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The Beginner’s Guide to the Competitive Matrix [Template]

Have you ever been playing a game and had to look around to check out the competition?

Whether you currently own or you’re looking to start your own business, you need to do the same thing. Luckily, there’s a methodical way to do that: by conducting a competitive analysis and creating a competitive matrix.

A competitive matrix will help you identify your competitors and lay out their products, sales, and marketing strategies in a visual format. By doing this, you’ll learn where you’re positioned in the market, how to differentiate yourself from your competition, and how to improve upon your processes so you can beat them in the marketplace.

Below, you’ll learn what a competitive matrix is and review some templates and examples.

Competitor Matrix Types

Before you dive into the world of competitive matrices, it’s important to understand that there are different types you can use to compare your company to your competitors:

SWOT analysis
Competitive Advantage Matrix
Competitive Profile Matrix
Sales Matrix
Product Feature and Benefit Matrix
Price Matrix

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis is a technique used to assess how your business compares to its competitors. The acronym stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It analyzes internal and external factors that affect the current and future potential of your business. By identifying these elements, you create a space to capitalize on your strengths, improve your weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities, and eliminate threats.

If your company has an excellent profit record, this is a strength. If your company offers a small variety of products to its customers, this could be seen as a weakness. How do you determine what information goes into your SWOT analysis? Below are some questions you can use to guide you.

Strength Questions

The following questions should help you discover where your company excels. This information will help you attract and draw in new customers as well as maintain existing ones.

What are your assets?

What is your unique selling proposition?

Do you have a strong customer base?

What resources do you have?

What makes you better than your competitors?

What do your customers like about your product/services?

Weakness Questions

It’s difficult for your organization to improve if you have no system to determine your weaknesses. To remain competitive within your industry, you need to discover these faults to correct them.

What do your customers dislike about your products/services?

What areas do your competitors have an advantage in?

Do you or your employees lack knowledge or skill?

What resources do you lack?

Are you making enough profit?

Opportunity Questions

Keeping an eye on your competition is necessary; however, watching for available opportunities will give your business a competitive advantage. These opportunities can come from both monitoring your competitors as well as industry trends.

What are the current trends?
What is the market missing?
Is there available talent that you could hire?
Are your competitors failing to satisfy their customers?
Is your target market changing in a way that could help you?

Threat Questions

Threats can come up within a business at any time. These can be internal or external factors that potentially harm your company and its operations. Identifying these threats will help your business run efficiently.

Who are your competitors?
Has there been an increase in your competition?
What are the obstacles you are currently facing?
Are your employees satisfied with their pay and benefits?
Are government regulations going to affect you?
Is there a product on the market that will make yours outdated?

As demonstrated by these questions, a SWOT analysis matrix can help your company identify elements that are often overlooked.

Competitive Advantage Matrix

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A competitive advantage matrix analyzes your company’s competitive advantage by assessing volume production and differentiation. Its purpose is to determine how your company can grow.

This matrix has two axes — vertical and horizontal. The vertical axis evaluates the number of opportunities available for achieving a competitive advantage, while the horizontal axis measures the potential size of the competitive advantage. Using this information, the competitive advantage matrix is segmented into four boxes:

Stalemate – Few advantages with small potential
Volume – Few advantages with great potential
Fragmented – Many advantages with small potential
Specialized – Many advantages with great potential

Using this information gives you the tools to determine where your competitive advantage comes from.

Competitive Profile Matrix

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A competitive profile matrix is a tool your company can use to directly compare your strengths and weaknesses to industry competitors. For this matrix, you will use four elements: critical success factor, weight, rating, and score.

Critical success factors are areas that will determine your success. Examples are brand reputation, range of products, customer retention, and sales per employee. Once you have selected these factors, you will assign a weight. This is a measure of their importance, ranging from 0.0 (low importance) to 1.0 (high importance). Each factor should have its own weight, as each varies in importance. Avoid assigning a weight of 0.3 or more, as most industries are determined by many factors. This high value can decrease the number of factors you’re able to list in your matrix. When assigning weight, make sure the sum of all weights equals 1.0.

The third step is to rate your company and its competitors from 1 to 4 in each critical success factor. Rate:

1 – Major weakness

2 – Minor weakness

3 – Minor strength

4 – Major strength

The final step is to calculate the score. First, evaluate each critical success factor by multiplying the weight by the rating. Once this has been done for all, add each company’s score for the total score. This, when compared to your competitors, will show if you’re behind the curve, ahead of the curve, or on par with the industry.

Sales Matrix

A sales matrix is a tool used to help gauge the urgency and viability of sales opportunities. It evaluates potential customers’ interest in your business against their fit for your product or service.

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Imagine focusing all your efforts on a potential customer. You send content and numerous promotions only to discover that they aren’t interested in your company and are a bad fit. It’s unlikely you’ll get that sale, and it feels like time wasted. Now, imagine giving all that energy to someone interested and a good fit. The sale becomes a lot more likely. A sales matrix uses interest and fits to help you decide how much attention to give your potential clients at any given time.

Product Feature and Benefit Matrix

The product feature and benefits matrix evaluates how your offer matches customer needs. It’s weighted by its importance versus its perceived distinction or advantage. When using this matrix, your features fall into the following categories:

Irrelevant – Low importance and low distinction
Overinvested – Low importance and high distinction
Key liabilities – Low importance and high distinction
Key differentiators – High importance and high distinction

This information tells you what features to keep, what features to get rid of, and where you might be able to save money. Consider an iPad. Say Apple spends a large portion of the manufacturing budget to produce a high-quality camera, only to find out that most users don’t even use it. The camera has a high perceived distinction, yet it’s of low importance to iPad users. This information would tell Apple that they overinvested in this feature and could potentially reduce it to save costs in the future.

Price Matrix

A price matrix is a tool used to define product costs, features, and tiers. It allows you to determine how much you will charge for specific levels of service. Unlike the other matrices on this list, a price matrix is a customer-facing competitive matrix type. You are creating it for your potential customer.

When building your price matrix, start with your tiers. It’s common to lay out two or three levels. Once you’ve named them, create a short description. Depending on the industry, you might find it easier to include a few features associated with the category. Once you do, list the prices. If not, create a call-to-action (CTA) for your potential customer to contact you for a quote.

Remember, as you build your tiers, the price will go up with each one. To stay on par with the perceived value, ensure you offer additional features or benefits to justify the cost.

The Benefits of Competitive Matrices

Essentially, you can use a competitive matrix to compare any characteristics of your company with a competitor.

Sometimes these matrices will be more visual in nature (a plotted graph), but sometimes it’s just an Excel document with the information listed in columns.

The goal of the competitive matrix is to see at a glance the competitive landscape and your position in the marketplace. This will help you see gaps in the marketplace and hone in on your unique value proposition.

Perhaps, after looking at a competitive matrix, you brainstorm new product ideas or new tools or features that you hadn’t considered before. Or maybe you come out of it with a ton of ideas on how to improve your content marketing strategy.

Regardless, you can use a competitive matrix for a lot of reasons. You can use it to develop new ideas, or you can use it to train sales staff on how to differentiate your company from the competition.

After figuring out what you’re going to do with the information, make sure you write down your ideas, develop KPIs, and regularly conduct this analysis to stay up to date with your strategy.

Now that you know what a competitive matrix is and how to use one, let’s review some templates you can use for your own strategy.

 

Competitive Matrix Templates

Competitive matrices are used to facilitate the process of comparing your business with other industry competitors. They help you take advantage of strengths and opportunities, while identifying weaknesses and threats before they become detrimental. Ultimately, a competitive matrix is an industry-analysis tool that makes your life easier. To make the process even easier, use the following competitive matrix templates.

1. Two-Feature Competitive Landscape Chart

One type of competitive matrix you can do is a simple comparison of features. You can use this information to plot where your company is compared to competitors.

The features could be something like price or customization potential. Then, you’d place the logos of each company (including yours) on the graph, depending on how well a company executes a certain feature. The point of this matrix is to visualize who does what better, so you can see what you have to work on and how to differentiate yourself against the competition.

Download this Template

2. Content Marketing Analysis Template

As a content marketer, this is my favorite template. With this, you can compare social media followers, blog strategy, email strategy, SEO, etc. This will help you decide where you need to focus your content strategy. Should you place emphasis on Twitter rather than Facebook? If you download this template, it also includes a graph and more strategies to analyze.

Download this Template

3. SWOT Analysis Template

A basic competitive matrix is the SWOT analysis. Conducting a SWOT analysis will help you identify areas where you could improve. You should conduct a SWOT analysis for yourself and your competition. Knowing what weaknesses your competition has will help your sales reps and help you make improvements in those areas.

Download this Template

4. Review Tracker

A review tracker matrix will help you see at a glance the types of reviews you get versus your competitors. It’s important not to forget about reviews because they can have a significant impact on a business. With this template, you can also use a scoring system to normalize the averages.

Download this Template

After reviewing those templates, it’s time to see what a competitive matrix looks like in action. Here are some examples below.

Competitive Matrix Examples

1. HubSpot

This is a public HubSpot competitive matrix comparing the overall pricing of our CRM versus Salesforce. It’s a standard matrix meant to help people see the difference between the CRMs at a glance.

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2. SugarSync

This is a great example of what a feature matrix might look like. SugarSync compares its feature offerings against the competition in an easy-to-understand visualization.

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3. 360iResearch

In this example, 360iResearch reports on survey management software. This is a competitor grid showing which companies have the best product satisfaction and business strategy.

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No competition, no progress.

Innately, competition feels unpleasant; however, that’s not all it has to be. It can lead to growth and make you look deeper into your business to find ways to improve. Competitive matrices are great tools to help you uncover how you’re different from your competitors. They show areas of improvement and where you excel. If you’re having trouble evaluating your company’s position in your industry, use this article and the above tools to help.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in January 2021 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How Full-Cycle Recruiting Can Improve Your Recruitment Process

Job vacancies can cost a company an average of $500 per day.

Companies can save money, improve the quality of their hires, eliminate communication gaps, and increase accountability during the recruitment process by implementing a full-cycle recruitment strategy.

The full-cycle recruitment process is managed by a single full-cycle recruiter or full-cycle recruiting agency.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process

The full-cycle recruiting process includes six stages: preparing, sourcing, screening, selecting, hiring, and onboarding.

Preparing

The first stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the preparing stage. A recruiter will begin this stage by working with a hiring manager to identify a hiring need and create a persona — a fictionalized profile of your company’s ideal candidate.

During the next step of the preparing stage, the recruiter and hiring manager will determine how much compensation a candidate will be offered. This information will be used to create a job posting that includes an overview of the role, responsibilities, salary range, benefits, and information about the company.

Sourcing

After creating a persona and job posting, a recruiter will use word-of-mouth, internal recruiting, employee referrals, social media, job boards, or career websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find jobseekers that fit the ideal candidate persona.

Screening

After finding potential candidates, a recruiter will carefully review applicants’ resumes and cover letters with the help of HR software. Then, the recruiter will perform a phone screen or on-demand interview.

