Video surveys are a hot topic in the market research industry right now, but what are they exactly?

Put simply, video surveys are:

Structured online questionnaires designed to provide qualitative feedback in the form of recorded video replies to each question.

Video surveys are much like traditional online surveys, with the notable difference that the replies to each survey question are made by respondents recording video replies rather than checking boxes and/or typing out their replies in text.

Also similar to traditional text-based surveys, the researcher defines their questionnaire upfront and types their questions into the video survey software. Respondents then proceed through the questionnaire one question at a time (in the order the researcher has posted them) recording video replies to each question as they go.

Since the replies are made in the form of recorded video responses, video surveys are ideally suited for qualitative research studies where you are looking for exploratory, open-ended feedback on a given topic, although you can get some “light” quant data by asking closed-ended questions and using the video replies to have respondents explain “why” they chose their answer choices…

Video surveys provide many benefits over more “traditional” in-person qualitative research methods, including:

  • Speed – Running an in-person study can take weeks or months, while video surveys can capture results in a matter of days (or sometimes even minutes/hours, as is the case with QualNow).
  • Reduced Bias – In-person qualitative methods suffer from a number of biases, including group think (in the case of focus groups), observer bias, interviewer bias, social desirability bias and more… Video surveys significantly reduce (and even eliminate) these biases.
  • Authenticity – Since respondents are recording their replies from the comfort of their homes, offices or on the go, you tend to get more “authentic” responses over what you get from facility-based in-person qualitative methods.
  • Scale – Video surveys enable you to conduct many more interviews in a shorter period of time when compared to using real-time in-person research methods. You can reach “quant-level” sample sizes in a brief period of time using video surveys.
  • Easier/Faster Analysis – The analysis of the feedback from a video survey is easier and faster due to the structured questionnaire format and the way each reply is attached to a specific question. In-person interviews often use a guide to provide some structure to the conversation, but going back through the results to find specific quotes and comparing responses to questions across interviews can be extremely time consuming…
  • Reduced Cost – The costs of running an in-person study can be substantial. The costs for renting facilities, paying high incentives to recruit respondents to a central location, providing refreshments, travel, etc. can add up quickly. Video surveys can save many thousands of dollars over in-person methods, while producing the same (or even higher) quality outcome.

Of course, no research methodology is perfect and there are drawbacks to video surveys. For example, since the interviews aren’t being done in real-time you lose the ability to adapt your questionnaire to previous responses from the interviewer. You also lose some of the “across the table” discussion you would get from running in-person focus groups.

If the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, then I highly recommend checking out QualNow and giving a video survey a try today…

Create a free QualNow account here