Video marketing is more than just a trend, it’s a marketing shift. Thanks to smartphone technology, user acceptance, and creative strategies that make online video content a destination, rather than a disruption, video is here to stay. The following trends are emerging as crucial strategies to use in your video marketing campaigns, as well as areas to watch in the coming year as you continue to develop your video marketing presence.
1. Video Reach
Top marketers have seen this coming: companies like Facebook and Twitter have long positioned themselves for a strong video presence. Video content, especially mobile video, is already close to composing 20% of ad spending online. Just as smartphone cameras enabled quality photography for everyone, easy video recording, editing, and publishing capabilities have allowed users to document their lives and even earn substantial incomes sharing their creative and original work on sites like YouTube.
As users explore the rapidly growing world of video content (Facebook says people view 100 million hours of video each day on their site alone), they are increasingly seeking out more video and reading less, especially in areas like “how to,” product information, and travel. Does this mean it's time to stop blogging? Not at all. But adding video content to diversify your reach is crucial in 2016. Marketers who present the types of video content viewers crave will gather longer page visits, more social engagements from video sharing, better SEO results, and regular return visits.
2. From "How To" All the Way to "Q&A."
Successful video content tends to be engaging. No one wants to open a video on Facebook and get lectured about a solution or product. “Infomercial” style videos are less alluring to viewers than content that offers fun, simple information while telling a good story.
Don't just talk at the camera, engage your audience and try new types of video. Some formats that reach users well include videos with a well-crafted story, how-to videos, product demonstrations, and even videos about your company culture. These types of content help the viewer solve a problem or gain a skill while also being fun to watch. Product videos can present a visual “tour,” while graphic overlays of key features and statistics entice buyers. Short videos that give information about your company, interviews with the major players in your business, and product development or customer testimonials are also popular.
3. Becoming a Destination Rather Than a Distraction
With the increasing use of ad blocking software on desktop browsers and mobile as well, the message is clear: users resent the intrusion of ads. Video content gives marketers the opportunity to promote their brand and services without being annoying to their audience.
Video content that engages the user with stories, information, and interactive communication fares much better on all platforms, and in particular on the increasingly dominant mobile platforms. There’s a reason that Cisco has predicted that 67% of consumer Internet traffic will be video by next year: people love video, they binge on it, relate to it, and absorb the content. Wise marketers are going along with this trend, giving the people what they want by avoiding nagging ads in favor of video marketing.
4. Snapchat & Video Apps
Snapchat video is taking marketers by surprise! With a lot fewer users than Facebook, it is rapidly catching up to it in the number of video views at 10 billion per day. If you don't already use Snapchat, go to your app store on your mobile device and download it for your business.
Marketers are seeing a lot of potential in using Snapchat for specific campaigns such as reaching out to VIP customers, providing video responses to customer questions and catching an inside look at events and tradeshows, etc. Now is the time to get the app for personal use and explore its features, inspiring your ideas for video content and communications as Snapchat marketing continues to grow. Snapchat videos are short and expire after 24 hours, which means the it is low-maintenance and therefore ideal for companies who are just testing the waters with their video strategy.
5. Interactive Live Video
Facebook live video and Twitter’s Periscope app are turning online video upside down, from carefully planned and professionally edited content to interactive events. Live streaming is a video trend that will exponentially grow throughout the next few years due to the connection it provides the viewer.
Today’s user likes to participate, have a feeling of involvement, even an effect on the outcomes. Applications like Periscope allow the audience to comment live and to feel present in the moment. This type of video can actively increase the viewer’s affinity for a brand and the personalities involved while also experiencing a connection that he or she desires to repeat at future live events.
6. Using Influencers & Communities
Speaking of the live event personalities, there are many ways that marketers can create natural connections with video viewers. YouTube communities and “stars” provide feelings of relating and belonging that are great for brands as well. Some stars make six figures or even more from their YouTube content, connecting with an audience which actively shares links to their content and interacts with them. Connecting with influencers like these on Social channels is key to expanding your online video reach.
Fame no longer requires access to media organizations -- the Internet version of “word of mouth” is incredibly powerful. When companies are creating their own content, they may be able to work with self-developed “stars” and other influencers appropriate for their industry or target audience, and they can also work with successful online producers to create videos in unique styles that viewers will recognize.
7. New Technology
While landscape horizontal video is the norm for commercial productions, many self-created videos are in vertical, portrait format. Viewing habits are affected by the dominant use of mobile devices -- stationary users can view horizontal video easily, but active users will hold their phones vertically, and vertical style video expands to the full screen easily while the horizontal format is compacted. To reach active users, then, some marketers are intentionally producing vertical style video for on-the-go viewing.
Just as handheld cameras create a more dynamic feel in commercial films and video, GoPro cameras have provided an intense first person experience to user-created video. These small cameras are worn on helmets, mounted on skis, and taken wherever the action is for videos that will engage users in an adventure, creating an active feeling of adrenaline for viewers.
On the horizon, there are many new and experimental video formats for marketers. Up and coming formats include virtual reality (VR) and 360-degree video. New video types will reach some specialized audiences, and large amounts of funding are available to companies developing software and devices. Currently, Google Cardboard is only around $20, and there are many free applications on mobile devices for VR headsets like these. Virtual Reality and 360-degree video are trends that will continue to grow in popularity and effectiveness for marketers.
Have Fun and Get Results
The diverse styles of online video, from short shorts to nearly feature-length informational content, and the creative diversity of online video producers provides a huge number of ways to connect with online video viewers. Marketers can reach out with specific messages, create communities by gaining loyal followers, and provide informational content that viewers will seek out due to their entertainment value. Thanks to powerful tools and software, video productions can be as simple as downloading an app. Use these seven video trends to engage users in 2016 and beyond.