For most talent acquisition leaders, resume screening is the most time-consuming and challenging part of recruitment.

Selecting

After screening and shortlisting candidates, the recruiter will determine which candidate is the best fit for the role by conducting face-to-face or virtual interviews.

A recruiter will ask candidates in-depth questions to learn more about their professional background and qualifications during a face-to-face interview. The recruiter may also have candidates complete writing assignments or a series of tasks to prove they are a good choice for the position.

Once the recruiter selects the best candidate, they will check the candidate’s references or order a background check.

Hiring

The hiring stage is the most important of the process.

After choosing the best candidate for the role, the recruiter will contact the candidate with an official job offer and may have to negotiate the terms of the offer. The candidate may feel more comfortable receiving a job offer from the full-cycle recruiter rather than the hiring manager because the recruiter has been the candidate’s primary contact throughout the hiring process.

Onboarding

The final stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the onboarding stage. During the onboarding stage of the process, a hire is integrated into the company. The full-cycle recruiter will familiarize the new hire with the company culture and team members using a welcoming orientation or introductory path.

1. Identify the ideal candidate for the role.

A candidate persona is a description of your ideal applicant. Creating a candidate persona will help your recruiter choose the best applicant for the role by honing in on the criteria that your ideal candidate should meet.

To create a persona, start by asking yourself questions about your ideal candidate to identify their skills, qualifications, experience, education, and background. For example, what industry do they currently work in? Do they hold the role that you are hiring for? What are their professional goals? What work environment do they thrive in?

Once you have answered the questions, interview managers at your business who would oversee your ideal candidate and ask about the skills that would help employees thrive in the role. Use the managers’ recommendations to help craft your ideal candidate’s persona.

2. Find potential candidates.

Create advertisements that target jobseekers who fit your ideal candidate persona. Post the advertisements to social media websites and job boards such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor to reach potential candidates searching for new positions.

You can also use promotions and transfers to recruit existing employees who may qualify for the position. Internal recruiting can help your company reduce onboarding time, boost morale, and save time and money.

3. Review candidates’ resumes and cover letters.

Use applicant tracking software (ATS) to scan applicants’ resumes and cover letters for criteria that matches your ideal candidate persona, such as education, years of experience, and previous job titles.

If you are reviewing resumes and cover letters manually, scan each resume for keywords that match the open position. Next, separate them into 3 categories: resumes that do not meet the criteria for the position, resumes that meet some of the criteria, and resumes that meet all of the criteria. Double-check the resumes in each category.

Place the candidates that are closest to your company’s ideal candidate persona on a shortlist.

4. Conduct face-to-face or virtual interviews with shortlisted candidates.

Interviewing shortlisted candidates can help you find the best fit for the job. By interviewing candidates, you can learn more about their experiences and qualifications, their potential to fit into your company culture, and their soft skills, such as how they perform under pressure.

Conducting standardized interviews can also help you view candidates objectively and prevent bias in the hiring process.

5. Contact the best candidate with an official job offer.

After conducting interviews, extend an official job offer to the best candidate. Indeed recommends contacting the candidate by phone the same day as their final interview or within one day of making your decision.

Benefits of Full-Cycle Recruiting

Full-cycle recruiting improves the efficiency of the hiring process in five key ways:

Faster Hiring

The full-cycle recruiting process reduces time-to-hire, making the recruitment process more efficient. Time-to-hire is a measure of the time between when a candidate enters the pipeline and when they are officially hired. A shortened time-to-hire reduces the risk of a company losing out on highly qualified candidates that may be simultaneously interviewing at other companies.

Streamlined Strategy

Using a full-cycle recruiting strategy streamlines the recruitment process. It eliminates delays caused by communication gaps because the process is handled by a single recruiter or agency that can construct a simple strategy and follow it through to the end.

Improved Quality of Hire

Quality of hire measures the value a new hire contributes to a company’s overall success. Improving the quality of hire increases employee engagement, improves job satisfaction and productivity levels, and decreases turnover costs.

A full-cycle recruiter implements a more personalized and thorough process than a traditional recruiter. As a result, full-cycle recruiting improves the quality of hire by precisely identifying the best candidate for a position.

Increased Accountability

Because one person manages the entire full-cycle recruiting process, all of the successes and failures of the process are their responsibility. The recruiter benefits from this responsibility because they can’t lose a candidate due to someone else’s mistakes.

Improved Communication

In full-cycle recruiting, candidates remain in communication with a single person throughout the hiring process. Therefore, the process alleviates any possible concerns a candidate may have about delays caused by miscommunication between hiring personnel.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process Results

A well-executed full-cycle recruiting process will result in an employee who feels prepared on their first day. This is all thanks to a full-cycle recruiter who guided them through the recruitment process, maintained communication, and provided necessary information about the job position and the company.

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15 of the Best Public Relations Examples to Inspire Your Next Campaign

Journalists crave juicy stories and viral marketing campaigns, but standing out in a sea of conventional pitches is one of the biggest challenges for any public relations professional.

When you need a dose of inspiration, it can be helpful to explore the most compelling PR plays in recent years. To save you some time, we curated a list of the absolute best of the best to get the creativity flowing for your next campaign.

Read on to get inspired by some of the best minds in public relations.

1. Spotify: Wrapped

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Spotify’s Wrapped campaign has quickly turned into a viral, end-of-year event. Since 2016, the streaming app has provided each user with a “wrap up” of their listening habits which are delivered in colorful, eye-catching graphics. Naturally, you can share your stats on different platforms, like Instagram and TikTok.

Spotify’s Wrapped is not just another marketing campaign— it’s a viral, multi-platform, FOMO-inducing social campaign. It’s highly personal, relevant, and shareable. It’s this winning combination that its rivals, namely Apple and YouTube, haven’t been able to recreate.

2. Subway: Eat Fresh Refresh

For the longest time, Subway has rolled out countless marketing campaigns featuring its trusty tagline, Eat Fresh! But now, in light of changes to both its brand and menu, a new campaign has emerged, fittingly titled “Eat Fresh Refresh.” The campaign includes many sports stars, like Steph Curry and Serena Williams, who lend their humor to promote Subway’s new meal options.

In one commercial, Tom Brady pulls a loaf of bread from an oversized perfume bottle. “Smells so good, you can almost taste it,” he narrates. It’s a humorous take on the moody, often confusing perfume ads – while highlighting Subway’s new ingredients and options.

3. HostelWorld: Even Divas are Believers

Traveling the world can give you some of the best experiences of your life, but it can also thrust you into situations that you’ll want to scrub from your memory, like staying the night in a hostel. There are countless hostel horror stories online and hundreds of videos that mock their hospitality scattered throughout social media — so needless to say, they don’t have the best reputation.

But HostelWorld, a hostel booking website, decided to team up with Mariah Carey to freshen up their image and showcase the pleasant reality of staying in a modern day hostel. Together, they blasted through affordable accommodation stereotypes by spotlighting the lesser known luxuries of hostels like having access to the same facilities as more expensive accommodations, but at a cheaper price, and being able to connect with other fellow travelers.

HostelWorld’s message is simple: if hostels are nice enough for divas like Mariah Carey, then they’re nice enough for everyone..

4. Lego: Rebuild the World

According to Lego, rebuilding the world starts with a single (lego) brick. It’s a powerful message for those rebuilding their lives following several tumultuous years — and one delivered by a company that believes in building, experimenting, and breaking the rules. 

This campaign is not only well-timed, but it effectively presents its products in such a way that goes beyond their basic functionality.

5. Dove: #TheSelfieTalk

When it comes to creating positive brand associations, Dove is in a class of its own. For example, its #TheSelfieTalk campaign takes a poignant look at the pressure young girls feel to look “perfect” — and the lengths they take to appear this way online.

It’s one of many campaigns by Dove that explores how the beauty industry impacts women’s self-esteem and body image. As a result, the brand is often associated with positivity, self love, and confidence.

6. Ikea: #StayHome

During periods of lockdowns, Ikea wanted customers to see their homes from a new perspective. Enter the #StayHome campaign, a love letter to our homes, and all the life moments that happen there. It reframes the idea that our home is a place we’re trapped in, to a place of warmth, shelter, and growth. It’s a message of hope that leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

7. Stabilo Boss: Highlight the Remarkable

There have been remarkable women throughout history that might not have been celebrated as they should have been. Stabilo Boss — the company that sells highlighter pens — started a campaign to highlight these women and their incredible accomplishments. 

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Stabilo took famous black-and-white photos from historical moments and drew a yellow highlight line to showcase the woman in the photo that made it all happen. The Boss PR campaign highlighted women like Katharine Johnson, the NASA mathematician responsible for the calculations that sent Apollo 11 to the moon. Other examples include Nobel Prize winner Lise Meitner and First Lady Edith Wilson.

The campaign blew up on social media and went on to win multiple awards.

8. Logitech: BS Detection Spoof

Hours after April Fools Day, almost every marketing publication rounds up the best spoofs, pranks, and stunts that distracted everyone at work that day. One of the funniest spoofs that earned a spot in all the major roundups this year was Logitech’s fake Business Speak Detection product video. By giving their product a punny, yet subtly accurate name, the video pokes fun at most businesses’ obsession and overuse of buzzwords. But it also has the feel of a real product overview, which makes it even more hilarious.

9. Old Spice: Paper Blazer Ad

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When Fragrance brands advertise in magazines, they usually show off their aromas by drenching an ad with their latest cologne or perfume. But Old Spice realized people usually don’t enjoy unexpectedly pungent scents violating their nostrils when they’re flipping through their favorite magazine.

So, in typical Old Spice fashion, they gently ribbed other fragrance brands by inserting a paper blazer doused in their new cologne, Captain, in their print ad in GQ magazine. Then they wrote about how these paper blazers can help men attract attention not only with trendy style, but also with masculine smell. The only drawback of the blazer is that it’ll turn into papier-mâché on you in the rain.

Humor and cleverness is one of the best ways to appeal to your audience and gain earned media attention, and it seems like Old Spice can leverage them both on any marketing channel.

10. Star Wars: Passing the Box-Office Baton to The Avengers

Congratulations, @MarvelStudios and @Avengers: #InfinityWar. pic.twitter.com/PnHfaouOlP

— Star Wars (@starwars)
May 1, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War recently shattered Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ record for the biggest opening weekend ever by grossing over $250 million. LucasFilm, the studio that created and produced Star Wars, wasn’t bitter though.

Instead, they were proud of their friends over at Marvel Studios, and sent them a heartwarming congratulatory tweet. By applauding them for their incredible accomplishment, and not sulking about their broken record, Star Wars earned the respect of movie lovers everywhere — not to mention some media coverage for the gesture.

11. Johnnie Walker: Jane Walker

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To promote gender equality and honor the many achievements of women throughout history, Johnnie Walker launched a female version of its whisky on International Women’s Day called Jane Walker. The limited-edition bottle featured a woman on their iconic logo, instead of a man, which connected the brand to individuals who also support their commitment to social progress.

In March 2018, Johnnie Walker released 250,000 bottles of Jane Walker, and for every bottle sold, they donated $1 to organizations that empower women. This tangible impact helped their campaign gain even more support and publicity.

