Video Marketing Report 2021 – Kartoffel Films
Due to increased usage of social media, content marketing has been transformed drastically to incorporate video content as its focal point. Since 2016, content marketers have had to adapt to a higher demand for video content to promote their brands and products. 2020 saw an impressive video creation and consumption surge, with the global pandemic fuelling increased screen time. The popularity of video content doesn’t seem to be going down any time soon.
We’ve composed this report on the state of video marketing in 2021 to help predict the future of video content and how businesses can use video most effectively to achieve their marketing objectives in the coming year.
The data in the report is drawn from our commissions, the work we have been asked to do, and industry references.
This report will focus on video in marketing from 2016 until 2020. 2020 made it clear to us that video is crucial to every brand’s marketing strategy. This report looks at video creation, length, uses, types of video content, engagement, video consumption, interactivity and conversions, video uses, content types, and video automation. This data will show you where you can maximise the potential of video content for your business, depicting the most popular types of video and techniques that increase engagement and conversions.
Video marketing is no longer an option for a successful and effective content marketing strategy. By reading this report, brands will have a clearer insight into the power video has in driving results and customer engagement. As a video production company, we know how important sharing data and trends on video marketing is. Please feel free to contact us about our services and see how we can help your business grow through video.
Our services also include animation. We offer 2D, 3D, character design, scripting, and creative direction for online animation of all shapes. Creative. Focused. Fast.
Section 1 – Video Creation
In this section, we look at the number of videos uploaded onto Wistia and YouTube.
Since 2016, this figure has increased by 263.4%.
Compared to the last five years, 2020 saw the highest increase in video uploads, averaging at 80%. This was also the first time more than 100,000 videos were uploaded in a single day. The highest number of videos uploaded was 103,603 on April 22nd.
Such a significant increase in video creation suggests that the global pandemic is responsible for this acceleration. As more and more people stayed at home and spent more time scrolling through social media, online videos rapidly became the public’s entertainment of choice, switching from one video to another. Video marketers had to keep up with this sudden growth in demand for video content and had to use the potential of the public’s increasing amount of free time at home. Therefore, this resulted in a rise in video creation and uploads to engage and convert a much larger viewership on social media. The overall number of video uploads is 88% higher than before the pandemic, suggesting that content marketers now fully understand the strong benefits of incorporating video into their marketing strategies despite a return to normalcy.
Let’s have a look at a breakdown of video creation data over the past five years.
Five years ago, Wistia had nearly 5 million video uploads on its site. Over the next three years, we will see a steady increase in video uploads, but in 2018 and 2019, the rate will slow down.
In 2017, the number of video uploads increased by 36.5%. In the period between 2017 and 2019, this is the highest rate we will see.
Although there was a rise in video uploads, the rate had dropped to 28.5% in 2018. Over these five years, this is the lowest the rate of video uploads will fall to.
In 2019, the number of video uploads increased slightly to 31.9%. However, this is still below the rate in 2017.
On the other hand, 2020 saw a much more dramatic increase in video uploads, far surpassing 2017’s average rate. With an increase of 81%, the total number of videos uploaded onto Wistia is now over 17 million. The average rate of increase over the previous three years was 32.3%.
It might be surprising to see a slight decrease in video uploads between 2017 and 2019. This could be due to content marketers being nervous or unsure about the video production process or uncertain about the benefits of video marketing. In comparison to other methods of online self-promotion, creating and sharing a video seemed like a costly and lengthy process.
But in 2020, many businesses started experimenting with video marketing, as this was the best way to reach larger audiences. Some brands adopted the Zoom aesthetic viewers had been accustomed to seeing more frequently. This humanised a brand more, but such a visual technique quickly lost its relevance once restrictions had eased.
Other companies, however, invested in some basic video equipment to maximise and repurpose footage for future marketing campaigns. Some made excellent use of TikTok to engage younger generations, promoting entertainment and interaction. This social media app was downloaded more than 2 billion times, making it the most downloaded app in 2020. The fascination with captivating video marketing has only proven increasingly popular and is highly unlikely to go away anytime soon.
To see how else content marketing changed in 2020, feel free to check out our blog.
