Small shop owners, big brands, ad gurus, and non-marketers all have something in common: They all know video is important. What does that mean? It means that video is not an innovative marketing technique anymore.
Sorry. I know that might be hard to hear for companies that are just now employing video efforts to propel their marketing endeavors. But it’s the truth. Brands have been consistently using video to enhance their digital efforts for well over a decade.
Just because the idea of video itself is no longer innovative doesn’t mean that tactics within video marketing aren’t innovative. Because just like any marketing effort, the landscape becomes more complex as more competition rolls in. Now it’s not only insufficient to forgo videos within your marketing, but it’s detrimental to forgo having a specific video strategy.
So to help you prepare for 2019, I’ve gathered some of the top trends I believe we will see in the next twelve months.
Video Trend #1: Long-Form Videos
We saw something happen in content over the last few years. People used to enjoy and crave long-from content to inform them of their world. Everything from news articles to blogs: the more the better. But then something happened. With the rise in instant technology, we grew an addiction for instantaneous gratification. Like skirts in the 1960s, we wanted content to get shorter and shorter. But then *dun dunduuuuuun* something changed. Whether it was poor value perception of short content or just changing search ranking algorithms, we have seen the rise of long-form content once again over the last year or so.
I believe video is destined for the same fate.
Back when video became really popular on the internet (think: around 2008) there were no rules. Video length varied greatly, but it wasn’t surprising to find a four or five minute brand video. And then we saw the desire for short video rise. Suddenly, marketers got accustomed to saying, “Let’s aim for a minute or less. That’s as long as we can hold their attention.” We saw the rise of short-form video platforms, like Vine. Snapchat introduced their 10-second video, and Instagram introduced their 15-second video. Many are also familiar with the newer platforms like TikTok (previously Musical.ly) and Facebook’s Lasso that are trying to capitalize on this short-form video format.
But here’s the thing. I think we, as consumers, are becoming short-form contentfatigued. While it can feel satisfying in the moment, it leaves us feeling empty. It makes us feel as if we’ve wasted our time, as we watch enormous amounts of these snap-shot stories and get no real value in return.
Because of this, I believe the pendulum is swinging back to long-form video.
Video content that is extremely valuable and highly engaging. Video content that expresses true human authenticity. We see this in the prevalence of live video streams, the continued popularity of YouTube and Twitch streamers, and the rise of long-form video channels within platforms like Facebook.
The data backs this up as well. HubSpot recently posted an article about user video preferences. They posed questions about video to 6,500 people across the U.S., UK, and Canada. Upwards of 50 percent of respondents were unfamiliar with platforms like TikTok. In addition, most respondents preferred long videos to short videos:
“The lowest number of respondents - only 7% - said they could only maintain attention for a video that was less than five minutes long. In fact, the highest percentage indicated the opposite, with over 20% saying that they believe a video over 75 minutes long could hold their attention.”
Do short-form videos have a place in your marketing strategy? Most likely. Honestly, to get the best results from video, it often involves having a mixed bag of video content. Different lengths, different styles. And that’s often due to the need to create video that fits within each stage of the buyer’s journey (more on that in a bit).
But ultimately? You shouldn’t feel constrained by the 1-2 minute rule we’ve become so familiar with. Experiment with long-format videos. Webinars, trainings, “state-of-the-unions”, sales videos, etc. These could all catapult your marketing efforts in 2019.
Video Trend #2: Distribution
Let me describe a scenario to you. The marketing team of a medium-sized company works hard to prove the value of video and vie for a slice of the budget to be dedicated towards video efforts. They finally get approval and begin planning their video strategy. They outline a few videos, set up shooting and production. Numbers add up quickly (video can be expensive!), but it’s alright because it’s video. And they needed video. Finally, they finish the series of videos and upload to YouTube. They share the videos on their social platforms and embed them on the website. They eagerly sit and wait for the results to roll in. And the results never come.
The number one mistake I see companies make in their video strategy is the lack of a distribution plan. Nothing kills like seeing a $10K video sitting in YouTube with 110 views. A distribution plan is vital to ensuring the hard (and expensive) work of creating quality video content does not go to waste. So often I’ve seen great video content gather dust while the decision makers within a company begin to lose faith in video.
The fact of the matter is that using video within a strategy can be difficult. Really difficult, depending on how much traction you hope to see from a video. It’s not enough to create a video, place it in a few spots, and wait for the views to roll in (sayonara, 2008). Now you must weave your video into a plethora of marketing efforts consistently over a period of time. We call this a distribution plan.
