Follow these best practices to create superb marketing videos

Almost every major business and organization uses video to inform and engage consumers. These techniques and focal elements can help you make the most of your visual offerings.

Marketers are piling into producing streaming videos.

The reasons are simple: Most customers prefer video over text, and well-produced marketing videos deliver superior results.

When both video and text are available on the same page, 72% of people would rather view the video to learn about a product or service, 79% say a brand video has persuaded them to buy a piece of software or app, and 87% say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2019, according to research from Wyzowl.

Organizations in high-tech; professional services; and media, entertainment and communications are the most prolific in using video, says the 2019 Video in Business Benchmark Report from Vidyard. On average, businesses in those industries published more than 300 new videos in 2018—nearly one per day.

The report, based on data collected from more than 324,000 videos, provides other key insights into trends and best practices:

  • Create shorter videos. Average video length is trending shorter and shorter. In 2018, the average video was 4:07 minutes long, 33% shorter than 2017’s 6:07 minutes. On average, 52% of viewers watch a video all the way through, regardless of the video’s length, compared with about 46% in 2017. Over two-thirds (68%) of viewers watch a video to the end if it’s shorter than 60 seconds, and only 25% will finish a video if it’s more than 20 minutes.
  • Eye both inside and outside resources. More small and mid-size companies use a mix of internal and external resources for video production. Now, 52% are using both, versus 37% in 2017.
  • Remember desktop. Most video views still take place on desktop (87%), but mobile views are growing. This year, 13% of business video views took place on mobile, a small increase from the previous year’s 11%.
  • Target midweek. Midweek is the most popular time for business video views, with Thursday seeing the most views overall. Views peak in the morning, regardless of the day of the week, typically from 9 to 11 a.m. Pacific time (noon to 2 p.m. Eastern time).
  • Use video analytics. Most companies (85%) report using some form of video analytics. The use of intermediate or advanced video analytics has increased 19% over the previous year. Video views, the prevailing metric, don’t accurately indicate whether videos effectively promote the company. More advanced metrics—such as play rate, action completions and average engagement—provide more insight.

Focus on these elements to stand out in the video marketing crowd:

  • Quality. The surge in the quantity of videos presents a contrarian opportunity for those willing to invest in quality, asserts Alex Chan, co-founder of AntiSocial Solutions. Quality doesn’t necessarily mean production “A video doesn’t have to be fancy; it depends on the audience and delivering the message properly,” Chan says.
  • Authenticity. An expensive video filmed on a set with actors might resonate with an audience less than a cheaper video that’s more authentic. Ask an internal brand advocate or influencer to share their experience or give instructions, he suggests.
  • Captions. Captioning and auto-describing video is required by law for many businesses. Adding captions to social media videos has practically become a necessity, as most viewers watch videos with the sound muted. Social media marketers have several different methods and online editing tools available to add captions.
  • Animations. Animated videos are becoming more and more popular, and they will probably dominate in 2019, says Roman Daneghyan, chief marketing officer at Renderforest. “What makes animated videos so great is their ability to take complex topics and visualize them in a clear, informative and engaging way,” he says.

More and more organizations produce videos to promote and explain their products and services. It’s not easy, though, to produce videos that inform and entertain customers, get them to watch to the end, and motivate them to action.

A version of this article first ran on the blog.


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