12. AirBnB & BBC Earth: Night at Blue Planet II

Blue Planet II is considered the greatest nature series of all time, with its first episode attracting over 14 million viewers and earning the title of Britain’s highest rated TV show in 2017. Watching the show can almost place you into the habitat they’re filming, but BBC Earth wanted to take things to the next level for their biggest fans: they offered them a chance to experience what it’s like to be a researcher and filmmaker for Blue Planet II.

To do so, they teamed up with AirBnB to run a contest for their members, and two lucky winners got to spend three days and two nights in the Bahamas on the research and exploration vessel used in the show’s filming. During their expedition, they lived with and discussed work with researchers and dove deep into the Atlantic Ocean in a submarine with filmmakers to observe some of nature’s most unique underwater wildlife. By offering a once in a lifetime opportunity, BBC Earth could get more people to watch their hit show, and AirBnB could build their brand affinity.

13. SpaceX & Tesla: SpaceX Sends a Tesla into Outer Space

View from SpaceX Launch Control. Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth. pic.twitter.com/QljN2VnL1O

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
February 6, 2018

Everyone knows Elon Musk wants to send humans to Mars. So when SpaceX launched their newest rocket, Falcon Heavy, into space, it made some headlines. But when the Falcon Heavy suddenly shot a cherry-red Tesla Roadster blasting David Bowie’s 1971 hit “Life on Mars?” into orbit, it was being called the greatest automotive PR stunt in history.

The car will now float between Earth and Mars for millions of years, and serve as reminder for current and future generations to always reach for the stars. The success of both launches also improved SpaceX and Falcon Heavy’s reputation. Falcon Heavy is now the most powerful rocket on earth, so it’s realistic to say it can launch heavy satellites and future space stations into orbit, shuttle cargo to Mars, and even transport humans to the moon. And that’s exactly what Elon Musk needs the public to think if he wants to accomplish his ambitious goals.

14. State Street Global Advisors: Fearless Girl

On the morning of International Women’s Day, the world woke up to find a four-foot high statue of a girl across from the Charging Bull statue on Wall Street in New York. She is standing tall and brave, hands on her hips, in a dress and high top converse. 

Fearless Girl, as she is called, was commissioned by the investment management firm State Street Global Advisors as a part of their campaign to pressure companies to add more women to their boards. By standing up to Charging Bull, she is standing up for gender diversity on Wall Street. 

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Some argue that the girl’s defiance toward the bull — and male-dominated corporate boardrooms more generally — is controversial. There has been lots of pushback to the statue, but in general, this PR campaign received widespread support for the women’s movement and diversity in the workplace and remains outside the New York Stock Exchange.

15. ALS Association: ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

A few years ago, videos of people dumping a bucket of ice water over their heads flooded social media, now known as the Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral sensation of 2.4 million videos was a way to raise awareness of a neurodegenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The idea was to raise money for the ALS Association and research on the disease. 

The viral challenged raised more than $115 million dollars, with almost $80 million going towards research. The campaign was a massive success — awareness and funding for ALS has skyrocketed, all thanks to millions of people giving themselves brain freeze.

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What is Employee Engagement? [+11 Data-Backed Benefits and Strategies]

If you’re playing along with buzzword bingo, you’ve heard the term “employee engagement.” But it would be a mistake to dismiss it as just a buzzword. Ignoring engagement costs the global economy 8.1 trillion dollars each year, according to a study by Gallup.

Thankfully, the opposite is also true. Improving employee engagement can boost profitability, improve customer satisfaction, and even make for a safer workplace.

Read on to learn what employee engagement is and what factors affect it. Then discover 11 strategies for improving employee engagement at your workplace.

What is employee engagement?
Employee Engagement Examples
Why is employee engagement important?
How to Measure Employee Engagement
How to Improve Employee Engagement

Engagement means that employees:

Know what they contribute toward their team’s success.
Work toward their company’s goals and values.
Are connected to and supported in their role.
Look for ways to learn and grow in their role.

Employee engagement isn’t the same as job satisfaction or employee happiness. Although those ideas are a part of the equation, employee engagement speaks to motivation. An engaged employee invests time, energy, and talent to benefit their team and company.

As Kayla Marchetti – engagement manager for Seismic – puts it, “I want any individual who joins us to feel passionate about our mission and work, to feel a sense of belonging, and to know they have opportunities to grow and develop their career here.”

On the inside, engagement embodies feelings like purpose, trust, and autonomy. On the outside, it looks like a collection of behaviors and attitudes. Let’s take a look at some examples to better understand what these behaviors look like.

Employee Engagement Examples

Employee engagement isn’t a switch that gets turned on or off. It exists on a spectrum from highly engaged, to non-engaged, to actively disengaged. Most employees will fall somewhere in between, and their level of engagement can change over time.

Here are some examples of how engagement can show up. For each example, we’ll also highlight a stat showing how many employees fall within that engagement group, as per the Gallup study we noted in the introduction:

Highly Engaged [36% of U.S. workers in 2021]

Enthusiastic about their work
Helps out co-workers
Gives extra effort when needed
Seeks out new responsibilities and learning opportunities

Non-Engaged [49% of U.S. workers in 2021]

Relatively satisfied with their job, but not committed
Will do what they need to, but not more
May have a 9-to-5 attitude
Could be at risk of accepting a new job opportunity

Disengaged [15% of U.S. workers in 2021]

Complains to co-workers (and possibly customers, too)
May damage company culture and office morale
Unwilling to join in social activities
Likely looking for a new job

It may be tempting to think of these behaviors as personality traits, but they may say more about your company culture instead. Even star employees can become disengaged if they don’t have clear expectations and the resources to do their job well.

Why is employee engagement important?

“You can have the best services and best team, but if you don’t have engaged and enthused employees it won’t matter,” says Maryanne McWhirter, Sr. Inbound Marketing and Sales Consultant for LeadG2.

There’s no aspect of your business that isn’t affected by employee engagement. Your employees are the engine that makes your business function. And when those employees feel invested and respected, that engine performs at its best.

“The experience an employee has at your company soon translates to employee sentiment, which drives company culture over time. Company culture impacts your employer and consumer brand in a big way, so if we want happy, engaged customers who stay loyal, we have to implement that same strategy with our employees first.” ~ Leanne Poirier, Manager of Internal Communications at ZoomInfo

That’s why decades of data from Gallup show the following benefits of employee engagement:

1. 10% Higher Customer Loyalty

From sales to service, highly-engaged employees deliver a great customer experience.

Again, Kayla from Seismic tells us “When we do [employee engagement] well, we can attract, develop, and retain the best talent, which means our customers are more likely to be well-served.”

2. 23% Higher Profitability

It makes sense that higher customer loyalty would lead to increased sales and reduced service costs. But highly-engaged employees also reduce costs associated with turnover, absenteeism, and injury.

3. 18% Boost in Productivity

When employees feel connected to their work, they work harder. They’re also more likely to go above and beyond their daily tasks. Engaged employees are more likely to suggest new ideas and innovate new processes.

4. Up to 43% Less Turnover

Highly-engaged employees feel recognized and rewarded. They understand their growth potential and see development opportunities ahead.

On the flip side, the Gallup study also shows that 74% of disengaged employees were actively looking for new employment.

5. 64% Fewer Workplace Accidents

It’s easy to get complacent about routine tasks, which can lead to carelessness. But when employees are engaged they focus on the work they’re doing. They’re also more aware of their surroundings, and more likely to follow safety rules.

6. 81% Lower Absenteeism

Whether because of increased drive or decreased burnout, engaged employees are more likely to show up.

This doesn’t mean normal sick-days or personal time. Absenteeism refers to habitual and intentional unscheduled absences. The kind that, according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), reduces productivity by 36.6% as co-workers take on added work.

How to Measure Employee Engagement

Measuring employee engagement can be difficult because it’s a subjective experience. To get a full picture, you need to pay attention to both the quantitative and qualitative signs.

Seek ongoing feedback. Individual conversations are one of the most powerful ways to discover engagement levels. Ask if your employees feel valued. If they understand their growth potential. If they have the resources they need to do their job.

Find your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS). Your eNPS is a great way to get a snapshot of employee sentiment. This is especially helpful when you also give your employees a chance to say why they gave the score they did.

Watch your rates of absenteeism and turnover. Spikes in these metrics are common symptoms of low engagement, and a sure sign something has gone wrong.

Do exit interviews/stay interviews. Exit interviews can be a good source of candid and honest feedback. Just be sure these interviews aren’t the first time you’re asking these kinds of questions.

How to Improve Employee Engagement

Employee engagement should be thought of as an ongoing process, like developing your company culture. Engagement isn’t about ping-pong tables and casual Fridays. There are no quick fixes, so think about the full picture instead.

Marchetti of Seismic, tells us, “Our goal is to create an environment that supports and encourages our people to do their best work every day.”

With that in mind, here are some strategies to consider for improving employee engagement:

1. Start with a plan.

Poirier from Zoominfo suggests, “Taking the time to ask questions like ‘Who is our typical employee? What does their work-life balance look like? What challenges do they face? What do they need and what do they want?’ We know good marketing strategies lead to increased revenue; employee experience works the same way. When companies treat their employees with the same thought and care they do with customers, everybody wins.”

2. Communicate clear expectations.

Engaged employees understand their tasks, responsibilities, and goals. More than that, they understand how those things fit into the wider company goals. That understanding can only come from leadership.

This means holding goal-setting meetings, performance reviews, one-on-ones, and regular, ongoing feedback.

3. Provide the knowledge and tools they need to do their job.

This may seem like common sense to some, but many times employees are only given enough information or resources to do the next task. Sharing knowledge and access empowers employees to contribute beyond their to-do list.

4. Give them trust and autonomy.

Trust and autonomy go hand-in-hand. When employees feel trusted enough to work autonomously, they feel like their skills and contributions are valued. This fosters a sense of responsibility and satisfaction toward their work.

5. Offer ongoing training and development opportunities.

Developing new skills encourages employees to think of their role in terms of a career. Investing in new skill training encourages them to think of that career within your organization.

Workplace training programs help to engage and retain employees. This can take the form of an education stipend, internal training programs, peer-to-peer training, lunch-and-learns, and more.

6. Provide a clear growth path.

Having a roadmap for career growth helps create a sense of purpose at work. Managers should have regular discussions about career goals and development with their employees.

This is especially true for younger generations. A study published in the Journal of Leadership in Organizations found that 91% of Millennials valued discussion about career progression as early as during recruitment.

7. Be transparent about compensation.

According to PayScale’s survey of over 500,000 employees, pay fairness and transparency were more important than market value.

Put another way: believing their pay was determined fairly had a greater impact on employee engagement than being paid more.

8. Start employee recognition programs.

Everyone wants to be recognized when they do good work. Whether it’s a few kind words or a small perk, public recognition can go a long way toward boosting engagement.

Design a program that highlights behaviors that align with your company values. This not only encourages those behaviors but helps to show that your values aren’t just a slogan.

