Actionable Lessons From a Video Benchmark Report

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When Jean Ellen Cowgill of Bloomberg's TicToc told us a couple weeks ago how video has stirred their success, she made it a point to tell how important those first few frames are.

"Be a signal in the noise from the very first frame. That first second matters more than you think it does. So many videos wait until second 3 or 4 [to unveil] the powerful visual."

Cowgill also spoke about the importance of storytelling in those videos, and that strategy only became more successful in 2018. "It humanizes the biggest trends we're covering," she said.

Supporting the idea that people will watch good storytelling to the end, Vidyard, a B2B video platform headquartered in Kitchener, Ontario, has just released its latest Video in Business Benchmark Report, and while the average length of B2B videos is getting shorter, viewers are watching longer.

In 2017, the average length was 6:07 long; in 2018, 4:07, or 33% shorter than the year before. And in 2017, 46% of viewers watched all the way to the end of B2B videos across all viewing sessions. In 2018, this increased slightly to 52% of viewers. But if a B2B video is shorter than 60 seconds, then 68% of viewers watch it to the end.

Vidyard related these latest trends from B2B videos created by organizations to support their marketing, sales, and customer experience programs. They analyzed first-party data from more than 324,000 videos published over a 12-month period.

Interestingly, they found that both big businesses with more than 5,000 employees and small businesses of less than 200 employees published videos at above-average rates.

Some other key takeaways:

B2B videos less than 60 seconds long have the highest completion rate. However, B2B videos that are between 2-4 minutes long had a higher completion rate than videos that are 1-2 minutes in length, suggesting that longer-form B2B videos created to educate buyers can still command attention.

The most common types of B2B videos are: webinars, demos, social media videos, explainer videos, product videos and customer videos. Businesses are using video throughout the customer journey now more than ever.

Vidyard's 2019 report also found that B2B video content is viewed more mid-week, and weekdays continue to be more popular than weekends for viewing. On Thursdays, 22% of audiences watched B2B video content, which is more than any other day of the week, followed by Wednesday and Tuesdays. Regardless of the day of the week, viewing peaks typically between 12 to 2 p.m.

Desktop viewing remains dominant for B2B videos. Almost 90% of B2B video views still take place on desktops, but mobile views' 13% was up slightly from 11% the previous year.

As we said, smaller businesses are creating a lot more B2B videos. Companies with 31-200 employees published an amazing 510 new videos on average in 2018, second only to large enterprises with more than 5,000 employees.

More small and medium-sized companies reported using both internal and external video production resources to help them scale B2B video creation while also producing higher quality content. Those using both resources are going up—to 52% in 2018 from 37% the year before.

B2B video analytics has seen increased adoption. In 2018, 85% of companies reported using some form of B2B video analytics. And the use of intermediate or advanced video analytics in 2018 is up 19% over the previous year.

You can download the 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…