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The Marketer’s Guide to Podcast Formats: 5 Types of Podcasts You Can Produce

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As a marketer, you’ve probably noticed the recent uptick of brands launching podcasts. In fact, 23% of U.S. adults listen to podcasts every day or a few times per week. With more and more brands entering the podcast space, you might be considering taking the leap and creating a show for your own company — but where do you get started?

The secret is in the sauce — or, in the case of podcasts — the format. Selecting the right format is one of the first critical steps to launching a successful new show. And if you’re now to show formats or not sure what’s best for your brand, we’ve got you covered.

We’ve gathered advice from a few industry leaders to outline five popular podcast formats along with the pros and cons, best practices, and examples for each format. Easy peasy!

Read on to learn all about podcast formats and which one is the ideal fit for your next show.

Narrative-style podcasts tell the stories — stories of people, businesses, or brands. They usually feature interviews along with music and sound effects to add to the storytelling. And, they’re typically highly produced and aim to entertain and enchant their audience.

Examples

Pros

Since they allow for the most creativity, narrative-style podcasts can be incredibly engaging. This rings especially true in B2B.

For example, Red Hat’s narrative-style podcast, Command Line Heroes, has a 90% average episode completion rate. Buffer’s Breaking Brand also keeps folks listening at a good clip, boasting an average completion rate of about 83%. According to Buffer’s producers, an average completion rate of 80% is deemed great for a branded show — so both Red Hat and Buffer are knocking it out of the park.

“Red Hat’s narrative-style podcast, Command Line Heroes, has a 90% average episode completion rate.”

Cons

Narrative-style podcasts can require multiple interviews, music and sound effects, and heavier editing. As a result, they’re usually the most time-intensive podcast format.

If you’ve never created a narrative-style podcast before, you’ll likely encounter a steep learning curve. Fortunately, there are now boutique podcast agencies, freelancers, and podcast workshops that can help.

To help craft Breaking Brand, Buffer’s first-ever narrative-style podcast, Editorial Director Ash Read hired the podcast agency Message Heard. They were hugely helpful to him and his team.

“We brought in the experts who know how to do this stuff because I don’t know how to produce a narrative podcast from scratch. There were so many moving parts,” he says. “I’d also never booked a recording studio before. I’d actually never been in a recording studio before. I don’t speak that language. I don’t know how to pick a good sound engineer in New York. There are just so many things to juggle. That’s why it’s so important to hire the pros to help you out.”

“There are just so many things to juggle. That’s why it’s so important to hire the pros to help you out.”

Best practices

Crafting a narrative-style podcast can seem like a daunting task — but don’t get discouraged. We’ve got several tips and best practices to help make the process as smooth as possible.

First, you’ll want to nail down your show’s story. According to Rian Johnson, the writer and director of critically acclaimed films like Knives Out and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, mapping out his story’s structure is the most critical part of his writing process. And while your show might not be a billion-dollar blockbuster like Johnson’s movies, his insight into story structure should resonate with any marketer aiming to create binge-worthy content.

The most effective way to nail your podcast’s story structure is to map it out before you start scripting — and don’t get discouraged if the process takes longer than expected. Buffer took four passes at mapping out the season’s plot points for Breaking Brand before they found their angle.

Another pro tip? Consider getting help from an agency, freelancer, or podcasting professional. Similar to Buffer, Red Hat saw a ton of success partnering with a podcast agency to craft their narrative-style podcast. Their agency, Pacific Content, and their work on Command Line Heroes helped Red Hat get nominated for a Shorty Award in 2019.

To find an agency to help craft your show, see who produced your favorite branded or original podcasts and reach out to them.

However, if you’d rather pursue a more affordable option, you can always find help in freelance marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork.

Solo podcasts feature a single host (and no guests) telling stories or providing commentary on a specific topic or theme. These shows can be entertaining, informative, or a mix of both. To make up for the lack of guests, these shows usually boast compelling storytelling and vivid sound engineering — though you could definitely take a less produced approach.

Examples

Pros

When you produce a solo podcast, your audience spends the entire duration of the show with you and you alone. After listening to your podcast for a while, they’ll start to feel like they know you personally. This format is exactly why Jay Acunzo calls podcasting “intimacy that scales.”

