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February 19, 2018 (Updated: March 2, 2020)
Video marketing has taken the content marketing world by storm, with businesses in virtually every industry incorporating this medium into their content strategies. As new video formats emerge, viewer expectations evolve, and platforms come and go, businesses must adapt their strategies to include the latest developments in video marketing. As you build your content strategy for 2018, focus on these seven video marketing trends.
Image via Flickr by wuestenigel
If you’ve spent any time browsing content on social media lately, you’ve undoubtedly seen numerous live videos in your news feed. Just about anyone — from individuals with a handful of followers to global brands with millions of fans — can quickly produce a livestream and share it with the world.
Livestreaming is a great way to share exciting news from your brand, offer a behind-the-scenes peek, or connect directly with your audience. If you haven’t jumped on the live streaming bandwagon yet, now is the ideal time to add this type of content to your video marketing arsenal.
Start by creating a simple Facebook Live video and sharing it with your social media followers, or use a live streaming app to gain access to more advanced features. With apps like Be Live, for example, you can share your screen with your viewers, livestream an interview with another person anywhere in the world, or host a live video with multiple people in different locations. Develop a script and gather gear like a smartphone, tripod, and lighting to produce a high-quality live video with a small budget.
Many businesses started using story videos when Snapchat originally launched the concept of brief video content with a short lifespan. Over the past five years, Facebook and Instagram have also adopted the story format, making it popular for users on a variety of platforms. Even YouTube recently announced Reels, a story video format with multimedia components and no expiration date.
Whether your brand has already embraced the story video format or you’ve been waiting for the right moment, this is a great time to experiment with new platforms and fine-tune your story strategy. No matter the platform, story videos enable your brand to produce video content easily and affordably, which means they’re ideal for sharing breaking news and making personal connections with fans.
Explainer videos gained impressive traction in 2017, as big-name brands began using them to educate and inform followers. These modest how-to videos skip the wordy explanations and longer formats that many other videos have. Instead, they replace those elements with short formats, simple steps, and eye-catching graphics. As DIY culture continues to grow in popularity, brands can expect explainer videos to become both more common and better looking than ever before.
The best explainer videos generate extraordinary engagement, which means they can help your brand expand awareness and build its base. While recipes and food preparation might be best-suited for explainer videos, almost any brand can produce a relevant example. To incorporate explainer videos into your content marketing strategy, think about your customers’ most frequently asked questions and brainstorm ways to answer them using this step-by-step video format.
As most companies’ customers increasingly opt to consume content using mobile devices rather than desktop computers, brands will find that it’s essential to optimize their content for mobile. While this trend toward mobile optimization affects all aspects of content marketing, it’s particularly important for video marketers. After all, most people are used to watching videos with a landscape orientation, thanks to decades of viewing television and film content with a cinematic aspect ratio.
To optimize your video content for mobile, opt for videos with a square format or portrait orientation. Making the switch might require a quick redesign of your studio or your usual video setup, but the extra effort is bound to pay off. Recent studies have shown that when it comes to view counts and engagement metrics, square videos perform better than landscape videos on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. As mobile users continue to outpace desktop users, these metrics are likely to become even more skewed.
Virtual reality (VR) is one of the newest and most exciting video marketing trends, as it invites viewers to immerse themselves completely in your brand’s video content. When you want viewers to step into your virtual world, engage with your brand, and check out your products in an eerily realistic way, VR is your answer.
Adopt a VR strategy now, and you’ll be on the cutting edge of video marketing. One of the biggest drawbacks of VR, however, is the investment that it requires brands and viewers to make, as you’ll need specialized equipment to produce and consume VR content. Even if it doesn’t make sense for your brand to get started with VR, you’ll want to follow this trend so you can get on board when the timing is right.
If your brand isn’t ready to invest in VR videos quite yet, 360-degree videos offer a smart alternative. These videos let viewers interact with your content without needing any extra equipment. They can change their perspectives and look around just by using their browsers’ controls, which lets them interact with your brand in exciting new ways.
While 360-degree videos haven’t produced the number of views that other formats typically generate, they do tend to get results. View times tend to be longer, while click-through and engagement rates are generally higher. If you want your content marketing strategy to turn heads, get a 360-capable camera and start experimenting with these immersive videos.
As you hone your video marketing strategy, you’ll want to commit to the video platform that works best for your brand. In the past, many brands opted for the obvious choices like YouTube or Vimeo. As Facebook makes its Watch video platform more lucrative and cuts down on sharing video links from external platforms, you may need to rethink where and how your brand publishes and shares content. Keep close watch on your video analytics, including views, average view length, and click-through rate, to make sure you continue to achieve or exceed your video marketing goals.
Don’t let your video marketing efforts fall flat. Stay on top of these seven video marketing trends to take your content marketing strategy to new heights.
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