Pro Tip: Rewards can be difficult to coordinate with remote employees. Third-party vendors make it easier to distribute incentives. We like personalized swag from companies like Reachdesk that give a human touch to your gifting. Or virtual gift cards from services like Rybbon, because cash is always a welcome bonus.

9. Start peer recognition programs.

Peer recognition programs are a great way to create a sense of community and collaboration. They also help to celebrate successes that may otherwise go unseen by management.

One lightweight solution is to make an outlet for public kudos. Matthew Stibbe, CEO of Articulate Marketing suggests, “Set up a ‘validation channel’ in Slack or Teams and encourage your colleagues to use it to recognise great work across the business. Peer and manager recognition can be very motivating.”

You can also give your employees the power of perks. At HubSpot, each employee has a quarterly opportunity to nominate a teammate that’s helped them in some way. The nominated employee gets a monetary bonus and the knowledge that their help was valued.

10. Create social outlets.

62% of employees with one to five work friends would reject an outside offer, according to SHRM’s Workforce study. Creating a sense of community and belonging is a powerful driver of engagement.

It’s even more important for remote employees who may not have daily positive interactions with co-workers.

“In the remote world we’re living in, a great way to create the employee experience is through building a virtual community and destination for the employee base. Company intranets are often outdated and overlooked, but when given the right resources, they’re an exceptional tool for employee connection and helping your employee engagement program reach its potential,” adds Leane Poirier from ZoomInfo.

Here are a few ideas for virtual socialization to get you started:

Shared virtual activities. Think wine-and-design, book clubs, or even Dungeons and Dragons.
Optional drop-in “water cooler” meetings. No talking about work allowed.
Slack channels dedicated to shared interests. HubSpot has hundreds of Slack channels, for everything from pet pictures to true crime podcasts.

Just be sure to make these activities optional. Nothing ruins the mood like mandatory fun.

11. Seek ongoing feedback.

Communication should be a two-way street. Listening to your employees– and then acting on that feedback– makes them more likely to contribute.

Upward reviews, employee surveys, and feedback discussions should be regular features. Be receptive to, and transparent about, the feedback you receive.

Again, be sure to act on it. Few things destroy employee engagement faster than making them feel ignored.

12. Prove It.

Any company can say they live their values, but can they prove it? Outside frameworks like B corp certification or ‘Investors in People’ accreditation show where your priorities are.

Stibbe from Articulate Marketing points out, “The best people want to work in companies that reflect their own values and priorities. If you want to engage employees, you need to show them what you believe in. Words matter. Commitment is important. But in our experience, externally-audited standards such as B Corp and Investors in People are essential to set objective standards and demonstrate our progress towards them. It’s not just words. It’s proof.”

Getting Engaged.

There’s a lot to consider here, but you don’t have to do it all on day one. Choose a few strategies and commit to taking action. Be upfront with your employees about your engagement goals, and then share the progress you’re making.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in October 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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How Video Can Humanize Your Brand in 2022 & Other Insights from Wistia’s CEO

One of the main things we’ve learned during the COVID-19 pandemic in regards to how people consume content is that they want to be entertained in different ways.

Consumers want the convenience of being able to consume content where they spend the most time, and on their own terms. If your brand doesn’t give consumers this option, then you’re missing out on a big fraction of your audience — that’s where the powerful tool of video comes into play.

In our recent 2022 State of Video Report, we found that people were watching more videos than ever before in 2020 as many spent extended periods of time at home due to the pandemic. But even more shockingly, as the world opened up and employment rates rose, consumers watched even more video content.

With all this talk about video, you may be wondering a few things: What length should my video be? How do I create videos that stick? And where should I promote my videos?

In other words: What’s the best video marketing strategy for 2022 and beyond? 

HubSpot Blog Research surveyed 518 video marketers in the U.S., Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and the U.K. to find out about their goals and strategies going into 2022. Let’s dive into what you need to know so you can make your next, or first, video strategy a success.

What is the optimal length of a marketing video?

Short and sweet is generally a safe strategy — especially if your company is just starting to use video. According to 36% of video marketers, the optimal length of a marketing video is one to three minutes.

If you’re new to video, starting with short-form videos will help you get a feel for what resonates with your audience and where you can add the most value.

Consumers are inundated with videos, so it’s critical to create meaningful content that can be consumable within a few minutes. Shorter videos are great for establishing an initial connection where you can introduce your brand or product. For instance, a snappy video showcasing a product feature can build interest and anticipation before a product launch.

We know that time, resources, and cost are three major barriers to creating videos.

The solution? Shorter videos — they are less time-consuming, perfect for various platforms (like social media), and typically cheaper to produce.

Short-form videos lead in usage (58%), ROI, lead generation, and engagement. So, if you’re looking to get more bang for your buck, then shorter videos are the way to go. In fact, 83% say the optimal length is under 60 seconds.

Believe it or not, longer videos are also on the rise. With more brands planning to create original branded series, product-specific demos, case studies, and customer stories this year, it’s important to find what works best for your company and audience.

What people are willing to watch is correlated to how connected they are to your brand or video topic. Don’t underestimate how much time someone will spend with your brand.

People who want to learn more about your company or product will do so through long-form video content, such as a webinar.

Yes, shorter videos will be the most leveraged form of video this year, but don’t take creating long-form video content completely off the table.

Which social media channels should your content live on?

Most B2B marketers often don’t take a video-first approach when it comes to their social media strategy.

But here’s why you should.

Social media is the top channel used to share marketing videos (76%) and has the biggest ROI by far. Incorporating video into your social media strategy differentiates your brand and can bring your brand’s story to life in ways that other content can’t.

So, what social platform(s) should you use? Begin by identifying your business and marketing goals. Once you have those set, nail down your strategy by figuring out how video will meet those goals. This will help give your video strategy a framework and determine which social media channel can tell your story.

For example, while Instagram is the top social media platform for ROI, engagement, and lead generation for marketing videos, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for your brand. Figuring out what social platforms to use depends on whether your brand is B2B or B2C, and what type of video you want to create.

Customer stories or case studies might do really well on a landing page, whereas company culture videos would do really well on LinkedIn.

For B2B, LinkedIn and Twitter – my personal favorite social channels – are good places to start. You may gradually incorporate other platforms into your social media strategy, but if you aren’t engaging on LinkedIn and Twitter, then you’re missing out on a big opportunity.

If you’re B2C, you should be on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Do video marketers create videos in-house or with an agency? 

Have I convinced you yet that your brand needs to start using video? If your answer is yes, you may be wondering if you should try and create videos yourself or hire an agency.

While nearly half (49%) of video marketers create videos both in-house and with an agency, it can be tough to figure out what route you should take.

If you’re thinking about doing video in-house, you need to figure out what types of video and how many you want to create for your business.

Maybe you want a video that answers frequently asked questions or one to onboard new users. These types of videos don’t always need the flashiness of a branded series. Doing videos in-house can help save you money and empower your team to get involved. And, there are certainly many DIY resources to help you create video in-house.

You may even have employees who have video experience and can help pitch in. HubSpot’s report found that 69% of video marketers own their video equipment.

Additionally, we found that most companies use their own in-house video experts to create video content on a weekly or monthly basis. Other companies rely on a mix of talent, calling on freelance help and video production agencies to fill in the gaps.

Agencies that specialize in marketing videos are certainly worthwhile if you are looking to create an array of public-facing video content. Zeroing in on an area of your business where video can make a big splash will help the agency tailor a video strategy that meets your goals.

I suspect that companies are going to invest more of their time in creating in-house videos in the coming years — but most of these videos will be created by people whose job isn’t strictly focused on video.

Whether it’s someone on your design team creating a product tutorial or your CEO leading a webinar, there will be an uptick in businesses that leverage internal resources to create their video content. The good thing is that there is countless video editing software that your company can use.

According to HubSpot’s Blog Research, Adobe Premiere Pro (36%) and iMovie (18%) are the most popular video editing software, but you’ll definitely want to explore all your options.    

Thinking about doing more in-house video content? Make sure you have the right amount of people helping with your video content.

The majority of marketers (45%) have two to five people on dedicated video marketing teams; with another 37% reporting six to 10 on a dedicated video marketing team, and 15% reporting 10 or more employees on a video marketing team.

While this is dependent on your business and where you are in your video journey, it’s important that you have a solid in-house team that can handle the amount of video that you intend to put out there.

How do you create better videos? 

The most important factors for creating an effective marketing video are effectively promoting your video (36%), capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds (36%), and keeping your videos short/concise (33%).

All marketers want their videos to be successful — but what your audience takes away from your video content is perhaps the most important.

As an example, let’s say your video isn’t getting enough clicks. You need to put yourself in the consumers’ shoes and figure out why they didn’t engage with your video. More times than not, they aren’t getting what they expected.

To solve for this, you’ll want to ensure your video thumbnail is encouraging people to click your video. Your thumbnail offers a first impression of your video, so make sure you use it to tell potential viewers what your video is about.

Interest wanes as viewers get distracted or realize the video isn’t for them. The best way to grab the attention of viewers is to hook them the moment the video starts. For example, the John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum trailer tells viewers the title of the movie within the first few seconds rather than saving it to the end.  

You also need to approach video creation similar to how a journalist writes a news article — where the first line is the entire crux of the story — rather than approaching a video as a movie. It’s often better to put what consumers need to know upfront.

Once you’ve created a dynamic video that grabs viewers’ attention, it’s time to start thinking about promotion. While the most effective video promotion strategy is promoting on social media (63%), there are other effective, and fun, ways to get the most out of your video.

Placing videos in unexpected places

Ever click a link and wind up on a 404 error page? This can be frustrating for the consumer, but use this as an opportunity for your brand. Making your 404 pages friendly and helpful to avoid deterring potential customers can go a long way. Add videos to these pages to help guide viewers back to the main page and highlight your products in a non-intrusive way.

Creative looping videos or videos of team mascots can help customers feel connected to your brand. If you’ve ever found yourself on a 404 error page on the Wistia site, chances are you have seen our team mascot Lenny:

Email signatures are another great place to add videos. Adding video to your employees’ email signature can really make your brand memorable and can capture the attention of new customers. A personalized video connecting them to your brand in an email signature can really go a long way in building trust and loyalty.

What type of videos will brands start making in the future?

Video content showcasing your products/services is the most leveraged type of content and has the highest ROI, according to 66% of those who use it. Content that reflects your brand’s values is the second most leveraged type of video content. With this in mind, you need to figure out how you want to portray your brand within the content.

Do you want it to be relatable? Would adding a nostalgic element to your video add value? Asking yourself these questions will help kickstart the video process. Trendy, funny, and interactive content all have high ROI and can boost engagement.

Nostalgic content and user-generated content (UGC) consistently rank in the least popular types of video content, though nostalgic content will still see 19% of video marketers using it for the first time this year, compared to 3% for UGC.

Let’s face it, millennials are becoming the decision-makers. Marketers need to focus on incorporating emotional elements into the content they produce. Topics that harken back to millennial youth, like Saturday morning cartoons, is a great way to instill nostalgia and emotionally connect with viewers.

What comes next?

