In my last post, I covered how outdoor clothing company Patagonia uses video to engage visitors and drive sales.
But because Patagonia is a large retailer, their business might not look like your business. You might be wondering whether their tactics can work in your niche.
That’s why this case study focuses on a completely different kind of business. You’ll see how, Hubspot, an incredibly successful B2B software company, is using video to clean up in the inbound marketing niche.
As you’ll see below, using commercial video strategically can work for any business, no matter its size or niche.
Keep reading to find out how Hubspot does it…
The Makings of a Wildly Popular Inbound Marketing Platform
Hubspot has come a long way from its humble beginnings.
Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded the company in 2006 after they graduated from MIT. Their aim was to help businesses adjust their marketing strategies in response to the new ways people searched for information and made purchases online.
Halligan and Shah’s end product – an inbound marketing software platform – helps businesses attract visitors and turn them into leads and customers online.
In just eight years, Hubspot has grown to over 675 employees working over a span of three continents.
A Forbes article featuring Mark Roberge, Hubspot’s SVP of Sales, revealed the company was generating over 1 *million* visitors – and over 60,000 leads – through their website each month.
Those are jaw-dropping numbers, especially in the B2B software space where Hubspot’s cheapest package clocks in at $200 a month.
How are they doing this?
Through a strategic combination of blogging, social media, and video.
5 Ways Hubspot Uses Video Effectively
Hubspot churns out more written content – blog posts, social media updates, white papers, eBooks, and more – than practically every other company in the B2B software space.
But they don’t stop there…
Hubspot has also branched out into commercial video. Their videos allow them to reach a wider audience and connect with potential customers through a different medium.
Hubspot has done a great job of integrating videos seamlessly alongside their written website copy. They use these videos in a variety of contexts to drive traffic, engagement, and sales.
Let’s take a look at some of Hubspot’s videos and how they’re using them so effectively:
1. The "What Is Hubspot?" Video
One of the first things visitors to Hubspot’s website encounter is an explainer video featured prominently on the homepage.
Hubspot knows they have only a few seconds to capture visitors’ interest and make a memorable impression. This can be challenging for software companies selling complicated products loaded with features. It’s tough to boil everything down into written copy and make it compelling.
Explainer videos offer a great alternative. It’s simple for visitors to press play and consume the information Hubspot packaged for them.
You can take a look at Hubspot’s “What Is Hubspot?” video below:
**In about 2.5 minutes, visitors get a great summary of what the Hubspot platform is and how it can help them grow their businesses.** This video is effective because it quickly identifies a major challenge marketers must overcome: customers are in more control, and marketing strategies have to adapt.
The video goes on to position the Hubspot platform as the perfect tool to help marketers overcome this challenge. Hubspot offers an all-in-one platform that allows users to do all of their inbound marketing from one place. This video helps them convey that value to viewers.
2. Hubspot's Product Video Tour
Hubspot also uses a longer video to give viewers a comprehensive “video tour” of its software platform.
You can watch the product tour video, which gets into the details about the platform’s features and capabilities, by clicking here.
This video is a great way for potential customers to find out more about the Hubspot software before committing to a purchase.
Visitors *won’t* find this product video tour on Hubspot’s homepage, however. That’s intentional. An eight-minute video focused on the technical details would overwhelm many of Hubspot’s first-time website visitors.
Instead, this video appeals to visitors in the intermediate steps of the sales funnel – visitors interested in finding out more about the software’s features and capabilities – but still unsure whether Hubspot is the best choice for them.
The product tour video uses a good mixture of showing the Hubspot dashboard in action (making it much easier for visitors to visualize instead of trying to decipher written copy) and connecting Hubspot’s capabilities with valuable viewer benefits.
3. The "About Us" Video
Plenty of companies hide behind corporate logos, official press releases, and the anonymity of doing business online.
But customers demand more transparency. Understandably, they want to do business with people they know, like, and trust.
An “about us” page is commonplace among online businesses. It’s a great way to give customers the transparency they crave and connect with them on a human level.
Hubspot’s “about us” *video* takes this emotional connection even further.
You can watch Hubspot’s “about us” video below:
It’s short – only about 2.5 minutes – but long enough for viewers to get introduced to the company’s founders and hear their origin story.
Viewers get assurance they’re dealing with real people, not another faceless organization. The interviews with the founders and shots of employees working in the Hubspot office add to their credibility.
This video also leverages social proof by mentioning the number of Hubspot customers and agency partners. It does this quickly without getting too “salesy,” reassuring viewers that they’re dealing with a legitimate company with a proven track record.
4. Video Testimonials
In addition to a library of case studies, Hubspot offers video testimonials from happy customers.
You can take a look at a video from Michael Freeman, the senior manager of search and analytics for ShoreTel, below:
This short video delivers a nice “before and after” story of what ShoreTel was like prior to becoming a Hubspot customer and how things have changed ever since. The interview format and shots of Freeman working in the ShoreTel office make it much more engaging than written testimonials or quotes.
There’s also an important credibility element at play. Hubspot got someone to sit down for a video interview to discuss how much their platform helped their business. **By collecting testimonials from people willing to put their names and faces out there, Hubspot gains legitimacy in the eyes of potential customers.**
Many visitors skim over written testimonials. But video testimonials like these are easier to consume and share.
5. Content Marketing Videos
Hubspot is known for producing *mountains* of valuable written content designed to educate and engage potential customers about inbound marketing. They even have a special <a href="http://academy.hubspot.com/" target="_blank">Hubspot academy section</a> where visitors can learn about attracting visitors, converting visitors into leads, and turning leads into customers.
In addition to this written content, Hubspot is also releasing educational videos designed to help potential customers.
Here’s a video of a Hubspot employee sharing actionable tips about building an email list:
Videos like these are great ways for Hubspot to: 1) deliver a lot of value to potential customers, and 2) establish themselves as an authority in their niche.
Building an email list is certainly something that catches potential Hubspot customers’ interest. They’re looking to use inbound marketing to grow their businesses online, and this video can help.
Using videos also helps Hubspot reach a wider range of prospects. **Many won’t read blog posts, but they’ll watch (and share) quick, useful videos.** Finally, this video feeds into a *series* of more videos. This helps entrench new visitors in Hubspot’s sales funnel and cultivates lasting relationships.
Over to You
Commercial video can help you get more traffic and customers *regardless* of your niche.
We’ve seen it with clothing retailers like Patagonia and B2B software companies like Hubspot. And we’ll continue to see it in other niches as more businesses embrace video to stand out from competitors and bond with visitors.
Businesses of all shapes and sizes can benefit from using video on their websites. There’s no need to rush; you can dip your toes into the water with a video or two, gradually expand to other applications, and perfect your strategy as you go.
The key is getting started.
What are you waiting for?
Which of Hubspot’s videos did you find the most effective? Why? Leave a comment below and let me know!