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You have probably heard it already, but in 2021, video traffic will account for 82% of all Internet traffic. Billions of videos and millions of hours are being watched as we speak on Snapchat or Facebook.
One third of the top 100 SaaS companies are producing videos regularly. All of them upload those videos to YouTube, 64% of this third are sending the videos to Facebook as well.
Video marketing will continue being a huge trend in 2018. Companies will continue investing time and money to produce more videos even though it demands more resources than writing a blog post.
Live video will soon account for 13% of the total video traffic. Facebook Live and YouTube Live have contributed by making it so easy to both consume and produce.
From a webinar and web conferencing standpoint, we've seen the same trend: it's now easier to produce webinars/meetings, and they're much easier to attend.
There are two main reasons explaining this: usage and technology. People are getting used to attending webinars and have most of the constraints in mind: network, speed, browsers, etc. At the same time, the video technology landscape on the Web is evolving very fast, producing and sending a live stream is getting easier.
It's also easier to build a live video app: what used to be one of the most difficult things is now smoother thanks to numerous APIs, SDKS, etc. The fact that video vendors are providing more solutions is definitely an answer to an increasing demand.
If technology and usage grow in pairs, the main differentiation between platforms are going to switch from core tech (e.g "Which platform has the best/most reliable technology for my webinars?") to something more focussed on the webinar/meeting itself and the experience you can bring.
Finding a use case, a niche, building a better UX, etc. will be the new factor of differentiation. Platforms are getting better, now it's time to make them smart.
The fact that the technology is becoming a less relevant factor of differentiation means less barriers, which means even more new players emerging in 2018.
From a marketer perspective, the more focused your message, the better. The more energy you spend on your brand, the more you will stand out.
2018 will definitely be the year of product and marketing.
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This is the dfinition of the WebRTC technology from their official portal:
WebRTC is a free, open project that provides browsers and mobile applications with Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple APIs. The WebRTC components have been optimized to best serve this purpose.
The evolutions for WebRTC in 2018
This is the technology that enables us to provide a live, real-time webinar or meeting with video, audio, and screen sharing. Without anyone having to download/install anything.
WebRTC has been growing super fast in 2017 and the support for the technology has been dramatically improved. Now, the main blockers are the internal battles regarding the different codecs for video (A1 vs. VP8 vs. H264).
Which means that:
We can expect a better support for WebRTC in 2018, but it won't be fully operational yet on every browsers and mobile devices. And definitely not on older browsers (past versions of IE).
In June, Adobe has announced, that it will finally stop supporting its Flash Player browser plug-in by the end of 2020. Most browsers and platforms like Facebook have also announced what would happen during that transition for us developers.
Basically, Flash is no longer a technology that vendors and their customers can rely on.
Amazon has announced the launch of new products within the AWS ecosystem focused on live streaming as well. This is also a great signal for developers willing to build features or products around live streaming. Now, the technology is currently not focusing on real-time streaming but rather on larger broadcasts with latency.
Regarding videos (which can be recordings of live streams by the way), big media companies like Buzzfeed or Vice will keep investing in that channel. Even if the production cost is higher, the demand for video is increasing.
This means that from a marketing standpoint you will get more competition. Therefore, quality of production, content and distribution will have a bigger impact on your results. And we'll see increasing demand in hiring specific roles for this among marketing teams.
The space is getting crowded but the ROI still justifies the means.
Advertising will be a great driver for video marketing since the medium shows a greater engagement rate which will automatically increases ROI on display advertising.
Now that's the big question. What should YOU do?
Nothing new here, this is what we have been saying since day one. Be consistent. Companies that have greater results with webinars (either for sales or training) are hosting webinars every 1.5 weeks.
The length of your webinars is irrelevant, there is no correlation between results and the duration. What really matters is engagement and focus, people tend to lose focus past 30 minutes. So keep things between 25 to 35 minutes, this will allow you to give more in the minimum time.
Segment your audience to find the relevant segment you wish to target each 1.5 weeks and send a batch of invites.
Also, embed your upcoming events on your website and add links to your upcoming webinars in your email campaigns. This will help you drive get long tail registrations on your website. Here's an article with some webinar promotion strategies you may find interesting.
Here are some facts that will guide you:
They are many different kinds of webinars, you could host demo or training webinars or even a one-off webinar on a given subject with an expert.
The recordings of those live streams are worth sharing, because they will fit the needs of your leads or customers at some point.
You just have to figure when and where it makes sense to share those videos.
Based on the facts we saw above, here are some ideas for your video marketing strategy in 2018:
Reuse that expert webinar recording
Reuse your training webinars
Here's an example I find very interesting from our friends at Helpscout:
They provide recordings of their webinars as "classes" to learn how to use their solution.
You can do the same and go a bit further by:
Misc pro tips from our experience
Along the way we've seen and experienced many different situations when sharing videos.
Here a few tips:
To "pre-warm" your attendees you can edit a past webinar recording (similar to your upcoming webinar), and create a very short trailer of less than 2 minutes you can share on Facebook Video Ads. The ad will send the traffic to your live webinar page.
Also, make sure to always add a watermark on your video when editing. Something small and discrete in the bottom right corner for example. This way, even if your video is out of context (e.g shared on Facebook by someone else) you keep your brand visible. An intro with a motion graphic is also a good idea.