Video has completely dominated the digital landscape over the past few years with an increasing number of marketers across the globe using video to engage, inform and empower customers and leads alike.

The reasons are clear to see. There has been a sharp rise in consumption of video content and new platforms and formats are being made available at an exponential rate.

Yet despite the fact many of us consume video content on a daily basis, many businesses are still reluctant to adopt video as part of their communications strategy, or simply are not seeing any results from it.

Here are the three video trends that every business should be taking into consideration.

1.       Increased adoption of synchronous video

Synchronous video is defined as video communication taking place between two or more people in “real time”. Think Zoom calls or Facetime. 

While the Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses of all shapes and sizes across the globe, the restrictions in place have led to a huge increase in synchronous video usage, with a recent study by Vidyard showing that over 87% of us are now using synchronous video.

Thanks to the home working edict, “Zoom meetings” and “video conferences” are phrases that have now become as common in the workplace as “the stationery cupboard” or “IT department”. While your staff are separated, you can bring everyone together virtually to discuss projects, share company updates and introduce new clients or colleagues.

But the benefits of synchronous video are not strictly limited to what is happening within your organisation, as ESM Inbound’s Client Services Consultant, Marco Stellardi explains:

“Synchronous video communication can help businesses shorten their sales cycle because there is a direct correlation between the number of video meetings booked and new business generated. This is because there is no longer the need for lengthy face-to-face sales meetings when it is so easy for all the relevant parties to get together via a video platform such as Zoom, WebEx, GoToMeeting, Skype, Hangouts, etc. There is a noticeable reduction in downtime caused by travelling and it allows both parties to work on the task at hand more productively.”

Even if the initial meeting takes place in person, once you have established that relationship it will then be much easier to utilise video for follow-up meetings.

2.       The rise of asynchronous video

Asynchronous video is defined as video communication not occurring in real time. So, there is a delay between the sender conveying information and the receiver interpreting it. This includes any form of recorded video, such as webinars, video messages and screen-capture videos.

The use of asynchronous video is rapidly increasing with 55% of people saying they are creating more recorded video content than before the Covid-19 pandemic began.

One of the most common uses of asynchronous video in organisations is training videos. For instance, a team member might need to show a co-worker how to perform a particular task. Rather than waste time looking for them and then explaining the task, or even calling them, recording a quick screen-capture video can be more efficient and the recipient can view it in their own time.

Marco Stellardi explains how asynchronous video can improve marketing and service processes:

“The key benefit of asynchronous video, for me, is the fact you don’t have to set a time for people to tune-in. You can respect their schedule and easily communicate with people in different time zones without worrying about finding a mutually convenient slot. For example, with a webinar, a viewer can watch that whenever they want, speed it up or slow it down, break it into chunks and completely tailor it to their learning style.”

“Even with shorter videos where you might be briefing a task to a team member, it is really just a webinar in condensed form. Not only are you able to explain something more quickly and clearly than you can via email or a phone call, the viewer has the freedom and flexibility to come back to it whenever they want.”

Not only that, but what other opportunities could you be missing out on by not using asynchronous video. Marco Stellardi says you should also look to adopt it as part of your sales strategy.

“We are seeing a huge increase in the use of asynchronous video in sales processes. In typical B2B sales cycles, you may not be speaking to the ultimate decision maker in the first instance and, particularly with a traditional written proposal, you are often relying on your contact to accurately convey the information to their seniors who you may not get the opportunity to meet with. Some of the specifics may get lost in translation or the wrong areas may be highlighted. So why not send a personalised video alongside the proposal where you can direct attention to the key points  and highlight the areas you predict the decision maker will be most interested in.”

3.       Understanding the metrics that matter

So, you’ve published a video and suddenly you are overwhelmed with a wide variety of metrics and you are not sure which ones really matter and how effective your content truly is. Well, you’re not alone.

In fact, more than two-thirds of businesses report they have no insight into the effectiveness of their video content or can only track basic levels of consumption.

It’s very easy to become infatuated with the number of views and impressions your video is getting, but do these metrics necessarily lead to people wanting to engage with your brand? Marco Stellardi explains how specialist video marketing platforms can give you more powerful insights:

“Understanding the importance of video metrics is key to producing effective video content and improving engagement. New, marketing-centric video platforms like Vidyard are now allowing marketers to get more data and attribution, in line with what’s possible with other content types. This richer data in turn provides insights that you wouldn’t be able to get with a streaming platform like YouTube or Vimeo.”

“By integrating Vidyard with a marketing automation platform like Hubspot you are opening up a whole stream of data that would not normally be available to you. Once you publish a video on your website, you can not only see who has watched the video and how long they have watched the video for but you can also embed Calls-To-Action promoting different services and content throughout the experience, and track the effectiveness of each individual CTA.”

Meanwhile, a sales rep could be wondering how they can leverage the data from their own video messages that they have sent to prospects they are looking to convert to customers. Marco Stellardi explains how analytics can offer business development teams the insights they crave:

“If you have sales reps sending videos to contacts, the sales manager can see directly from the portal what is and, perhaps more importantly, what isn’t working in terms of the videos that are being watched and those that have the highest rate of consumption. For instance, if one sales video has an average watch time of 70% versus one that has only 5%, it’s very easy to spot this and dissect the differences in the content.”