Tiger Woods once said, “winning solves everything”. And we have a LOT to solve. So when our in-house SEO nerd told us we should write a blog post about video marketing statistics so that we could rank on Google for the term “video marketing statistics” it was game ON.
Did you know that there are over 100 online searches a month for “video marketing statistics?” I mean it’s no “what country is Germany located in?” (1,000+) but 100 is still a lot and totally worth going for as a video production company. Because if someone is in the market for video marketing statistics, they are almost certainly in the market for a video too.
Do you know how we know this? Because our competitors are currently stealing all of that great video production business right from under our noses with their rank-worthy listicles of video marketing statistics.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, the market for lists of video marketing statistics has been tapped. We found cunning suitors aplenty wooing the same term and our feathers were suitably ruffled. Influencer Marketing Hub offers 60 powerful video marketing statistics. But then Lemonlight steps up to the plate with 67 video marketing stats you need to know for 2020. Little did they know, Zidivo had found three more (cheeky fuckers). We thought Wyzowl was gonna win with their 100+ (keeping it nice and vague) but then Review42 only goes and swoops in with their 147+ video marketing stats, leaving the rest of us all feeling inadequate.
Yes when it comes to video marketing statistics, more is more.
But fortunately our content team has had six months of lockdown to come up with a plan. Review42 we see your 147+ statistics and we raise you +/- 1,477 to present 1,624 video marketing stats. It might take us a while to deliver on these, but just you wait – we will get there…and when we are done it will be the longest list of video marketing statistics ever compiled. The internet will not know what to do. So here goes:
We’ll start with the obligatory intro to video marketing
We’ll say something like “unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the past decade”. And then we’ll mention the “video marketing landscape.” After that we will talk about “the advent of smart phones” and then we’ll deliver some platitude about the “rise of social media.” We might even pay homage to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index.
And then we’ll move onto our stats, ensuring that we never cite the true source of a statistic, but rather a blog reference to a blog reference to a blog reference of the original. Because by maintaining three degrees of separation from the stat’s birthplace, we can help our readers meet their daily online step targets.
Here they are:
- TikTok now has 1 billion monthly active users (January 2022) (source)
- After watching a product video, consumers are up to 85% more likely to buy it (source)
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in the text (source)
- 87% of business-related videos are still viewed on a desktop (source)
- As of January 2022, on average viewers are watching over 700 million hours of YouTube content on TV daily (source)
- Facebook Instream video provides the best CTR for marketers – 0.33% (source)
- Video is the second most common post type on Facebook – 16.5% (source)
- Facebook Live videos are only being used 0.7% of the time (source)
- Facebook Live delivers almost 3x the engagement of traditional video (source)
- 1.5bn – predicted TikTok active users in 2022 (source)
- 85% of Gen Z adults use TikTok daily (source)
- 3 in 4 millennials watch YouTube (source)
- 60% spending more than 30 minutes a day on the video network (source)
- 63% of Gen X adults use YouTube daily (source)
- 49% of small business decision-makers use YouTube every day (source)
- 39% of UK baby boomers spend more than 30 minutes a day on YouTube (source)
- When looking for business advice, 56% of small business decision-makers would head to YouTube (source)
- …and 38% would look for videos on company websites (source).
- 87% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool. This number is up from 63% in 2017 and 81% in 2018 (source).
- Video is expected to make up 82% of internet traffic by 2021 (source).
- 88% of marketers plan to increase spending on video in 2019 (source).
- 91% of video marketers consider video to be an important part of their marketing strategy. That’s an increase from 82% in 2017 and 85% in 2018 (source).
- 99% will continue to use video in 2019, with 88% saying they’ll spend more than they did in previous years (source).
- 88% of marketers plan to increase spending on video in 2019 (source).
- By 2022, online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic — 15 times higher than it was in 2017 (source).
- 25% of companies publish videos every week (source).
- Digital video marketing is a $135 billion industry in the U.S. alone (source).
- Businesses in high tech and professional services industries are publishing the most new videos on a monthly basis (source).
- 68% of people say they’d prefer to learn about a new product or service by watching a short video. This makes video more popular as a learning tool than text-based articles (15%), infographics (4%) presentations and pitches (4%) ebooks and manuals (3%) (source).
- 71% of people watch more video than they did a year ago (source).
- 87% of consumers say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2019 (source).
- When asked to identify the type of video content they’d want to see more from brands, 39% of people cited explainer videos; 20% want entertaining ‘viral’ videos; 12% want to see more product demo videos; 10% want more video blogs; 9% want more interactive videos (source).
- 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television (source).
- 59% of senior executives favor video over text (source).
- 90% of users report that product videos are helpful in the decision process of the buyer’s journey (source).
- 56% of consumers believe that a company should have video content on its website (source).
- 79% of people say a brand’s video has convinced them to buy a piece of software or app (source).
- 84% of marketers say video has helped them increase traffic to their website (source).
- Including a video on your landing page can boost your conversion rate by up to 80% (source).
- Adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300% (source).
- 81% of marketers say video has helped them generate leads (source).
- 64% of consumers will make a purchase after watching branded videos on social platforms (source).
- 80% of marketers say video has increased dwell time on their website (source).
- 41% of marketers say that video has helped them reduce support calls (source).
- 52% of marketing professionals worldwide said video is the type of content with the best ROI (source).
- Marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video marketers (source).
- A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video (source).
- 65% of executives have gone to the marketer’s site and 39% have called them on the phone after watching a marketing video (source).
- On average, people spend 2.6x more time on pages with video than without (source).
- 93% of businesses reported gaining a new customer as a direct result of a video posted on social media (source).
- Because of its visual nature, 80% of users can recall a video ad they’ve seen in the past 30 days (source).
- 46% of users take action after viewing a video (source).
- When users enjoy video ads, their purchase intent is increased by 97% (source).
- Video marketers get 66% more qualified leads per year (source).
