The State of Video in Boston

A deep-dive into how tech companies in Boston are using videos

By Dhruv Chempakasseril, Customer Lead @ Vidvision

With staggering statistics predicting that video content will claim over 80% of web traffic by 2019, it’s no coincidence that marketers have flocked towards the increasingly accessible medium. To try and gauge the state of video marketing and see how it is being deployed, I decided to take a look at tech companies in the Boston area.

Why tech companies, you ask?

Tech companies have indisputably proven themselves to be at the forefront of innovation — whether looking at their actual products or, in this case, their marketing. I figured that breaking down how these companies used video would give a pretty good snapshot of what the general trends in video marketing look like.

And why in the Boston area?

I’m living in Boston right now and wanted to learn about companies in the area.

Any other questions? Good. Let’s get started.

Methodology

I searched through CrunchBase and AngelList and compiled a list of tech companies located in the Boston area.

I checked the websites of these companies and removed those that didn’t have video content on their websites. 134 companies remained.

For each company I noted:

  1. The amount of funding raised
  2. The company’s size
  3. The company’s industry
  4. The video hosting site the company used
  5. The location of the video on the site
  6. The purpose of the video

And finally…

I compiled the above criteria and separated the companies into different groups based on how they fit into each category

This took a while.

Breakdown of companies I looked at based upon industry and funding raised.

Video Hosting

Results

The results concerning which site the businesses used to host their videos were particularly interesting, with YouTube as the clear winner in this space. The division of the 134 companies is detailed in the pie chart below.

Analysis

YouTube’s big showing in this investigation was unsurprising due to the huge strides the media giant has made in improving video quality and loading times over the past few years — two areas where the company has lagged behind in historically. Coupling this improvement with the website’s instant brand recognition and ability to drive viewership, YouTube makes a convincing argument as a hosting site.

Vimeo and Wistia shared a relatively similar portion of the pie. Both boasting ad-free content, higher quality communities than YouTube, and easy-to-access video analytics, the two services seem ideal for businesses who want to provide the most polished looking content possible (AKA all businesses).

Wait a second, then why did the two get beaten by YouTube so badly?

I think that it boils down to one major factor: traffic.

YouTube is the third most popular site on the web, is the second largest search engine, and when used in conjunction with Google AdWords, has an incredible ability to push videos to the top of Google’s search results. I think you get the picture; YouTube can direct traffic towards video content SUPER effectively. Vimeo and Wistia are simply beat in this area.

Vidyard and self-hosting sites are the least common options.

In the case of Vidyard, the hosting site is definitely an unbelievably polished platform, but it ultimately fails in the same way that Wistia and Vimeo do.

In the case of self-hosting, it just isn’t a very good option. Self-hosting is a poor way to generate traffic, can be difficult to implement on a website, and often causes problems with video playback on the viewers’ end. There are some positives to self-hosting such as not having to give data to another platform and having total control over the video player, but they don’t quite outweigh their large drawbacks.

Video Placement

Results

The results for the location of the companies’ video is split into two categories: main page and other. The term “main page” refers to a website’s home page, while the term “other” refers to any part of the website that isn’t the home page.

Analysis

I came up with this metric to try and evaluate how much the businesses valued their video content. Companies that place a video on their main page likely believe that video is an important part of explaining their mission or product. Companies that put their videos on other pages, on the other hand, are more likely to see their content as supplementary information that viewers can look at if they decide to explore the website.

With this in mind, it makes a lot of sense that nearly two-thirds of the companies decided to place their video on the main page. Video content — especially good video content — is HARD to make! It takes more time, money, and resources to produce than any other medium of content display. If a company is going to invest that much in a video it better have important information to convey. And what better place to display important content than on a website’s front page?

Video Content

Results

It was a lot of fun checking out the different ways that companies used video. I decided to split what I saw into three categories: demos, testimonials, and introductions.

The demo category consists of product demos that explain how the business’s product is used. Testimonials consist of customers explaining how awesome a product is. And, introductions are a bit broader than the other two and consist of any content that I considered as a brief overview of the product or that effectively served as a pitch.

Analysis

This data gives a snapshot into the minds of the marketers at the companies. The usage of video as introductory material by nearly two-thirds of companies points to the notion that video is really effective in giving a quick snapshot of product details.

This helps drive home a bigger point. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video has to be worth at least ten thousand. Videos help companies explain complicated information in a way that is engaging, easy-to-understand, and concise.

Walls of text, I bid you a farewell!

So here are my final take-aways:

  1. YouTube is still king — The company had a very strong showing against its two biggest competitors, Wistia and Vimeo.
  2. Video is homepage-worthy content — The decision by nearly two-thirds of the companies to post their video content on their home page indicates that many businesses value their video.
  3. A video is worth ten thousand words — Video content is an effective way to explain complicated ideas.

About Vidvision: Vidvision helps marketers generate leads from their video content.

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