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Aiming for the personal touch, Stephanie Cox began using videos to illustrate customer success stories in her business, Lumavate, in 2018. Although the first use case was for sales, Cox, president of the Indiana-based firm, which makes a low-code app development platform for marketers, recognized the power videos can have.

At the start, “we wanted to create one-to-one videos for every prospect we reached out to … so we’d send a personalized video,” Cox said. To do that, Lumavate used a video platform for businesses called Vidyard.

“In the last three years, videos are now in every aspect of our company,” including marketing and customer service. If someone calls for assistance on how to use the Lumavate product, a customer service rep can walk them through the process using a premade video or one created on the fly, Cox said.

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This became especially important during the pandemic. “Like a lot of companies, our ability to hop on a plane to meet with customers or prospects was not a possibility,” she said, noting that when Lumavate brings a new customer on board, there is a big kickoff to introduce the customer team that handles implementations.

While employees used Zoom, “another way to create connections and introduce members of our team was to create videos,” Cox said.

Video usage in business is on the rise. While live video conferences skyrocketed during the pandemic, “Zoom fatigue” became an issue and many businesses have turned to videos, which can be synchronous or asynchronous. Vidyard said it added more than 5,000 new business customers with more than 7 million users across its platform in the past year.

Adoption of Vidyard’s video messaging and screen recording tools increased by more than 250% as sales and marketing teams across high tech, SaaS, financial services, professional services and other industries expand their use of asynchronous video for remote sales, marketing and customer service, according to Michael Litt, CEO.

Another reason is that “comfort on camera has increased dramatically,” Litt said. The move to a digital-first business world has accelerated the use of video especially in industries where in-person customer interactions were previously the norm, he said.

Buyers and sellers seeing value

Video may be here to stay. More than three-quarters of buyers now prefer digital self-serve and remote human contact over face-to-face interactions, even post-COVID, according to McKinsey. Only about 20% of B2B buyers said they hope to return to in-person sales, even in sectors where field-sales models have traditionally dominated, such as pharma and medical products, McKinsey said.

The global enterprise video market size is projected to grow from $16.4 billion in 2020 to $25.6 billion by 2025 at a compound annual growth rate of 9.3% during the forecast period, according to MarketsandMarkets Research from 2020.

Vidyard offers a premium video hosting platform that manages video assets enterprise-wide with the ability to add interactivity. The platform captures who is watching, for how long, and reports the findings into a company’s CRM or marketing automation system, Litt said.

Other features of the platform include the ability to record a screen capture, record directly from a camera, send a notification when someone watches a video and manage compliance for highly regulated industries.

Enterprise video provider Qumu also saw significant growth—about 400%–especially cloud-based, since the pandemic began, said TJ Kennedy, CEO. Net growth has tapered off, “but it is still much higher than the baseline we were at last year,” Kennedy said.

It’s not just businesses that are using video, sports teams are as well. For example, the Birmingham County Football Association in Birmingham, England, is providing its videos made using Qumu on-demand to nearly 70,000 football players at 1,200 grassroots football clubs for the first time.

BCFA will use Qumu’s video-on-demand capability to create and widely distribute content securely. BCFA will have total control over the consumption of its videos, and can track when videos are viewed, and for how long and on what devices. Users will be able to scan a QR code to access the content.

“Live video is no longer enough and … asynchronous video is also an expectation,” Kennedy said. Qumu can create asynchronous and on-demand videos at events of up to 100,000 people.

“A video may start out as a live event and then other people around the world watch it asynchronously,” Kennedy said. The platform provides analytics capabilities including who watched a video and from where, as well as whether they watched from start to finish.

With many businesses turning to a hybrid model as people go back to offices, Kennedy expects to see asynchronous usage continue to grow on top of live videos. The company recently announced the ability to create videos with a 360-degree view.

“So if you’re a manufacturing customer building airplanes, you can do a walkthrough with a 360-degree view of a new airplane … it’s very different than traditional videos with more rich features,” he said. “A lot of virtual events will continue,” which enables people to attend remotely from wherever they are located.

“This is upping the game in the video you’re delivering and the different formats you’re delivering in,” Kennedy said.

Lumavate’s Cox expects more businesses will use videos. “I think it’s a more creative way to reach out to prospects and we hear that.” A salesperson typically sends a video on the second outreach to a prospective customer and will explain in that personalized video why they are reaching out.

“Typically, you haven’t gotten a lot of videos before so you’ll pass that around your company,” she said. Between 40% and 50% of all meetings Lumavate books come from the video outreach, she said.

“I believe that video is now an enterprise business expectation and imperative,” Kennedy said. “It is no longer an option of if you can or will use video in daily business but rather, that you use it well and in a professional way.”