- Facebook is the most popular platform for businesses to share video content (81%), followed by YouTube (62%), Instagram (57%), and LinkedIn (32%) (source).
- On Twitter, 82% of users watch video content (source).
- Nearly half of Facebook and YouTube users consume more than an hour of video per week (source).
- Social media posts with video have 48% more views (source).
- Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined (source).
- Video campaigns on LinkedIn have 50% view rates (source).
- 81% of businesses prefer to use Facebook for their video marketing (source).
- Facebook has over 8 billion video views per day (source).
- Over 1.9 billion people, roughly one-third of the Internet, use YouTube (source).
- Consumers engage with branded videos the most on Facebook (49%), followed by YouTube (32%), then Instagram (24%) (source).
- Sponsored video content views on Facebook has jumped 258% since 2016 (source).
- Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year (source).
- 75% of people watch mobile videos on mute (source).
- 92% of users watching video on mobile will share it with others (source).
- People are 1.5 times more likely to watch video on their mobile phones (source).
- 90% of Twitter video views happen on a mobile device (source).
- 48% of Millennials are watching video exclusively on mobile devices (source).
- Mobile video ad spend is expected to be around 72% of the total digital ad spend this year (source).
- The average mobile-viewing session on YouTube lasts more than 40 minutes (source).
- Mobile viewers now watch over 40 minutes of video on their phones every day (source).
- Video will account for 78% of mobile data traffic in 2019 (source).
- Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic and is expected to jump to 82% by 2020 (source).
- Live video is more appealing to brand audiences: 80% would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts (source).
- 63% of people aged 18-34 watch live streaming content regularly (source).
- 47% of live streaming video viewers worldwide are watching more live videos compared to a year ago (source).
- Viewers are likely to watch a live video approximately three times longer than a pre-recorded one (source).
- 79% of marketers say live video facilitates a more authentic interaction with an audience (source).
- 67% of audiences who watched a live stream purchased a ticket to a similar event the next time it occurred (source).
- 63% of marketers say live video brings a human touch to digital marketing (source).
- Live content on Facebook receives 10x more comments than regular videos (source).
- 61% of marketers say a benefit of live video is that it creates content that can be viewed or repurposed later (source).
- 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound (source)
- 57% of consumers have purchased something discovered via a Facebook video ad (source)
- 25% of consumers have purchased something discovered via an Instagram video ad (source)
- 25% of consumers have purchased something discovered via an Instagram video ad (source)
- 33% of viewers will stop watching a video after 30 seconds, 45% by 1 minute, and 60% by 2 minutes (source)
- 90% of customers say video helps them make buying decisions (source)
- The most popular time for people to view a B2B video is mid-week (source)
- 66% of consumers say the quality of a company’s video reflects the quality of its brand (source)
- 55% of consumers prefer to watch a video over reading text (source)
- 67% of consumers want the brands they follow to entertain them with video (source)
- 78% of Marketing Professionals Say Videos Helped Increase Sales (source)
- 88% of video marketers are satisfied with the ROI of their video marketing efforts on social media (source)
- Viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video, compared to 10% when reading it in the text (source)
- 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool — up from 63% over the last three years (source)
- Only 16% of marketers say they’ve invested in audio chat rooms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces (source)
- Women make up more than 60% of Pinterest’s global audience (source)
- Snapchat offers seven different advertisement formats on the platform (source)
- Mobile advertising has been rapidly growing in the past couple of years but is expected to slow down to about 10.4% by the end of 2022 (source)
- Video will be the top investment for B2B brands in 2022 (source)
- 80% of marketers who leverage audio content and podcasts plan to invest the same amount or more budget in 2022 (source)
- eMarketer forecasts that Instagram will reach 1.1 billion users in 2022 (source)
- 45% of marketers are already using infographics while 38% plan to leverage it for the first time in 2022 (source)
- Mobile advertising has been rapidly growing in the past couple of years but is expected to slow down to about 10.4% by the end of 2022 (source)
- Mobile advertising spending is expected to surpass $240 billion dollars by 2022 (source)
- In 2021, 35% of marketers were leveraging AR or VR in their strategies. Of those marketers, 42% plan to increase their investment in 2022 (source)
- Global retail sales are projected to amount to approximately 26 trillion U.S. dollars by 2022 (source)
- The number of global social media users is expected to reach almost 3.43 billion in 2023 (source)
- 94% of marketers claim that video has improved customer knowledge of their goods or services (source)
- 90% of consumers use mobile video as their main form of video view content (source)
- 66% of consumers have actively searched for video content to find out more about a brand (source)
- More to come!
So we’re at 115 marketing stats so far. Only 1,509 to go. We will add to this post as more information comes to light. And if you happen to be in possession of additional stats, please email them to email@example.com.
Oh and thanks to Sam Holzman, Content Marketing Manager at ZoomInfo, a leading B2B contact database that helps organizations accelerate growth and profitability. He helped us pull together some of this data.Eight ways to use video for lead generation
The corporate video production industry is buzzing with content about video marketing and how video is set to become the new driver of lead gen. And while there is no shortage of content and opinion on the subject, it’s hard to know how to get started. How do you actually use video for lead gen?
The answer is simple: you make a video, put it in your lead gen machine, and then catch the leads as they pop out the other end.
If only things were that easy!
Fear not though, here is the ultimate guide to using video for lead generation.
We’re assuming you’ve covered all your basics: you’ve set your objectives, defined a lead, done your audience research and now you’re putting together your video production brief (because you’re not going to try to retrofit a lead gen strategy to your existing videos, are you?) to create videos for lead gen. But how do you really use videos for lead gen? Here’s how:
YouTube Cards / End Screens
These are clickable icons that appear during (cards) or the end of (end screens) your YouTube video. They can take the viewer to:
- One of your videos or a playlist
- A button to subscribe to your channel or someone else’s
- A link to your website (note you need to be a YouTube partner to do this)
It’s the link to your website that is your video lead gen mechanism – you create a compelling video that persuades viewers they want your product or service, and during or at the end of that video, you give them the opportunity to click right through to your landing page and find out more or make a purchase.