Once you make a video and feel confident, you have the power to make more. As companies invest in video, I predict they’ll put out more short, authentic, niche, and relatable content. Why? Because this type of content is what consumers crave. Video helps to humanize your brand and makes consumers feel like they can relate to you.

Brands need to figure out how to not only educate, but also entertain. With so many brands competing for viewers’ attention, it’s up to you to keep people coming back to your brand. With the right video strategy, you’ll be able to achieve strong, lasting relationships with your audience.

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130 Instagram Influencers You Need To Know About in 2022

In 2021, marketers that used influencer marketing said the trend resulted in the highest ROI. In fact, marketers have seen such success from influencer marketing that 86% plan to continue investing the same amount or increase their investments in the trend in 2022. 

But, if you’ve never used an influencer before, the task can seem daunting — who’s truly the best advocate for your brand?

Here, we’ve cultivated a list of the most popular influencers in every industry — just click on one of the links below and take a look at the top influencers that can help you take your business to the next level: 

Top Food Influencers on Instagram
Top Travel Influencers on Instagram
Top Fashion & Style Influencers on Instagram
Top Photography Influencers on Instagram
Top Lifestyle Influencers on Instagram
Top Design Influencers on Instagram
Top Beauty Influencers on Instagram
Top Sport & Fitness Influencers on Instagram
Top Influencers on Instagram


Top Food Influencers on Instagram

Jamie Oliver (9.1M followers)
ladyironchef (620k followers)
Megan Gilmore (188k followers)
Ashrod (104k followers)
David Chang (1.7M followers)
Ida Frosk (299k followers)
Lindsey Silverman Love (101k followers)
Nick N. (60.5k followers)
Molly Tavoletti (50.1k followers)
Russ Crandall (39.1k followers)
Dennis the Prescott (616k followers)
The Pasta Queen (1.5M followers)
Thalia Ho (121k followers)
Molly Yeh (810k followers)
C.R Tan (59.4k followers)
Michaela Vais (1.2M followers)
Nicole Cogan (212k followers)
Minimalist Baker (2.1M followers)
Yumna Jawad (3.4M followers)

Top Travel Influencers on Instagram

Annette White (100k followers)
Matthew Karsten (140k followers)
The Points Guy (668k followers)
The Blonde Abroad (520k followers)
Eric Stoen (330k followers)
Kate McCulley (99k followers)
The Planet D (203k followers)
Andrew Evans (59.9k followers)
Jack Morris (2.6M followers)
Lauren Bullen (2.1M followers)
The Bucket List Family (2.6M followers)
Fat Girls Traveling (55K followers)
Tara Milk Tea (1.3M followers)

Top Fashion & Style Influencers on Instagram

Alexa Chung (5.2M followers)
Julia Berolzheimer (1.3M followers)
Johnny Cirillo (719K followers)
Chiara Ferragni (27.2M followers)
Jenn Im (1.7M followers)
Ada Oguntodu (65.1k followers)
Emma Hill (826k followers)
Gregory DelliCarpini Jr. (141k followers)
Nicolette Mason (216k followers)
Majawyh (382k followers)
Garance Doré (693k followers)
Ines de la Fressange (477k followers)
Madelynn Furlong (202k followers)
Giovanna Engelbert (1.4M followers)
Mariano Di Vaio (6.8M followers)
Aimee Song (6.5M followers)
Danielle Bernstein (2.9M followers)
Gabi Gregg (910k followers)

Top Photography Influencers on Instagram

Benjamin Lowy (218k followers)
Michael Yamashita (1.8M followers)
Stacy Kranitz (101k followers)
Jimmy Chin (3.2M followers)
Gueorgui Pinkhassov (161k followers)
Dustin Giallanza (5.2k followers)
Lindsey Childs (31.4k followers)
Edith W. Young (24.9k followers)
Alyssa Rose (9.6k followers)
Donjay (106k followers)
Jeff Rose (80.1k followers)
Pei Ketron (728k followers)
Paul Nicklen (7.3M followers)
Jack Harries (1.3M followers)
İlhan Eroğlu (852k followers)

Top Lifestyle Influencers on Instagram

Jannid Olsson Delér (1.2 million followers)
Oliver Proudlock (691k followers)
Jeremy Jacobowitz (434k followers)
Jay Caesar (327k followers)
Jessie Chanes (329k followers)
Laura Noltemeyer (251k followers)
Adorian Deck (44.9k followers)
Hind Deer (547k followers)
Gloria Morales (146k followers)
Kennedy Cymone (1.6M followers)
Sydney Leroux Dwyer (1.1M followers)
Joanna Stevens Gaines (13.6M followers)
Lilly Singh (11.6M followers)
Rosanna Pansino (4.4M followers)

Top Design Influencers on Instagram

Marie Kondo (4M followers)
Ashley Stark Kenner (1.2M followers)
Casa Chicks (275k followers)
Paulina Jamborowicz (195k followers)
Kasia Będzińska (218k followers)
Jenni Kayne (500k followers)
Will Taylor (344k followers)
Studio McGee (3.3M followers)
Mandi Gubler (207k followers)
Natalie Myers (51.6k followers)
Grace Bonney (840k followers)
Saudah Saleem (25.3k followers)
Niña Williams (196k followers)

Top Beauty Influencers on Instagram

Michelle Phan (1.9M followers)
Shaaanxo (1.3M followers)
Jeffree Star (13.7M followers)
Kandee Johnson (2M followers)
Manny Gutierrez (4M followers)
Naomi Giannopoulos (6.2M followers)
Samantha Ravndahl (2.1M followers)
Huda Kattan (50.5M followers)
Wayne Goss (703k followers)
Zoe Sugg (9.3M followers)
James Charles (22.9M followers)
Shayla Mitchell (2.9M followers)

Top Sport & Fitness Influencers on Instagram

Massy Arias (2.7M followers)
Eddie Hall (3.3M followers)
Ty Haney (92.6k followers)
Hannah Bronfman (893k followers)
Kenneth Gallarzo (331k followers)
Elisabeth Akinwale (113k followers)
Laura Large (75k followers)
Akin Akman (82.3k followers)
Sjana Elise Earp (1.4M followers)
Cassey Ho (2.3M followers)
Kayla Itsines (14.5M followers)
Jen Selter (13.4M followers)
Simeon Panda (8.1M followers)

1. Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver, a world-renowned chef and restaurateur, is Instagram famous for his approachable and delicious-looking cuisine. His page reflects a mix of food pictures, recipes, and photos of his family and personal life. His love of beautiful food and teaching others to cook is clearly evident, which must be one of the many reasons why he has nearly seven million followers.

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2. David Chang 

Celebrity chef David Chang is best known for his world-famous restaurants and big personality. Chang was a judge on Top Chef and created his own Netflix show called Ugly Delicious, both of which elevated his popularity and likely led to his huge followership on Instagram. Most of his feed is filled with food videos that will make you drool.

3. Jack Morris and Lauren Bullen

Travel bloggers Jack Morris (@jackmorris) and Lauren Bullen (@gypsea_lust)
have dream jobs — the couple travels to some of the most beautiful places around the world and documents their trips on Instagram. They have developed a unique and recognizable Instagram aesthetic that their combined 4.8 million Instagram followers love, using the same few filters and posting the most striking travel destinations.

4. The Bucket List Family

The Gee family, better known as the Bucket List Family, travel around the world with their three kids and post videos and images of their trips to YouTube and Instagram. They are constantly sharing pictures and stories of their adventures in exotic places. This nomad lifestyle is enjoyed by their 2.6 million followers.

 

5. Chiara Ferragni

Chiara Ferragni is an Italian fashion influencer who started her blog The Blonde Salad to share tips, photos, and clothing lines. Ferragni has been recognized as one of the most influential people of her generation, listed on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and the Bloglovin’ Award Blogger of the Year.

6. Alexa Chung

Model and fashion designer Alexa Chung is Instagram famous for her elegant yet charming style and photos. After her modeling career, she collaborated with many brands like Mulberry and Madewell to create her own collection, making a name for herself in the fashion world. Today, she shares artistic yet fun photos with her 5.2 million Instagram followers.

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7. Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin is an award-winning professional photographer who captures high-intensity shots of climbing expeditions and natural panoramas. He has won multiple awards for his work, and his 3.2 million Instagram followers recognize him for his talent.

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8. Jannid Olsson Delér

Jannid Olsson Delér is a lifestyle and fashion blogger that gathered a huge social media following for her photos of outfits, vacations, and her overall aspirational life. Her 1.2 million followers look to her for travel and fashion inspirations.

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9. Grace Bonney

Design*Sponge is a design blog authored by Grace Bonney, an influencer recognized by the New York Times, Forbes, and other major publications for her impact on the creative community. Her Instagram posts reflect her elegant yet approachable creative advice, and nearly a million users follow her account for her bright and charismatic feed.

10. Huda Kattan

Huda Kattan took the beauty world by storm — her Instagram began with makeup tutorials and reviews and turned into a cosmetics empire. Huda now has 1.3 million Instagram followers and a company valued at $1.2 billion. Her homepage is filled with makeup videos and snaps of her luxury lifestyle.

11. Zoe Sugg

Zoe Sugg runs a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle blog and has nearly 10 million followers on Instagram. She also has an incredibly successful YouTube channel and has written best-selling books on the experience of viral bloggers. Her feed consists mostly of food, her pug, selfies, and trendy outfits.

12. Sjana Elise Earp

Sjana Elise Earp is  a lifestyle influencer who keeps her Instagram feed full of beautiful photos of her travels. She actively promotes yoga and healthy living to her 1.4 million followers, becoming an advocate for an exercise program called SWEAT.

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13. Massy Arias

Personal trainer Massy Arias is known for her fitness videos and healthy lifestyle. Her feed aims to inspire her 2.6 million followers to keep training and never give up on their health. Arias has capitalized on fitness trends on Instagram and proven to both herself and her followers that exercise can improve all areas of your life. 

 

 
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5 Social Media Tips Every Small Business Needs [+ Free Tools]

POV: You’re new in the market and you’re wondering just how your small business can stand out among the millions of brands currently on social media.

In this article, you’ll learn how to use social media for small businesses and which (free) software you should have in your toolbox.

Why social media is important for small businesses?

The biggest benefit to using social media is that it’s a low-cost strategy to increase your brand awareness.

While you, of course, have to invest time and resources in building out your content, you can create high-quality content with a reliable phone and a few tools at your disposal.

In addition, with social media, you have the potential to reach your target audience for a fraction of what you would pay in targeted ads.

😍😍😍😍

— Kendall Miles (@TheKendallMiles)
September 20, 2021

For instance, you may spend $100 developing creative assets for a video that ends up reaching 100,000 users. To reach those same users with an ad, you will likely have to invest much more money.

In addition, social media allows you to:

Drive more traffic to your website and generate leads.
Promote products and services.
Build a community.
Connect with and learn from your target audience.

When you get down to it, the way you use social media as a small business isn’t much different from how you’d use it as a mid to large-size business. In both cases, you’re sharing, engaging, monitoring, and optimizing.

The key difference is that a small business is likely focused on growth while an established brand may prioritize expansion.

