How video consumption has changed in 2020

In 2020, video has become more important than ever. Every day, we stream our favorite shows, watch tutorial videos on YouTube to learn something new, or follow events, webinars and interviews via live video streams on LinkedIn, Instagram or Facebook.

We thank the popularity of video content to the Millennials and Gen Z. These age groups are more connected to the Internet than older age groups and enjoy being entertained or learning new things from online videos. The past holiday I saw my teens for many hours staring apathetically at their phones again, after which it turned out that they had mastered all kinds of new dances, songs or other skills. So it wasn’t that bad after all ;-).

Today, most marketers are aware of the need to use video in their marketing strategy. According to HubSpot’s 2020 State of Marketing report, video topped heavyweights such as email, blogging and infographics as the most used type of marketing content.

The interest in video is not surprising or new. Over the past century, we have seen video shift from black and white televisions to smartphones and tablets. As consumers have seen this content more and more at their fingertips, brands have discovered a number of new ways to implement video in their marketing.

Rather than relying on a commercial during our favorite series to learn about a product, we are inundated with social media marketing videos, streaming apps, and search results pages.

Video does not disappear, but is constantly expanding, changing and evolving to meet new consumer needs and new platforms. As this content continues to evolve with each new generation, marketers must continue to research the interests, hobbies, and behaviors of video viewers.

In this blog, we highlight six ways (supported by Hubspot research) ways in which video usage is changing and how marketers can strategically respond to this.

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Consumers are starting to rely on marketing videos

In the past, consumers would visit websites, watch online reviews, watch commercials, and maybe look for a few YouTube videos to learn more about a product. Now that video is accessible on every major social media network, they are learning to rely more heavily on video in their research phase.

Brands are seeing more and more involvement in video marketing. Consumers also increasingly expect to see this type of content from brands. Even in 2018, a whopping 87% of consumers said they wanted to see more videos from brands next year.

In 2020, the expectation that brands will offer marketing videos has become even stronger. Every day, consumers use product demos, video reviews and unboxings to learn more about products before purchasing.

What do higher expectations of video content mean for you as a marketer? If a potential customer is interested in a product or service in your industry, is looking for video reviews or tutorials and can’t find anything about your brand’s offerings, they can decide to buy a competitor’s product.


Videos allow consumers to see how a product or service actually works, spot any flaws before purchasing the item, and discover benefits that they may not learn about in the text-based description. This content can also appear more authentic than a heavily edited product shot, which can increase a consumer’s confidence in a brand or offering.

Generation Z and Millennials “Can’t Live Without Video”

This is no surprise to some. Each new generation has watched more online videos than the last. However, when it comes to people under the age of 34, videos have a greater impact on everyday life than ever before. In the YouTube survey, 50% of people in both generations said they “couldn’t live without video” in their daily lives.

Aside from using video for entertainment, both Millennials and Gen Z prefer to watch videos to gather information. Even when it comes to learning about a new brand or product, these age groups prefer video tutorials, product demos, or other marketing videos to reading about a company online.

With Millennials approaching 40 and GenZ starting to gain full purchasing power, chances are these two age brackets will soon make up a huge chunk of your audience (if they aren’t already).

Right now, marketers looking to attract these two generations should consider trying out video strategies on social media or their own websites. While these age groups regularly use video for entertainment purposes, they will probably also use it to learn more about products or brands worth investing in.

If there’s a great video recommendation or tutorial for a product they’re interested in, they can find it, watch it, and use that content to confirm that this purchase is right for them.

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Video viewers want to relax or get away from everyday life

In the past, older generations might watch their favorite TV series or go to the movies to escape the stress of everyday life. While the platforms have changed as younger consumers take over the video market, the instinctual need for relaxing or entertaining content hasn’t.

When asked about the reasons consumers view video content, YouTube survey participants said they primarily watch videos to “relax and unwind”. In addition, the fourth most common reason people watch videos is that the content makes them laugh. What’s more, people cited “It makes me forget the world around me” as the seventh most common reason to watch videos.

As a marketer, you don’t have to spend all your time and money creating mindless content that relaxes or makes your viewers laugh. But keep in mind that many viewers are still looking to be entertained or intrigued by your content. Even when creating an informational marketing video, consider experimenting with funny anecdotes or adding other entertaining qualities.

Consumers want to know more about their interests and passions

Aside from seeking escape from everyday life, YouTube viewers are motivated to watch content that teaches them new things, especially when related to their passions, interests, hobbies, or social circle. While the second most common reasoning for watching a video was, ‘it teaches me something new’, people also said they prioritize content that allows them to ‘dig deeper’ into their interests or ‘relate’ ’to their passions.

Chances are your product is related to someone’s interests, hobbies, passions or career. This is the type of person you want to reach. By creating a buyer persona and audience around this type of person, you can identify video topics that they value, benefit from, and will remember your brand.

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Consumers don’t care if your video looks “expensive”

There is a common misconception that marketing videos must feature the biggest Hollywood stars and be shot in an expensive studio. As marketers increasingly produce remote video in 2020, this myth has been definitively debunked.

But if the experiences of seasoned video marketers haven’t convinced you that a low-budget video can still be effective, here’s what YouTube found in its survey:

Bij het vragen van consumenten naar de belangrijkste redenen waarom ze naar video’s keken, kwamen verrassend genoeg “hoge productiekwaliteit” en “beroemde acteurs” onderaan de lijst.

Aside from ranking high-budget video features as the least likely reasons to watch videos, Millennials and Gen Z differ from older age groups in that they accept more user-generated content than professionally created videos. This may indicate that brands can make use of content created by their own customers or fans when creating marketing videos.

Today, there are plenty of ways to create affordable, good quality video from home or office. And while it still takes time and money to launch this content, effective marketing videos created anywhere can boost your brand awareness.

Younger generations watch longer content

The average Gen Z member has an online attention span of eight seconds. That’s four seconds less than millennials. But while Gen Z’s attention span for general online surfing may be quite short, long videos that interest them can grab – and keep – their attention.

The adoption of long form content with every new generation is not new. Millennials were also more likely to watch longer videos than their Gen X predecessors, according to YouTube’s study.

As a marketer, you need to keep the attention span of each new generation in mind as you set the pace for your video content.

Your video only has seconds to grab attention as they scroll aimlessly through a social media feed. However, if your video immediately attracts viewers and then continues to provide entertaining, valuable or interesting information all over the place, these age groups can watch the whole thing, even if it’s on the longer side.

Before you put a marketing video online, re-watch it from the point of view of a somewhat busy consumer. Then ask yourself, “Does this video quickly get viewers into action mode and hold their attention?” If you’re worried that parts of your video might look boring, you might want to trim it. But if your team finds it entertaining or informative, you can experiment with publishing longer video and learn from the results.

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Use of video in 2020

The video world will continue to evolve with each new generation. However, at this point, the video landscape is turning in the favor of marketers. Consumers not only learn more about brands through video content, but also use it as a necessary resource in the information gathering phase of their buyer journey.

Additionally, the vast majority of video users today are striving to learn something new about an interest or hobby, rather than just using video to entertain themselves. This means that marketers can use educational videos in their strategy and provide consumers with content related to their niche, while also marketing a brand or product.

In 2020, you don’t need a huge video budget to succeed as a marketer. In 2020, you don’t need a huge video budget to succeed as a marketer.

Also read our Video Marketing Guide or watch the on demand webinarabout the use of video.

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