If you’re using cards and end screens, then you need to make sure your they make sense within your video: when composing your shots, make sure there is space for the clickable link to your landing pages and also ensure that it makes sense alongside your script.
Have a look at our lead gen video on YouTube for an example.
Increase landing page conversions with video
We’ve recently launched our first Udemy course, The Ultimate Public Relations Masterclass (find out how we made it) and we created a promo video for the course, because, according to Udemy, students who watch a well-made promo video are 5x more likely to enrol in your course. Yup, a good video can have a dramatic impact on landing page conversions – and Neil Patel agrees!
Here’s our example of a landing page with a video designed to increase conversions.
In-video lead forms
An alternative to using video to increase landing page conversions is to embed your lead gen form directly into the video. There are loads of ways to do this, with video players like Brightcove, Wistia and Vidyard all offering self-service tools that enable this.
We find it easier with Wistia, because you start with the video itself. And the best practice is to integrate your forms with your CRM system (although most platforms charge more for this).
Here’s our example that we created on Vimeo:
An email gate requires the viewer to input their email before being able to view your content. This can work well for mid-funnel content (if you speak marketing). But probably more helpfully, ask yourself what type of content would you be willing to exchange for your email address before you have watched the video? For us it would probably be:
- A case study showing how one of our competitors achieved something we are jealous of (landed a big client, won an award, generated millions).
- Inside information on a product, service or event.
- The only place on the web could learn about generating leads through video.
We probably wouldn’t for:
- A funny video.
- A product announcement.
- Your Christmas party video.
Here’s our example that we created on Vimeo:
A video card is a small video player that you can upload your content to and send out to your prospects. We’ve used video cards in our own award-winning marketing campaigns in the past to great effect (a 20% conversion rate and £300k+ worth of new business generated off an investment of less than £10k).
Video cards currently work because they are surprising, memorable and shareable. However, there are some things to keep in mind if taking this approach:
- They’re expensive (around £10-30 per card – add to that the postage cost and the cost of making the video) so should be reserved for high quality, qualified targets.
- The companies that sell them are hard to work with. We ended up having to upload the videos to our cards ourselves because there were so many issues with the service provided by the video cards companies we used – the cards arrived with no sound, poor quality visuals, they weren’t charged – grrrrr.
- They’re basically single-use electronic devices, which means they aren’t great for the environment. We probably wouldn’t use them again for that reason.
There are two ways to use personalised video: batch and realtime (or technically it’s called Personalised Video API) and you can do these on Vidyard’s platform.
With a personalised batch campaign, you create a video with spaces for personalised graphical elements. Vidyard will provide technical specs and advice on this. You then give that video to Vidyard, along with a CSV of all your contacts and personalised data, and then they connect the master video to the CSV and then out comes 1000’s of links to the video with the relevant personalised bits. Remember you are not getting 1000’s of individual videos, you’re getting 1000’s of links. So you can’t use these videos in other forms like video cards or sharing on other channels like LinkedIn. It’s restricted to email marketing.
The emails are blasted out by Vidyard, but can be masked to appear like they come from you. You can have as many personalised elements as you like, however up to 4 is best and it requires investment.
A Realtime campaign, or Personalised Video API, is where your sales person uses the Vidyard GoVideo tool (Wistia has an equivalent called Sopabox) to create outbound emails instantly to prospects. For instance, our outbound sales pro has started sending out videos in her emails to prospects, and the thumbnail (either still or GIF) is her holding a whiteboard with the person’s name on it.
She does this manually by writing it on, but you can use a Realtime Personalised campaign to create some wizardry where she only needs to record a single GIF thumbnail of her holding a blank whiteboard, and then when it comes to her sending a new video, she just types in the name of her prospect and the thumbnail is generated.
Using video to drive traffic to stores
Then there’s the traditional old form of advertising that sends viewers to your bricks and mortar store. Except that now, these videos can be viewed online, in interactive advertising displays and personalised video cards.
Here’s our example of a video to drive traffic to our store office.
We now operate in a social media marketing era that is truly owned by video. From Facebook to YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter it’s now widely accepted by marketers that video increases engagement and lead gen potential of social ads. But that’s the subject of a whole other blog post.
Contact the specialists in lead gen video production to make lead gen videos work for you.
Or keep reading:
- This video is a piece of CWAP…said our client
- The most comprehensive guide to video audits.
- How to brief a PR agency to get amazing results.
A video audit does not need to be a one of those miserable tasks that you push to the bottom of your list, after ‘clean the curtains’ and ‘reconcile your bank account’. Yes, they can be extremely complicated and time consuming, leaving you with endless data that you simply cannot make sense of.
However, at TopLine, we like to take a more simplistic and pragmatic approach, because when a client asks us to conduct a video audit, they usually want it done quickly and they don’t want to spend too much of their precious video budget going down an Excel rabbit hole of view-through-rates, site page prioritisation and video engagement analyses.
So we’ve developed a process that helps us quickly get a good overview of the data and make recommendations that will have the most impact. Here’s our secret to conducting a video audit, broken down into steps:
We start with the goals
Before we start auditing any video content, we need to understand the relevant goals. And by that we mean the organisation’s goals, the goals of the marketing strategy, how video is used to meet those goals alongside other tools, and the goals of the audit. Yes, there might be many goals, but we really just want to drill down to the three most important, as they will keep us focussed throughout the process. It could look something like this:
Organisation goals: to grow by 50% over the next year.
Marketing department goals:
To double the number of new leads generated.
To increase leads from existing customers by 25%.
To raise brand awareness
To increase conversions on landing pages by 10%.
