2021 will be all about the livestream, user-generated content and online adventure.
There was a lot written in 2020 about the importance of video marketing. Videos were often credited with being a brand’s most powerful brand building tool, able to connect with audiences who were already spending hours a day streaming all kinds of content on YouTube and hypnotically swiping through hours of stories on various social media channels.
To capitalize on the new behaviours, marketers were projected to spend over $100 billion on video ads in 2020. Fast forward twelve months into 2021, and there’s no sign of video popularity slowing down. In fact, PR Newswire predicts that the average US consumer will have over nine video streaming apps installed on their mobile phones this year. Despite ongoing lockdowns and people spending more time than ever at home, video streaming on mobile devices is growing at exceptional rates. (Does anyone even turn their TV on anymore?)
Video is a compelling medium for storytelling, but it can only be an effective marketing tool if businesses are connecting with the right audience, at the right time and on the right channel. So, here’s what we think you need to keep your eye on in 2021.
Take a data-first approach to video marketing – target the right audience with the right message at the right time.
Consumers want videos to reflect the products and services that are relevant to them. Delivering personalized content, recommendations, and experiences by utilizing data-driven strategies is vital to staying current and thriving in today’s competitive environment.
Quality content will drive engagement. Take the time to build a story worthy of your brand.
A great video gets people motivated and excited to work with you or buy a product from you. Put out something unique, entertaining and authentic and, you’ve got a good chance of genuinely engaging with your customers. If you can do that, you’ll earn the right to tell them about what you’re selling.
Live videos make a customer feel like they are being spoken to directly.
Tell your story live and give your customers a chance to interact with your brand in a completely unfiltered way. Sure, things might go sideways on you from time to time, but your customers will appreciate the unedited and raw interaction. They’re not expecting perfection. Transparency and authenticity will go a lot further in building real customer connections. It’s a great way to build relationships and also collect feedback all at the same time.
Mobile-First Video Content – Think Vertical Format.
More than half of the video content that we watch and share is now on mobile devices. Vertical formats are easier on the eyes on mobile. So feel free to skip the fancy widescreen shoots. You’ll still want them for your big investment pieces, but your audience won’t be expecting to see them when they’re flipping through their social channels.
Long-form videos are back and will help brands to form stronger connections.
There is no denying people can have a short attention span at times, but we also crave a really good story now and then. Long-form video places a much greater emphasis on entertainment. So put your best foot forward and prioritize an exceptional story over clicks. The long-term return will be much greater.
360-degree videos are a great way to invite people into your world.
Inviting your audience into an immersive and interactive online experience can really make your marketing efforts stand out. It’s no secret that people are craving adventure and freedom right now. If they can’t get that by jumping on a plane or interacting in huge crowds, immersive video experiences are a way to fill that void.
The mall might be closed but Shoppable Video is open and flourishing.
Any video on your website or on your social channels can now be transformed into a fully integrated retail experience. Your customers can interact with your products and services without ever leaving their couch – and that means you’re just once click away from making a sale.
User-Generated Content (UGC) will be the best thing to happen to your content calendar.
Your customers will trust other customers more than they will ever trust you. And that’s not a bad thing. Because you need to hear their feedback just as much as your other customers do. Encourage your customers to create content about your product and share it. It’s free, it’s credible, and will help build trust with your customers while also building visibility for your brand.
Keep your eye on TikTok – and all the other new stuff that anyone under the age of 15 is talking about.
The rise of new media platforms will keep marketers on their toes in 2021. A healthy mix of brand-created and influencer-generated content will inform and entertain across multiple generations. Try not to dismiss new and unproven channels too quickly. Keep yourself honest by talking to the young people in your lives (and by young, we mean anyone born in the mid-to-late 1990s through the early 2010s). These are the kids of young Gen Xers and older Millenials. They’re digital natives – the first true social generation who have never known life before the Internet and mobile. They know important things. Hear them out.
Interested in learning more about how Video Marketing can help build your brand? We’re happy to provide our point of view.