If you’ve already seen the 2018 Video Benchmarks Report, you know that video creation is growing more competitive. Companies are producing more videos in more formats for more channels. They’re grappling with ever-dwindling attention spans in increasingly creative ways, such as with advanced analytics.

From the benchmarks, you can see how other marketers are performing. You’re probably also thinking to yourself, “I don’t want to just be average!”

Indeed. That spot is already taken by, well, most teams. Here’s your step-by-step guide for how to beat the benchmarks:

1. Film smarter, not harder

The rate at which videos are produced is up 29% year over year and the average business now has a library of 377 videos. But if you’re thinking to yourself that that sounds like a lot, and producing more than one video per day (the average) seems daunting, then you might not have explored all the multitudinous ways to create them.

Not all videos need to be at a Hollywood production level. Some videos actually perform better on a lower budget, such as personalized sales videos or internal communications, where the imperfections enhance the perception of quality. For many of those videos, forget the equipment–use your smartphone. Or better yet, let others within your company use their smartphone and save your video budget for your hero pieces and customer testimonials.

Not all videos need to be at a Hollywood production level. Some videos actually perform better on a lower budget.

When you do break open the budget, make sure you’re maximizing your time and dollars. Commit to creating video as a recurring calendar event as a way to force yourself to constantly be on the lookout for new ideas. When you book video production days, capture scenes for many videos all at once. And if you create longer pieces, break them up into many bite-sized clips.

2. Learn your audience’s what, when, and how

Video context matters tremendously and the data show that wherever videos miss their mark in terms of channel, device, or audience, retention suffers.

This year’s report found that 89% of business videos are viewed on the good old desktop. If you want to beat the benchmarks, the first step is not to take our word for it and to check where your audience watches your videos; Consumer companies may find very different results. But if that’s true for you, it’s great news.

Marketers creating video for desktop can capitalize on the extra screen real estate to include interest-snaring interactive elements like qualifying questions, polls, and quizzes. They can include post-roll lead forms to ask for an email right before the video’s big reveal and use embedded CTAs, which are harder to pull off on mobile.

Timing is equally important. Most videos are most successful when launched in the middle of the week – Tuesday through Thursday – and between 7-11 a.m. PST. And while the average video length this past year was nine minutes, 75 percent of them were under two minutes. That fits the trend of ever-shrinking attention spans and while you need to measure what works best for your particular audience, a good rule of thumb is to keep:

  • Social promotions < 30 seconds
  • Product explainers < 60 seconds
  • Thought leadership between 2-5 minutes

Some formats are naturally longer–webinars, for instance–but play around with 10-minute versions and see what they get you.

3. Unleash video on all customer-facing channels

Website and social media remain video’s top channels, but its rise has been a tide that’s lifted all boats. More companies are using videos on landing pages (60%) and emails (46%), and there’s been a 48% spike in videos in sales conversations to the point where they show up in 37% of all sales deals.

Wherever people are and wherever their attention is a finite resource, use video. And then, capitalize on that captured attention with a splash screen or thumbnail that pushes them back to a landing page to learn more and convert.

Was this useful? It’s only the half of it! Download your copy of A Practical Guide to Surpassing Video Benchmarks to get all 10 tips.

Erin McAnulty