To generate 5,000 direct leads (read about how videos generate leads).
To identify the best way to achieve the video goals.
Then we learn more about the business
In order to conduct an effective video audit, we need to understand the client’s products and services and the target market they are going for. This information needs to be current as so many companies have heaps of video content relating to old products or services that are no longer available, or no longer a priority for the business. It could be that keeping this content active is detrimental to the business as it’s sending completely the wrong message to the market. So we need to understand:
- Who are we targeting (it’s ideal if the client already has persona research)?
- What are the products or services that the business wants to focus on?
- Are there any products or services that have been discontinued or markets that the business is no longer serving?
We build our video inventory
We are now in a position to build our video inventory, which is simply a list in a spreadsheet of all the historical content produced by this business. We do this by:
- Exporting a list of videos from the company’s YouTube channel.
- Trawling their social feeds for native video content.
- Crawling their site with a tool like Screaming Frog to identify which pages contain video.
This is a pretty thorough method for creating a list of all video content produced by this company.
Then we pause
Now we have to make a decision based on the practicalities of conducting this audit. If we have 100 videos, then great. We simply proceed to the next step.
However, if our inventory contains 10,000 videos, we need to decide which ones we are going to analyse. We’ll talk to the client to come up with a plan for how to choose which video content to include in our analysis. We will usually base this on which videos have had the most traffic and views over the last 12 months – that will help us to get our database down to a manageable level. If the client wanted every single video analysed, we would probably just allocate loads of resource to the project – but that’s never happened because the client has always agreed that there’s a point at which returns on additional investment start to diminish.
Next, we gather data
This means populating the video inventory with heaps of data. It’s an admin-heavy task, and it needs to be done thoroughly.
We’ll typically include columns for basic video information
- Video location (e.g. YouTube, LinkedIn, client website)
- Date published
- Produced by (the client will have to help us with this)
- Type – e.g. brand video, case study video, explainer.
- Keywords targeted (if available)
- Marketing funnel stage
- Product / service it relates to
- Persona targeted
- Call to action
We will also populate with video metrics, such as
- Play rate
- Engagement rate
- Click through rate
- Conversion rate
The more thorough and comprehensive we can be here, the better, as this data will inform the next few steps.
Now, we review
In order to complete the next part of our video audit, there is no alternative but to watch the content (see now why we don’t want to analyse a database of 10,000 videos). And we like our producers to do this, because they can quickly spot issues that need to be recorded in the next few columns in our spreadsheet. They will need to look at:
- Production value – we stick to high, medium and low
- Whether the video is still on-brand – on-brand / off-brand in the spreadsheet
- How long does it take the video get to the point? – we usually cover this in a column called “intro length” which is measured in seconds.
- How current is this video? Is it current or out of date? For example, if the video refers to Donald Trump as a captain of industry, rather than the 45th president of the United States, then it’s out of date.
- Is it right for the target audience? Our producers will have a good feel for this based on the persona research.
In addition to completing these five columns, our producers will make notes on anything that crops up and needs to be discussed with the client. Which brings us nicely to our next step.
We discuss the results so far with our client
Before we make any recommendations, we run through the data with our client, to make sure that they agree with the evaluations we have made. This is usually a call where we talk through our reasoning on the five points above. We like to end this call with agreement.
Then we categorise our videos
If we’ve done all the previous steps well, then this one is relatively easy. We simply categorise each video into one of the following groups.
|Retain||Great content that is performing well.||Leave it as it is.|
|Retire||Content that is no longer needed and is detracting from the company’s ability to meet its goals||Remove this content and, if necessary, redirect the link on the page where the video is hosted.|
|Refresh||Where the content is needed but the current video doesn’t quite meet the purpose.||Update or repurpose this content. Hopefully the client still has access to the raw footage. This category represents some quick wins as the work can be done relatively quickly.|
|Redo||Where the content is needed but the current video fails to deliver its purpose, requiring it to be replaced with a new video.||Add this to the video production plan.|
|Relocate||For content that is good but where the distribution strategy has failed.||Identify where this content might perform better – e.g. on a page on the client’s website, or on a social feed. It might require re-editing. This category also represents an easy win.|
For some clients, this represents the end of the video audit. However, for many others, this is a starting point to planning out their video strategy for the year. Our next step.
Build out the video strategy
Based on the results of the video audit, we would then look to build out the video strategy. Our first step, would be to advise on a plan for retiring, refreshing and relocating videos as per the recommendations from the video audit.
Then, we would create a long list of potential new content. This would include:
- The ‘redo’ videos from the audit.
- Videos that meet the gaps left after the audit is complete. For example, products or services that are not yet covered, target personas that have not been reached, or decision stages that are not represented.
This typically leaves us with a very long list of potential videos. In an ideal world the client would give us unlimited budget as their chosen video production company to produce every video on the list. But that’s never happened.
Instead we work with the client to evaluate new content requirements, creating a list of priorities. We then work out how best we can produce the most important videos on the list within the client’s budget. It’s a process that involves friendly arguing, discussion and debate. But it’s totally worth it, because in the end, we feel confident that the client is investing in the videos that will deliver the best results.
You might also like:
- Why the video production brief matters
- Start with a little bit about you
- Objectives – why are you doing this?
- Target audience: who’s it for?
- Distribution strategy – where will this video go?
- Core message: what should it say?
- Creative – what style of video are you thinking about?
- Format: how should we deliver the video?
- Budget: what’s been set aside?
- Agency experience: what’s important to you?
- Decision making: what’s the chain of command?
The thing about a good video production brief is that it typically results in a smashing piece of video content. As a rather well-experienced video production agency, the TopLine team has seen it all – the good, the bad and the ugly. But let us tell you for free: there is nothing so moving, so awe-inspiring, so absolutely magnificent as a good video production brief. When it lands in our inbox, we literally stand up and do a little jig of joy.
