What's the best content to create to reach your target audience?
If you're like most content marketers, your bet is on long-form blog posts. Sure, it's still a popular choice for marketers and consumers. But it's not the only heavyweight in town. For years, blogs were the "king" of content.
Video is the new marketing tool entering the ring, and the crowd is loving it.
But they're not only watching influencers and funny skits. Data shows that four in 10 internet users follow brands they like (and consider buying from). Another 35% have watched videos made by brands.
If you’re one of the 70% of eCommerce brands increasing your video marketing budgets post-pandemic, you might be questioning where your money will get the highest returns. We’ve done the digging for you and found the following video marketing trends we’re expecting to see in 2021 and beyond.
Advertising your videos on Social Media is an absolute must in 2021.
They encourage users to follow brands on the site and discover new products—which shows a clear pattern behind people using these platforms to make purchasing decisions.
Because of that, it makes sense to invest in social media video advertising—especially if you have a smaller organic audience.
It’s estimated that one in five UK businesses already made plans to increase spend for paid social media marketing in 2021. Right now, vertical video is the trending format for social media ads. But it's a good idea to offer both horizontal and vertical capabilities.
It doesn’t matter which types of social media ads you’re creating. Get creative and use both formats to tell engaging stories. For example, use vertical when there's one person on the screen, then switch to a wider scene that's viewable when the user turns their device horizontally.
Not convinced of the power of social media video ads? Beebombs used an in-house team to create Facebook ads for 18 months. They later decided to partner with us as their video marketing agency and Paid Social team to scale their campaigns to build awareness and increase return on ad spend (ROAS).
The campaign contained a mix of Beebomb's existing creative assets and UGC. These were used to develop videos and single-image creatives that went into The Social Shepherd's Facebook ad strategy.
Doing this quickly doubled ROAS. But we didn't stop there.
Our creative team handled the video production for five videos and designed them for each stage of the sales funnel. The result:
It just goes to show why having a healthy mix of organic and paid video content in your digital marketing strategy is ideal.
Planning a new product launch? Or maybe you want to drive more awareness and traffic?
The internet is the go-to destination for consumers looking for products like yours. But they're not just using Google to find new products. They're visiting social media channels to search for recommendations from friends and influencers.
eCommerce brands that know this are using shopping videos to attract and convert viewers. Unlike traditional product videos, they're sometimes disguised as a regular video with clickable pop-up text linking to the clothes or household items in the video.
Social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook are introducing their own types of shoppable video content, especially when it comes to their advertising platform.
Brands can create a Shop on both platforms that pull inventory from their eCommerce website. Social media users can see an organic post with that item tagged, view more information, and purchase the item from the Shop—all without leaving the platform.
See the example below, of an Instagram story video we did for Vivense, adding in animation to the text and curved line.
“After watching your video ad, people won't have to go out and manually hunt for the goods. They can now just click on the product in the video to be redirected to the landing page right away. In 2021, video marketing will be a powerful technique for increasing sales, and you should give it a try.
These are video advertisements that contain connections to products within the video's universe. Many of these can be found on Instagram Stories and Snapchat, but the approach is growing more advanced.
It's a safe bet that you'll soon be able to buy things or get links to them by interacting with objects in videos. If you hover your mouse over a chair on the screen, you may be able to learn more about that model and where to buy it. The same could be said for a smartphone being reviewed in a YouTube video.” — Brian Dean, founder of Exploding Topics
It’s estimated that 40% of marketers are already using shoppable videos. To get the best results, don't treat them like ads. Take the same approach you do with other content you create. Touch on topics your audience cares about and offer value.
Also, make it noticeable that the video is interactive. Add shoppable links within the first 30 seconds and use the hashtag #shoppablepost. Simply telling your audience at the start of the video can do the trick.
Regardless of what you’re promoting in your shoppable video, just don't overload the video with links. It'll detract from the viewer's experience.
Most people today are busy juggling between work, family, and personal hobbies. The idea of stopping to consume content that takes longer than a few minutes just isn't in the cards for some. (Emphasis on a few minutes.)
This is the key to getting your videos watched by the busy consumer. If you can keep your videos short, the odds of getting more views increase. It's the reason TikTok and Instagram Reels perform so well.
SurfShark’s Eric Carrell explains:
“TikTok, one of the most popular social media platforms with 800 million active users, is exclusively based on short-form videos. It allows users to generate entertaining, engaging, and exciting content that swiftly spreads throughout the globe. In addition, Instagram created Reels, demonstrating that the short video craze is sweeping the globe.”
Not convinced on the power of short-form video? One report shows 68% of viewers watch videos entirely if it's less than 60 seconds. Another 25% will finish if it's under 20 minutes. Hootsuite also proved that engagement stats shoot up every time they publish an Instagram Reel.
