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Wanna see some next-level inbound marketing using video?  Check out Dove‘s ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ video (embed above).  What’s so great about it?

1) It’s great content. This is immensely sharable stuff – it rings true, has a compelling story, and leaves you feeling happy for having given Dove three minutes of your time.

2) It’s relevant to the brand.  Making – or sponsoring – great content that doesn’t tie back into your brand is a waste of money.  This isn’t some ridiculous ‘viral video’.  Brand recognition is nice, but you’re going to get way more bang for your marketing buck if your video also enhances consumer opinion around your product.  In the case of the ‘Real Beauty Sketches’ video, we know a lot about the Dove brand without ANY explicit promotion.  Dove believes that women are more beautiful than they think, and they make products that will help their customers feel as beautiful as the rest of the world sees them.

3) It doesn’t beat you over the head with branding.  Dove is mentioned briefly at the beginning of the video, and again subtly at the end.  The women featured aren’t slathering themselves with Dove lotions, and the sketch artist isn’t drawing in little Dove logos in the bottom right of the images.  We know who made the video, but the message is conveyed in a way that the viewer doesn’t feel advertised to.  There’s a call to action at the end of the video bringing you to Dove’s web site.  Once you’re at the website, you can view larger versions of the actual sketches, see in-depth versions of the women’s stories, and interact with other viewers in a comments section.  It looks like a great – and vibrant – place for Dove to communicate directly with consumers.

Can you think of other great examples of top-of-the-funnel inbound marketing using video?  Let us know in the comments section!