In 2108, marketing will see its share of new announcements, new products, and new trends. These new, innovative ideas will help us to attract and engage targeted consumers and wider audiences. And guess what — many of these will be in the online video world. While it might seem like just yesterday when we were talking about the Snapchat IPO or YouTube “Adpocalypse” that was so 2017. So get ready for some new discussions.

Video content is taking its rightful place in companies’ strategic marketing conversations. It provides a powerful way to communicate your brand, share your story, and build relationships through sight, sound and motion. Experts expect this year that businesses will produce an average of two videos per month. This type of content continues to grow by leaps and bounds because of it effectiveness, but also because it is in demand. According to Vidyard’s 2017 Video in Business Benchmark Report, 43 percent of people want more video content from marketers and over 50 percent of marketing professionals believe that video content has the best ROI.

So here are four trends you should know about. They clearly have the potential to impact the way you handle and produce video content for 2018. Take a read through and consider their importance to see if they warrant action by your company.

Branded Video Content is Queen, Soon to be King

For marketers, branded content is in the process of pivoting to sponsored/branded video content. According to Tubular’s State of Online Video Report: Q3 2017, over the last 18 months companies increasingly used branded video content to get their messages out to viewers. Sponsored content distributed on Facebook increased over 200% and 99% on YouTube. And year-over-year video content on each platform continues to increase.

Branded content has the ability to look and feel authentic, and has been able to avoid some of the controversy surrounding video ads. Pinterest, is one such platform that has seen the natural evolution to video content as their viewers are looking for inspiring ideas, which lends itself to videos. So if you’re looking to target women, Pinterest, which has over 80 percent female users, needs to be part of your plan.

Pinterest recently introduced an autoplay enhancement to its Promoted Video platform, which marketers are loving. It gives them the ability to run video promotions that will automatically start the moment a person scrolls across it in their home feed. The person doesn’t even need to hit the play button. Plus, in addition to showing up in a pinner’s home feed, promoted videos will autoplay in their search results. This is in contrast to other platforms that interrupt users while they are watching a video.

Now marketers can more easily find consumers looking for their type of product or service and provide them content. They can also retarget everyone who saw their video with a follow-up campaign to really hit their message home. Watching the video is what it’s all about as Pinterest’s Promoted Video incentivizes marketers by costing companies less, if their promoted video is consumed more.

Dominate with Livestreaming

The usage of live video has grown exponentially over the past few years. Companies, especially those trying to establish their brand in the marketplace, need to embrace livestreaming more in 2018. It’s becoming one of the best ways to connect and interact with current and potential customers.

Social media platforms like Facebook have really cemented the importance of live video. According to their numbers, one in every five shared Facebook video is live, and is now watched three times longer than normal video. Facebook is making it even easier with the launch of their Facebook creator app, which revolutionizes the way people do live streaming. And remember teenagers and young adults already get it as they’ve been using musical.ly and live.ly for years. This further increases the yearly total number of video views across platforms and validates that live video already has its next generation of influencers.

Go Mobile or Go Home

Mobile content is on the rise. Along with it, mobile optimized videos. Many platforms are finally moving their video space into the mobile arena, which was once dominated by desktops and laptops — and thus, only horizontal video layouts. Snapchat started the trend of vertical video advertising and it is really taking off. According to buffer research, square video outperformed landscape video in views and engagement, plus cost less to engage someone on Facebook and Instagram. So even if you’re starting out your video creation efforts, remember the video format can play a significant role in how many people watch it, how long they watch it for and its overall success.

Don’t Give Up on Video Advertising

The lines are often blurred between what is considered branded videos v. advertising videos. As marketers have tried to make video advertising more relevant and less intrusive to consumers, the content has become more engaging, moving it more in the realm of branded videos. Whatever it takes to avoid ad blockers and low viewability, is what companies should do.

Also, move in the direction of short advertising videos – like 5 to 15 seconds short. Facebook and YouTube both contend that the shortest videos are garnering the better engagement metrics. With short-form advertising your first 2 seconds need to be compelling, as you’ll have the best chance of grabbing a user’s attention while they’re in their home feed.

Video content is becoming an important aspect of a company’s storytelling ability. It provides a valuable tool that encourages users to experience a product/service and become a loyal follower. In today’s fast-paced environment, you can’t ask for more than that.

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