your customers are? How can you be sure?

Develop your buyer personas with the help of our resource pack including: Templates, best practices, and our answers to your FAQs.

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