New Benchmark Report Gives a Road Map to Video Resonance

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Brian Malone's blood pressure definitely rose at his SIPA Annual 2018 pre-conference workshop last Tuesday when the growing prevalence of 8-second videos came up. He believes it reflects a kind of laziness, meaning businesses think that their engagement problem stems from length and not poor execution.

The Malone Media president didn't know how right he was (about the decreasing lengths).

A new report from Vidyard on B2B-produced videos reveals that while "the average length of a B2B video is now 9 minutes, 75% of all videos published in the last year are less than 2 minutes long." While the retention rate—watching the whole video—for longer videos is considerably less than that of shorter ones, I think Malone would argue that a 59% retention rate for videos of less than 90 seconds is nothing to video home about.

Here are some other takeaways from the report:

Don't forget about mid-length videos. There seems to be a shortage of videos that are 4-20 minutes in length, notes Vidyard. "It appears companies are doing one of two things: either they're keeping their videos incredibly short or dumping large amounts of information into long-form content (like webinars). They're not producing much in between."

Consider adding videos on landing pages and in emails. Businesses are increasing their use of video across specific channels: The number of businesses using video on landing pages jumped from 49% last year to 60% this year, and the number of businesses using video in email jumped from 36% to 46%. Additionally, video use in sales conversions has also experienced a marked increase from 25% to 37%.

Being small is no longer an excuse. According to the report, video is clearly no longer just for "big brands." For the first time, smaller businesses—particularly those in high-tech markets—are now producing as much, if not more, video content than their larger counterparts. This trend is being fueled by the adoption of in-house video production practices and a greater focus on low-cost educational video content to support later stages of the buyer's journey.

SIPA proof of that theory comes in the form of the Coleman Report and Bob Coleman who sent me a link to one of his SIPAward-winning sponsored video podcasts. It's a really fast-moving 10 minutes featuring stories on an SBA Phoenix Award Winner, the 3 Brothers Bakery, SBA Hemp Industry Lending, SBA Portfolio Reviews and Dan's RV Sales, tied together by Coleman's hard-charging presence.            

Watching video in offices is increasing. Although the use of mobile is certainly on the rise when it comes to other kinds of content, consumption of business-related video content is still predominantly taking place on desktop browsers. In fact, 89% of views happen on desktop and only 11% on mobile. Mobile views of B2B content actually decreased by 3% as compared to last year's data. "Corporations that blocked streaming video in the past have all relaxed their restrictions in recent years," Dan Fink, managing director of Money-Media, wrote to me in an email. "In the early years we also got comments from subscribers that watching video at their desk was frowned upon, but that dynamic in the workplace has also changed."

Vidyard offers another reason for that anomaly to most video consumption patterns these days: More B2B video content is being created for educational purposes—and this kind of content is typically consumed on desktop.

It's easier to check usage now. The use of video analytics is becoming more prevalent: Those using intermediate or advanced analytics and viewer engagement data to measure performance were 2x as likely to report that returns on their video investments are improving.

Think Chrome. Almost 3/5 of the people are viewing B2B videos on Chrome.

The middle of the week is the most popular time for B2B video views. Tuesday between 10 am and 2 pm Eastern sees the highest number of views. Video consumption, just like most business content consumption, tends to happen earlier in the day. For Mondays and Fridays that prime time shifts to noon to 2 pm.

The top five types of B2B videos being produced are: product videos, demos, explainer videos, webinars and how-to/educational videos.

You can download the full report here.

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Ronn Levine began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post and has won numerous writing and publications awards since. Most recently, he spent 12 years at the Newspaper Association of America covering a variety of topics before joining SIPA in 2009 and SIIA in 2013 as editorial director…