“When you produce a solo podcast, your audience spends the entire duration of the show with you and you alone. After listening to your podcast for a while, they’ll start to feel like they know you personally.”

In terms of workload, solo podcasts are typically easier to edit than narrative-style podcasts because you don’t have to splice in interviews.

Cons

To some listeners, having no guests on your podcast can decrease the credibility of your show. Unless you’re an established thought leader in your space, it’s challenging to get your audience to immediately trust your word.

Solo podcasts also tend to lack audio variety since it’s just a single voice, which can lose an audience’s attention. Additionally, you may have to do several takes since you’re talking for the vast majority of the show.

Best practices

In solo podcasts, you’re the only speaker, so consider preparing for it like you would a big presentation. Be sure to outline, script (optional but encouraged!), and rehearse your episode.

Also, consider spicing things up with music and sound effects — this can add some welcomed variety and provide breaks between segments.

On a co-hosted podcast, two or more hosts either discuss a certain topic with each other, interview a guest about it, or incorporate both.

Examples

Pros

Multiple hosts can act as one super host — they’re able to bring more perspectives, insights, and questions to the table. Your hosts can also share the workload of one podcast, making life a little easier. For example, if you have two guests on an episode, each host can interview one guest instead of only one host interviewing both.

“Multiple hosts can act as one super host — they’re able to bring more perspectives, insights, and questions to the table.”

Cons

It can be hard to balance creative decision-making and air time on a co-hosted podcast, which are two of the most rewarding and stimulating parts of being a podcaster.

You also need to find the right balance between co-hosts going on tangents that the audience enjoys and dialing things back to keep the episode on track. You’ll likely also have to spend more time in post-production to pare down these cross-talks and digressions.

Best practices

To strike a balance on all fronts, have hosts hold each other accountable to collaborate fairly and stay on topic during each episode. Consider hosting 1:1 meetings to share honest feedback on how equitable things are.

Additionally, listen to the podcast on your own, take notes on how well the other host keeps the episode on track — and have your co-host do the same. You can use these notes to improve your hosting and interviewing skills during your 1:1 meeting. This offers a different viewpoint of your respective performances and lets you collaborate to improve your show.

4. 1:1 interview podcast

On a 1:1 interview podcast, a host interviews a different guest each episode, just like on a talk show. It’s usually a lightly edited dialogue between the host and the guest.

Examples

Pros

The primary benefit of producing a 1:1 interview podcast is that the pedigree of your guests can instantly grab your audience’s attention, especially if you’re competing against bigger brands in your space.

“The pedigree of your guests can instantly grab your audience’s attention, especially if you’re competing against bigger brands in your space.”

If you’re a host, producing a 1:1 interview podcast means little post-production work. You can also offload this step of the process to someone else on your team or a freelance editor.

At Privy, CMO Dave Gerhardt hires a freelance editor from Fiverr to edit each episode of their podcast The Ecommerce Marketing Show for just $40 an episode. It saves him about two hours of work each week.

Cons

Unfortunately, the 1:1 interview is the most saturated podcast format — especially in B2B. Almost every industry is filled to the brim with this type of podcast.

With 1:1 interview podcasts, it can also be tough to consistently book guests. At HubSpot, for example, they produce a podcast called Weird Work that dives into the unique ways people make a living, like being an international pizza consultant. And according to Matthew Brown, HubSpot’s Senior Audio Producer, booking guests with an unconventional job is just as hard as booking a CEO.

“After coming from booking CEOs and company founders for The Growth Show, we figured booking more everyday folks would be easier,” Brown says. “Of course, that was foolish. A professional mermaid’s time is just as important as the CEO of a popular startup and equally as hard to lock down.”

Best practices

When you produce a 1:1 podcast, interviewing is naturally the most important skill to sharpen. To hone your interviewing chops, check out our article, Podcasting Part 3: Tips for Conducting a Great Interview with Jay Acunzo.

On top of that, contact your guests well in advance to ensure you can fill your calendar with great interviews. This will ensure a consistent cadence and also give you plenty of time to promote and highlight guests in advance.

On a panel podcast, a host or host(s) interview multiple guests about a specific subject.

Examples

Pros

Like co-hosted podcasts, having more guests on your show can bring more perspective and insight to your episodes than traditional 1:1 interview shows. With panel podcasts, you can also draw a larger audience and support larger events — like live shows — that your superfans can attend, boosting their affinity for your brand even more.

Cons

Running a panel podcast requires you to find a specific date and time that works for multiple guests, which can be a challenge. As you’ve already learned from HubSpot’s Senior Audio Producer, it’s hard enough to book one guest, let alone two or more.

Keeping the show on track and on time also requires refined moderation skills. Your guests will likely be very passionate about the subject at hand, which is ideal, but this can also lead to long monologues, random tangents, and domination of the discussion. You need to be able to respectfully, yet assertively, steer people back on track — which is a delicate, nuanced skill to hone.

“You need to be able to respectfully, yet assertively, steer people back on track — which is a delicate, nuanced skill to hone.”

Best practices

To become a master of moderation, start by creating a topic list. Then, allocate a specific amount of time for each topic so you know when to move on to the next segment.

You should also aim to allocate time evenly between your guests. That said, give your guests some breathing room — some of their best nuggets of advice can come off the cuff.

Whether you want to craft the next Serial or start smaller with a one-person show, make sure your podcast format is right for your both brand and marketing team. And as your team evolves, revisit your podcast format and explore expanding the show or launching a new idea. You never know — your first podcast project could evolve into a highly produced show for your brand!



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Video Marketing

The First 3 Videos Your Small Business Should Make

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How can a small business with a small budget get started with video marketing? The answer is actually pretty simple: start with the videos that will have the biggest impact on your business. With that framework in mind, let’s take a look at the first three videos your business should start making today!

If you’re a small business, you might not be able to tout the big brand names that make people say to themselves, “Wow, impressive company X uses them? They must be good!” But lucky for us, the rise of online video in recent years has made establishing trust much easier for businesses of all sizes. And of course, the demand for video isn’t going anywhere. According to research from the folks at HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more video from marketers in the future. So if you haven’t started investing in video, now’s the time!

How can a small business with a small budget get started with video marketing? The answer is actually pretty simple: start with the videos that will have the biggest impact on your business. With that framework in mind, let’s take a look at the first three videos your business should start making today!

If you don’t make any other video this year (though we’re confident you’ve got what it takes), start with a product explainer video. Think about the last time you surfed around a company’s website and thought to yourself, “Is this business even legit? What the heck do they do?” This is the last impression you want to leave on a site visitor or potential customer, which is why a product explainer video is the first video you should make.

Remember that the content of your video is far more important than how shiny or professional it looks. You don’t need to break the bank to make an effective product explainer video — in fact, before you invest in a big production, try making a video that’s a little more on the DIY side and see how it works for your business. You can always upgrade your video later or even test other versions against it to see which one resonates most with your audience.

“Remember that the content of your video is far more important than how shiny or professional it looks”

Take a look at this product explainer video from Basecamp, a project management and team communication software. Small budget? No problem.

This video doesn’t simply showcase all the best features Basecamp has to offer. Instead, it paints a picture (or in this case, draws one) that clearly points to a problem the software can solve (if you’re a busy project manager, use this tool to make your job easier).

It’s easy to focus on your product’s features, but what you really want to do is hone in on the problem your business solves. Appeal to viewers’ emotions and explain how your solution can help make their lives easier, better, more fulfilling — whatever the case may be — and you’re on your way to seeing success with video.

Types of explainer videos you can make

Now that you’ve hopefully seen the value of product explainer videos, let’s dive into a few different types of videos your small business can start investing in. Depending on what resources are currently available to you, not to mention how much time you want to put in to the final product, there are a number of avenues you can take.

Animated video
Arguably one of the most popular types of explainer videos a business can make, animated videos are easy to outsource thanks to services like Yum Yum Videos, Powtoon, or even freelancers on Fiverr who can turn your script into an imaginative video.