The reality is that commissioning a video project is a big deal for most companies. We understand that and will do our utmost to make the process painless, and even fun. But, we can’t do it entirely on our own. A detailed video production brief with clear objectives and a sprinkling of realistic budget awareness gets things off to a winning start.
Why the video production brief matters
Yes, a good video production brief takes time and thought to put together, but this initial effort pays off in spades. It clarifies what needs to be done and gets both the agency and client on the same page from the get-go. This reduces the back and forth, ensuring that the video is completed on (or even before!) deadline.
With that in mind, let us guide you through the process of creating the prefect video production brief. It’s really simple – just complete these sections (and modify them to suit your needs if necessary). Or, you can download our video production brief template here.
Start with a little bit about you
Please tell us your name. And your company’s name. It helps to know exactly which human at which organisation has reached out to us. Otherwise it just feels like spam. Or a not very serious request.
So, do you like piña coladas? Or walks in the rain? Give us a little info about what your company does and what you do for the company. Link us to the website too so we can have a good snoop.
Objectives – why are you doing this?
Why are you reaching out to video production companies? What do you need our help with? Seems like an obvious question but ‘I think we need a video’ doesn’t quite hit the mark. Give us the entire picture – it may feel like waffling but that’s ok, we like detail. And context.
You might be looking to convert site visitors into customers. Or to onboard new employees. Or to get people off TikTok and onto your sales page. Or to give your sales managers a piece of mind-blowing collateral to share with prospects as they move them down the sales funnel. Whatever it is, we would really love to know.
Target audience: who’s it for?
Who do you want to watch the video and why? And how will they watch it? Are you trying to entice new customers – or are you commissioning an internal communications video for staff? The more information you have on your target audience the better we can tailor the video to catch their interest and engage them.
What do you want them to feel, to think or to do after watching your video? Location is also important as it will affect things like music licensing.
Distribution strategy – where will this video go?
Very importantly, tell us how you’ll be distributing the video. We have a whole lot to say about planning a video distribution strategy, and we can definitely help you with that. But it’s useful if you can guide us on your thinking at this stage. Is this video for a TikTok campaign? Will it be hosted on your website? Do you plan to use it at an event? The more information you can share with us, the better.
Core message: what should it say?
What are the key points you need to get across in this video? It’s easy to want to put EVERYTHING down on paper but time is precious. Don’t overload your audience, give them the facts and the emotional motivation for taking action. We like to ask our clients to think about the one key message that this video needs to deliver. Then think about what messages should support the key message.
Creative – what style are video are you thinking about
You probably already have an idea in your head about how you want your video to look. Be open to the fact that this might have to change. A video production company worth its salt won’t just nod and do – if we think live action will convey your message better than animation, we’ll advise you accordingly. Your corporate image, budget and business objectives all play an important role in deciding the best look and feel. Again, it’s important to ask this upfront so that all can agree on the approach before shouting “Action!”.
Of course, this is our area of expertise but most clients have an idea in mind of how they want their video to look. If you can, point us in the right style direction. Does animation tickle your fancy? Or filmed content? Maybe virtual reality? If you’re not sure that’s totally fine just tell us and we’ll brainstorm some ideas with you.
We don’t need you to draw us a storyboard, but by all means tell us what you like AND what you don’t like. Use your competitors’ videos as references – this will help us make your video exceptional!
And be honest. You might think that a ten-minute explainer video featuring boring waffle and unnecessary information is a great idea. We don’t. But that’s ok because that’s why you’ve hired us. We’re experts at this stuff so let us help you determine the right video length to maximise its impact.
Format: how should we deliver the video?
What format do you need your video delivered in?
Budget: what’s been set aside?
It saves production time if we have a ballpark budget to work with. Steer us in the right financial direction and we’ll know how to deliver your vision without breaking the bank.
Your budget will directly influence the video’s production process and guide its style, equipment needs, and cast and crew. It’s very important to establish the budget from the get-go. The client and the production company both need to be on the same financial page. If your vision is more expensive than you realised, then you can discuss it upfront and look for creative ways to achieve a similar result for the same money, or budget more to ensure you’re happy with the finished article. Once the penny and pound parameters are set, the creative process can flow far more successfully.
Again, be realistic. Most agencies work to deadlines. Having a date to work towards helps us all stay on track and meet expectations.
We all want everything yesterday. A good video production agency will set out a project schedule for you so that you know when and where things are happening throughout the lifecycle of your project. Your video agency should be able to give you realistic timings on how quickly things can be turned around. Timings will vary depending on the type of video production, for example, animation can take longer to turn around than filmed content.
What many clients don’t realise is that post-production is a lengthy process – and different styles, such as live video versus animation, take different amounts of time. This is important to know upfront as you may need your video turned around quickly. Trying to change things halfway through filming, to speed up the entire production process, will increase costs and impact the final result. You’ll more than likely be left with a shoddy video that went way over budget. Make sure you understand the post-production process before you get started.
Agency experience: what’s important to you
Hopefully your research will have served you well and you’ll be up to speed on the type of content your chosen video agency produces and the type of agency it is. Whether it’s animation, filmed content or an awesome 360 video, make sure your agency is easy to work with, understands what you’re looking to commission and can support you with the objectives you’re looking to achieve.
A good agency will be knowledgeable, experienced and driven to produce good content for their clients. Whether it was a quick google search or recommendation that led you to your agency, get to know the types of content they’ve produced and find some examples of their work you really love. A good agency will then walk you through the process of producing that video.
Decision making: what’s the chain of command?
It’s really helpful for your video production agency to know who is going to be involved in making important decisions (from signing off the project budget to approving the script) and what your process will be. Do you need them to submit a quote? Attend a meeting with stakeholders? Prepare a presentation?
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Most companies will commission a video production agency to create a one-off promotional or explainer video, but if they regularly produce video content, it may save time and money to bring production in-house. However, many companies have no experience in video production, and it can be hard to know where to start.