Social Media Tips for Small Business

1. Be consistent.

The best thing you can do as a small business when starting out on social media is to be consistent.

Too often, brands get discouraged if they don’t see results within a few weeks. The truth is social media growth can be slow but like most things, if you remain consistent, you will generate results.

This means posting high-quality content on a regular basis (at least once a week). You do this for a few reasons.

@thecraftghan Acrylic baby milestone signs in ‘Linen’
#acrylicsignstoronto
#makeitwithme
#tiktoktoronto
#shopsmall
#smallbiz
#cricutprojects
#babymilestones
♬ TO THE MOON – Jnr Choi & Sam Tompkins

The first is that when a user does land on your profile, you want them to get a clear picture of your brand. If you have little to no content, users will quickly lose interest and leave. The same is true for scattered posts.

Social media is an opportunity to tell a story. When you prioritize consistency and cohesiveness, users will know what to expect from your page, what your voice is, and what you offer. And that’s how you’ll attract your target audience.

2. Diversify your content.

On social media, there’s so much room to be creative and experiment. Too often, brands find one strategy that works and stick to that.

While there’s a lot of truth to the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” social media is constantly evolving. What worked yesterday may not work today, as these platforms implement new features and user behavior changes.

With this in mind, play around with content formats whenever possible. For instance, on TikTok, you can only post videos. However, on Facebook, you have the option of going live, posting images, conducting polls, and more.

Here are some formats you should leverage:

Photos
Videos
Illustrations
Stop-motion
Live streams
Polls

With content, the limit truly does not exist.

Our social media report revealed that small businesses get the best ROI from creating educational and relatable content. Meanwhile, mid-size and large businesses report better results with funny and interactive content.

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This data point makes sense for many reasons. Larger brands have likely already built a strong following and know what their audience likes. That’s why they’re able to do interactive polls and be creative with their content.

Small businesses, on the other hand, still have a lot to prove. They want to add value to their audience and grow a following, and the easiest way to do that? Make content that educates and/or resonates.

This isn’t to say that small businesses should stick to these two types of content. In fact, they should experiment with all content to narrow down what their audience likes. However, this can serve as a strong starting point.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

How-tos
Customer spotlights
Industry facts and updates
Behind the scenes
Trends (viral sounds and dances)
Product highlights
Q&As

3. Focus on quality instead of quantity.

This applies not only to the content you post but also to which platforms you post.

From a content perspective, while it is encouraged that you post often on social media, there’s a caveat. Everything you post should add value.

If it doesn’t meet that criteria, consider another strategy, such as reposting brand-related content from a non-competitor or sharing user-generated content (UGC).

In fact, 33% of small businesses surveyed (those with 1-25 employees) report getting the best ROI on social media from leveraging UGC.

Now onto the platforms.

If you’re a small business with limited time and resources, you may not able to manage an account on every single social platform. And that’s OK.

It’s much more valuable to focus on one to three platforms that have your target audience’s demographics and go from there.

According to our 2022 social media marketing research, small businesses are prioritizing Facebook and YouTube in 2022 (even though they report that Facebook and Instagram generate the highest quality leads).

However, if your audience is Gen-Z, you may choose to focus your efforts on TikTok and grow your audience there.

4. Find trends.

This is another piece of advice that relates to both content and platform.

Our research found that many small businesses are exploring live audio chat rooms and short-form videos for the first time – two of the biggest trends of the last two years.

Yes, trying out a new platform demands a lot more than trying out a new format or type of content.

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For a while, brands were wary of TikTok. They saw it as a non-serious platform meant to entertain Gen-Z. Now, brands realize that it’s another highly valuable network that can broaden their reach and increase their brand awareness.

This is all to say that you don’t have to jump on every trend when it first appears, that’s not the recommendation here. Instead, you want to monitor them and their evolution. Because while some trends die off, others turn into staples.

Social Media Tools for Small Business

1. Google Analytics for Analytics

When asked about the tools they use to track social media metrics, 75% of small businesses said Google Analytics.

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The platform allows you to track the impact of your social media accounts on your traffic, specifically:

How many visitors are coming from social media
How long their sessions are
Which landing pages are getting shared most on social media
Conversion rates from social media compared to other channels
Which social campaigns are generating traffic and conversions

There are both free and paid versions of the app – the free version offers so many features that as a small business, there is little need for the upgrade.

2. Canva for Graphic Design

Don’t have money to hire a graphic designer? Don’t fret – Canva to the rescue.

This graphic design platform offers thousands of free social media templates that you can use to build a consistent visual identity.

You can also find stock images and videos that are free to use for commercial and non-commercial use.

Note: While Canva is incredible for creating branded templates, avoid using it for logos, as you may struggle to find unique designs.

3. Asana for Content Planning

Asana is a project management tool that makes social media planning easy.

With the free version, you can:

Integrate it with 100+ tools, including Slack, Google Calendar, Adobe, Canva, MailChimp.
Create unlimited projects and tasks.
Tag social platforms, content, and more for easy sorting.
Have up to 15 users to facilitate collaboration.

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With all of these features, you can map out your content for the month and create tasks to track your progress. This makes scheduling a piece of cake and allows others to get a clear understanding of your plans.

Growing your social media presence as a small business is an exciting time. Use these tools to get you on track and remember, slow and steady always wins the race.

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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Video Marketing Report [Data from 500+ Video Marketers]

More than ever, social media channels are putting video content front and center on their feeds, as audiences increasingly turn to TikTok, Reels, and live videos to be entertained, discover products, and even learn about exciting new brands.

And for marketers, leveraging video not only offers the highest ROI of any media format, but it plays a key role in helping marketers exceed their goals.

To learn more about the top strategies and opportunities in video marketing today, we surveyed over 500 professionals that specialize in this field. Immediately, the effectiveness of video marketing became obvious.

But where in the world of video marketing should you focus your efforts first? To help you determine your next steps, we gained insights from video marketers about all sorts of topics and tactics including:

Video Marketing Benchmarks and Metrics
The Top Video Marketing Goals and Strategies
Which Video Formats Have the Highest ROI?
Which Channels and Platforms are Most Effective For Video?
How to Make Viral Videos

Let’s dive in.

Video Marketing Survey Findings

Video Marketing Benchmarks

If no one sees your video, was it even worth making?

We first asked video marketers how many views their videos get on average. Here’s what we found:

38% of marketing videos average less than 10K views
16% average under 1,000 views
16% average over 100K views

But views aren’t the only metric marketers track. There’s a long list of data points you could be keeping your eyes on, so let’s take a look at which are the best measure of your video’s performance.

The Most Prioritized Video Marketing Metrics

Once you begin to get views, you’ll also want to build on your strategy by looking at and improving on a few other metrics.

Among video marketers, video engagement, conversion rate, and click-through rate are among a handful of other KPIs marketers look at, with engagement rate being prioritized by 60% of marketers, and conversion and click-through rates being a focus of 56% and 52% of marketers respectively.

Below, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the importance of each major metric.

1. Engagement Rate

According to 60% of video marketers, engagement is the most important metric to watch. After all, when a video sees high engagement, that means it is resonating with your audience enough to make them want to drop a like, write a comment, or share it with their friends.

2. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate comes in at #2 and can be a great indicator of how successful your video is at getting viewers to take the desired action.

3. Click-through Rate Speaks to Your Thumbnail and Title/Caption

Click-through rate (CTR) comes in at #4 and can tell you how effective your thumbnail is at getting people to watch the video in the first place. Before watching a video, your audience is also seeing the title or caption attached to it, which your CTR will also reflect.

4. Follower and Subscriber Growth

If you are gaining followers/subscribers from a video, that means it’s resonating with viewers and they want to see more from your brand. 

If one of your videos grows your following more than usual, try to think about what set this video apart from the rest and replicate it. Also, check your analytics for helpful information on how these new subscribers/followers found your video. How can you keep providing them with valuable content?

5. Average View Time

Average view duration is key to understanding which parts of your video are highly engaging and which sections needed more work or should have been cut out entirely. While the overall average can offer useful insights when comparing similar-length videos, if possible, check the percentage of viewers watching at key moments throughout the video.

For example, if a high percentage of viewers stick around through the introduction, you successfully hooked them. However, if you see a huge dropoff halfway through, the video may have been too long.

Speaking of video length, we also asked video marketers how long a marketing video should be. Let’s take a look at what they told us.

How Long Should a Marketing Video Be?

A whopping 96% of marketers agree that the optimal length of a marketing video is under 10 minutes.

Beyond that, opinions start to differ, with the largest chunk of them (36%) saying videos should be between 1-3 minutes, while 27% think the sweet spot is between 4-6 minutes. Another 16% say the optimal video length is under 60 seconds. On the other hand 15% advocate for videos between 7-9 minutes long.

At the end of the day, the length of your video will largely depend on which type of video best suits your goals. So let’s dive into video marketers’ top goals in 2022.

Video Marketing Goals

The top three video marketing goals include increasing revenue (focused on by 33% of respondents(, raising brand awareness and advertising products/services (with 32% of marketers focusing on each).

More than one-fourth of marketers are also focused on improving customers’ understanding of products/services, while 23% want to improve customer service and retention with video.

As I mentioned at the very start, our survey shows video marketing is highly effective for reaching all of these goals, so let’s dive into some of the strategies video marketers are using to succeed.

Video Marketing Strategies

The Top Tactics for Creating Effective Videos

The most important factors for creating effective marketing videos are effectively promoting your video, capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds, and keeping your videos short/concise.

Why Video Promotion Is Key

It can be tempting to dedicate all of your time to crafting the “perfect” video with slick edits, high production value, and an irresistible thumbnail. While these things are important, they lose their power without effective video promotion.  

In fact, in a recent trends survey, we found that 78% of consumers say it is more important for marketing videos to be authentic and relatable than polished and high-quality. That doesn’t mean you should neglect video/audio quality, but it isn’t going to make or break a video’s success.

On the other hand, ineffectively promoting your video can cause your video to flop, so let’s take a look at a few strategies video marketers use to make sure that doesn’t happen.

How to Promote a Marketing Video

The most effective video promotion strategies are sharing them on social media, adding videos to your website/blog, running paid ads for your videos, optimizing your title/description for search, and integrating videos into your email campaigns.

Whichever channels you choose for video promotion, remember that simply sharing a video isn’t enough. Effective video promotion begins before a video is even complete and continues long after a video is published.

For example, if your video is going live on YouTube in the next 24 hours, hop on Instagram and start a countdown on your story. Share the thumbnail and title 3-5 hours before the video drops to generate more interest. Prepare a teaser to hook viewers in and share that on social media as soon as your video releases.

Once the video is out, you can run an interactive poll related to your video on social media to engage your core audience and pique the interest of those who haven’t seen it yet. You can also set up an email campaign to go out announcing your video a few hours later, or add a banner to your website linking to the video.

Lastly, make sure to continue promoting when the opportunity arises. For example, if you see a Reddit or Twitter thread related to the topic of your video and think your content could add value to the conversation, drop it in the comment section.

