It’s that time of the year again and HubSpot’s annual “State of Inbound” report is ready. HubSpot surveyed 4,000 marketers worldwide in a bid to understand what drives inbound marketing today and how it might transform next year. Hubspot asked a wide range of questions on respondents' current marketing strategy, tactics and future plans.
Two trends that stood out for us were the new waves of video and social media popularity. By “new” we mean that video and social already experienced unprecedented growth around 2013, and both have continued to grow year on year. However, we might be on the verge of another huge jump in video uptake. A huge 48% of Hubspot’s respondents indicated that they intended to add YouTube to their marketing efforts, while 39% of marketing professionals mentioned Facebook Video as something to add to their to-do list.
YouTube marketing set for big growth
There are two reasons why this is remarkable. Firstly, it shows how few B2B marketers had been using YouTube for content distribution. Secondly, it gives us a good idea of the amount of competition that we’re going to have to deal with in 2017. With so many newcomers it will be even more challenging to get your videos in front of the right eyeballs.
If you've had a go at video marketing you will know that it’s not the easiest job in the world ensuring your videos get the views they deserve. By the end of last year 500 hours of video were uploaded to YouTube every minute. Just to give you a perspective, it was “just” 100 hours of video content per minute back in 2013. How soon are we going to hit 1000 hours of video per minute? That’s what we call a crowded place!
By no means do we want to discourage B2B marketers from adding YouTube to their marketing toolbox, however, the “State of Inbound” report revealed something that some B2B brands might consider an even better opportunity – Instagram!
Instagram as an opportunity for video marketing
33% of respondents said they would start using Instagram for B2B marketing in 2017. Instagram if often regarded as a pure B2C platform yet many thousands of B2B companies are killing it on Instagram right now.
Why are we classifying this as a better opportunity then? Because compared to YouTube, on Instagram it’s easier to build your following and to get your message across. Have you ever caught yourself refreshing your YouTube profile hoping that the subscriber count would go up? On Instagram, if you post the right content with the right hashtags, you will start enjoying interaction much sooner than you would on YouTube.
Also many SMEs will find it easier to produce content for Instagram. Most businesses find it relatively simple to post regular photos - now that we all have smartphones in our pockets. Instagram is also the perfect channel for pushing your video clips. It helps that the clips are much shorter at 3 to 60 seconds long – ideal for repurposing on Vine, Snapchat and Twitter.
Another reason why Instagram is a great opportunity is its social character. After all, it is a social network. YouTube is more of a search engine or an entertainment destination and there's much less interaction with video creators and comment authors. Yes, you can subscribe to peoples’ updates and “thumb-up” funny comments but that doesn’t automatically make YouTube a social network. You'll see the difference between the two as soon as you start posting the right content regularly to Instagram
People want more social media posts
If we dig deeper and look at HubSpot’s Consumer Behaviour Survey that was done earlier this year, web users clearly give preference to video content and social media posts. 55% of respondents indicated that they consumed video content thoroughly and 52% said they paid attention to social media posts.
Blogging isn’t necessarily your best opportunity for content distribution as only 29% of people read blog posts thoroughly. Most of them will just skim-read. Surely, with the right format and CTAs you can still make blogging work beautifully, it’s just that the trend is in favour of videos and social media so you want to be well poised for reaping the rewards.
If you’re after some inspiration on Instagram for B2B marketing, check this Top 5 list of companies that are making a great effort on Instagram, and make sure you download the Hubspot's "State of Inbound" research data below: