Skip to content

Start Smart, Scale Up, and Stand Out With Video


Have you heard? Video on the web is popular. OK, I state the obvious – but video has truly emerged to become both a huge opportunity and challenge for brands in their content marketing efforts. In terms of how big the opportunity is for B2B marketers in particular, consider that a study by Forbes and Google found that 75% of senior executives watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly.

And these videos drive action. In that same study, Forbes and Google found that 65% of those executives have visited the provider’s website after watching a video.

Furthermore, 53% conducted a search for the solution after watching a video. The biggest challenge, of course, is that the success and popularity of video isn’t a secret to anyone. Brands not only compete with other marketing videos but with every other type of video uploaded to the web. Google, the parent company of YouTube, estimates that more than 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

The number of platforms for video consumption is growing as well, with mobile video becoming huge. Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2015 found that video accounts for 55% of all mobile traffic. That’s up almost 10% in just three years.

CMI’s own research found that nearly 80% of B2B companies are using some form of video in their content marketing. This percentage has been steadily increasing over the last three years (70% in 2013, 73% in 2014, and 76% in 2015).

So, how do today’s marketers rise above the noise? As we started to explore this question, three overarching challenges emerged:

  1. How do businesses empower themselves to create videos (cost effectively) in the first place?
  1. Once businesses are creating videos, how do they scale this ability across the business?
  1. Once businesses have a functional process for creating videos, how do they use this new skill to differentiate the content they’re producing?

In short, how do marketers start smart, scale up, and stand out by using video as an intelligent piece of a content marketing approach?

Well begun is half done

To address this question, we decided not to look at how marketers use videos post production, but rather how they go about creating them. We chose to examine that because many marketers have told us that one of the biggest barriers to using video in their content marketing is simply getting started. Our hypothesis was that in order to achieve success with videos as a content marketing tactic, businesses must first develop new competencies and distinct processes for creating those videos.

The results were really interesting and illuminated some of the best practices around creating video. Specifically, we examine the difference between those marketers who have found success with their video-creation processes and those who are struggling with them.

Discover all that CMI learned about video creation as a successful content marketing tactic with this white paper Start Smart, Scale Up, and Stand Out With Video.

The research suggests a promising future for brands that take the creation of video seriously. When we synthesized the findings, some interesting patterns emerged. By combining those patterns with the experience we’ve gained through our work with brands using video successfully, we developed three themes for success:

  1. Invest in the process – not just the output.

The research suggests that developing an institutional process and expertise for the creation of videos – regardless of whether the actual execution is outsourced – can be truly beneficial in determining success.

  1. Develop specific measurement plans for video.

We discovered that the companies having success in developing successful video-creation processes also had specific measurement plans around the use of video. As part of the best practices, we suggest a high-level framework that may be helpful in getting started.

  1. Use the competency of quality to drive quantity.

It seems intuitive, but it’s worth noting that those businesses that start slowly and focus on quality have a much better capability to later produce higher-quality videos in greater quantities. The takeaway here is that it’s important to get good at creating video first – and then focus on how to scale it.

As I mentioned in the introduction, nearly two-thirds of the B2B respondents to CMI’s annual content marketing survey who use videos say videos are effective at helping them meet their content marketing objectives.

However, this success assumes that the business was capable of creating videos in the first place. What the recent research illuminated for us was that creating video isn’t rocket science relegated to only a small number of highly skilled artists and technicians in Hollywood or New York City. It is simply another content type that needs to be adopted and practiced. Brands that are successful with video experiment with it more frequently and get better at it over time. If the business can get over the “fear of flying” with video, it would appear that practice does, indeed, make perfect.

Are you ready for your close-up? Find out with our new research on video creation.

Looking to score big points with your target audience? CMI’s 2016 Content Marketing Playbook has tips, insights, and ideas that can help increase your success with 24 of the top content marketing tactics.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute