The folks at HubSpot, an inbound marketing and sales platform, have just published their eighth annual State of Inbound Report. And the big news is buried on Page 44 of the 65-page long report: Inbound marketers see YouTube and Facebook video as the future of marketing! And this future also includes Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine!
Now, most video marketers will shrug their shoulders and say, “We’ve known that video is the future of marketing for years.” But, take a closer look and who HubSpot surveyed. They are marketers in B2B, B2C, small, and mid-sized businesses. Half of the companies represented generate under $1 million each year. And HubSpot was able to get 4,500 respondents from over 132 countries. So, this is a big freaking deal.
Video & Content Marketing
If video marketers aren’t familiar with the concept of inbound marketing, it’s a term that was coined back in 2005 by Brian Halligan, the CEO and co-founder of HubSpot. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, Halligan says inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and product. The concept started with blogging, which is why one of the questions that the 2016 State of Inbound Report asks is: “How long does it typically take you or someone in marketing to write a 500-word blog post?” (The answers range from under 1 hour to over 4 hours. More significantly, only 42% of blog posts are 500 words or less long. Another 42% are 501 to 1,000 words long. And some are 1,001 to 1,500 words long or longer.)
Unlike most YouTube creators or media companies, inbound marketers aren’t trying to build a large consumer audience that will be monetized by selling advertising to brands and agencies. According to HubSpot, inbound marketers are more likely to work for small businesses or B2B companies that deal with high dollar values, long research cycles and knowledge-based products. They are more interested in aligning the content they publish with their customer’s interests, attracting inbound traffic naturally that they can then convert, close, and delight over time.
And while inbound marketers may be late to the digital video dance, they have a very clear picture of what the future of marketing will look like. HubSpot asked them, “What content distribution channels do you plan to add to your marketing efforts in the next 12 months?” And 48% said YouTube, 39% said Facebook video, 33% said Instagram, 20% said messaging apps, 15% said podcasts, 13% said Snapchat, 8% said Medium, 5% said Slack, 5% said Vine, and 5% said other.
According to the report, the biggest takeaway, is this: “Marketers are thinking hard about decentralised content. Many are experimenting with taking their content to new channels; this is a fairly new tactic that few have mastered, but many are working on.
In our survey, marketers clearly are accounting for video content’s rising popularity among global online browsers, with 48% planning on using YouTube and 39% looking to use Facebook video.
With such a large number of respondents, HubSpot can drill down into data and still get an accurate picture of what different segments think about the future of marketing. For example, inbound marketers in North America (NAM) are the least enthusiastic about video content, with only 35% saying they’ll use YouTube as a channel and 28% saying they’ll use Facebook video. By comparison, 56% of their counterparts Latin America (LATAM) say they’ll use YouTube and 50% say they’ll use Facebook video. When it come plans on leveraging YouTube and Facebook video in the future, inbound marketers in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ), Southeast Asia (SEA), and Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) are somewhere in between.