Live-action video
If you plan on shooting the video yourself (whether you have an in-house video producer or not), consider the following tips for making your video as effective as it can be:

  • Start with a great script. As odd as it might seem, the written word is the foundation for any great explainer video.
  • Keep it short and sweet — 60 seconds or less is perfect.
  • Use simple, conversational language. No business jargon allowed!
  • Incorporate some shots of what you’re actually selling in your video — show and tell.

Screencast
Is your small business in the SaaS space? A simple screencast video works particularly well in this context; plus, it also happens to be super budget-friendly. Check out this example from the team at Slack, a business communication platform.

See how easy it is to understand how their product works? That’s exactly what you’re looking for.

If you want to simplify the screencast process as much as possible, we just happen to offer a nifty screen recording tool that lets you make high-quality product explainer videos in a snap. Try Soapbox for free today!

Install Soapbox Today!

Some businesses tend to shy away from collecting testimonials, and who can blame them? The task can feel scary and intimidating, and ROI is difficult to predict at the outset. But what’s so great about testimonial videos is that you only need one or two solid ones in your catalogue to see the difference they can make.

Start by interviewing some of your long-term customers that have seen tangible results thanks to your product, and share those videos on a prominent page on your site. Again, building trust can be a tricky part of marketing a small business. But with an effective testimonial video, you can go above and beyond that goal.

“Start by interviewing some of your long-term customers that have seen tangible results thanks to your product, and share those videos on a prominent page on your site.”

When it comes time to brainstorm who you might reach out to for these interviews, think about who your ideal customer is. Make sure the customers you feature in your testimonials are aligned with your target audience. Ideally, your prospects will be able to see themselves and their businesses in the testimonial videos you create.

Ultimately, video testimonials help visitors feel more confident in your business and the services you provide. And why wouldn’t they? Your most authentic subjects are your actual customers.

One company who does this really well is Mailchimp, a marketing automation platform and email marketing service company. Here’s an example of one of their customer success stories:

After watching this video, the viewer has a better understanding of how a boutique called Azalea San Francisco uses Mailchimp’s landing pages to drive their sales, promote events, and stay relevant.

Tips for making video testimonials

Ready to produce your very own video testimonials? Here are some of our favorite tips for making a compelling testimonial that builds trust and looks great:

  • Before the interview, give your customer an idea of what topics you’ll cover, but don’t share all of your questions just yet! You want their responses to sound as natural and unrehearsed as possible.
  • Shoot the video at the customer’s own workplace if possible, as it helps drive home the authenticity factor.
  • Capture additional B-roll footage throughout the shoot, whether you think you’ll need the shots or not. These small moments can round out your video and make it more cohesive.
  • Let the camera run, and edit the takes later. Ask your interviewee to repeat what they’ve said if they fumble over their words, but for the most part, try to keep your footage natural.
  • Keep it conversational so your subject feels comfortable. This can often lead to more emotional, authentic responses.

If your small business has a particularly interesting background, company story videos are the way to go. How did your business get started? What was your motivation for starting the company? By featuring the friendly faces of your teammates, you can make your prospects feel right at home. After all, people are buying more products and services based on emotion rather than logic, which is one reason why appealing to a visitor’s psyche is so important.

A company story video lets you show off what makes your business so special and unique on a human level like no other medium can. When people are able to associate familiar faces and names with a business, they’re more likely to feel a strong connection to it — and ultimately have a positive experience with your brand.

“A company story video lets you show off what makes your business so special and unique on a human level like no other medium can.”

In this video, find out the history behind Redbarn Pet Products, a healthy, wholesome dog food company.

I don’t even have a dog and I’d give Redbarn my money! But in all seriousness, this two-minute video gives you a solid understanding of what matters most to Redbarn as a business. You learn how this family-owned dog food company got its start, what it believes in, and how it views running a business. An all-around success!