Section 2 – Video Length
This section investigates the average length of videos that have been uploaded. In 2020, the short-form video category championed over all other video lengths. This category saw a 62% increase over 2019, resulting in a 100% increase since 2016. At the other end of the spectrum, long-form video content saw the highest increase. In comparison to 2019, 30-60 minute long videos rose by 140%, meaning a 446% increase over the last five years.
Let’s take a closer look at how video length has changed since 2016.
0-1 Minute Long Videos
In 2016, over 2.4 million 0-1 minute long videos – almost half of all of Wistia’s videos at the time – were uploaded. A growth to nearly 5 million saw a 100.03% increase by 2020.
1-3 Minute Long Videos
Over 900,000 1-3 minute long videos were uploaded onto Wistia in 2016. By 2020, this figure had reached nearly 2 million, meaning an increase of 119.3%.
3-5 Minute Long Videos
2016’s figure of over 411,000 3-5 minute long videos had increased by 178% to over 1 million by 2020.
5-30 Minute Long Videos
In 2016, over 814,000 5-30 minute long videos were uploaded onto Wistia. In five years, this figure increased by 288.2% to over 3 million.
30-60 Minute Long Videos
This category has grown the most since 2016. From over 145,000 to nearly 800,000, this category has seen an increase of 446.1%. Although long-form video content hasn’t quite reached the millions, this growth cannot be ignored.
Video Uploads by Video LengthHow do we make sense of this? How do you now choose between long and short video content? Businesses have clocked that shortening attention spans are on the rise. Our attention spans have now dropped to 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds in 2000. The global pandemic saw an influx in “doom scrolling” – a never-ending cycle of users scrolling through videos on social media as a means to escape the mundane and anxiety-ridden realities of lockdown. This form of distraction meant that users were desperately seeking some kind of video content to keep them engaged and focused away from an increasingly depressing newsreel. As a result, video content on social media had to be shorter, snappier and open with a punchier hook. The 3-minute norm for social media videos was considered too long and has been shortened to 15 seconds.
But how does this explain the surge in longer video content? Features, documentaries and video series delve deeper into intriguing and relevant topics. They offer a bigger opportunity to explore subjects that fascinate and captivate your target audience. Through long-form video content, brands can tell a more compelling story and engage viewers with new ideas. Therefore, they also give viewers a chance to discuss their perspectives, increasing audience engagement. More businesses saw the potential of long-form video content, making it a more popular option with marketers.
Longer video content also gives brands the option to repurpose the most engaging parts as social media videos. Through Wistia, brands have access to a whole host of metrics. Depending on their marketing objectives, these metrics thoroughly examine a video’s performance. Be it the view count, audience engagement or conversions, brands have a clearer insight into what their content is doing. This means that brands can pinpoint the exact times of their most effective video content, which they can then edit and repurpose for social media. Check out our blog on this for more information.
Section 3 – Video Engagement
In this section, we look at how engaged viewers were with video content on Wistia in 2020. Wistia measures the engagement rate by multiplying the number of total plays by the length of the media. This gives a 100% engagement rate. Then, the actual time viewers spent watching video content is divided by this 100% engagement rate. And that’s all there is to it!
Here’s a simple equation you can use to calculate your engagement rate on your video content:
We’ve only looked at the engagement rate for 2020 because there haven’t been any significant changes in the last five years. The statistics we have are a good representation of the likeliness of a video’s engagement rate depending on its length. For the first 3 minutes, the engagement rate is likely to stay at around 50%. This figure gradually falls after that benchmark. Viewers who keep watching are completely engaged and are good candidates to use as a target audience for future video content.
Here’s a breakdown of the 2020 engagement rates on Wistia.
0-1 Minute Long Videos
The shortest videos had the highest engagement rate of 50.01%.
1-3 Minute Long Videos
Videos that were a maximum of 3 minutes in length had an engagement rate of 46.7%.
3-5 Minute Long Videos
In 2020, 3-5 minute long videos had a slightly higher engagement rate than the previous category, averaging at 47.4%.
5-30 Minute Long Videos
The engagement rate for 5-30 minute long videos dropped to 39.4%.
30-60 Minute Long Videos
Videos that were between 30 and 60 minutes in length had an engagement rate of 26.3%.
60+ Minute Long Videos
After an hour, the engagement rate fell to 16.3%.
