Video Trends from 2020

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The 2021 Vidyard Benchmark report is out and there are a few new video trends to note.

The trend towards self generated video content isn't necessarily good for a business who embraces that.

Whilst many of the corporate video trends in the Vidyard 2021 report are pandemic driven, (135% increase in videos created over 2019) there are some headline items that make for interesting reading;

– More viewers are bouncing prior to the end of the video. The percentage of viewers watching a video all the way through is down from 52% to 45%.

More user-generated/ internally generated videos are being created. There was a 44% increase in the second quarter of 2020 alone, just as organisations were moving to remote working due to the pandemic.

– Average video run time is up by over 50%, from 4 minutes to 6.06 minutes.

2020 saw more corporate videos produced with longer runtime’s, but with worse engagement, than in 2019.

We think these stats are related. The self generated video trend is leading to worse bounce rates.

Longer run times are the problem, editing a video to maximise engagement will always embrace the optimisation of content and run time.

User-Generated videos tends to be produced by individuals with less expertise, often from a perspective that is tainted by their close association with the business or product they are talking about.

Instead of focusing on what works in video, they focus on what they think is important to get into that video, box ticking in many cases.

There is a tendency by business’s to try to do everything for everybody in a video, when in fact much of the content internal producers want to include is inappropriate for the format, or irrelevant to the viewer.

In almost all circumstances, less is more in video.

And this brings us to the final takeaway from the Vidyard report, engagement levels for runtime.

58% of viewers will watch all of a 60 second video, whilst only 43% of viewers will watch all of 150 second video..

With long form corporate video it gets worse, only 24% will watch a 20 minute video to the end.

The longer the video, the fewer people will see all of its messages.

As video runtime increases, the value of that video and the return on your investment, decreases.

User-generated content is perceived as being of lower cost, but is the value equation actually understood?

Lower engagement which results from user generated content needs to be factored into costs when considering whether to engage with expertise in video production.

But it’s worse than just poor value, self generated content may actually be harmful to a business, not just poor value for money.

We know content quality is a key metric used by Google etal for SERP results, and Google uses engagement levels and bounce rates as a measure of quality.

So high bounce rates and low engagement may negatively impact on businesses overall SERP’s.

Increasing your content with poor quality video may actually lead to worse search returns than producing less video but of a higher quality.

The Vidyard video trends study shows that smaller businesses produce far more user-generated content than larger.

Businesses with larger marketing budgets are producing more professional content, because they know that this leads to better returns.

The challenge for business’s who want to compete in a crowded market and gain the benefits of video, is to overcome the price shock that engaging with expertise can bring.

Price shock which is in many cases due to a lack of clear accounting for internal costs, balanced against the actual value of the videos produced.

With the hidden costs of self generated video and the potential impact on SERP’s, businesses may now be better off abandoning the “Any video is better than no video” mantra, towards getting best quality for the money, even if it leads to lower volumes.

Agile production overcomes a lot of the issues around value, quality, and volume, but thats for another post!