Today we get to find out a little bit more about how today's marketers are employing video in their business, courtesy of a fascinating new study.  The study is from King Fish Media, Hubspot, and Junta 42, and you can see the full report here—there's a quick registration process you need to complete before you'll be allowed through to see the e-book, but it's free.

The aim of the study was to determine the many ways that marketers are using video, and which of those uses is most prominent.  More than half the respondents work in a business whose primary industry is advertising and marketing—people like you and me.  The rest of the polling group were scattered across a variety of other industries.

You might be surprised by some of the findings, so let's dive in:

Social Media Usage

  • 75% of the companies included in the survey have a social media strategy.  Half of me thinks that's about right, and half of me wonders who these people are in the 25%
  • 75% of respondents say their companies will increase investment in social media marketing over the coming year.
  • 20% of them are redirecting funds from other, more traditional marketing strategies, to keep up with customers who are switching to social media.  So… they're maybe buying fewer radio or magazine ads and are using that money for social media.
  • 85% handle their own social media marketing with in-house staffers, as opposed to hiring consultants like you and me.  Seems like a whole lot of potential customers for us are hiding in that 85% number.
  • Only 30% have run an ad campaign on a social media site.
  • A shockingly high number of respondents have never done any kind of ROI measurement—43%.  Yikes.
  • Respondents are using social media with a variety of intentions, with customer relations being the number one reason.  Here are the rest:

Education Is The #1 Reason Marketers Use Website Video social media objectives

Video Usage-Overview

  • Only 50% are using video content with social media campaigns
  • 87% are using LinkedIn, and 84% are using a Twitter account.  Holy cow.  Facebook is second, at 78%.  65% have a company blog.  YouTube is all the way down in 5th place, with only 47% of respondents using the video service for marketing.  Again, room for growth.  Serious room for growth.  In fact, the study gives numbers for which social media services respondents plan to use more in the future, and YouTube is number one, with 53% saying they're planning on adding it to their marketing efforts.  (MySpace, you'll be glad to know, is at the bottom of the list, pulling only 9%).  Here's a screenshot of the breakdown:

Education Is The #1 Reason Marketers Use Website Video YouTube Usage1

  • Only 35% of respondents have a YouTube Channel.
  • Video is the third most-used type of content in social media campaigns, behind "branded content you create" and "expert content.”
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How Video Is Used

Education Is The #1 Reason Marketers Use Website Video Uses For Video

  • 61% use video on their company website, while 56% use video sharing sites like YouTube.  I am a little surprised to see so many hosting videos on their own site.
  • The number one reason marketers use video is education—specifically the education of customers about the company's products and services—a whopping 72%.  The second most common use of video—"bringing company employees and executives to life" is all the way down at 34%.  I'm curious to know how these uses of video are defined.  Would a standard commercial count as "education about your products and services?”  How about a product demo?  Testimonials?Regardless, it looks like the top two uses—educating customers and bringing employees to life—are directly related to marketing, where the rest of the list is comprised of other business uses for video—like replacing web casts, or replacing email and in-person meetings.   I expect to see those "other business uses" to jump in the coming years, as more and more companies follow IBM's lead in embracing video as an internal communication tool.


It's easy to get caught up in this online marketing world we inhabit.  I write about YouTube practically every day, so for me the site is integral to any sound business strategy.  But studies like this help bring me back down to Earth by showing me how many companies are still not using YouTube.  It's especially sobering considering how many of the respondents work primarily in the advertising and marketing realm.  And yet YouTube seems poised for growth, with so many planning to use it more in the coming year.

In terms of purposes, education is one area that everyone seems to think video can help.  Education about the industry, the company, the individuals, or the products.  Video can tell a story that images and text alone cannot—we all know this already, but it's good to see so many social-media-savvy businesses agree.  However, I think video will begin to replace a lot of other "old-school" business practices and standards such as staff meetings, collaborations, even documentation.  We've only scratched the surface of how video is going to change business.  I'm already looking forward to seeing a future installment of this same study, to watch how the numbers change, because I think the results could be wildly different even as close as a year out.