Boosting Engagement Rates
As these statistics show, the longer the video, the lower the engagement rate. This is entirely normal. A short video means that viewers have less time to lose focus, whereas longer videos result in viewers becoming easily distracted. Despite the rise in shortening attention spans, viewers are more likely to keep watching if a video’s narrative tells a compelling enough story.
Although the engagement rate indicates the quality of views a video is reaching, it’s worth remembering that video engagement isn’t the most definitive way of analysing your content’s performance. Different videos have different marketing objectives. For example, an informational video needs to answer viewers’ queries quickly and succinctly. Once a specific question has been answered, viewers don’t feel the need to watch the rest of the video, as their problem has been solved. However, if the video has a Call to Action, the goal is to have as many viewers as possible watch until the end. Depending on what you want your video to achieve, picking a couple of marketing goals will help you understand the most important ones. Although this is an excellent way of seeing how well viewers are resonating with your video content, it’s not always the most important metric to analyse.
You can increase your engagement rate by ensuring your content is easy to find and accessible. Your introductions should be short and snappy to increase the chances of viewers watching until the end. These tips will all set you in good stead, as they will in turn increase the shareability of your videos, resulting in a much higher engagement rate.
The table below shows the average benchmark your engagement rate should be reaching depending on video length. We’ve compared this data with the video engagement rates of 2020 to put these numbers into perspective.
As the table and graph show, whilst the short-form video content engagement rate in 2020 is always slightly below the benchmark, the longer videos surpass this expectation. This could be because viewers were more likely to quickly flick through shorter videos, whereas longer videos had the opportunity to tell a more intriguing story, therefore viewers were more engrossed. Although shorter videos still had a higher engagement rate, the global pandemic put long-form video content in the spotlight.
Section 4 – Video Consumption
It will come as no surprise that the global pandemic significantly accelerated the rate of video consumption. Due to more time spent at home on social media, the rate of video consumption increased by an impressive 249%. Since 2016, viewers have had greater access to video content, but the last four years saw a much steadier increase than what we’ve seen in 2020.
3.5 billion minutes of video were watched in 2016.
This number jumped by 20% to 4.2 billion minutes.
In 2018, we see a steady increase of 23.8% to 5.2 billion minutes.
There is a similar trend with the number rising by 26.9% to 6.6 billion minutes.
2020 tells a completely different story. We see this number dramatically rise to 12.2 billion minutes, meaning an 84.8% increase. The total increase over the past five years is 248.6%.
Between 2016 and 2019, there was always a constant and expected rate of video consumption during each year. Whilst there is usually a slight increase at the beginning of each year and the autumn period, there is a drop in video consumption during the summer months. Cold weather has a tendency to keep us indoors and glued to our phones, whereas we’re more out and about in the summer. On the other hand, 2020 has thrown these trends up in the air, and completely changed the predictability of when people watch the most video content.
However, this doesn’t mean that any video posted at any time will reach its maximum potential. An organized and clear-cut content calendar is useful to give you some idea of how often to post on your website and share content on relevant social media channels. Regularly posting gives a brand a sense of reliability and credibility, because this shows that they are committed to their target audience and willing to constantly share their expertise. This will also keep your content marketing strategy focused and relevant to your target audience.
To increase video consumption, have videos at every stage of the customer journey. From reeling in new viewers to converting them into visitors and into product sales, your video content strategy directs specific clients at every stage of your branding. How-to videos and trend videos are excellent ways to draw attention to your brand’s identity. This primary stage is all about educating your audience through informative videos. At the next stage of the journey, customers will be looking for solutions to their problems. Product tutorial videos and explainer videos are great at keeping your audience engaged and proving your knowledge. Finally, testimonial videos and case studies will convince your audience to invest in your products or services. If you are looking for tips on enhancing your B2B video content, check out our blog for more on this.
It’s important to vary your stage-specific video content so that your viewers can discern your videos from one another. Otherwise, they can become monotonous and too similar, and there’s a chance your viewers won’t watch the video content that’s relevant to them. Make sure your branding, such as your logo and colour scheme, are consistent throughout so that your audience can recognise and understand your brand more readily and easily. Directing your viewers to the videos specifically tailored for them will increase video consumption and enhance your brand visibility and online reputation.
