Pour some hot cocoa, turn on that Mariah song and swathe yourself in a snuggie. It’s time to look back on the year that was.
Well, more specifically, the year in video production. We’ll leave the top albums list to Pitchfork.
To say that 2017 was a big year for online video is an understatement. For better or worse, “pivoting to video” became a catchphrase. Companies everywhere are looking to video to keep their audiences engaged over the long term.
We were interested in learning more about how professionals from all industries approached creating video for business. What kind of videos are they producing? How are they sharing them?
We developed an interactive survey via HapYak, which was super simple to do by the way, to explore these topics, and since the holidays are a time for togetherness, we sent the survey out to +6,500 of our closest friends. A diverse collection of clients and contacts from Demo Duck and our sister company Video Brewery.
Survey respondents came from a variety of backgrounds. However, 75 percent of respondents represented companies with between one and 50 employees. 40 percent of respondents were employed by companies under six years old. Since Demo Duck was founded, we’ve loved helping growing businesses tell their story through video. It’s a great way to introduce your company, its purpose and the people behind it.
Anyway, is that cocoa ready yet? Great. Let’s jump into what we found out…
*Indicates a survey question where respondents could select multiple answers
What is the Average Length of the Videos You Produce?
- Less than 1 minute – 12%
- 1-2 minutes – 40%
- 2-3 minutes – 31%
- 3+ minutes – 18%
Even as attention spans shorten, longer-form video storytelling is still popular. Ok, when we say longer-form, we don’t exactly mean Infinite Jest. But over 70 percent of survey respondents created videos in 2017 that clocked in between one and three minutes. Captivating visuals and a concise message can convince users to ‘slow their scroll’ and engage with a piece of content.
What Types of Videos Did You Create?*
- Explainer Video – 87%
- Product Video – 73%
- Branding Content – 60%
- Tutorial/Support Video – 48%
- Customer Testimonial Video – 46%
- Internal Communications Video – 37%
- Testimonial Video (Company) – 22%
- Recruiting Video – 21%
Our respondents saw video as an effective way to show how a product or service works—and how to keep it working. Explainer videos were by far the most produced type of video, with product and tutorial videos following respectively. We’ve been in the explainer video production space for years, so we’ve learned a thing or two. The most effective explainer videos are both informative and engaging. Sure, you need to cover the nuts and bolts. But don’t forget to inject some personality too.
Speaking of personality, testimonial videos are a great way to showcase the people behind your brand or those who are helped by it. So we expect testimonial videos to continue to trend up in coming years.
Follow your favorite flock.
How Many Videos Did You Make This Year?
- 1 video – 8%
- 2-3 videos – 8%
- 4-5 videos – 10%
- 6-10 videos – 17%
- 10+ videos – 54%
- None – 3%
As we mentioned earlier, companies are using multiple videos to keep audiences engaged across an ever-growing variety of channels. It’s not surprising that 70 percent of respondents created 6 or more videos. Last year, we worked on a variety of business video series projects—a collection of informative videos developed with the goal in mind. A business video series can help connect with a wider audience, help them understand complex topics and encourage them to engage with your company.
What Style of Videos did you Create?*
- Live Action – 78%
- 2D animated – 63%
- Live Action (stock) – 37%
- 3D animated – 21%
- Stop Motion – 10%
These results were probably dictated by both budget and timeline. Not only do companies want cost-effective productions, they often need to develop video content under a quick turnaround. Live action is inexpensive and traditionally has a low barrier of entry. And now modern technology allows animators to complete 2D projects with more efficiencies than in the past. Live action and animated styles of production aren’t mutually exclusive either.
Many clients have worked with us on mixed-media projects that combine them both! Stop motion is one of the most stunning styles of animation (time to revisit those gorgeous vintage holiday films) but it can be labor and time intensive, hence why it probably came in last.
How Did You Promote Your Video?*
- Website – 87%
- Facebook – 71%
- YouTube – 68%
- Email – 49%
- Twitter – 30%
- Instagram – 25%
- Trade Show/Presentations – 32%
We are Instagram fans. I mean, don’t you follow us? But seriously, we’ve always believed in the visual storytelling capabilities that the platform provides. You can share videos up to 60 seconds! You can combine videos and static images within carousel posts! You can post portrait-orientated videos as a story! Oh, and you can also turn any of these into hyper-targeted ads! But alas, Instagram came in last in our survey. This is probably because most B2B and B2C companies use all of the other forms of promotion on the list, but IG is still more of a pure B2C platform.
What’s Your Biggest Struggle with Video?
- Price – 30%
- Promotion – 27%
- Production – 23%
- Tracking – 13%
- Producing Another – 8%
We’ve talked about all of the exciting new channels for sharing video. But sometimes that freedom can be paralyzing. There’s so many options. What’s best to connect with your target audience? Finding the right way to promote your video takes research. It takes experimenting. We’ve found this out from working on a variety of projects for an even wider variety of clients. In 2018, Demo Duck is going to put this knowledge to work by also helping developing launch strategy for our clients video projects. Stay tuned—it’s going to be pretty cool.
What can we expect in 2018? That’s a question that a lot of people are wondering. We predict that businesses will not only continue to produce creative videos, but they’ll also develop their own unique ways of sharing them. Are we close to brands starting their own television networks? Social channels? Drive-in theatres? We expect the way companies publish and promote their content will continue to evolve, and we’ll be right there with them to help.
Drop us a line in the new year and say hello—have a safe and happy holiday season!