Now that you’re up to speed on video marketing goals and strategies, let’s take a look at which video formats are most effective.

Top Video Formats

The top video three video formats are short-form, long-form, and live videos. In this section, we’ll take a deep dive into each of these, looking at which has the best ROI, how long each type of video should be, and a few relevant benchmarks.

1. Short-form Video

Of all the video formats, short-form has the highest ROI and is also #1 for lead generation and engagement.

The use of short-form video will grow significantly in 2022, with 36% of video marketers planning to invest more in it than any other format, and 45% planning to use it for the first time this year.

If you’re one of those marketers, you may be wondering how long a short-form video should be. The consensus among video marketers is that a short-form video is under 60 seconds, with the biggest chunk (33%) saying the optimal length is 31-60 seconds.

When it comes to the percentage of time a video is watched, nearly all short-form videos are watched for over 40% of their duration, which isn’t surprising due to their quick runtime. 59% of them are watched for 41-80% of their length, and 30% have an average watch percentage over 81%.

The average watch percentage for these videos can even exceed 100% as your audience replays them over and over.

Lastly, when looking at click-through rates, nearly half of short-form marketing videos also have a CTR between 5-8%.

2. Long-Form Video

Long-form videos, defined in this survey as videos over three minutes, come in 2nd to short-form for ROI, lead generation, and engagement.

Long-form video will also see significant growth in 2022 as 18% of video marketers plan to invest more in it than any other format, and 36% of will use it for the first time this year.

The biggest chunk of video marketers (36%) say the ideal length for long-form videos is 3-6 minutes, though many also advocate for videos up to 20 minutes long.

Looking at the average watch percentage, 38% of long-form marketing videos fall between 41-60%, while one in four sees an average watch percentage of 61-80%. Another 22% fall between 21 to 40%.

When it comes to CTR, the biggest chunk (57%) of long-form marketing videos are between 5-8%, which is similar to the CTR for short-form videos.

3. Live Videos/Live Streams Metrics And Benchmarks

Live videos or streams are used by 32% of video marketers and come in #4 for ROI and #3 for engagement. And, use of live videos/live streams will also grow in 2022, with 35% of video marketers planning on leveraging it for the first time.

The optimal length of a live video/live stream is between 4-9 minutes, according to 51% of video marketers. Another 22% prefer to go live for 1-3 minutes, while around one in five recommends a longer time frame of 10-30 minutes.

When it comes to the average percentage of a video watched, over 60% of live videos/live streams fall are viewed for 41% to 80% of their duration.

The Top Video Marketing Channels

1. Social Media

Social media is used for video sharing by 76% of video marketers and has the biggest ROI of any video marketing channel, by far. It is also the most effective channel for generating leads from marketing videos.

Use of social media for sharing marketing videos will grow significantly in 2022, with, 61% of all video marketers planning to invest more in sharing videos on social media than any other channel this year. Additionally, almost 2 in 3 of those who never used social media for sharing videos plan to do so for the first time this year.

2. Blog/Website Pages

A blog or website is used by 55% of video marketers to share their videos, has the 2nd highest ROI, and is the 2nd most effective at generating leads.

Use of a blog or website for sharing marketing videos will also grow in 2022, with 59% of video marketers planning to try it for the first time, and 18% of all video marketers investing in using their blog/website for sharing marketing videos over any other channel.

3. Email

Email is used by 44% of video marketers to share their videos and nearly tied with blog or website for ROI.

40% of video marketers plan to share videos through email for the first time in 2022, and 11% plan to invest more in sharing videos through email than through any other channel this year.

While all these channels can be effective for sharing marketing videos, social media is the clear winner. So let’s dive into which social media apps are most effective for video sharing.

The Best Social Media Channels for Sharing Videos

1. Instagram

Instagram is the top social media platform for ROI, engagement, and lead generation for sharing marketing videos and will see significant investment from video marketers in 2022.

Use of Instagram by video marketers will grow significantly in 2022, as 24% of them will invest more into sharing videos on Instagram than on any other platform. Additionally, 42% of those who don’t use Instagram for sharing videos will do so for the first time this year.

2. YouTube

While YouTube comes in at #2 behind Instagram for ROI and lead generation, it is the most used app for video sharing, with 70% of video marketers leveraging it.

YouTube will also see the most investment from video marketers in 2022, with 27% investing more into sharing videos on YouTube than any other platform. On top of that, over half of those who don’t use YouTube for sharing videos will do so for the first time in 2022.

3. Facebook

Facebook is used by 60% of video marketers when sharing marketing videos (tied at #2 for usage with Instagram), though it comes in 4th for ROI, engagement, and lead generation.

35% will invest in sharing videos on Facebook for the first time in 2022 and 16% of video marketers will invest more in sharing videos on Facebook than on any other platform this year.

4. TikTok

While TikTok has the 3rd highest ROI and comes in 2nd for engagement, only 35% of video marketers currently share videos on the app, and just 20% plan to start for the first time in 2022.

Which social media channels have low video performance?

Reddit, Tumblr, Twitch, Snapchat, and Pinterest are consistently the worst channels for sharing marketing videos and will see the least investment from video marketers in 2022.

Another consideration when sharing videos on social media is whether you will pay for ads or share your content organically. Let’s take a look at which video marketers are using.

Should you use paid or organic video posts on social media?

55% of video marketers leverage a mix of organic and paid content when posting videos on social media, while 24% use organic only, and 21% use paid only.

Now that we’ve looked at how marketers are sharing their videos on social media, let’s compare two of the most common platforms for hosting videos – YouTube and Vimeo.

Hosting Videos on YouTube vs. Vimeo

We asked video marketers who use both YouTube and Vimeo to compare the two, and not only do 78% of them say YouTube is more effective for reaching their overall business goals, but YouTube is far superior in every category.

Vimeo comes close to being as effective as YouTube for privacy options, storage, video/audio quality, and video player customization, but still lags behind or is considered about the same as YouTube.

What are the Top Content Types for Marketing Videos?

1. Content Showcasing Your Products and Services

Content showcasing products/services is the most leveraged type of video content and has the highest ROI of any content type, with 66% of participants reporting high returns. It is also the most effective at generating leads and gets the 2nd most engagement of all content types we asked about.

Product and service content will also see the most investment of any video content type this year, with 17% planning to invest in it more than any other, while 36% plan to leverage it for the first time in 2022.

2. Content That Reflects Your Brands Values

Content that reflects a brand’s values is the second most leveraged type of video content and the 2nd most effective for generating leads and engagement.

3. Trendy Content

People generally don’t want to watch videos that feel out of date or out of touch, but they’re drawn to videos that discuss topics that they’re currently intreested in, like trends or news related to their industry or hobbies. This is likely why “trendy content” has the second-highest ROI and gets the most engagement.

4. Relatable Content

Relatable content will see the most new investment in 2022, with 40% planning to leverage it for the first time, while 12% will invest more in it than any other content type.

5. Funny and Interactive Content

Both funny and interactive content have high ROI and will be leveraged by 29% and 27% of video marketers for the first time in 2022, respectively.

Next, let’s look at the different styles of videos you can use, and which are most effective.

Top Video Styles

1. Live-Action (Videos Featuring Real Footage)

Live-action videos are leveraged most often, have the biggest ROI, are the most effective for lead generation, and get the most engagement.

Use of live-action video will grow significantly in 2022, as 55% plan to use it for the first time ever and 48% of all video marketers will invest more in live-action than any other video style.

2. Animated Videos

Animated videos are used by one in two video marketers, have the second-highest ROI, and are the 2nd most effective for lead generation and engagement.

49% of video marketers will also leverage animated videos for the first time this year, and 30% will invest in them more than any other video style.

3. Screen-Capture or Screen Recording

Screen-capture videos are used by 43% of video marketers, the least of the three video styles. Screen-capture has the lowest ROI, by far, and is much less effective for generating leads and engagement.

However, screen-recorded videos will see more use in 2022, with 52% planning to leverage them for the first time and 21% planning to invest more in them than any other video style

Now that you know the top formats, styles, and content types for marketing videos, as well as where to share them, we can dive into our research on how to create viral videos.

Viral Videos

Getting one of your videos to go viral might seem like a pipe dream, but it isn’t as out of reach as you might think.

63% of video marketers have created a viral video – so let’s take a look at exactly how they did it so your next video can blow up too.

How to Make a Video Go Viral

The most effective strategies for creating a viral video are making retable content, keeping videos short/concise, and capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds.

Let’s dig a little deeper into these top three strategies and how you can use them.

1. Making Relatable Content Means More Engagement

Making relatable content is key to getting viewers to engage with your video. Whether they comment on your video or share it with a friend, the algorithm takes notice and boosts your video to more viewers, increasing its chances to go viral.

2. Shorter Is Better

Keeping videos short is also crucial to virality. According to 47% of video marketers, short-form videos are the most likely to go viral.

But how long is a short-form video exactly? Our video marketing trends report found that the consensus among video marketers is under 60 seconds, with the biggest chunk (33%) saying the optimal length is 31-60 seconds.

3. Capture Attention Immediately

Capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds is the third most effective way to make a video go viral.

This could be as simple as starting a video with a colorful animation, an intriguing question, showing text on-screen, or even with physical movements like hand motions or jumping out of your chair to set a video off.

Now that you know the top strategies to make a video go viral, let’s take a look at which platforms you should use.

Which Platform are Videos Most Likely to Go Viral On?

YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook are the platforms that video marketers say are most likely to have a video go viral.

If you have a social media presence on any of those three, they can be powerful for scoring a viral video. But if you’re not leveraging them yet, it might be time to finally give TikTok, Instagram Reels, or YouTube Shorts a shot.

Which Type of Video Content is Most Likely to Go Viral?

Funny, trendy, and relatable videos that reflect a brand’s values are most likely to go viral.

Combine these top content types by creating a funny, relatable, and on-trend video for the best chance of going viral.

Lastly, we’ll take a look at the different video styles and which is most effective for a viral video.

Which Style of Video Content is Most Likely to Go Viral?

Live-action videos are most likely to go viral according to 49% of video marketers, but animation is also effective for 31% of respondents.

If you can, use both. Keep viewers engaged by switching back and forth between your live-action shot and animation with a voiceover.

Video Marketing Benefits & Challenges

Video Marketing Benefits

The biggest benefits of creating marketing videos are that they help customers understand a product/service, get more engagement than other marketing content, and lead to more sales/conversions than other marketing content.

While this seems perfectly in line with video marketers’ goals, those benefits also come with a few challenges.

Video Marketing Challenges

The biggest challenges video marketers face are a lack of time to create video content, difficulty creating an effective video strategy, and inadequate budget to create video content.

The great news is that video marketing is simpler than ever, with 57% of video marketers describing video marketing as easy.

On top of that, 46% of those who started making videos in the past year did so because creating marketing videos became less time-consuming, and 38% said they started because videos became easier to make in-house. 1 in 2  also started making marketing videos in response to the pandemic.

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been making videos for a while, budgeting can be a stressful part of the process. To help you navigate your video marketing budget, let’s take a look at how other marketers are budgeting for their videos.

