The 4E’s of Video: How to adapt your content marketing strategy to buyer expectations

Customers want a sense of connectedness with brands, and that is now largely happening digitally. They want to learn and participate on their own time and expect frictionless experiences when exploring new topics or learning about suppliers. They rarely want to take the time to talk to real people, but they hope and desire a sense of personal connection to what their company does and how.

In response to these evolving trends, video has emerged as a powerful content format for marketers. It offers new ways to show, rather than tell, how your product or service can help you, and it can create more meaningful connections and gain buyer trust before engaging your sales team.

And you can do it all in an on-demand format that respects the times and preferences of today’s online audience.

Effective video content marketing focuses on the unique features of video that make it more useful than traditional static content, which I call 4E video.

The 4E’s of the video

1. Education

Video is the best way to educate the public looking for answers during the buying journey.

Video can explain complex topics and is more useful and memorable than static content. The human brain processes visual information much faster than text.

You can use video content to answer questions to your audience, show visually how to solve a problem or guide people through your product or service in a clear, concise, and memorable way.

Test your preference: If you want to know how a product works, would you rather read a manual, speak to a salesperson or watch an online demo?

2. Engagement

Video is a great way to engage your audience with your story and maximize time for content consumption.

The video uses image, sound, music, and creative storytelling to give audiences something recognizable that will pique their interest. By using video, you can build excitement, spark curiosity, and deliver a lot of value in a short amount of time.

And this doesn’t just apply to video ads and promotions; you can make any topic more interesting with a careful approach to visual storytelling.

3. Emotion

Video content can elicit an emotional response from someone experiencing your brand for the first time or coming back for more.

Whether it’s a fun and creative social video, an inspiring interview, or a recognizable customer story, an emotional response increases the likelihood that online audiences and consumers will come back for more content.

4. Empathy

Video can show empathy and create a human connection beyond simple messages.

Empathy is important at all stages of the buying journey, but also when potential buyers are looking for reliable answers to their questions. A short video with one of your employees or one of your customers that clearly explains a complex topic is better than a text-based article because it shows that you understand your market and relate to your buyers.

Use video content to align your strategy with buyer expectations

Inbound marketing and content marketing have become the foundation of modern marketing programs.

The premise of inbound marketing is to post useful content online as a way to attract new visitors to your site, rather than using paid advertising and other forms of external media to get their attention. The content posted will usually match frequently asked questions you can search for or topics they need to learn as you look for possible solutions.

As they learn about new topics, especially in the B2B world, most people will choose to interact with different content formats for passive and active learning. Blog posts, guides, social media content, videos, commentators, podcasts, and even club chat rooms can all play a role in how today’s shoppers are self-taught and exposed to ideas and potential suppliers.

As they delve into potential solution providers, buyers are increasingly choosing to consume self-service content on-demand to better understand what providers have to offer. While this connection to the seller may still be needed at some point, most people prefer to learn most of the consideration and decision stages of a shopping journey themselves.

That’s exactly why smart tech brand Marketo swapped its “Talk to Sales” links on its website for ones that say “See a product.” After that, the conversion rate on your website increased by over 1,000%. Engagement time on the website skyrocketed and the time to acquire a new lead became six times shorter.

Of course, once potential customers become customers, their preferences don’t suddenly change; nor the way you treat them. Well-planned onboarding videos and FAQs can play an important role in helping your customers realize the value and get up and running quickly.

Just as important, marketing video content shows that you are willing to invest time and resources to provide the best experience possible for your customers.


It’s an on-demand world and doing business is becoming increasingly virtual. The role of content is more important than ever: it is used to market, sell and support your customers and do everything at scale.

And because your content strategy includes multimedia formats like video, you’ll find new opportunities to inform your prospects faster than ever by engaging them with on-demand content that has an emotional connection and turns satisfied customers into big fans.