It’s no secret that 2018 was a banner year for video. More than 75% of all Internet traffic is now streaming video content with that number expected to rise to 82% by 2022.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn were flooded with video while Facebook reported audiences gaze 5x longer at videos compared to static content.
Meanwhile, a whopping 82% of businesses reported greater investments in video in 2018 and Vidyard’s B2B clients published 83% more videos on a monthly basis compared to the previous year.
This surge in video publishing was supported by reports that video continues to be highly effective across multiple online channels. According to Wyzowl and Demand Metric, video is helping to increase dwell time on digital properties, drive more sharing on social media, and produce greater conversion rates for email marketing and lead generation.
In 2019, businesses will build on this success by accelerating their investments in video content, making it an integrated part of how they communicate and share information.
The surging demand for video is having a significant impact on marketing teams, particularly as they look for new ways to engage prospects and deliver more personalized experiences. While video is now a mainstay in most brand and communications programs, 2019 will see video go full-funnel and cross-channel for marketers in a big way.
For some, it will mean incorporating video more extensively into their websites, social media channels, and digital advertising programs to drive awareness and interest. For others, it will mean investing in video-based explainers, webinars, product demonstrations, customer stories, and thought leadership to support the buying process.
The expanding role of video is forcing businesses to rethink how they empower digital marketing, content marketing, social media, email marketing, demand generation, customer marketing, and sales enablement teams to source and/or create video at greater scale. As a result, marketers will increase their investments with video production agencies and service providers with many also hiring in-house producers to meet the increasing demands for video.
The growing presence of video on websites, landing pages and other channels will also create added pressure to ensure video playback experiences are on-brand and meet accessibility compliance requirements.
As video ventures its way throughout the customer lifecycle, the way businesses think about it is changing fundamentally. The idea of video production is being complemented by video creation, a subtle but important shift that recognizes the growing use of video as a conversational medium that can be leveraged by nearly any team across the business. Much like employees are expected to create emails, documents, and presentations today, they will be empowered to create videos to improve the way they communicate across the business.
This will lead to widespread adoption of video capture and creation software, ranging from webcam and screen recording tools to lightweight video editing and composition—in addition to the expanded use of smartphones, DSLR cameras, and entry-level video production gear.
A major implication of this trend is that the number of video assets created and shared by the average business will grow exponentially in 2019 and 2020, forcing them to consider how to evolve their video creation, content management, and playback strategies.
Partner with a trusted video production agency and/or seek out freelancers to help you scale higher-end video production. Consider independent producers, video production agencies, and content mediation platforms such as Movidiam, StudioNow, and Wooshii.
Invest in your in-house video production capabilities to make this a core competency of your marketing team heading into 2020. Consider hiring a dedicated video producer and/or training up your content marketing, social media, and communications teams.
Experiment with different approaches to creating conversational and educational video across your teams. Explore different options such as webcams, screen recorders, DIY video creation tools, and entry-level video production equipment.
Act-On Software—the leading adaptive marketing platform that drives personalized and purposeful multi-channel marketing for mid-market enterprises—started their video journey with webinars for lead generation. After finding great success, they expanded their use of video to include online customer stories, product explainers, thought leadership videos, social videos, and even personalized videos to wish their customers a happy holiday. They also made a product demo video the star of their homepage, where it has quickly become one of their top sources of new leads and pipeline.
Video content was directly responsible for helping Act-On increase their number of qualified leads by 40%, engagement in email marketing by more than 70%, and overall audience engagement by a whopping 4x. What was most impressive is that they did this almost entirely in-house using existing talent within their marketing team along with basic video production equipment.
In 2018, Act-On expanded its use of video to include one-to-one video engagement from their sales team and conversational social videos shared by their executives. To see how Act-On is using video across their programs, check out their site or peruse their video hub.
The rise of video on social media has been nothing short of extraordinary. Facebook and Snapchat reported 8 billion and 10 billion video views every day on their platforms and that was back in 2016 (the most recent year the two have provided this data).
Then 2017 saw Facebook and Twitter launch live video services and, in 2018, LinkedIn introduced native support for video aimed at business professionals, B2B brands, job seekers, and students. While large consumer brands have been capitalizing on this for years, a broader spectrum of businesses are now embracing social video.
Video is also taking on a starring role in inbound marketing and brand websites. While it’s difficult to quantify the exact impact of video on these channels, most experts agree that the presence of high-value video content has become an important factor for conducting effective search engine optimization (SEO) and improving rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs)—due in part to its ability to increase average time on page.
We’ll see these trends accelerate in 2019 as marketers embrace video on their website and make more frequent use of it to answer common questions, explain complex ideas, and boost overall audience engagement.
The use of video on social media and blogs isn’t new, but we’re seeing a significant change in how most businesses are approaching these channels to deliver more authentic and engaging content to the masses.