When we plan out a video for ourselves or our clients, we create a checklist of distribution efforts we plan to accomplish for each video. This also helps us set goals for the video so we can accurately measure success. Here’s an example of some of the items we might include:
Split the video up into several types of videos to promote on various platforms and in various ways
Cross-promote with other alliance brands or influencers
Feature on specific, relevant website pages
Publish in specific blogs
Add video to the resources page
Create a specific landing page to feature video + call-to-action
Post to the personal social platforms of the video subjects, especially LinkedIn
Post to business social platforms as a link back to a blog featuring the video
Publish the videos natively on social platforms (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc)
Post within relevant groups on social platforms (specifically LinkedIn)
Incorporate in existing workflows (including [Video] in title) or create new workflows
Post video link or thumbnail with play button within email signature
Create 6, 15, 30, and 60-second video ads to be featured through paid efforts, specifically YouTube and Facebook
Close caption + transcribe
And about 20 more …
This isn’t the “secret sauce.” In fact, most of the ways we distribute are pretty common sense once you take some time to think about how to get the video in front of as many relevant people as possible. The difficult part is actually executing the distribution plan. This is just one piece to a much larger marketing pie. It must be woven in seamlessly and done with frequency and consistency.
I hope you already know to think strategically about each video you create. We all know that video can be a very time-intensive and expensive content format. Here are a few things you need to identify before you even think about shooting and production:
What type of video will help you accomplish your business goals?
How will it do that, and how will you measure it?
Who needs to be involved, and how should they be prepared?
How does this video complement all other marketing efforts?
After you’ve identified those areas, then you can begin thinking about how you plan to distribute this video. It will depend on your persona, the type of video, and what you’re trying to accomplish. Be sure to identify this plan before you set a shoot date and finalize the budget. Get commitments from all those required to make sure distribution is feasible and will be executed.
Video Trend #3: Video To Fit Within The Buyer’s Journey
It’s easy enough to say that your company needs video. But what does that actually look like? How will you create video that helps a user on their path towards becoming a buyer? If there is one myth I would like to karate chop in half, it would be that people still think video is best suited for awareness. Video is AWESOME in awareness, true. In fact, it’s likely that most of the viral brand-related videos we see are focused on awareness. But video is so much more expensive than that. There are many different types of videos that fall within the Buyer’s Journey. Here are just a few:
These video types are intended to bring awareness to a brand, product, or service. The metric for success in awareness videos is views to that video. These videos should entertain first, and educate second. They should be shareable and easily consumed. Humor or heartfelt work best in this category.
Brand/About Us Video
Brand Videos are typically higher-quality productions that encompass a company’s story. They are intended to raise awareness about the company itself, along with their products and services. They can be animated, but often aren’t.
HubSpot About Us
These videos are typically product or service-centric. They help a viewer recognize a problem and then present the solution: Your product or service. They are usually high-paced, funny, or inspirational.
Dollar Shave Club
Social Moment Video
Social moment videos are typically simple and shareable ideas that tickle people’s fancy. The brand tie-in isn’t usually direct or of high priority, but the video reflects in a positive way on the brand. This can often be tied in with an experiential marketing event.
Myth Buster/Questions Answered Video
These videos can answer the very high-level questions a viewer might have before they would ever consider viewing your product or website.
Google’s SEO for Startups
Things To Consider For Awareness Level Videos
Require a very strong distribution plan
Should entertain first, educate later
Should be funny, touching, or inspirational
For most, they should be focused on the viewer and their problems and not the company (Exception to a certain degree is the Brand video)
They should be formatted very specifically to be uploaded natively to the different social platforms
Better production = better shareability, which lowers the cost per view
These video types are intended to help answer a question that a viewer might have and ultimately lead them down the buyer’s funnel. Their metric for success can be views to the video, visits to a targeted page, or viewer interactions in result of the video.
These videos are often animated and work to explain a product or service in an easy, high-level manner. Continually ensuring that the client is the ‘hero’ of the video and your brand is the guide is very important.
Spotify’s Promo Video
Content Marketing Teaser Video
These video act as an intro to an offer, whether that’s an ebook, a trial, or a downloadable tool. They help increase the value of the offering, and they aim to convince a user to trade their info to get that offering.
50 Shades of Marketing Teaser
Demo/Tutorial/Product Walk Through Videos
These videos help a viewer understand how a product works and can vary in quality or execution, but they often are comprised of screenshots, video screen captures, or someone walking through a product in real life.
FAQ videos are short videos that either answer a question or lead into a longer written explanation, depending on the need.
These videos offer a unique experience to viewers by immersing them into a space. They can be viewed through virtual reality gear, or by manually navigating on a device using your finger or mouse to move around. These can show a viewer a specific space or event, and can give them an opportunity to walk through a space.
Jack Daniels 360 video
Things To Consider For Consideration Level Videos
These videos are an excellent way to amp up the perceived value of a product, service, or gated resource to increase viewer interactions.
Beware of expiring content. If the content will change frequently, consider video formats that are easy and quick to update.