Video Marketing Budgets

81% of video marketers have a dedicated budget for video marketing. Here’s what those budgets look like:

20% of companies spend over $100K on video marketing per quarter
Around 1 in 4 spend under $20K
42% spend between $20K-$100K

We also asked video marketers how their budget changed from 2021 to 2022, and found that 52% of video marketers saw a budget increase in 2022, while 46% saw no change. Just 2% saw a decrease.

Marketers who saw an increase in their video budget generally received a substantial boost in their budget, with 41% of video marketers getting an increase of over 51%.

You may also be wondering what percentage of total marketing budgets goes towards video marketing, so let’s take a look at that too.

It turns out that 44% of companies spend 31-60% of their total marketing budget on video marketing.

How Much Does Creating a Marketing Video Cost?

91% of marketers’ companies spend under $50,000 to create a marketing video, and over half spend under $10,000.

With the total cost of making a marketing video in mind, let’s look into how much video marketers are spending on each step in the video creation process.

Production takes up 24% of the average video marketer’s budget, followed by pre-production and post-production tied at 20%. Another 18% is spent on talent and video promotion/distribution.

We also asked video marketers which part of the video creation process is most expensive, and 65% of them say production is the costliest step.

Lastly, let’s talk about how long it takes to create a marketing video and which parts are most time-consuming.

How Long Does it Take to Create a Marketing Video?

86% of marketing videos are created in 3 weeks or less, and 40% are made in under a week.

The most time-consuming part of the video creation process is pre-production (coming up with ideas, writing script, casting, etc.), according to 38% of those who make marketing videos in-house.

More Insights From the HubSpot Blog

Whether you’re just getting started with video marketing or a seasoned video professional, keeping up with the latest trends and marketing strategies is key.

While video marketing is currently one of the top marketing strategies, there are a few others that have even better ROI – luckily, you can incorporate most of them into your video marketing strategy for even better results.

If you’re ready to take your video marketing strategy to the next level, check our Marketing Trends and Social Media Trends research from earlier this year!

Just getting started with video? You can also download our free Video Marketing Starter Pack below.

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How Brands are Investing in Video Marketing On a Budget [2022 Data]

According to 2022 HubSpot Blog Research, 31% of video marketers surveyed say their biggest challenge is having an inadequate budget to create video content.

In this article, we’ll cover what it costs to run a video marketing campaign and what brands are investing in the most this year.

How much are marketers spending on video marketing?

This year, we wanted to learn more about how marketers approach video marketing, including the strategies they leverage, the returns they get, and the amount they invest.

We surveyed over 500+ global marketers and here’s what we discovered.

Firstly, the data suggests that video marketing is a top content format for brands – with 31% of marketers surveyed allocating 21 to 40% of their total marketing budget to video.

Another 30% allocate 41 to 60% of their total budget to video marketing.

Video is so important that 52% of marketers say their budget increased in 2022. However, the increase is more present in B2B brands.

Now, when it comes to quarterly budgets, here’s the breakdown:

Many brands have a conservative budget with 15% of respondents allocating only $1K and $10K.
11% of marketers surveyed budget $10K and 20K.
The most popular budget bracket is between $20K and $60K, followed by 26% of marketers surveyed.
On the higher end, 16% of marketers surveyed say they allocate $80K to 100K while 20% invest between $100K and $200K.
Only a small percentage of companies surveyed (10%) budget over $200K.

Now that you know how much marketers are investing in video marketing, let’s break down how they’re spending it.

What are video marketers spending their budget on?

When asked, “Which part of the video creation process is most expensive?” 65% of marketers surveyed answered production.

Production is the process of filming your content and setting up the equipment needed to capture the footage, such as lighting, audio, and props.

According to marketers surveyed, production takes up 24% of the average video marketer’s budget.

Pre-production (ideation, scripting, casting) and post-production (editing and exporting) are tied as the second-highest cost. Then it’s tied again between the cost of video production and distribution and on-camera talent.

On average, 91% of marketers surveyed say they spend under $50,000 to create a marketing video.

Most (53%) say they spend under $10,000 and 16% spend under $1,000. Only a small percentage of respondents say they spend over $100K.

Video Marketing Techniques to Use on a Budget

1. Weigh your options.

According to our video marketing data, 69% of video marketers surveyed own production equipment while 10 percent rent, and the remaining group does both.

There’s an argument to be made for both.

On one end, creating videos in-house can be cheaper. However, outside agencies can provide higher-quality content.

In fact, most smaller brands (those with 200 employees or less) believe creating video content through an outside agency offers a better ROI than doing so in-house.

However, across all business sizes, roughly a third of respondents say the ROI is about the same either way.

With that said, it’s important to weigh your options and assess when and what you should rent versus own.

Upon first look, it might seem like renting is the smarter (and more affordable) option. However, most marketers surveyed (58%) say creating content in-house is cheaper.

To make this decision, consider the type of content you’ll be producing and the equipment you’ll need.

This is key in determining what is more cost-efficient.

If you’re a makeup brand for instance, you can probably produce great content sitting in front of a camera simply showcasing your products in action with good lighting. However, if you’re a travel and hospitality brand, you’ll likely need props, on-camera talent, location, and many more elements to fulfill your vision. In this case, it may be cheaper to outsource.

2. Separate need-to-haves from must-haves.

When it comes to video equipment, there will always be bigger and better out there.

If there’s one area you should focus on, it’s lighting.

Many believe that having the best camera does the trick but the truth is, lighting is what makes or breaks the quality of a video.

Lighting sets the tone and mood of a video, two elements you need to maintain your audience’s attention in a video.

Sound is another area to splurge on – specifically your mics. This will enhance the quality of your video, especially if you have to settle for low-end cameras.

As for everything else, (the camera, the lens, the accessories), these are great add-ons but if you’re on a budget, you can make do with low to mid-range options while still getting a high-quality result.

3. Leverage user-generated content.

According to HubSpot Blog Research, the number one challenge video marketers face is a lack of time to create video content.

Well, who said you had to create your content from scratch? You’re likely sitting on a pile of content from your customers right now.

If you have a strong social media presence, you likely have a bank of user-generated content ranging from images to videos and text. You can leverage all of these for campaigns and use them to supplement your own content.

For instance, ahead of the official Fenty Beauty perfume launch, its founder and musician Rihanna posted what seemed to be an ad.

It was a video compilation of various celebrities and influencers mentioning how good she smells – “like heaven” was a phrase heard multiple times.

just sayin’ 🤷🏿‍♀️… pic.twitter.com/EmC4ysMdjR

— Rihanna (@rihanna)
August 10, 2021

Without ever having to produce their own video, the brand leveraged UGC to build anticipation surrounding this launch.

4. Hire student and amateur talent.

When it comes to on-camera talent, this is where brands often struggle to think of alternatives.

They usually opt for an in-house creator just to save money, even though their role may not focus on this area at all. Or they contract talent, which can be costly.

Here’s a third option: Reach out to students and amateur actors.

In some cases, money isn’t the main motivator. It can often be exposure, gaining experience, or building up a portfolio. However, paid opportunities will always generate more interest and can get you more experienced talent.

5. Use free editing software.

When you think of video editing, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Adobe.

It’s the go-to software for production professionals. However, it’s complex and isn’t affordable. If you own an Apple device like the Macbook or iPad, you will have free video editing software already available.

While it doesn’t have as many features and offers limited functionality, it works well for simple editing and you can always find workarounds on platforms like YouTube.

Some free editing software comes with free music or you can find online websites that offer royalty-free music.

If you’re intimidated by the idea of video marketing because you think you don’t have the funds, hopefully, these five techniques will change your mind.

Video marketing is an important part of content creation and can drive sales so don’t let money prevent you from staying in the game.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

 

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Branded Mission: How to Leverage TikTok’s New Ad Solution to Boost Brand Awareness

TikTok has proven to be an incredibly powerful tool for businesses. In fact, the platform generated an estimated 1.9 billion in revenue in 2020 alone.

And the popularity of the app is due to its creators. Which makes TikTok’s new advertising solution — which is solely focused on crowdsourcing the best content from its creators — an incredible opportunity for brands.

Here, let’s dive into what Branded Mission is, and how you can use it to boost your brand awareness and sales.

What is Branded Mission?

Branded Mission is TikTok’s new advertising solution, and the idea is pretty simple: Branded Mission enables brands to select their advertising requirements, and then creators can submit original videos that meet those requirements. The brand then accepts their favorite video, and amplifies it through boosted ad traffic.

It’s a win-win: Creators have the opportunity to reach new audiences with boosted content, and brands can leverage high-quality content that aligns with their goals straight from the TikTok community.

As TikTok’s Newsroom states: “This new form of two-way engagement between brands and creators enables the TikTok community to have a creative hand in the ads that are a part of a brand campaign and helps brands discover emerging creators broadly across TikTok.”

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Essentially, Branded Mission creates easier opportunities for brands to work with TikTok influencers. Rather than sourcing and conducting the influencer outreach themselves, marketers can simply post their requests and wait for creators to pitch their suggestions.

Among other things, major benefits of Branded Mission include:

The chance for brands to discover new and influential creators on TikTok — and the ones most aligned with their brand messaging.
An opportunity for brands to receive authentic, relevant content related to their campaigns from creators who have a proven track record of success on TikTok.
Increased brand exposure to new communities by crowdsourcing from the TikTok ecosystem.

As ASOS’ team puts it, “We were blown away by the the creators’ incredible transformations for the #ASOSAlterEgo challenge. The Branded Mission allowed us to recognize this talent and reward creators with eyes on their content in a way that hasn’t been possible in this space before. A win-win which clearly impacted the campaign’s results.”

How to Use TikTok’s Branded Mission Tool

It’s important to note: Branded Mission is in beta testing and available to select brands and marketers across more than a dozen markets around the world, but will become available in additional markets starting in late 2022.

1. Advertisers select requirements for a Branded Mission.

For starters, advertisers will need to check off the requirements for their Branded Mission. This includes pairing the Branded Mission with a Branded Hashtag Challenge or Branded Effect, as well as other more specific requests like “lip sync with music” or “change your outfit”.

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2. Creators can accept by submitting videos.

A creator must be over 18-years-old and have a minimum of 1,000 followers to be eligible. Each eligible creator can submit up to three videos.

3. The top-performing videos will be included in a shortlist for advertisers to select their favorite.

TikTok’s algorithm will highlight the videos with the highest engagement potential — that are also deemed brand-safe — and those videos will be added to a shortlist for advertisers to select from.

4. The winning video becomes a media campaign.

Once the advertisers have chosen their favorite video, the video becomes a media campaign and is featured as an in-feed advertisement. The creator(s) whose video is selected receives a cash payout and boosted traffic. The rest of the creators will see their submissions as organic TikTok videos in the For You page.

Ultimately, Branded Mission is an exciting opportunity for brands to discover top-talent on TikTok and leverage creators’ expertise to reach new audiences. But time will tell how brands leverage the tool.

If you’re unsure whether TikTok advertising is for you, take a look at TikTok Ads Guide: How They Work + Cost and Review Process [+ Examples].