Section 5 – Video Interaction and Conversions
Wistia gives users the option to include interactive elements in their videos. These are methods of keeping viewers engaged and directing them to fully immerse themselves in your brand. The ones we will examine are those used for lead generation. They are Calls to Action (CTAs), email collection forms and annotation links. By using one of these, viewers know what to do after watching and stay involved with your brand’s story. The completion rate of interactive videos is 90%, so it’s worth incorporating an interactive element if the engagement rate is something you want to increase.
This section will look at video conversion placement, video conversion events, and how these impact the overall video conversion rate.
Video Conversion Placement
In 2020, Wistia users placed their chosen interactive element 55% of the time at the beginning, 30% of the time at the end, and 15% of the time in the middle of their videos.
As the table shows, the statistic for placing interactive elements at the beginning of videos is slightly below the 5-year average, whereas the numbers for positioning them in the middle and at the end of videos are above this. The beginning and end are the most popular choice for marketers because viewers tend to disengage from video content if they are interrupted by an interactive element.
Video Conversion Rate by Position
Let’s have a look at how these placements affect the rate of viewers converting through the interactive elements.
The table shows that viewers were most likely to convert when the interactive elements were placed at the end of the video. Although there is only a slight difference between the beginning and end, the middle is the least favourite option for both marketers and viewers.
Video Conversion Events
Wistia customers have three types of events for lead generation to choose from: CTAs, email collection forms and annotation links. Out of all of them, CTAs are the most popular type of conversion event for customers.
Call To Action
A Call to Action tells your customers what to do after watching, be it subscribe to your social media channel or direct them to your sales page on your website.
Email Collection Forms
Wistia’s Turnstile email collector helps you seamlessly generate a database of email subscribers straight from your videos. This makes it easy for you to tailor your video content and drive these qualified leads to other material on your website.
Annotation links are subtle links that appear in the upper right-hand corner of a Wistia video. They can direct viewers to other relevant video content, promote registrations, and link to different resources.
Although CTAs are the most popular type of lead generation, there has been a surge of 13.8% in using annotation links. On the other hand, email collection forms were used the least in 2020, having seen a decrease of 10.8%.
Video Conversion Rate by Event
Wistia customers might reconsider using email collection forms, as they were the most successful form of lead generation in 2020. Just over 15% of leads were generated from this interactive element, whereas annotation links only generated 1.3% of links. Over the last 5 years, email collection forms have consistently generated the most leads, placing CTAs at a close second.
So what does all this information tell us? Placing interactive elements at the end of videos and using email collection forms will lead to the most success in increasing your video’s conversion rate. Viewers are willing to submit their email addresses to businesses after engaging with their video content because video has the power to generate trust and credibility amongst a wider client base.
Section 6 – Video Uses
But why do people enjoy watching videos in the first place? Why has the pandemic accelerated this fascination with video content? What is their primary use in our day-to-day lives?
Video Usage of Viewers
Here are the 5 main reasons why users watch online videos:
- 50% of users watch videos to be entertained and inspired;
- 21% of users watch videos to learn something new;
- 11% of users watch to stay up to date with the latest trends;
- 10% of users watch videos to feel connected with people and communicate;
- 8% of users watch videos to find out more about products and services.
These statistics show that as a result of the global pandemic, people craved more of a human connection because of the sudden inaccessibility of the outside world. Videos had an increased amount of emotional significance, not just as a method of escapism but also for keeping in touch with others. As an increasingly shareable piece of content, videos helped people stay connected, maintaining relationships and a sense of community in a virtual sphere when physical meet-ups were rendered impossible. Therefore, video content that elicited an emotional response struck a chord with viewers. This made entertaining and inspirational video content the most-watched category of video content, with 73% of people wanting to see entertaining videos on social media.
Video Usage of Marketers
In 2020, marketers had to increase their use of video content marketing at a significant rate. Knowing that users spend 88% more time on websites that have videos, it’s little wonder that 85% of businesses now use video as a marketing tool. It’s also become increasingly important to include captions and subtitles because 92% of viewers watch videos without sound and 50% of viewers rely on captions.
Let’s examine the most effective ways content marketers have incorporated videos into their marketing strategies.