Assess high-impact videos to see where viewer engagement drops off and revise specific elements of the video to improve underperforming elements rather than revising entire video.
Serve up conversion videos to targeted groups of people.
There should be nurturing efforts surrounding these videos.
Gated content required a high perceived value, and consideration level videos can help create this perceived value.
Offer an opportunity to convert or point somewhere where a viewer can convert as appropriate.
These video types are intended to help convert a viewer into a contact or lead. This could be through testimonial, demos, personal communication, and more. The measure of success for this video could be views, visits to a specific target area, viewer engagement, and number of conversions attributed to the video.
Webinars serve the viewer by sharing specific, valuable, and exclusive information on a fairly regular basis. This could cover your own products and services, as well as industry-specific topics. These are an excellent way to get contact in the system by gating these scheduled webinars. They also offer an excellent follow-up nurturing opportunity.
5 Keys to Success for the Strategic Leader
These videos typically give the viewer a visual of the product and explain features and differentiators. These can often be done by influencers as a way to propel a product into the market.
Canon D7100 review
Personalized/ Targeted Sales Videos
These videos typically feature a specific salesperson and target a specific prospect by name. They should be authentic and show how the salesperson values that prospect by referencing points that are specific to that prospect.
One Squared Event Promotion
Video voicemails are low-cost, high-reward videos that customer-facing employees can use to connect with customers and leads.Using just your computer's camera, you can introduce yourself to a prospect in a memorable way or quickly respond to a customer's question.
Testimonial videos are vital for most businesses. They should capture authentic stories about a customer’s experience with a company, product, or service. They can often get more mileage if the customer has a large network and industry/community recognition.
"So Yeah, We Tried Slack …"
Culture videos can be very similar to Brand videos, but they focus more on the people within an organization and what differentiates the company from competitors. It should express why you’d want to work with that company.
Annie’s Culture Video
Event Immersion Videos
Videos that enhance an event can improve the perception of your brand, educate viewers, and engage them during the experience. Event videos offer a memorable, visual experience that will stick in the viewers long after the event is done.
HubSpot’s Growth Video(Note: This was featured on three large screens during a keynote)
Recruitment videos should give the viewer a holistic view of either specific jobs you are trying to promote, or more broadly, the type of environment the company thrives within. They are intended to generate interest and get prospects excited and engaged.
Apple's employee recruiting video
Things To Consider For Decision Level Videos
Decision level videos should be focused on getting a person into the system as a contact so they can be nurtured, or giving them the information they need to become a customer.
Many decision level videos can be used as sales tools for a sales team.
Assess high-impact videos to see where viewer engagement drops off and revise specific elements of the video to improve underperforming elements rather than revising entire video.
Delight videos are an important part of the customer experience. They thank the customer, continue to nurture them, and make them feel important. They are frequent touch points to stay top of mind. They are often fun, entertaining, or specific to a user. There are many videos throughout the stages that will fit into this category as well, like FAQs, how-to's, industry-specific videos, etc.
Office/People/Behind the Scenes Videos
These behind-the-scenes videos are a great way to show a user what’s going on under the hood. This can be an excellent way to communicate the type of culture you have, how your employees do their work, and how your company is fun or inspiring.
BEHIND THE SCENES : Travel Videos
Community Involvement Videos
These videos are an excellent way to connect with the local community and showcase your community involvement. This could be as simple as recording employees participating in a local community event, or as complex and orchestrating an experience and recording the result. This often falls into the experiential marketing video category.
Bank of America
Client Hero Story Videos
Client hero stories showcase not only a customer testimonial but how that customer is being innovative. Sometimes these videos actually have very little to do with your own brand but are instead putting your client on a pedestal. This can help show others how you treat your clients, and it can also provide a lot of value for that customer.
Client Story: Hogarth – Facilitating Global Collaboration
Things To Consider For Delight Level Videos
Delight videos are often heartfelt and light
Like all content in the delight stage, these videos should aim to please current customers, showcase to potential customers how you treat your current customers, and ultimately lead to evangelists of your brand.
Delight videos can also be content that helps continually educate and offer value to customers.
Fit your video efforts to your persona. Where do you need to meet them in their buyer’s journey? What are areas your marketing struggles in? How could video help fill the gaps? Crafting video content with a specific funnel stage in mind help ensure that the video content is created to intentionally solve a problem.
Whew! Did you make it all the way down here? Good for you. I sincerely hope this helps as you put together your 2019 video strategy. Video can be stressful and intimidating, but it is WORTH IT. I promise.
A deep love of art and design drives me as I navigate the ever-changing waters of marketing. I am constantly looking for new and better ways to give the inbound marketing methodology the beautiful face it deserves. As the Art Director, I ensure that all of the design work we produce is top notch and designed with a purpose. When I’m not trying to solve creative problems, my life revolves around my family and friends, my passion for music, and my addiction to stories.