In the old world, videos were produced for other marketing programs and then re-purposed for sharing on social networks or blogs. In the new world, conversational and educational videos are being created explicitly for these channels.
Consider this the rise of social-first video content and thought leadership that offers timely updates on market trends, answers to commonly asked questions, conversational dialogue with customers and communities, live Question and Answer (Q&A) and Ask Me Anything (AMA) sessions, transparency into business practices and employee personalities, and even episodic video series.
In 2019, more marketers will approach this in a strategic manner, purposefully crafting video content for social media, their blog, and YouTube channel. This will result in a surge of short-form thought leadership content, snackable video series, and even readable video that is designed for native autoplay within social feeds.
After much experimentation, marketers are realizing how video can help boost engagement and conversion rates on corporate websites. According to Demand Metric, the top video types now used on websites are explainers, customer stories, and product demonstrations, with video-based thought leadership taking the lead on blogs and resource centers.
Unsurprisingly, 2019 will see more businesses adopt video across their websites in an effort to drive more inbound traffic, boost time-on-page, and improve conversion rates.
In addition to the growing use of explainers, customer stories, and thought leadership, many B2B companies will add video-centric calls-to-action on their website—such as “Watch a Demo”—as a way to generate more leads.
Develop a ‘social-first’ video strategy for creating conversational and educational video content that is explicitly designed for distribution on your social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.
Start leveraging video more actively on your blog and resource center to deliver a richer inbound marketing experience and to cater to the shifting expectations of today’s audiences. Consider producing video-first blog posts that address commonly asked questions.
If you offer a product, consider adding a “Watch a Demo” call-to-action (CTA) to your website that links to a gated or ungated on-demand product demo video. Leverage advanced video analytics to track how long each viewer engages to facilitate accelerated lead qualification.
River Pools and Spas—one of the fastest growing manufacturers and installers of fiberglass pools in the United States—began writing blog posts in 2011 and within five years was generating thousands of new leads from across the country. In 2016, they shifted their focus to creating videos to answer frequently asked questions, to share the personalities and passion of their employees, and to leverage the reach of YouTube and social media. Within two years, they had created more than 100 videos, nearly tripled the number of inbound leads they were generating, and expanded their dealer network by more than 500%. Social video not only helped them expand their reach, but established River Pools as a trusted advisor in a highly competitive market. Browse their video library to see how they’ve approached their social-first and inbound-centric video strategy.
IR—the leading global provider of experience management solutions for unified communications—was looking for a new way to explain their complex solution to website visitors in a way that was clear, memorable, and would help them capture more qualified leads. They produced a simple video-based product tour and promoted it on their website as a primary call-to-action (CTA). Behind the scenes, they used Vidyard to track which prospects were engaging in which parts of the tour, and the resulting data was used within their marketing automation platform to score and qualify leads. In less than one year, these videos have helped IR increase the amount of pipeline generated via their website by more than 400% compared to the same period in the previous year.
Video is a highly engaging medium, but some new types of video experiences have emerged that are taking the power of video to the next level. While there’s been lots of hype over formats like 360 video, 3D experiences, and even virtual reality (VR), these won’t materially impact the majority of businesses in the near future.
However, new approaches to video—including series-based content, video podcasts, interactive video, and personalized video—are here today, helping early adopters boost engagement and expand their audiences.
In 2018, we saw a growing number of businesses experiment with these new types of video experiences. In 2019, we’ll see these new approaches gain broader adoption as the tools to create them become more accessible and best practices become more widely understood.
The rapid rise of podcasts in the business world proves there is a tremendous appetite for episodic thought leadership content that people can consume without having to scan the written word.
In 2018, a growing number of businesses expanded on this concept by introducing video-based content series that offer aspirational stories and educational insights in a visual format. These have spanned everything from short-form videos in ‘quick tips’ or ‘how-to’ formats to longer-form episodic series featuring interviews with experts and practitioners.
Some have found success by approaching this content with the mindset of creating an episodic video series to help them stand out from other ‘random acts of video.’ Benefits include creating a repeatable format for efficient content creation, building a following that anticipates new episodes, and promoting the overall series in ways that wouldn’t be possible for individual video assets (i.e. “subscribe”).
In 2019, more businesses will embrace episodic video series content and the smartest ones will plan ahead to ensure the audio tracks from long-form video series content can be easily turned into podcasts.
Interactive videos have become fairly common, but not in the flashy ‘shoppable video’ kind of way. We’ve had annotations, cards, and end screens in YouTube players for years; many brands are now taking things one step further by using engaging calls-to-action (CTAs) to drive immediate conversions from videos on their own websites and within their social feeds.