Location on Website
Embedding a video onto your landing page is one of the most successful ways of drawing in visitors. Adding videos to existing content on your website, such as blog posts, will increase the click-through rate and provide a snappy, engaging summary of your written content. The top is the most popular and effective part of the web page to add video content, as this automatically and naturally attracts more viewers. However, you might have a video that’s more relevant to a certain paragraph. Therefore, it makes more sense to embed such a video above a specific subsection of a blog post.
Social Media Platform
It should come as no surprise that social media usage has impacted and revolutionised video marketing. We know how much it matters which social media channels you use to promote your video marketing. In 2020, the following social media platforms were the most popular for attracting a wider audience and potential client base. Video posts on social media get 48% more views and live videos are starting to take centre stage on social media, with 17% of companies using live videos as a part of their social media marketing strategies. Currently, 45% of consumers want to see more live videos. This correlates with 63% of social media marketers believing that live videos will be more important in the upcoming year.
YouTube is the world’s second-largest search engine and social media platform, with 65% of people using this social media platform to help them solve problems. 70% of video marketers use YouTube to host and promote their videos.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform used by marketers. This social media platform also encompasses Facebook Story, Facebook Watch and Facebook Live, making it versatile for marketers to share their video content in a multitude of ways. Video posts on Facebook have on average 0.8% higher engagement rate than posts without videos. 75% of video marketers use Facebook to engage with their target audience.
Just like Facebook, Instagram has also introduced different ways video marketers can share content. Through Instagram Stories, 60-second videos, Reels and IGTV, video marketers have a range of options to choose from. 200 million Instagram users visit at least one business profile per day, so it’s easy to see why 58% of video marketers use Instagram.
LinkedIn is specifically used by B2B video content marketers, as this social media platform is best to find, connect and collaborate with relevant businesses. Currently, 96% of B2B video marketers use LinkedIn to share video content.
Snapchat currently is used by the lowest number of marketers, peaking at 25%.
The most downloaded app in 2020, the app grew five times during the pandemic compared to 2019. 28% of marketers use TikTok to connect with a younger client base, but this is expected to rise.
Best Times to Post on Social Media
It matters when and where you post your video content. On average, the best times to post are before 12pm on weekdays, but this is a very general rule. Examining your analytics to see when exactly your followers check the relevant social media platforms will give you a clear picture of when you should be sharing your content. The more you post, the more data you’ll acquire to enhance your content marketing strategy.
Section 7 – Video Content Types
In 2020, marketers’ most common types of videos were explainer videos, testimonial videos, presentation videos, sales videos, and video ads. These video content types played a huge role in consumers’ purchase decisions over the last year. Let’s look at each of these content types in more detail.
Embedding an effective explainer video onto a company website has been shown to boost video conversion rates by 80%. Animation is the most common format for explainer videos because they can condense complex topics into digestible chunks. There is also the benefit of being as creative as you like. Animation knows no bounds when it comes to exercising creative flair, being the most flexible and versatile video format. Additionally, viewers retain 15% more information from animated explainer videos than live-action ones. However, live-action explainers have the benefit of automatically creating a natural human connection with viewers. For more information on choosing between live-action and animated video content, check out our blog.
It’s easy to see why explainer videos are the most popular video content type amongst marketers. 96% of people have watched an explainer video to better understand or learn about a product or service. Moreover, out of 86% of people who want to see more branded video content, 36% prefer educational and explainer videos.
Testimonial videos are the final sales push before making a sale. They put your customers in the limelight, convincing potential clients to invest in your company. By going into more detail about the specifics of your product or service, viewers better understand what your business provides and how your services can benefit them. Hearing from happy, loyal and long-term customers will boost your brand’s credibility and strengthen your relationship with your client base. As testimonial videos are based on a before and after narrative arc, it’s also incredibly easy to create a compelling story to engage your audience.
Here are some facts about the benefits of testimonial videos:
- 97% of B2B customers said that online testimonials are the most reliable type of video content;
- Testimonial videos can increase conversions by 34%;
- Regularly uploading customer testimonials can increase revenue by 62%;
- 79% of consumers have clicked on a testimonial video to learn more about a company’s products or services;
- 90% of people trust what a customer says about a business than what that business says about itself.