Types of company stories

What if your story isn’t as cute and wholesome as Redbarn’s? Not to worry, because there are some other types of videos you can make to achieve a similar goal. Your company’s culture and how team members feel about working there today are just as important as the story behind how you got your start. Here are a few ways to underline that:

  • Crowdsource a simple video featuring current employees. Empower your peers to tell their own stories by submitting video clips that can be compiled into one video.
  • Interview some of your own employees. Think “customer testimonials” but from your employees. Ask them some questions about their day-to-day life at your company and record their responses.
  • Use B-roll footage from a company event or party and record a voiceover after the fact. This is a super low-budget way to make a video that emphasizes what your company culture is all about, with virtually no pre-production effort involved.

Marketers know that testing new channels and tactics before going all-in on one is the best way to make informed decisions. And when you work at a small business where resources can run thin, you want to make sure you’re spending your time wisely. That’s why, as a video software company built by marketers, we recommend getting started with these three types of videos.

Easily build trust, establish credibility, and show the people who work at your company, and you’ll be on your way to building an even more reputable and buzzworthy business.

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Video Marketing

4 Businesses That Grew Through the Power of Creativity

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When most businesses decide to scale, they usually channel all of their thoughts and energy on meeting the end result: growing their company by X percent. But, ironically, focusing on the results doesn’t always mean you’ll get them.

In a live interview at Goldman Sachs’ Technology and Internet Conference in 2015, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, was asked to name some of Apple’s most significant accomplishments from the past year. Famously, he responded, “We’re not focused on the numbers. We’re focused on the things that produce the numbers.”

In essence, Cook was saying that focusing on the process rather than the results is the key to success. After all, to thrive in a world brimming with infinite options, you need to create a product or service worth purchasing — and not just purchasable.

Building something that can cut through the noise requires extraordinary creativity. To inspire your company’s creative process, we explore four companies that have leaned heavily on creativity to fuel their growth. Read on to get your own creative juices flowing.

When Nick Gray was asked to go on a date to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, he was a little disappointed. The Met was where you went when your parents were in town, not when you were going on a romantic date. But Nick liked the woman he was seeing. So, he accepted her invitation.

To his surprise, Nick and his date didn’t aimlessly meander through every exhibit that caught their eye. Instead, Nick’s date gave him a captivating tour of different art, sculptures, and artifacts. Enamored by the Met’s vast collection of humanity’s history, Nick realized just how special the museum actually was.

Nick became obsessed with the Met, visiting it all the time, voraciously researching exhibits that piqued his interest, and eventually giving his own tours to friends. His tours got so popular that he realized he could turn them into his own business. He called it Museum Hack.

Museum Hack’s mission is to shatter the common belief that museums are boring — just as the date at the Met had done for Nick. Leading themed tours, such as the one based on Game of Thrones, through some of the country’s top museums, Museum Hack takes customers on focused, energetic journeys that are chock-full of stories, games, and, most importantly, fun.

“Museum Hack’s mission is to shatter the common belief that museums are boring …”

Museum Hack knows that their guides can make or break tours, so the company hires expert storytellers who train for three months before leading a single tour. They also dig up the juiciest stories about historical figures, art, and artifacts that you’d never see on a museum plaque, ensuring that they entertain just as much as they educate.

Convincing the public that museums are the most remarkable institutions on earth is a tall order. But Museum Hack has done just that — and then some. Their tours have garnered over 5,400 five-star reviews on TripAdvisor, generated $2.8 million in revenue in 2018, and grown their business by 107% in the past three years.

One of the least appealing parts of marketing? Sourcing stock photos. Not only are most stock images cheesy, but they can also be costly. Fortunately, Mikael Cho, the former CEO of Crew, an online marketplace for creatives, harbored this same disdain for cheesy, expensive stock photos.

Back in 2013, Crew had only three months of cash left. No venture capitalists were biting either, so Cho tried to attract some attention by building a Tumblr website that offered free, professional-grade photos. His target market could probably use them.

Four hours and $19 later, Unsplash was born. And after posting Unsplash on Hacker News, Cho’s side project rocketed to the top of the discussion board and attracted 50,000 visitors in one day. Within a month, Unsplash had 20,000 email subscribers and even referred some customers over to Crew.

Four months later, Unsplash helped Crew double their revenue, which enabled them to secure $10.6 million in funding. Unsplash had officially saved Crew.