In 2019, as video becomes more prevalent as a tool for lead generation and deal acceleration, more marketers will add interactive CTAs to their video content to drive immediate action. Meanwhile, leading marketers will continue to experiment with videos designed to offer a more interactive experience using overlaid annotations and ‘choose-your-own-path’ capabilities.
Recent years have also given rise to personalized videos that literally bring the viewer into the story. Most personalized videos incorporate the viewer’s name, company name, or related information from their customer account with the goal of increasing engagement and delivering a more memorable brand experience. The technology to power this has quickly matured and the associated costs have dropped, making this a more accessible technology for a broader range of the market.
While personalized video won’t go mainstream in 2019, it will move from the ‘experimental’ to ‘early adopter’ phase with more brands integrating it into their email marketing campaigns, account-based marketing programs, and automated nurtures to boost click-through and conversion rates.
Create a branded episodic video series around a topic that is timely and relevant for your market. Maximize returns by leveraging the content for social, YouTube, blogs, email marketing, nurtures, resource centers, and more.
Consider an opportunity to experiment with personalized video to boost the click-through and engagement rates for a key outbound marketing campaign in 2019. This could target your nurture list, key accounts, or even your existing customers.
Drift, the world’s leading conversational marketing and sales platform, has launched several episodic video series amassing a huge following and cultivating significant brand awareness. Seeking Wisdom is a far-reaching thought leadership series appealing to entrepreneurs and business professionals while The One Thing offers highlights from each episode in under two minutes. Coffee with a CMO appeals to marketing leaders (their typical decision makers) and Marketing Minute targets practitioners. These series don’t focus on Drift’s products; instead, they offer highly shareable thought leadership that provides value to Drift’s community and expands their reach.
PortoBay Hotels was faced with a significant challenge in May of 2018. With General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect in the European Union, they risked losing a sizeable portion of their database if they couldn’t get individuals to opt-in for communications. To optimize engagement, they delivered an irresistible personalized video campaign resulting in 65% of their active database opting in for future communications. Watch a version of the video personalized for an individual named Marta Uceda (the video was personalized in an automated fashion for each individual recipient to boost engagement).
We saw video take the sales world by storm in 2018. Most B2B inside sales teams have already embraced video conferencing tools such as Zoom, and many have started adopting one-to-one video messaging to improve the effectiveness of outbound prospecting and asynchronous communications.
The use of one-to-one videos improves email response rates by 26% on average, according to a 2018 SalesLoft research report that analyzed over 134 million emails sent by sales reps. Meanwhile, the most successful sales teams—such as those at Dynamic Signal, Terminus, League, HubSpot and 1HUDDLE—have seen their response rates increase by as much as 300%, according to Vidyard data.
The use of video within the customer lifecycle isn’t stopping with marketing and sales. Many customer support teams have also adopted on-demand video content within their knowledge bases to help reduce cost-per-call, decrease support ticket volume, and increase overall customer satisfaction. The greatest challenge they will start to overcome in 2019 is understanding how to create, manage, and update this content at low cost without dependencies on external teams or agencies.
It’s hard to argue that video will have a big role to play in how inside sales teams build relationships with buyers moving forward. For those unable to meet prospects in-person, video is an invaluable way to connect on a more personal level and humanize the sales process. It can also be an effective way to stand out from the vast amounts of emails hitting prospects every day.
In 2019, the use of video within inside sales and sales development teams will grow exponentially as it moves beyond early adoption.
Video will offer more effective ways to explain complex ideas, show prospects exactly how they can solve their problems, and build a more personal connection during the early stages of discovery. Sales executives, account managers, and sales engineers will also use personalized videos to deliver tailored demonstrations, explain specific features or services, and walk through sales proposals.
The most effective sales teams will figure out how to make video their own by recognizing how the use of video can not only support, but enhance the value they deliver throughout the buying process.
Most businesses that offer self-service customer support portals will expand their use of video in 2019 to meet the expectations of today’s customers.
The focus will be on complementing existing knowledge base articles with short-form videos that clearly explain how to resolve common problems. These videos will largely be created in-house using simple screen recording or webcam recording tools, while others will be created with DIY video editing and animated video creation tools
Videos will largely be shared within existing knowledge bases, customer support portals, and customer communities. The most progressive teams will implement an efficient model to grow their video library by empowering their own team members to create basic video content and embracing a video management platform that enables them to easily update videos at any time from one central location.
Experiment with one-to-one video messaging within your sales development or inside sales team (try Vidyard GoVideo—it’s free!). Get creative with different styles of videos to boost response rates and deliver more value throughout the sales process.
Establish a process for video creation and publishing for your customer support team. If possible, empower people within the team to create videos for your knowledge base using screen capture and webcam recording tools to minimize barriers to creation.