Instead of using the standard PowerPoint formats, create a presentation video to immerse your audience. A presentation video can be informative, demonstrative, persuasive or inspirational. From onboarding presentations for new employees to presentations about global issues, every presentation video tells a bold statement and a compelling and straightforward story. Unlike more traditional presentations, you can have a lot more fun implementing transitions and animations, as there’s a wider range to choose from.
There are different types of sales videos for each stage of the sales cycle. Screen shares, product demo videos, webcam videos, personalised videos, and video playlists are just some of the sales videos you can use to connect with potential customers. It’s also worth noting that personalised videos are 35% more likely to retain viewers as compared to non-personalised videos. To keep your customers coming back, follow-up emails with a video specifically designed for them will strengthen your relationship, persuading them to buy your products.
Here are some statistics about the effectiveness of sales videos:
- 84% of people say a video of a product or service has convinced them to make a purchase;
- 79% of people say they’ve been convinced to buy or download a piece of software or an app after watching a video;
- 64% of consumers purchase a product after watching social videos;
- 55% of people watch videos before making purchase decisions.
In 2020, video ads were the number one way consumers discovered a brand they later purchased from. With almost 75% of brands using video ads on Facebook, it’s understandable why video ads have grown in popularity, particularly on social media.
For more information on other video content types, feel free to check out our blog.
Section 8 – Video Automation
Video automation is particularly useful for retainers. A retainer is an agreement between a video agency and a business over 6-12 months, in which time the video agency will act as the business’ in-house marketing team. By commissioning a video agency on a scale, there is no significant need for client oversight. Video automation enables a video agency to automatically create videos from a client’s brief and repurpose any footage for other marketing needs.
Here are some other benefits of video automation we’ve seen in the past year:
Email and video go hand in hand when it comes to video automation. Wistia found that using a video thumbnail on an email instead of a plain image increased click-through rates by 300%. According to Forrester Research (via Marketo), video automation generates 50% more sales-ready leads at a 33% lower cost. Combining the power of video with the power of email through video automation will strengthen your marketing strategy and make it more efficient. Using the same video format and style will also make it easier for you to personalise your videos, strengthening your relationship with your customers and increasing brand loyalty.
Shorter videos have proven to be more effective than long-form video content, especially on social media. Viewers don’t want to wade through endless minutes of the same video content. Automated video creation creates short and simple videos your viewers can understand, engage with and share. You’ll end up with digestible chunks of information that can summarise your long-form video content. This works by analysing and selecting valuable video content based on interconnected information. Therefore, video automation ensures that all the video content you want to share on social media remains relevant to your target audience.
Repurposing Video Content
Automated video content is excellent at repurposing existing long-form video content. For example, a documentary or a feature can be whittled down to a snappy teaser video or even a promotional video. You can be as flexible as you like with video automation, as you can use the same piece of content to create shorter videos for all your marketing needs.
But how does it all work? Artificial intelligence is at the core of video automation, as it sifts through and selects relevant data. This efficiently converts information into shorter videos, making trending videos spread faster. Video automation also makes it easier to edit videos, which aids creativity to develop more high-quality video content at a quicker pace.
Target-Oriented Video Content
Through AI technology, video automation can detect the data viewers engage with the most and pick up on the most trending videos. This makes it easier to create more relevant, useful and, therefore, target-oriented video content for your audience. As a result, video automation can communicate with your viewers better and develop a stronger connection more efficiently.
As this report has demonstrated, the global pandemic has had a huge impact on the future of video content marketing. Over the last 5 years, the popularity of consuming video content has made video marketing a necessity for all companies, not an option. Combined with the growth of social media usage and the increase in different social media platforms, it’s no surprise that video content has become the most engaging form of marketing.
What we anticipate in the coming years:
- Increase of mobile over desktop video consumption
- Shorter videos will continue to appeal more than longer videos
- Video promotion and consumption on social media will rise
- Facebook will continue to be the main social media platform for video usage, with YouTube, Instagram and TikTok following closely behind
- Interactive videos will generate more leads, especially in the form of email collection forms
We hope you found the contents of our video marketing report useful. Please check out our Video Learning Centre and our work to see how we can enhance your company through video marketing. Contact us to find out more about how we work and how we can help you and your business.