With this in mind, here’s a guide to setting up an in-house video production team.
Who do you need to hire for your in-house video production team?
The starting point for most in-house video production teams is a producer (who can direct), and a camera operator who can also edit video.
The producer is responsible for managing everything from pre-production to post-production. They’ll come up with the initial concepts, schedule the shoot, organise the crew, and oversee every element of the production from start to finish.
A multipurpose camera operator and editor, as the title suggests, handles lighting, audio, filming, and editing. This job requires a varied skillset, and often individuals don’t have specialist post-production skills (such as being able to work with motion graphics or animation).
As your team grows, you should begin building out your video production team to include specialists in the different elements of production. Typical next steps are to hire an editor rather than relying on your cameraman to edit, and then hiring an animator. At TopLine Film, we recommend avoiding ‘videographers’, who are jacks of all trades and masters of none. They’re often spread too thin to be able to produce truly outstanding work.
Hiring in video is difficult, so we’d recommend delegating the job to a consultant. If your video experience is lacking, you may find it difficult to separate quality candidates from shoddy ones. The right hires can make or break a video team, and when it’s your brand at stake, it’s important you hire only the best.
Deciding whether to buy or hire equipment
Anybody in the video business will tell you that equipment can be eye-wateringly expensive. Early on, it’s normally easier and cheaper to hire the majority of the equipment that you need. However, as you grow, you can begin to buy the cameras, lighting equipment, and other gear that you use most.
Conduct a cost analysis every year to determine whether it’s better to buy or hire. Even though we own plenty of equipment (our cameraman Dan has quite the collection), we still hire when it’s more cost effective or when we need specialist kit.
In-house video production teams can become creatively burnt out. Some teams struggle to make original and creative videos because they find themselves producing the same content over and over again. Video production agencies, on the other hand, work with clients across a range of industries and video types every day, which means they can produce fresh and original video for your brand.
As good as your in-house team might be, you should still work with freelancers and video production agencies, particularly if you’re at full capacity, or for more complex projects where specialist skills are required.
If you want to discuss a video project, or if you want help setting up an in-house video production team, reach out to our MD Jamie.
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- Objectives: why are you doing this?
- Understanding your target audience
- Setting your KPIs
- Choosing your distribution channels
- Creating your content
- Setting your budget
- Launching, measuring and refining
So, you’ve invested in a beautiful corporate video or explainer animation, and your agency has delivered. Now what?
Well, a video, however polished, is only ever as good as the action it inspires in viewers – and without an effective distribution plan, it won’t have as many viewers as it ought to, which means it won’t deliver on its goals. If you can’t get your video content in front of your target audience, then it really doesn’t matter how good it is.
This guide will take you through the steps needed to get your video in front of the people who matter most to your organisation – from defining your target audience to choosing channels to testing, optimising and managing – everything you need to execute a successful video distribution strategy.
When to think about video distribution
Video distribution can’t be an afterthought: a distribution and amplification strategy should ideally be in place before anything’s written, animated, or filmed. That’s not to say it’s more important than production – but it is as important, and it’s one of the very first things your brand should consider when deciding to commission a video.
Of course, the process isn’t always linear: in some cases you will find yourself working on a distribution strategy for existing videos following a video content audit, for example, in which case you will need to adapt this process as best you can. But in an ideal world you should be considering distribution at the start of your project.
In fact, the video distribution strategy should drive many of the major decisions made early on in the production process. From the outset, you should consider:
- A paid distribution strategy. This might require you to reserve some of your production budget.
- Audience demographics. How do you expect to engage with your audience? How do they engage with your brand and which platforms do they prefer? For example, Instagram is all about visual storytelling, while company intros do well on LinkedIn and Twitter offers a much smaller window of opportunity to engage the viewer.
- Aspect ratio. To make your video work aesthetically pleasing, the size must fit the platforms you’re sharing it on. On Facebook this would be 16:9, while on Instagram you might choose a vertical video at 9:16.
- Sound. In a world of autoplay video, many platforms such as Facebook are turning the audio off by default. Will subtitles and visual cues make your video more effective for silent viewers?
- Calls to action. Unless you’re only showing your video on your website, you’ll need one for every platform it’s hosted on or venue it’s shown at.
- If you’re choosing an unconventional distribution method such as video cards, you’ll need to budget at least six weeks to get them ready. This should be incorporated into your eventual project plan.
- Authorities such as Ofcom and the Advertising Standards Authority place restrictions on TV commercials. All content must adhere to their standards.
- What works for one platform won’t necessarily work for another: Facebook videos should typically be one minute long, Twitter videos should be 45 seconds long, Instagram reels should be 30 seconds long, TikTok videos are limited to 60 seconds and YouTube videos should be no longer than two minutes if possible (or really long if not because YouTube also quite likes long-form content).
Objectives: why are you doing this?
This is the prerequisite for any video distribution strategy – and therefore the most important step.
Without an objective in place, you can’t set KPIs, and as you’ll see below, these are critical determining the content and form of your video – and measuring its impact. It’s therefore highly advisable to set SMART goals before you get started.
At TopLine, we’ve produced over 2,000 videos and we tend to categorise objectives based on their place in the conversion funnel: awareness, consideration, conversion (and then engagement). These are just some of the types of objectives we have worked with:
- Increase brand recognition.
- Get noticed by a particular audience.
- Drive search rankings of a keyword.
- Raise awareness of an issue.
- Attract investor attention.
- Position the company as a thought leader.
- Showcase an amazing project.
- Demonstrate investment value.
- Drive wider reach for an event.
- Generate leads.
- Attract job applicants.
- Drive website conversions.
- Secure investment.
- Drive event registrations.
- Reduce calls to the customer service centre.
- Onboard an employee.
- Onboard a customer.
- Increase customer referrals.
Understanding your target audience.
To do this, all you have to do is ask your prospective customers what they want to see.
