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5 Ideas for Adding Video to White Papers

by | Dec 7, 2019 | Collateral, Lead Generation, White Papers, Online Video, Content Marketing | 0 comments

When marketing with content, you need to keep readers engaged. Your content must hold your prospects’ attention long enough for your message to sink in.

One good way to do that is with interactivity. In a recent B2B Technology Content Survey, Eccolo Media found that “Overall, content consumers appreciate interactivity. Seventy-three percent say a high level of interactivity somewhat or greatly increases the influence of content, while only 6 percent say it decreases content influence.” {1}

And one of the best ways to increase interactivity, according to Eccolo, is with embedded video. Of the technology buyers they surveyed, “92 percent said embedded video files ‘positively’ or ‘very positively’ affected the overall influence.” {2}

But what types of videos can you add to, say, a white paper to make it more effective? What kind of videos will engage white paper readers without distracting them from the case you’re making for your solution?

Here are five ideas:

1. Video Executive Summary

Executives tend to have high regard for white papers. In fact, it’s often an executive who finds your white paper and brings it into their company. Eccolo found that more than half the executives they surveyed rate white papers as “very to extremely influential.” {3}

But executives are busy people. Many urgent issues compete for their attention throughout the day. They may feel they don’t have time to read your white paper once they’ve downloaded it.

One way to engage and help busy executives is with a video executive summary. This should be placed on the very first page of your white paper and narrated by the paper’s author.

Seeing the author in the video increases your “know, like and trust” factor. But don’t just show a talking head. As the narration proceeds, shift to other visuals that illustrate the points you’re making.

Above all, emphasize the urgency of the problem. Stimulate your prospect’s desire to read the rest of your white paper and find out more about the problem. Promise a new and better solution only at the end.

2. Problem Overview Video

A classic, “problem/solution” white paper—the type normally aimed at executive audiences—usually begins with a thorough discussion of the problem your prospect faces. But executives often don’t want to read about the problem. They want to cut to the chase – get right to the solution.

If they skip the problem discussion though, they rob themselves of context that helps explain your solution and which could factor in their decision making.

How do you avoid that?

Give the reader a video option. Create a video overview of the problem—a digest, if you will. In the interest of time, you can leave out much of the detail from the paper itself. At the end of the video though, remind viewers they can find out more by reading the text. Even if they don’t read the white paper themselves, this reminder may prompt them to forward it to others in their chain of command.

Just as in your printed text, you’ll want to include a variety of visuals that help explain the problem.

3. Solution Overview / Demo Video

You can also include a video overview of your solution. Like the problem overview, this can be a digest.

It could also be a demonstration. If your solution has moving parts, you can show how it works. If it has a unique architecture, you might show how it’s put together. A video demo can often help executives understand the merits of a complex technical solution more quickly than a written explanation.

Your accompanying audio should emphasize the merits of your new approach. As in all problem/solution white papers, it’s best to explain the solution generically—at least at first—rather than constantly referring to your specific brand.

4. Case Study / Use Case Videos

Case studies and use cases are great tools for illustrating benefits and building credibility for your solution. Highlighted in sidebars or text boxes in a white paper, they grab the attention of busy scanners.

So, why not turn them into videos. In fact, anything you might put in a sidebar or text box that requires some explanation can be a good candidate for a video. Simply replace the printed version with an embedded video clip.

Be sure to include a caption under your video box that explains what the video is about. Captions get high readership and will encourage viewing.

5. Conclusions Video

Many people begin a white paper by immediately turning to the last page and reading the conclusions. They want to decide whether it’s worth their while to read the whole thing. So, including a conclusions video on your last page makes a lot of sense.

Your conclusions video and your executive summary video act like bookends. While your executive summary emphasizes the problem your prospect has, your conclusions video should emphasize the reasons your solution is the best available for solving that problem.

Be sure to include your call to action at the end of this video, so readers will know just what to do next.

Take-Away Points

1. Interactivity boosts the perceived influence of marketing content.

2. Embedded video is one of the most effective tools for increasing the interactivity and influence of content.

3. Five good ways to add video to white papers are:

a. Video Executive Summary

b. Problem Overview Video

c. Solution Overview / Demo Video

d. Case Study / Use Case Videos

e. Conclusions Video

Next Steps…

Need help with a white paper, a video script… or a white paper with embedded video? Call CopyEngineer at (+39) 011 569 4951. Or drop me an email at


{1} Eccolo Media 2014 B2B Technology Content Survey Report, Eccolo Media Inc., December 2013.

{2} Eccolo Media 2012 B2B Technology Content Survey Report, Eccolo Media Inc., December 2012.

{3} Eccolo Media 2009 B2B Technology Content Survey Report, Eccolo Media Inc., September 2009.

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