Soon after, tech media outlets, like The Verge, Next Web, Fast Company, TechCrunch, and Forbes, ate the story up. Forbes even started using Unsplash’s photos and linked back to their website. Two years later, Unsplash became Crew’s top referral source.

The story of Unsplash is compelling proof that focusing on creativity can pluck you out of even the deepest financial abyss. By focusing on the artistic side of photography — not necessarily the business side — and the customer experience, Unsplash attracted a steady stream of users and publicity. This focus persuaded the best freelance photographers to publish photos on their website to market their art and, in turn, continually enhance Unsplash’s library of images.

“By focusing on the artistic side of photography — not necessarily the business side — and the customer experience, Unsplash attracted a steady stream of users and publicity.”

Since then, Crew spun off Unsplash as its own stand-alone company. The Tumblr website that initially offered ten free photos every ten days now boasts a network of 110,000 contributing photographers and a library of 1 million images that have been downloaded over 1 billion times.

What’s arguably even more impressive is that Cho sold Crew to Dribbble in 2017 and raised $7.25 million in funding for Unsplash. Not only did Unsplash save and spark Crew’s growth, but they also built themselves into something any entrepreneur would be proud of.

In 2008, Jack Conte and his wife, Nataly Dawn, started a band called Pomplamoose. But, unlike most new bands, they didn’t want to build their presence through live gigs; they wanted to build it online.

For the next five years, Pomplamoose created and posted original songs, experimental covers, and clever mash-ups on YouTube, attracting over 150,000 subscribers. Some of their videos even went viral and boasted millions of views. But the exhilarating high Conte felt watching the band’s loyal fan base grow would always crash when he checked their YouTube revenue each month. At most, they would make a few hundred dollars.

Fed up with the internet’s self-centered monetization model and the lack of respect and financial security artists received, Conte teamed up with entrepreneur Sam Yan to launch Patreon, a platform for artists to offer monthly subscriptions to their content and generate a reliable stream of income.

From podcasters to musicians to comedians, artists of all stripes can effectively monetize their creativity on Patreon, taking home an average of 90% of their subscription revenue. Conte and Yan specifically designed their business model this way because they wanted Patreon’s success to depend on their artists’ success. In other words, creativity is the only thing that can fuel their growth. And it’s working.

Today, Patreon has over 100,000 artists creating content on their platform and over 3 million patrons supporting them. Patreon is also expected to process $500 million in payments and generates $50 million in revenue in 2019 and has raised over $165 million in venture capital.

During the first half of the decade, most podcasts were cliché, talking-head interviews with little personality or flair. Most people listened to them to educate themselves on a specific topic — not necessarily to entertain themselves. But that all changed once Sarah Koenig’s iconic podcast, Serial), launched in 2014.

Serial was one of the first narrative-driven podcasts ever released, and it captured the imagination of the entire world, reaching 5 million downloads faster than any other podcast in history.

After binge-listening to Serial and witnessing everybody squabble over Adnan Syed’s innocence, Steve Pratt, the co-founder of Pacific Content, realized he could help businesses make the same mark in the working world.

Serial raised people’s podcasts expectations, but many brands didn’t have the expertise or resources to craft shows of that caliber. This market gap inspired Pratt to launch Pacific Content, a production agency that makes original podcasts with brands. He became an early adopter of narrative-driven podcasts and partnered with some of the world’s biggest brands, including Facebook, Slack, and T-Brand Studio, to craft shows that rival top podcasts like This American Life and even the agency’s own inspiration — Serial.

Blazing the trail for brands to tell stories through podcasts and winning numerous awards for their work, Pacific Content was acquired by Rogers Media, one of the largest and most influential Canadian media companies, in 2019.

To thrive in a world of infinite choice, building a product or service that can cut through the noise is crucial — but trying to manufacture the results won’t get you anywhere. Instead, focus on the process and channel your creativity, just like these four companies did.

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Video Marketing

2020 Video Trends & Usage: Consumption is up 120% During COVID-19

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The COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted the way the world works — including how businesses function and how employees do their jobs. Here at Wistia, we immediately noticed an uptick in content creation and video engagement this March when the pandemic began to sweep the nation.

