Video content is one of the most impactful tools marketers can use to reach and engage consumers. Since we create that content for a living, we are always looking for different ways to quantify the value of what we create. We recently reviewed this annual report from Vidyard which documents trends in B2B and B2C video for 2019 and years prior.
It’s worth an in-depth read if you’re curious about the state of the industry and the current trends in video marketing for business.
Here are some of our main takeaways.
Where is business video content viewed?
While more than 75% of worldwide video viewing is mobile, business-related video views are still firmly in the land of the desktop at 83%. This is likely due to people viewing content during work hours.
This isn’t something I would have thought to separate in our increasingly mobile world, but after seeing the data, it makes some sense.
We deliver our video content at the best resolution possible (typically HD or 4K) with the understanding that either the client, broadcast distribution partner, and/or digital streaming platform will be able to ingest that “full quality” format and adapt it to the appropriate screen size for the final viewer.
So while making content more responsive across many different screen sizes is still looming ahead of us, crafting video to serve the HD/4K dimensions and resolutions of desktop monitors remains necessary.
When is business video content viewed?
The study shows that most business-created content is viewed on weekdays than weekends, which makes sense that most viewing of business video content happens during work hours.
While the viewership numbers may seem high, the amount and types of video content that are used by businesses puts this into perspective. Video content views come from mandated viewings of training videos, lead generation, or other business solutions that are leveraging video platforms to their benefit.
What type of videos should businesses be creating?
According to the Vidyard study, “the most common types of business-created videos are webinars, demos, and social media videos.”
The study also lists demos and explainer videos as being the most popular formats across content channels with demos being more popular on landing pages, emails, websites, and social media.
Explainer content was not only right under demo videos in these categories, but it was also more popular on YouTube. Both formats were then tied in popularity for sales conversions.
Again, we see educational and explainer content as dominant forms of media being viewed.
The study chalks this up to the fact that, “businesses are using video throughout the customer journey—not only at the top of the funnel,” but I think there’s more to it than that.
It says more about the people consuming the content and going on this customer journey than the companies producing the content.
People are activating their natural curiosities when presented with new products or ideas. Explainer content is the next logical step when that curiosity leads them to seek out more information. It’s a natural way to engage your audience.
How Long Should Marketing Videos Be?
The study found videos that fall into the 2-4 minute category are a sort of “Goldilocks zone” with 57% of viewers watching all the way start to finish compared to videos between 1 and 2 minutes engaging just 50% of viewers.
The only category to score higher than this was videos less than a minute long at 68%. It’s interesting to see that dip in engagement between the two categories. The study posits that, “Shorter videos… are usually more top-of-funnel and don’t tend to contain as much information, whereas slightly longer videos… can come packed with a lot more value.” So while shorter videos get the boost from not having to keep an audience long, there’s a balancing act with information exchange that can leverage an audience to stay with a video longer.
Again, it cycles back to audience engagement, but it becomes a sort of chicken and egg argument. Are 2-4 minute videos more engaging because of the inherent length, or is it because explainer and demo type videos tend to fall into this category? I think it’s more of the latter as the type of video seems to me to be more important than length. As the study itself says, the audience gets more value at 4 minutes in length when that video is packed with information.
Should video content be produced in-house or outsourced?
Most small and medium sized companies produce video content in-house historically due to the added costs an agency or production house can add, but according to the study, more and more companies this size are starting to mix in more external sources as well.
Conversely, larger companies, which tend to produce more content with the help of agencies, contract employees, and freelancers, are starting to have their own employees develop and produce content in-house.
This meeting in the middle might be indicative of the overall growing need for more content. Companies that have in-house video content teams are looking outside to create more quality content than what they’re able to do in-house, and companies that usually outsource are starting to produce more of their own in-house to generate quantity. Where quantity AND quality were hard to achieve for some companies, diversifying production resources is letting them have their cake and eat it too.
It is exciting to see personnel in sales or other departments producing their own content with readily available equipment like smartphones and headphone microphones, and as long as some minimum quality standards are met (at the very least we hope these in-house people at large companies are recording good audio), it’s going to be a “rising tides raise all ships” type of situation for us content producers. It definitely opens the door for more consulting opportunities.
What is the big picture trend for business video content?
The most successful business videos going forward will be 2-4 minutes in length, educational or demonstrative in nature, and optimized for cross channel distribution on an HD or 4K viewing platform like monitors and TVs. The mixed in-house and outsourced production model will continue to grow as the need for more content continues to grow.
Ultimately, the trends in video marketing that we’re seeing – video content driving new business and exposure – will continue to expand and become even more integral to how brands are advertised.