Topics: Digital Tactics, Marketing Tools, Video, Content Marketing, B2B, Lead Generation, B2C, Email Marketing, Animation, Marketing Metrics, Marketing, NFP, Account-Based Marketing, Paid Marketing, Advertising, Personalized Campaigns

Want to run a profitable business? Yeah, we thought so. One key to that is getting the highest possible return on every investment. From the people you hire to the software you buy to the marketing strategies you use, you always want to choose the ones that promise the best ROI.

That’s why you introduced video in the first place, right? Because it works. But what if it could work even better? What if you could get higher ROI out of every video you make?

With a little creative thinking, you can. Turn that 60-second video into a package of complementary content, and you’ll warm up cold leads, gain a tool to guide clients through your sales funnel, and boost your ROI.

What is complementary content?

Simply put, complementary content is anything that enhances or emphasizes your original content.

For example, you start with a video. Then you use the data in that video to create a shareable infographic. Or you repurpose the background research and publish it as a case study. Maybe you do both.

It doesn’t cost you much time or money. The research is already done, and the message is already defined.  For minimal work, you get more points of engagement between you and your target audience.

Complementary content warms-up cold leads.

Email marketers have been using this strategy for years. They call it bonus content. It’s often used as a way to capture email addresses for a mailing list. Here’s how it works.

First, you post an in-depth blog explaining something related to what you do. Like we did with How to Optimize your B2B Marketing Strategy with Video. Somewhere within that blog, you offer a downloadable PDF strategy sheet that helps readers think through their marketing strategy.

When your readers click download, they’re presented with a prompt to enter their email address so you can send them their free strategy sheet.

The reader gets the content they want. You get what you want: a cold lead that’s just become at least a lukewarm one.

Even if you don’t use your complementary content as an opportunity to capture emails, you still have plenty of opportunities to boost ROI.

Linked content controls viewer experience.

When someone watches your video, they’re signaling that they’re interested in what you have to say. If you can present them with more information on similar topics, odds are good that they’ll stay interested.

The more they view, read, and engage with your content, the more they trust you. You become an advisor, not just a company trying to sell them something.

It’s the same principle behind the videos Netflix shows you. Netflix’s algorithms and curators look at what you’ve already watched and use that knowledge to suggest similar titles.

When you create complementary content, visitors engage more because you’re showing them the information they’re interested in.

That’s important because engaged visitors are more likely to become buyers. According to Demand Gen Report 2016, 47% of buyers view between three and five pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.

In other words, presenting related content helps move them from interest to conversion.

How do you create complementary content?

Content is the currency of the marketing world. Creating complementary content is like collecting interest on that original content investment.

“I’ve realized that no marketing is possible without content,” said Rebecca Lieb in an episode of the Marketing Cloudcast podcast from Salesforce. “Without content, not a thing moves forward in the entire marketing landscape.”

They used their podcast to make several pieces of complementary content. They took key points from the podcast and turned them into a blog. From that blog, they created shareable graphics.

You can do the same thing with your content. First, pick a marketing video. Maybe the video that’s had the most views. Maybe the one your sales team has found most useful for engaging potential clients.  

Next, identify key points. What is the vital message? Can you highlight key takeaways for viewers? Do any main visuals lend themselves to becoming an infographic? Could you expand on something that’s only touched on in the video? Or add statistics to strengthen your point?

Ask yourself what questions or objections might arise in viewers’ minds as they watch. Those are what you want your complimentary content to speak to.

Which format should you pick?

We’ve already talked about a few options for complementary content formats, but let’s dig deeper into some of the more popular ones and when to use them.

Blogs. Blogging has long been the go-to strategy for content marketers. And with good reason. Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13x more likely to achieve a positive ROI on their efforts.

You probably don’t need a deep-dive 1500-word blog post here. In this case, less is more. Think of a complementary blog as a way to quickly highlight key talking points and add some shiny statistics.

Infographics. People like images. In fact, infographics are liked and shared 3x more frequently than any other type of content on social media, according to the Nielsen Norman Group. Infographics are great for communicating a high volume of data or for helping people visualize timelines or the anatomy of a product.

Checklist. If you want to help people think through a decision or prepare for a task, checklists are perfect. They remove uncertainty and provide a guide. If I check all the boxes, I know I have everything I need.

Transcript. Probably the easiest one of them all, and super useful for people who want to revisit a key point in your video or review a quote. All you have to do is take the original script, add some time signatures, and put it on the internet. Done and done.

Of course, these aren’t your only options. You can get really creative here. Turn a key point into a one-panel comic. Transform a couple of frames of your video into a GIF. Or use one of the content types from this exhaustive list by Hubspot.

As long as what you’re making is relevant and useful, nothing is off limits.

But make sure that your content checks both of those boxes. Making content just because a trustworthy blog post recommended you should isn’t going to earn you any marketing brownie points.

In fact, if your content doesn’t meet those two criteria, you might lose leads rather than gaining them. Useful content builds trust. Useless content is just more noise in the internet echo chamber. Potential clients will see it as advertising and start tuning you out.

Promote your video with complementary content.

Once you’ve created a couple of pieces of complementary content, it’s time to share them with your viewers.

This is where hyperlinks are your friend. Add a clickable link under your video that invites viewers to click for a transcript or to get the downloadable guide. If you plan ahead, you can even include a plug for your complimentary content at the end of the video in the form of a narrator comment or a cue card.

You can create a whole chain of connected content with hyperlinks. Once you get viewers to the blog or transcript, they can download an infographic, checklist, or guide. You might use this as an opportunity to capture their email address in exchange for the very useful content you’ve offered.

And, ta-da! With a few pieces of content, you’ve moved your viewer from awareness to conversion.

Or, promote complementary content with your video.

If you’re new to video but already have other content in place, you can flip this script. Take your highest performing blog and turn it into a video. Animate that much-shared infographic. Distill your case study into something watchable.

Plus, when the new video rolls out, your existing content will get even more attention.


We’ll stop talking about boosting ROI so you can start doing it. Get to it with a video worthy of building a content package around.




Demand Gen:

State of Inbound 2017:

Nielsen Norman:


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By: Epipheo

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