Videate recently conducted a comprehensive survey across SaaS companies to better understand the attitudes, methods, trends, and challenges regarding video content. (Our results are in our 2022 State of SaaS Video Report, which you should absolutely check out now!)
We definitely learned a lot – from the average labor cost of video creation ($75 per hour!) to the impact of video on businesses and customers alike. But the most interesting data might be about the biggest challenges SaaS companies experience when they produce and share their video content.
Here's a countdown of the biggest pain points companies feel when making videos, based on survey response percentages. If you create videos for SaaS software, you 've probably experienced some or all of these challenges.
So, without further ado, here are the top 10 video problems SaaS companies face (insert your own David Letterman drumroll here):
#10: It's hard to get high quality video (12%)
High-quality. Inexpensive. Fast. We know the rules – it’s nearly impossible to have all three.
You can sacrifice quality for speed to get sub-standard videos out quickly. Or you can spend time creating high-quality videos... only to miss key opportunities and disappoint customers by either not having enough video content or not having it ready when they need it.
Whether it’s aligning the captions to the right time codes or adding it onto the video’s metadata, closed captioning can be a headache.
But, the need is there – not just for people who are hearing impaired, but for those that are in sound-sensitive environments (such as a cubicle), people who use English as a second language, or choose to multitask with different audio stimuli.
Producing videos can get expensive. Even if you’re doing it yourself, businesses need to budget for equipment (mics, cameras, screens, lights, etc.), editing software, and man-hours.
In house, this also requires taking somebody away from their other work to spend time making the video. Businesses can hire a full-time video producer/editor, or outsource to an agency or contractor, but that gets even more pricy.
Then, considering the sheer amount of updates required to keep videos accurate in a continuous delivery environment, you're looking at piles of additional costs. Video needs can start to feel like a money-sucking vampire.
#7: Getting the script approved can be a pain (23%)
The bigger the company, the more lines of approval it takes. People want to make sure they’re showing the right parts of the product, in the right way, with the right words. And each round of notes comes from a different perspective, with different (sometimes contradictory) goals in mind.
As a creative, the waiting, the notes and the sometimes bureaucratic directions can lead to major frustrations. It can quickly turn into a "too many chefs" situation.
#6: Translating into other languages is tough (30%)
If you're a global company that needs to support multiple languages, you’ve got a challenge on your hands. Between finding a translator (even if you automate translation, you should still have a native-speaker to check the work), doing the voiceover, editing, and publishing online, translating can be a major pain point.
Video production takes time. Between writing a script, getting approval, pre-production, finding talent, producing the video, editing the video, uploading the video and translating the video, the production cycle can feel overwhelming.
According to our State of SaaS Video Report, it takes, on average, about 4 hours to produce a single minute of video. Consider that 50% of those surveyed had at least 15 hours of video in their libraries. That's a lot of production time!
When trying to stay up-to-date with a video library, the length of time to produce videos eats up your most valuable resource: time.
#4: It's hard to produce video at scale (42%)
SaaS customers expect regular software updates, and they expect videos that explain new features and user experience tutorials to go with them. For a company constantly updating multiple software projects, this can get very difficult to scale.
According to our report, the main way people scale video production today is by hiring more people. This makes sense on the surface-- it takes several hours for one person to make a video, so if we need more videos, let's add more people. This is reasonable at first, but not financially practical long term. Especially once you add in the resources required to keep those same videos up-to-date with every release.
In short, it’s extremely difficult to keep up with the need for video production.
#3: There's a lack of people with the right video skills (42%)
Producing videos is a skill. As is script writing. And video editing. And voice recording. People with these skills are not always readily available to SaaS companies. Not everybody knows how to use editing software, or how to record audio.
It's asking a lot to have, say, a software engineer write, produce, act in and edit videos, especially when they have their regular software engineering job to deal with.
In short, if producing manually, you need the right people with the right skills to maintain a healthy video library. Editing software has gotten somewhat easier over time, but it still has a massive learning curve and requires a lot of time of the user who may have other responsibilities in your organization.
#2: Finding time to record and edit videos is tricky (58%)
Video production is a collaborative affair, and that causes issues with blocking out calendars. Between the conceptual phase, the writing, the approval process and gathering the right people for the production, companies just don’t seem to have the time to make it happen with regularity.
Plus, subject matter experts (SMEs) have to do their job, which is probably not an exclusive on-air personality or video consultant.
Even if you've gotten so good at producing video that it only takes you a few hours, you still need to block those few hours on your calendar. It's not exactly something you can multitask!
And #1 challenge: Keeping videos up-to-date with software (73%)
3-out-of-4 businesses have trouble keeping their videos in pace with their software. This is not surprising. Businesses are switching to a continuous delivery model, which means constant updates. And constant updates = constantly out-of-date, if videos don’t keep up with the changes.
55% surveyed report that less than half of their videos are up-to-date. And most of that chunk has less than 25% of their videos up-to-date (you can see all the numbers in our report).
Automation is the only way to keep up with the speed of development. But, interestingly, most companies surveyed aren’t yet investing in it. We expect this will change over the next few years as demand for accurate videos and inability to scale teams to accommodate gets more and more challenging.
Video production can be challenging. But it doesn't have to be.
Videate not only knows the pain points of SaaS video production, we know how to make things easier. The best way for SaaS companies to produce and maintain software videos is through automation, and we can help.