The sales team at 1HUDDLE, a leading workplace training platform, embraced one-to-one video messaging as part of their sales outreach in early 2018. Going beyond the basics of record/send/track, they embraced video as a creative way to stand out, showcase their passion for solving customer problems, and clearly demonstrate the power of their product. After sending nearly 50,000 videos in just under 12 months, the results were clear: email open rates had skyrocketed to 68% with an incredible 12% reply rate. These results eclipsed any other form of campaign or communication their sales team had tested, making video an invaluable part of their sales program for 2019.
MediaValet, a leading provider of cloud-based digital asset management software, turned to video in 2018 as a way of standing out from the noise in a competitive market. Not only did one-to-one video messaging help their sales development team boost response rates, but the use of on-demand product videos and explainers helped them deliver more value in a shorter period of time. Thanks to the strategic use of video, MediaValet has reduced the length of its average sales cycle by nearly 50% from 128 days down to 68 days.
As the demand for video grows, so too does the ecosystem of hardware and software tools to empower this new era of video in business. These tools are commonly grouped into four categories:
|Video content creation|
Filming and production equipment
Video editing software
Video content creation software
One-to-one video engagement
|Video management and optimization|
Video hosting and content management
Video marketing and sales platforms
Interactive and personalized video
|Real-time video experiences|
Video ad networks
Social media and YouTube video ad services
In 2019, we’ll see accelerated adoption of tools and technologies across most of these categories by an increasingly diverse set of businesses and end-users.
Many businesses have started to create video content in-house using entry-level video production equipment and video editing software. As the demand for video accelerates, so too will the adoption of 4K DSLR cameras, basic lighting, green screen kits, tripods, and microphones. New specialty cameras such as the DJI Osmo Pocket and Blackmagic Pocket Cinema will also see greater adoption in 2019 as will equipment for specialty shots such as camera-equipped drones and 360-degree cameras.
Not all videos need to be recorded with cameras or shot in a production studio, though. As businesses see more demand for both external and internal video content, adoption of do-it-yourself video creation and editing software is rapidly accelerating. Some businesses have moved into the experimentation phase, testing out different tools to see what meets their specific needs and aligns best with their current resources. Others are standardizing on a set of tools and services that they’re making available to different teams across the business.
In 2019, we’ll see accelerated adoption of video creation and editing tools such as Adobe Spark, Adobe Premiere Rush, Animoto, Camtasia, Doodly, Filmora, Magisto, Powtoon, Shootsta, Vidyard GoVideo, Vyond, and WeVideo.
When video was primarily used for brand communications and advertising, video views were an important and relevant metric to track the success of a video. But as video goes full funnel, becomes cross channel, and expands into the hands of sales and customer support teams, the metrics that matter are changing. In 2019 we’ll see more businesses adopting tools to track additional video analytics that align to the goals of their video content and their broader go-to-market programs.
In addition to tracking number of views, businesses will expand their reporting on average engagement time, drop-off rates, views, and engagement on different channels. But that’s not all, they’ll also look at embed locations, the impact on lead generation and pipeline development, and overall impact on revenue. The ability to access richer video analytics and insights will be realized by the growing adoption of video marketing and sales platforms and/or video analytics solutions. With access to a richer set of insights, businesses will in turn realize greater efficiency and return-on-investment (ROI) from their video content. In fact, in Demand Metric’s 2018 State of Video Marketing Report, those who reported using advanced video analytics were nearly 3x more likely to also report they were very satisfied with the performance of their video program.
If you are not yet producing content in-house, invest in an entry-level DSLR camera, tripod, lighting kit, and wireless microphone for your marketing team(s) and train at least one individual to be the subject matter expert.
Evaluate the content creation needs of your different teams and experiment with do-it-yourself video creation tools. Select a small number of tools to adopt and identify employees to become subject matter experts.
Start aligning your video analytics and reporting strategy with the goals of your video content and broader marketing and sales programs. Evaluate the necessary technologies to help you get there.
Gordian, the leading provider of facility and construction software and expertise, has been using video to support a wide range of marketing programs for years. In 2018, they embraced Vidyard as a video marketing and sales platform with the goal of maximizing the impact of video and tracking more relevant analytics.
Soon thereafter, they launched an educational video series, Job Order Contracting 101, designed to take advantage of Vidyard’s interactive player capabilities and viewer engagement analytics. As viewers engage with the video series, Gordian offers interactive downloads to further the buyer’s journey while tracking how long each individual watches the series. Those analytics are pushed into their Marketo marketing automation and Salesforce customer relationship management platforms for real-time lead scoring and video ROI reporting.
Thanks to the thoughtful use of interactive CTAs and viewer engagement analytics, this video series was responsible for more than $20 million in new qualified pipeline and $6 million in closed revenue within just six months. Not only has Gordian been able to maximize the impact and results of their video content, but they’ve been able to track its attribution to new leads, pipeline, and revenue.
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