In the last decade, we have seen the digital landscape shift significantly. Desktop and laptop usage is down while mobile usage is ever-growing.
Just take a look at this graphic that shows the shift in the devices that people use to consume media:
The big winner here is mobile, with TV seeing a significant dip. All other mediums — desktop, radio, and print — are seeing smaller but significant decreases in usage over time. While that doesn’t mean that desktops will ever be completely phased out, it does mean that the way people interact with content online is still in the midst of rapid change.
One of the most noticeable effects of this shift has been in the type of content that customers consume. With mobile usage increasing, users are shying away from long-winded text-based content and instead opt for video.
This shift in media preference is driven by millennials. Millennials are 150 percent more likely to comparison shop using video, even in-store. They actively seek out video content and prefer it to other mediums. More than half of millennials say that they prefer video formats to the same information in an email newsletter.
While the shift toward video is driven by millennials, the preference isn’t exclusive to them. All tastes are changing with new tech. According to a study by Google, 50 percent of people in all age brackets look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. These videos could be product explainer videos on a website, or product reviews from other consumers on YouTube.
Why Video Content in the Future
According to Cisco, by 2019 video will account for 80% of all internet traffic. It’s important to understand that that number refers to total internet bandwidth, not total time spent online. Still, it provides a clear picture of where things are heading.
With these shifts in consumer habits, companies are quickly catching on. Both B2B and B2C companies have seen this shift affect their businesses. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 82 percent of B2C companies identify video as their most effective content marketing format. 73 percent of B2B marketers credit video marketing with positive increases in ROI.
This is a trend that we can expect to see continue well into the next decade. Not just in developed first-world countries, either. As more third-world nations find ways to offer reliable internet and mobile devices to their populaces, those markets will follow suit.
YouTube has been around for more than a decade now and even though it is ingrained in our daily lives, it is still seeing significant growth year-to-year.
Source: Vineet Gupta
With cord-cutting becoming more prominent, you can expect digital video to play an even bigger role in the average person’s life. Google certainly recognizes this, evidenced by their YouTube TV service the company debuted in early 2017.
Best Practices for Engaging SaaS Video Marketing
Creating effective video content isn’t easy.
You’ll need a professional videographer and editor to help you bring each video to life. You’ll need a video script copywriter that knows what they are doing. Most of all, you’ll need to find a hook for each video — a way of drawing the viewer into the experience and convincing them to stick around.
As you start planning your first video campaigns, keep these best practices in mind:
- The power of SaaS video marketing lies in storytelling. Any marketer worth his or her salt knows how important stories are. We all love the hero’s journey. Despite the fact that video provides the perfect medium for branded storytelling, we see a lot of SaaS videos that are more of a laundry list of facts and features than an actual story. Compelling stories lead to more sales.
- Keep content short. Millennials enjoy interacting with branded videos because they provide quick, easily-digestible information about a product or service. That, and their notoriously short attention spans. Videos that are 2 minutes (or less) in length see the most engagement. SaaS video marketing campaigns should cut out the noise and deliver videos that are short, entertaining, and informative.
- Align videos with your funnel. SaaS video marketing campaigns are most effective when the content aligns with the customer journey. You wouldn’t create a whitepaper and distribute it randomly throughout your funnel, and the same reasons apply to video as well.
- Measure and iterate. Like a campaign on any medium, you’ll only have successful SaaS video marketing campaigns if you dive deeply into what is working. Your measurement should go beyond total views, too. Look at how long people are sticking around, and where they clicking out of your videos. See which parts of the video people are rewinding, as that can provide insight into what parts of the video are the most useful or most confusing to the audience. Use this data to your advantage in future videos.
Excellent SaaS Video Marketing Examples
Covering SaaS video marketing wouldn’t be too useful without providing a few examples for you to check out. Here are a few different SaaS companies that have been able to pinpoint what works for them and reap the benefits of SaaS video marketing:
Insightly Eases Fears About Switching Customer Relationship Management Platforms
This is an excellent example of an effective SaaS video marketing campaign. At more than 30,000 views, it seems to be performing well for the company. Take note of how this video aligns with the best practices we just outlined.
At 1:53 in length, the video falls just inside of the 2-minute engagement window. They keep things short, but chock-full of information. Knowing that most of their incoming customers will be new businesses or established businesses looking to move to a new CRM platform, the video addresses specific concerns for some of the different customer personas that would use their software. It’s perfectly aligned for the top of their funnel.
Pay careful attention to the stories they’ve weaved into this video. In less than two minutes, they’ve managed to tell you about how and why the company was founded and told several short stories about those different personas.
HubSpot Positions Themselves as the Complete Inbound Solution
Here’s another great example of a top-of-funnel video. In this video, HubSpot is able to position themselves effectively as an all-in-one solution for inbound marketing — a practice that normally would require several solutions for different platforms.
They do a great job of adhering to best practices. The video runs a bit longer than 2 minutes, but not too long to scare away users. Very little time is wasted, with the video quickly transitioning from one pain point to the next. They do a great job of telling the story of a marketer struggling to find a modern solution for digital marketing that encompasses all media and platforms used in inbound marketing.
Close.io Interviews Guru Gary Vaynerchuk
This is a video that I wanted to include because it breaks all of the “best practice” rules that we just outlined, but is undoubtedly a very effective piece of mid-funnel content. Gary Vaynerchuk is a digital marketing mainstay and one of the biggest brands in the industry.
Close.io’s video doesn’t have any of the professional bells and whistles of other videos. It’s nearly an hour long, requiring a large commitment from the viewer. It was just a live interview they held for their subscribers. But, the video has 50,000 views and a hundred comments.
If your goal is to nurture leads in the funnel and provide value — you’d be hard-pressed to find a video that would be better received than an interview with a well-known influencer.
The point that I want to make is that there are no hard and fast rules to video marketing success. There are guidelines, sure. But be creative. Ultimately valuable content trumps best practices.
Video is Here to Stay
Video marketing isn’t going to be some fleeting tactic that disappears as new technology makes its way into the mainstream. In fact, new tech innovations have done nothing but bolster video as a marketing medium.
Appealing to millennials was once a long-term strategy, but the demographic is quickly becoming the world’s purchasing-power powerhouse. They aren’t the teeny-boppers they were a decade ago and the way that you structure and present your marketing materials must reflect that fact.
Creating high-value videos can help you to appeal to millennials at all stages of the buyer’s journey, building trust and familiarity over time.