With results like this, it's not surprising that these video formats (on these platforms) skyrocketed. Eric Carrell adds:
Finding a method to integrate knowledge and entertainment in a TikTok or Reels video is the key to success. Consider which details you can provide in less than 20 seconds to ensure a riveting and engaging presentation.”
Need ideas for your own short video posts? Try offering behind-the-brand videos that take people behind the scenes. Test the waters with user-generated videos like testimonials and tutorials. Or, provide quick valuable tips for people following your social media profile.
Connection. Intimacy. Authenticity. These are the things people desire from brands. So, switch out the sales talk and corporate jargon in favour of human, relatable video content.
Show you're human and can connect with potential customers on a personal level. Since you can't be face-to-face with everyone all the time, the next best thing is to go live.
Live streaming is growing around the world. Last year in the UK, people were spending nearly 64% of their time watching videos. A lot of this is happening across social platforms. Facebook gets the lion's share of live video views, followed by Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter.
So what's happening on these platforms? Here's a peek:
Speaking of COVID, Instagram witnessed an astounding 70% boost in live video usage within a month after the pandemic hit. What can you say—people need people, even if the interactions are virtual.
With real-time video, brands have an opportunity to connect directly with their audience and grow their presence. You can use video streaming to tell brand stories, host live Q&As, and showcase the lives of the folks behind your brand.
“Make yourself approachable to your audience. Allow them to publish their questions on social media, and then respond to each one in real-time. This will increase viewer engagement and trust.
You may adapt to this trend by hosting live webinars, holding Q&A sessions, and holding product demonstrations, among other things. Take the benefit of these platforms and their features that allow you to go live whenever and wherever you are if you have a company account on social media.”
— Herbert Riggs, CEO of UnscrambleX
As Herbert summarizes, “By 2021, live streaming is expected to be a $70 billion market. This isn't at all surprising. Personal interaction is more important to customers than anything else.”
People don't want to just read content—they want to watch it because it's more engaging. But what if there was a way to enhance user engagement even more? The good news: It's possible using interactive video.
Maybe you've seen a handful of social media videos like this popping up in your feed lately. These videos allow you to make selections and choices as you watch.
Here’s an example of how Love Leggings uses the emoji slider to encourage people to interact with their Instagram story:
This type of video isn't just interactive—it's what's known as a branching video.
A branching video gives you a selection of choices that change the outcome of the content. For example, the above video features a chef showing how to make whichever cookies you choose.
There are a variety of ways to make your video interactive. This includes adding an email form for your newsletter or using a chatbot to answer questions after the video.
Interactive videos are already gaining wind among businesses. Roughly 24% of video marketers planned to use them in 2021 (a 3% increase from 2020).
Want to get in on the action? One type of interactive video to keep an eye on is the 360-degree video. It's perfect for experiential marketing since it immerses viewers into the content. It uses virtual reality that allows viewers to control the camera angle by moving their device or mouse around.
Use this to amplify brand stories, like having viewers "walk in your shoes." You can also transform explainer videos into interactive demos.
Remember, the internet is the primary source of information for consumers (both B2B and B2C). It's critical to optimise your videos to ensure they show up in search results.
However, it takes more than inserting keywords into the title and description. There's evidence that likes, shares, views, and comments are strongly correlated with higher YouTube rankings.
Here’s where things get interesting: optimising a video for search goes beyond reaching page one of YouTube results. Granted, you need to choose your keywords strategically and optimise videos for your main keyword.
There's also an opportunity to rank your videos on the biggest search engine of all: Google. Its results page is showing videos for certain keyword intents. Here's a great example of a term Google feels needs a video: "How to tie shoelaces”
The first listing is a video, followed by a featured snippet of other videos. All of that indicates a strong chance you can rank above the top blog post in the SERPs with proper video optimisation.
“YouTube's search and discovery system have two goals: to make it easier for users to find the videos they want to watch and to increase long-term audience engagement and satisfaction.
So, while video SEO may aid in the discovery of a new video, if it does not receive enough watch time in the first three to six weeks, it will not be discovered at a later date.”
— Timothy Robinson, CEO of InVPN
More people are accessing online videos on mobile devices. But this doesn't mean they're consuming it on small smartphone screens.
Thanks to smart TVs, people can use their smartphones to connect videos from YouTube (and other platforms) to the big screen. In fact, 64% of UK consumers stream videos on TV more than they do on their computer, tablet, or smartphone.
What does this mean for video marketers? It shows the preference your audience has for online video. And it's more reason to add it to your content marketing strategy.
Choose a video hosting platform that already has a built-in stream to TV capabilities like YouTube. Not only will people be able to watch your video on the big screen, but you’ll also benefit from the millions of people searching for videos on the platform every day.
Video marketing is becoming a go-to for marketers for one reason: They work.
If you're looking to get better results from your video marketing strategy over the next year, it's time to put these video trends to use. But which should you adopt for your marketing campaigns? And how can you make it work for your particular audience?