How do you use video?  Is education your top priority?  Or is it something else entirely?  I'd be curious to see how closely ReelSEO's readers (and their customers) match up with the survey respondents.

  • Dani from Sparkeo

    Hi Scott,

    Great post!

    I think video will change everything in the future as part of a more interactive and warm approach to users. I am sure that soon people will learn through videos, and education as we know it will be just a memory.

    As you mentioned about video replacing old-school business practices, I think that video will change all the "old-school" practices, with the right tools and the right incentives for those who have the knowledge to share, sell, or distribute.

    We are living in very exciting times where knowledge is spread all over and it's up to us to make the best out of this great opportunity.

  • Partha Bhattacharya

    I'll replace 'education' with 'information'. Your article, Jeremy, proves that the primary need of a web visitor remains what it has since the inception of the net - to know and educate oneself. To this, as time passes, will get added 'communication' and 'entertainment', but I suppose education/information will continue to be the main driver of online video.

    For me, I'm glad that my main business is also about education (teaching online video production), and I've every reason to stick to the path for the foreseeable future.

  • gerryoginski

    Using video as an educational tool is the absolute best way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. Shhh...don't tell your competitors or colleagues, they might just jump on the video bandwagon and start educating their consumers! Wow. Wouldn't that be nice.

    I personally use video to educate my potential consumers about how lawsuits work in the state of New York. Viewers love this information because not many people provide this online. When you educate an online viewer there are other significant benefits as well.

    If you provide goo content, you will be viewed as an expert of whatever goods or services you are providing. All other online content is then judged against what you provided in your video since you have set a benchmark for a viewer to now judge all other content.

  • Adam Peterson

    "I write about YouTube practically every day, so for me the site is integral to any sound business strategy. But studies like this help bring me back down to Earth by showing me how many companies are still not using YouTube. It’s especially sobering considering how many of the respondents work primarily in the advertising and marketing realm."

    In my experience, many companies have not used YouTube because though it has many strengths like SEO and the ability to generate some awareness, there are some downsides that have held certain marketers back. In B2B companies, there are hesitations because a certain percentage of their customers block YouTube. Furthermore, marketers I've interacted with recognize that posting a video on YouTube has limited benefit - YouTube's revenue model is that of trying to distract the viewer from watching their video by providing related videos potentially more interesting to the viewer, so the viewers ends up getting "sucked in" to YouTube until they click on an ad. There is also the issue that embedding a YouTube video on your website will redirect the viewer away from the website if the viewer clicks the video to pause it.

    I agree that there will be significant growth in the use of video for marketing and sales, and I'm sure YouTube will be remain the most popular platform, however, I believe many companies will choose to also use other platforms, depending on the purpose of the video. Jeremy, would you agree?

  • Bob Sandidge

    Thanks for this Jeremy. The BIG message I get from this is how much potential exists. We are so at the very small end of this wave. As a professional media producer I'm always amazed at how few businesses understand the cost effectiveness and power of media in education, information and marketing.

  • Grant Crowell

    I would presume "education on products and services" includes tips which end users can accomplish a desired goal, while demonstrating the accomplishment of that goal by using their products and/or services). The way it's phrased categorically just makes it sound like a stoic informational objective, is all.

    I myself was a instructor for one semester at a community college, teaching digital project management. I had the opportunity to attend a seminar in Washington D.C. back in 2008, with the American Association of Community Colleges. Some of the presenters were already demonstrating the educational benefits of online video and had the beginnings of web video lecturing series in place. (That's also an area of emphasis at the Streaming Media Conferences – not just for academia, but for job training.)

    Unfortunately at my own college, they were and still appear to be well behind the times. They have a conference room and a video department, but no actual online video education program – either hosted or via YouTube, or iTunes U., or any social network site. Some of the teachers do it on their own, but they have no support from the trustees or executive management. And without direction, most of the valuable education is "dust in the wind."