At TopLine, we do this via regular research surveys targeted at relevant communities: small business owners, baby boomers, millennials, HR directors, IT managers/CIOs – if we want their attention, we ask them what gets their attention.
If you don’t have access to qualitative research, then it’s worth asking your immediate network how they consume content. Start by enquiring with your customers, prospects, and sales team about:
- Their favoured social networks and how they use them.
- The media they consume.
- Events they follow or attend.
- The professional bodies they belong to.
- How they use email.
- How they keep up to date with news.
- How they choose new suppliers.
The answer to these questions can often dictate your distribution methodology.
Setting your KPIs
Knowing your objectives is one thing: KPIs let you know whether you’re achieving them. They’re the ‘M’ in your smart goal, and they’re a pillar of any worthwhile video distribution strategy.
Your KPIs will probably vary depending on where your objectives sit in the conversion funnel. For example:
- How many people are watching your video?
- Thumbnail impressions: How many people have had the opportunity to see your video?
- Watch time. How long are your viewers sticking with your video?
- View through rate. What’s the number of views divided by the number of impressions?
- Engagement with videos (comments, likes etc.). Has your video got viewers talking?
- Subscribers to your channel. How many people are signed up to watch your content – and how has a new video impacted this number?
- Video shares. Have your target audience been disseminating your content for you? (also relevant to engagement- and awareness-stage videos)
- Leads generated. How many leads have been a direct result of watching your video (we’ve written about how to use video for lead gen).
KPIs can sometimes be vanity metrics that won’t be directly relevant to your objectives. At TopLine, we try to focus on KPIs that drive meaningful action: if your goal is to generate leads, then your KPIs need to include leads; if it’s increasing signups, then you need to look at new user registrations every month. Whatever your KPIs, they should follow this basic format. You can get a million likes, shares, and comments, but they won’t mean anything if they don’t correspond with action.
Choosing your distribution channels
Distribution channels should be largely informed by your target audience: HR directors, for example, favour LinkedIn and Facebook, so Twitter and Reddit are probably going to be less fruitful. Gen Z likes TikTok and millennials prefer YouTube. Small business decision-makers are more likely to be engaged on YouTube and Facebook.
We tend to break distribution channels into owned, earned and bought. For example:
- Company website.
- Company blog.
- Company social channels.
- Video cards.
- Email campaigns to your own database.
- Email signatures.
- Own events.
- Own podcasts.
- Media channels.
- Email campaigns to partner databases.
- Events where you are a guest.
- Guest slots on podcasts.
- Paid social.
- Broadcast advertising.
- Demand-side platforms.
- Paid email campaigns to partners’ databases.
- Pay-to-play events.
Whichever channels you choose, you will want to look creating free organic posts and paid for ads. Though it’s possible to get great results with an organic strategy, it’s highly advisable to reserve some budget for paid advertising: it can have a huge impact on the success of your video.
Here are some core distribution channels to consider:
Creating your content
You might be surprised that we’re only just getting to the point where we recommend you create your content. But we firmly believe that if you want to maximise your chances of a successful video campaign, you need to do most of the thinking about distribution before you start working on the video. This will mean your creative brainstorming can focus on your objectives and preferred distribution channels. You can use all the data you have gathered on your target audience to really refine your planning and to develop ideas that will deliver results.
Armed with this information, you will be able to select your format, such as commercial, social video, case study (find out how to make a case study video), explainer, promo video. You will also be able to choose the style – are you appealing to the audience’s lifestyle ambitions? Will you go for a documentary style? Or will it be more editorial-led?
Setting your budget
You can’t just release your video into the wild and expect it to flourish: consumer attention is more divided than ever, and getting the best results requires money and effort. A good distribution strategy requires a sensible budget.
Of course, you won’t necessarily have a clear idea about how to target your video from the get go – so it’s best to start small. If your total budget is £20,000, it’s worth starting with a £1k test: refining, building, and filtering out irrelevant targets as you go. Do this properly and you’ll eventually see higher ROI.
Launching, measuring and refining.
It’s horribly easy to waste lots of money on targeting and budgeting – so at the outset of your campaign, it’s necessary to spend time ensuring that you’re reaching the right people.
Accordingly, you should always check the performance of your ads across various distribution channels to see what can be improved and how: how many leads you’re getting, how many products you’ve sold, how many clicks and impressions you got for the money you spent. If you don’t have a decent feedback loop in place and you’re not listening to your audience, then your video distribution strategy will fail.
You shouldn’t expect it to work perfectly from the start. Maybe Facebook advertising isn’t getting the results you’d like; in this case, TikTok, LinkedIn, or even a video card might be more successful.
Overcommitting to methods that aren’t working is deadly for your distribution strategy – so modify, refine, and learn from your mistakes on a weekly basis. Report on what’s working and what isn’t – and adjust based on what you’ve learned.
With the right preparation, the above six steps, and a quality video to hand, you should see great results.
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- This video is a piece of CWAP
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At TopLine Film, we produce loads of CWAP. In fact, we’ve built a really good business around the practice. And we’re pretty steadfast in our commitment to CWAP: if it’s not CWAP, we probably aren’t that interested.
Because for us, Content With A Purpose is the foundation of successful marketing. And any other type of content is really the ultimate reason behind unsuccessful marketing. The internet already has loads of that stuff, and there are millions of agencies, freelancers, ex-journalists, copywriters, designers and developers who would be happy to produce more random content for you for what seems like a reasonable fee – so if you’re looking for cheap, fast content to fill up the gaps in your marketing plan, please don’t come to us. However, if you’re after some real first-class CWAP, we’re the people for you.
What CWAP means to us
While poor to average content can be churned out at high volume at high speed, great content takes time to produce. And here at TopLine we believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well. That’s why we only produce Content With A Purpose.
