CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Wistia, a leader in the media hosting space, today released survey results indicating SMB marketers are accelerating investments in content creation (including a fast pivot to podcasting) despite significant budget cuts and other constraints. The 2020 State of SMB Marketing & Content Creation Report, a SMB marketer survey, commissioned by Wistia and conducted by Qualtrics, examined content creation priorities and challenges during the pandemic, as well as a general outlook for the industry in the coming year. The survey included 311 responses from SMB senior-level marketers including CMOs, Directors and Vice Presidents of Marketing and uncovered trends that have developed as a result of COVID-19.
While 68% of marketers experienced budget cuts by an average of 19%, original content creation has increased as finding new customers has become a bigger priority during the pandemic. Additionally, 73% of SMB marketers are hopeful and expect budgets to increase in 2021.
"Despite budget cuts, marketers aren't slowing down content creation and are even accelerating the development of new content across new platforms," said Chris Meador, VP, Marketing at Wistia. "During these tumultuous times, marketers are recognizing the value of their owned channels. They're creating more content than before the pandemic, and are finding new, effective ways to tell their brands' stories."
Marketers are Re-Focusing Efforts on Driving Growth Across Owned Digital Channels
While increasing organic traffic and growing a digital presence were marked as top priorities, marketers are struggling with finding ways to reach new customers and growing their customer base. Forty-nine percent of respondents said increasing organic traffic is their number one or two priority over the next 12 months, yet one of the biggest challenges facing marketers is finding new ways to reach customers with 59% of respondents saying this was their biggest challenge. Thirty-three percent of respondents ranked growing their digital presence as their first or second priority for the next year.
Despite Budget Cuts, Marketers Increase Investments in Original Content Creation
Even with budgets shrinking, original content creation is on the rise and is seen as a necessity to increase customers in this increasingly virtual world. Nearly a quarter of respondents (24%) didn't create any original content including videos, podcasts or other assets pre-pandemic, but that has dropped to 11% during the pandemic. Marketers know they need to reach audiences in new ways and are prioritizing new tactics, including 55% saying they have utilized virtual events and 53% saying video content. Video content is the most popular form of content being created, with 51% of respondents having created product and webinar videos pre-pandemic and 59% of respondents saying they've recently created product videos. Podcast launches have also increased. Pre-pandemic, only 14% of respondents had created a podcast and this has risen to 29% who have now launched one.
Marketers Eye Podcasts to Tell Specific Stories, Expand Brand Recognition and Highlight Company Culture
Almost all respondents (87%) are considering launching a podcast in the next 12 months, with many having reported already launching one. Respondents reportedly launched a podcast primarily to increase brand awareness, with 69% of respondents ranking this as their first or second priority. Highlighting company culture (45%) and reaching a specific audience (28%) were also noted as main reasons for launching a podcast. Nineteen percent ranked podcasts as a necessary marketing channel for their industry as a primary reason for launching one. Challenges to launching a podcast included 47% ranking it not being on their radar as their top first or second barrier, followed by 41% thinking their company is too small and 35% who aren't sure how to get started launching one.
Wistia Launches New Podcast Functionality into Existing Product to Enhance Brands' Storytelling Capabilities
Wistia is on a mission to empower SMBs to be storytellers and reach their audiences through dynamic, content creation. To that end, Wistia has introduced a full suite of podcast hosting and marketing features into its existing platform. The addition of podcasting to Wistia's existing video capabilities gives marketers the option to choose audio or video in distributing their brand messages. Wistia's Podcast product is the first to be able to turn listens into valuable, retargeting, lead-scoring, and audience-building data for acquisition, audience development, and nurture campaigns. Performance insights track each episode's download, listen, and where the stream is coming from to help marketers make informed decisions. Marketers can choose to distribute to major podcasting apps, like Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and more. The podcast product is included as part of Wistia's subscription offering with access now open to advanced customers, and opening to general availability on October 27.
About the 2020 State of SMB Marketing & Content Creation Report
Wistia's national study was conducted online by Qualtrics between September 9th and September 22nd of 2020. The sample included 311 senior marketers (CMO, VP, or Director or Manager or Marketing Function) who are at least 18 years old, have at least five years of work experience, and work for a company between 26 and 1,000 employees. The survey results have a margin of error of 6%, at a 95% confidence level.
Wistia is recognized as a leader in the media hosting software space, enabling small and medium-sized businesses to leverage their content to grow their brands and businesses. By bringing advanced audio and video marketing tools, detailed analytics, and audience-building features to their player, any business can use Wistia's software to reach their marketing goals. With Wistia, marketers have everything they need to engage their audiences and grow demand for their brand. Today, more than a half-million businesses across 50 countries depend on Wistia's products to power their brands, including HubSpot, Mailchimp, Sephora, Starbucks, and Tiffany & Co. Learn more at wistia.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.