Now, several months into this “new normal,” we’re ready to pull back the curtain and share some data and trends from our platform in true Wistia fashion. After all, we do have a track record of being super transparent with our business decisions, successes, and even the occasional flop.

Below, we’ve outlined the top three trends related to video engagement that we’ve seen during the pandemic and tips for how to use this information to implement a more strategic video plan this year. All data referenced is compared to Wistia data pulled from the prior year, 2019. Let’s dive in!

Video consumption is more ubiquitous than ever — and our data clearly supports this trend.

Before March of 2020, Wistia saw an 18% increase in hours watched per week from 2019 to 2020. Hours watched represents the average number of hours of video content consumed per week across all of our customers.

We started 2019 with an average of 2.2M hours watched per week. This increased to an average of 2.6M hours at the beginning of 2020.

Since early March of 2020, we’ve seen a year over year increase of 120%. The average weekly hours watched increased drastically from 2.6M to 4.6M — peaking at 5.7M during the week of April 27th.

This increase means that people are watching more video content on our platform than ever before.

Additionally, before March of 2020, Wistia saw a 31% increase in weekly video plays from 2019 to 2020. This represents the number of times a video was played in a given week.

The number of average weekly video plays was 1.6M at the beginning of 2019, which increased to 2.1M at the beginning of 2020.

Since early March, that number has increased by 65% compared to the same time last year. This means that viewers are actively engaging with video content at a much higher rate than they were before the pandemic.

This increase in engagement has created a huge opportunity for SMBs to connect with consumers through well-marketed content. How can you engage your audience with video? From video voicemails for personalized sales outreach to teaser videos on social media — the options are only limited to your imagination. If you’re looking for where to get started, check out these 15 business video examples for inspiration.

Many organizations and industries have pivoted to relying heavily on video for communication and other essential business functions, which has leveled the playing field for SMBs.

Quarantine and work-from-home mandates have forced marketers and non-marketers alike to become creators and embrace constraints to produce great work — and many have realized that you don’t need a professional set up to produce high-quality video and audio content. Just look at Saturday Night Live — a highly planned and produced comedy show that pivoted to creating the entire weekly show from home.

Businesses have embraced these challenges with video content from home, conveying a level of authenticity that’s been quite welcomed. This trend of making video more accessible has led to an increase in the total volume of video uploaded to Wistia.

Before March of 2020, Wistia saw a 42% increase in weekly video uploads from 2019 to 2020. This number averaged 121K at the beginning of 2019 and increased to 172K at the beginning of 2020.

Since early March, the year over year increase has jumped to 120%. We’re now seeing an average of 280K videos uploaded to Wistia each week.

If you’ve been considering dipping your toes into the video waters, there’s no time like the present. Check out our free Beginner’s Guide to Video Production series to get started.

Small business leaders are some of the savviest and most resourceful leaders out there. When an opportunity comes knocking, they answer the door.

Before March of 2020, Wistia saw a 17% increase in weekly account creations from 2019 to 2020. This number averaged 2.9K at the beginning of 2019 and increased to 3.4K at the beginning of 2020.

Since early March, the year over year increase has jumped to 85%. We’re now seeing an average of 5K Wistia accounts created each week.

When signing up for Wistia’s services, a majority of small business leaders have noted they have more of a need to store and share videos since the pandemic began. These types of customers tend to be starting their video marketing program from scratch, recognizing that every business moving forward will have some aspect of digital engagement.

For example, SMBs can now host well-produced virtual events that are much more affordable and easy to execute compared to a live, in-person event. From small-scale webinars to large-scale conferences, we’ve seen the full spectrum of virtual events.

In addition to events, many companies are getting creative with how they reach their audiences. We’ve seen an uptick in sales teams using video as an outreach and communications tool versus in-person meetings. We’ve also seen creators of all kinds — school teachers, exercise instructors, entertainers, and more adopt a video-first strategy.

Creativity doesn’t stop just because marketers are working from home. As we create a new future, brands are in a position to reach their audiences in new and authentic ways.

Our data confirms that marketers are working harder than ever to create content that is appealing to their consumers–meeting them where they are through well-executed video content.

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