Before we embark on any content creation process, whether that’s producing a video, an animation, a blog post, a tweet, an online course or a white paper, we first need to find the why: what is the purpose of this piece of content? Whatever that purpose is (and there’s usually one single purpose), if we know that in advance, then we can use it to guide the decisions we make when we produce that content. If every decision is geared towards our purpose, our content is much more likely to be successful.
But what does that mean in practice?
We thought you might ask, so we have provided some examples:
CWAP Example 1: This blog post
The purpose of this post is to explain our CWAP approach to potential customers who want to know what sets us apart from other video production agencies. It’s kind of like answering a frequently asked question. We’ll link to it from some of our services pages to help give clarity on why our content is usually really successful. Our sales team might share it with a prospect who has shown interest in the subject. And we’ll also make sure every new starter at the company is asked to read it to get them really thinking the TopLine way.
CWAP Example 2: Our trailer for the Ultimate PR Masterclass
The purpose of this promotional video is to ensure students browsing Udemy for PR and marketing courses really notice this course above others on the search results page. With this in mind we therefore reviewed the competition and made sure our trailer was more professional, with higher production value and emphasised students’ learning outcomes.
The result? It’s now Udemy’s top-ranked and best-selling PR course with almost 4,000 enrolments.
CWAP Example 3: Our blog about video marketing stats
CWAP Example 4: Truth Coffee case study video for Xero
When our client, Xero, was launching in South Africa, they needed video content that would show small businesses the benefits of using its amazing accounting software – did I mention we are also Xero’s NOF*? So once we knew the purpose of this case study video, we knew we had to create something that associated Xero with this much-admired South African brand, and gave Xero the endorsement that was needed.
The result? A beautiful video and a highly successful launch into the South African market.
CWAP Example 5: G4S explainer video
G4S needed to explain the benefits of G4S Pay to prospects. We LOVED the product – we know from our own experience and those of clients that finding a payments solution that covers all possible payment scenarios is pretty hard. The purpose of this video was to explain the solution to business owners and move them down the G4S Pay sales funnel. Once we knew the purpose, we were able to tap into our expertise targeting small businesses and produce an explainer that takes the viewers through the key features of this state of the art technology.
The result? A stylish product video that helped the client secure a spot in an Innovation in Retail show.
CWAP Example 6: Why NOT to use whiteboard animations
The result? Since we published this piece of CWAP we have managed to convince four potential clients to abandon this method simply by sharing this post with them.
CWAP Example 7: The quality of your video reflects on your brand
When a potential client tries to negotiate us down on our prices, they sometimes use that old haggling tactic of “Ginormous Jokers Video Production just quoted us £1,000 to do this animation, but we really like TopLine Film and want to work with you. Can you match their price?” Now there are many things wrong with this approach, and our knee-jerk response is some version of “If you’re THAT price sensitive buddy, I have a mate on Fiverr who will do it for you for less than the price of a vanilla latte. Would you like an introduction?” But if we are able to bite our tongues, then we usually end up going into a looong explanation of why and how quality matters. So we decided to save ourselves some time by producing a piece of content with the purpose of demonstrating why quality matters in corporate video production. Once we knew the purpose, we were then able to figure out how to create content that served this purpose. So we conducted a piece of research in which we simply asked consumers what they think about video quality.
It turned out (quite helpfully) that the quality of a corporate video reflects very much on the brand. We were able to turn that into a blog post that we can now share with any client that tries this negotiating tactic.
The result? We no longer have to be so rude.
Please call our work CWAP…we’ll love you for it
So there you have it, a decent explanation of why content with a purpose really matters to us. If you love CWAP too then we can help.
*Number One Fan
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77% of UK adults have an active account with YouTube, with 68% claiming to use the video sharing platform daily, according to a survey we commissioned of 500 UK adults.
While take-up of YouTube was high in all age groups, those in the millennial demographic were the most prolific YouTube consumers, with 71% claiming to visit the platform daily.
Daily YouTube users.
We also asked about time spent on site, and found that those in the Gen Z and millennial groups are spending the most time on YouTube – with 62% and 60% respectively spending more than 30 minutes a day on the platform.
Spends more than 30 minutes a day on YouTube.
“I’m not hugely surprised by this data,” comments Jamie Field, TopLine Film’s MD. “YouTube offers masses of content on every subject you can imagine, giving it enormous appeal for people from all backgrounds.
“For companies, YouTube offers an excellent opportunity to reach large numbers of consumers with video content. But not many companies are successfully capitalising on this opportunity. From building engaged communities through powerful YouTube channels to highly targeted advertising, the potential is significant.”
Does your company need help getting the most out of YouTube? Find out about our YouTube marketing services, social media animation services or read up on how to rank like a pro on YouTube.Most popular social media by age group: 2021 research
We surveyed 500 UK adults on their social media usage to help our clients hone their media planning. Here’s what we found.
TikTok is the social network of choice for Gen Z adults.
85% of Gen Z adults (age 16-24) use TikTok daily, with 81% claiming to use the video app for more than an hour a day.
Other popular networks with this age group with Instagram and YouTube, used daily by 81% and 69% respectively.
This demographic is quite clearly stating its preference for video content.
Millennials favour YouTube
75% of millennials in the survey use YouTube daily, with 60% spending more than 30 minutes a day on the video network.
This was closely followed by Facebook (71% use it daily and 60% spending more than 30 minutes a day) and Instagram (67% and 48%).
Facebook the top social network for Gen X
71% of adults in the Gen X age group use Facebook daily, followed by YouTube (63%) and Instagram (58%).
However, this group is spending the most time on YouTube, with 54% spending more than 30 minutes a day on the video site – only 50% spend more than 30 minutes a day on Facebook.
Facebook also tops the list for Baby Boomers
The baby boomer demographic (54+) favours Facebook, with 61% using the network daily, and 56% spending more than 30 minutes a day on the site.
YouTube is also popular with this demographic, with 39% using it for more than 30 minutes daily.
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