Nothing is more powerful than video to truly capture or tell a story. Today, it seems that everybody and their uncle is making a YouTube video and sharing it on various social platforms to gain "subscribers" that will lead to advertisers. In the business world, however, we can't afford for branding to be diluted with low-quality and low-production-value videos. Although this visual medium can have personal value, when using video to communicate to your audience, it needs to positively reflect your brand. This huge increase in video is a direct result of the evolution in camera technology available on mobile phones. Popular opinion suggests that one of my staff (preferably a millennial) can simply create our next company video with their iPhone or DSLR---but why would we do that? Just as new technology in bicycles makes biking easier, it doesn't make all riders experts. I advise my clients to thoughtfully consider their audience and how their brand might be perceived before using their internal team. With video, like most visual media, you only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it professional. If you are considering using video in your next marketing or communication plan, there are four growing trends that I feel could help every organization engage more people.
Live video, which is relatively easy to create and access through Facebook and Instagram stories, continues to grow in popularity. This function also generally includes a friendly "alert" to your followers that indicates they are happening, which can further attract potential audiences. Live video will take a bit of planning because it occurs in real time, but this factor combined with its interaction capability allow your "host" to respond and react in the moment. Statistically, live content has been shown to keep viewers intrigued and watching for three times as long as pre-recorded videos. And there is research to back this up: daily Facebook Live viewership was reported to have quadrupled in 2017 alone. Understandably popular (because it feels more interactive and fresh), live videos pique viewers' interest and produces approximately six times more interactions than traditional ones.
Most of us appreciate being catered to, and the personalization trend in video really caters to that. Quality video production and content are a great way to distinguish your brand. Personalization goes further. Almost three-quarters of consumers today actually turn up their noses at generic messages that do not specifically relate to them. That's why more than half of marketing experts feel personalization is hugely important for increasing their leads. Tailoring content (in general, but certainly in your video marketing) helps build relationships with prospects and customers, while making your brand more memorable and recognizable.
Live videos pique viewers' interest and produces approximately six times more interactions than traditional ones.
The long and short of it
Another trend we are seeing is the co-existence of long-form and super-short videos. The former works best when companies are trying to create effective content marketing. By being both entertaining and informative, viewers are simultaneously reeled in and educated about your brand and its messaging. This may be as simple as using an influencer to demonstrate and/or discuss a product or service. On the other hand, the latter works because the current culture tends to like its marketing quick and satisfying, either with visual interest, or a snippet of text or audio, or preferably both. Instagram is arguably the most popular social media platform today for video and images and is the perfect way to exemplify how important and impactful a well-shot clip or photo with concise captions can be.
Instagram Stories (i.e., videos) are dominating the market because they feel more authentic to viewers than other social media content. In general, the beauty of this platform is the intimacy it creates with followers and commenters (as many companies will regularly respond to them directly). Pushing out several posts or stories per day is common, and hashtags further personalize who sees them. Both product-based and service-based businesses strive to take advantage of this friendly online community by sharing previews, secrets, and various extras on a regular basis. As a result, viewers feel special and part of the underground society. And when customers feel special, it consequently tends to increase their brand loyalty.
Adaptable and powerful
I have seen a lot of changes in marketing over the years, but video has consistently risen in the ranks by adjusting accordingly to trends. But simply put, attracting people to your company is the first, and a very (if not the most) important, step when it comes to achieving business growth and success. Video marketing works well because most consumers find out about products and services from visual media. Word of mouth is powerful, but then we often turn to our devices to actually see an item or check out the company that was referred to us. Wouldn't you want to be on the receiving end of that prospective curiosity?
Doug Hohener is the president and owner of CreativeWorks Marketing, an award-winning agency focused on research, strategy, branding, and digital solutions for various clients. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, Doug has led CreativeWorks Marketing in receiving 19 international marketing awards to-date. He and his team are always focused on uncovering the latest marketing trends and uniquely delivering them to clients.