Some are in the past and some in the present. Then there are those who are in the near future. Which category do you belong to?

It’s all about being social. Whether as a student, a parent, a marketer, whatever you consider yourself to be. Technology has showed us that we can engage in various ways despite any physical distance.

Not that this convenience really does away with the need for face-to-face human interactions. All the same, it’s a great convenience.

Who wants to write letters, wait for 5 days for the communication to be received, then another 5 days to get feedback?

And what’s the big convenience?

Social media.

It might be a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, Instagram, Snapchat or any other platform you’re on. You have an avenue to express your likes, dislikes, opinions etc.

But how do you do it?

THE VIDEO ERA

Social media initially comprised of text. This is the past. Then it moved to images—the established present.

But then, the future is already being defined and lived out by some.

Videos have picked up in popularity.

They have been shown to be more engaging than plain old text. Consider the below statistics.

  • Animoto found that 73% of consumers were influenced by brands on social media platforms before making a purchase. And what content type was their favorite? Video.
  • They also found that 88% of people using videos for marketing on social media had satisfying ROI.
  • Do you have a website? The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.
  • Social videos are shared 1,200% more than text and images combined.

As a social media user, you must have noticed that videos are all over. YouTube aside, every major social media platform has video capabilities. But that’s not all.

Videos becoming the mainstream means of expression and marketing is just the foundation.

If you’re using video, you’re at least somewhere between the present and the future. To ensure you’re not overtaken by time, read on.

VIDEO MARKETING TRENDS TO FOLLOW

Nothing will hurt your campaigns worse than sticking to yesterday’s or even today’s trends. The marketing industry runs on what is new. At times, it also rides well on the established.

But you need to stay relevant. Here are the trends to keep up with as you express yourself or market your products and services online.

1. Vertical Videos

Much has been said about horizontal videos, square videos and vertical videos. You’ve probably been  producing and sharing horizontal videos all your life.

They were the de facto in videos for a very long time. This was based on professional TV and theater production practices.

Seemingly out of nowhere, vertical videos showed up. Popularized by Snapchat, these videos were frowned upon by professional video producers. However, the video format took off.

Over time, they quickly outpaced horizontal videos in marketing performance.

Here are some reasons why you should consider jumping into the vertical videos bandwagon.

1. They are more natural – this comes from the fact that videos are mostly watched on mobile devices. These comprise of smartphones and tablets whose screen orientation is portrait by design.

Vertical videos are more preferred than horizontal videos. A research by Mobile Overview Report found that smartphone users hold their phones vertically 94% of the time.

That original screen orientation means that people hold their devices vertically. They browse the web on vertically-held devices and this is why it makes sense to produce vertical videos.

The inconvenience of rotating your phone is simply too much for consumers.

Whereas some have jokingly called consumers lazy, the fact remains that customers largely dictate the terms of business.

And as more emphasis is put on customer satisfaction, there is no way you will force inconvenience upon your customers.

2. More appealing than square videos – vertical videos became a hit when Snapchat introduced them in their app. Seeing their popularity, marketers and researchers studied their potential and performance. The results were enough to cause marketers to shift from horizontal videos.

Vertical videos had more views compared to horizontal ones.

3. Higher completion rates – the goal of producing and publishing any material is for it to be consumed. What if you learned that your material is not being consumed? You put much effort into producing great videos but no-one watches them?

It can be a bit comforting if your videos are being watched at least halfway. But is that what you intended? Will you include a CTA in the middle of a video?

Vertical Videos

Source: Martech Zone

Completion rates are important for videos. Consumers have to watch videos to the end to get the information you prepared for them.

And with completion rates being so important, you need to do whatever it takes to have the highest.

4. Social media is mostly accessed on mobile – this might well be one of the biggest reasons to embrace vertical videos. Your customers are always on the move and you need to move with them.

Since interactions happen on social media, how do your customers access the platforms? Most social media users access the platforms through smartphones. Mobile use is fueled by mobility and convenience.

Screen orientation issues come up again at this point. Videos produced for desktops require mobile devices to be rotated for better viewing. Those produced for a vertical viewership are good for mobile.

2. Live Videos

Live videos are another trend that is sure to continue growing in popularity.

Live Videos

Source: Yahoo

Live videos offer some great benefits to your consumers and this is where their power is derived from. Consider the below reasons for working with these.

1. They provide instant gratification – as human beings, we seem to prefer getting things immediately. Whatever we want, we want it now. To learn more about instant gratification, check out our article on the marshmallow test.

Since this is the nature of humans, you need to capitalize on it. Live videos offer the feeling and assurance of getting to know things now.

Actually, this is what social media status updates are all about. Your friends want to know what’s going on in your life now.

Most videos are shot professionally with rehearsed scripts, lighting, edits etc.

As much as you’re being seen on a previously-recorded video and it may be recent, the “Now factor” is missing.

When you go live, with no rehearsed scripts and the like, you become more authentic.

The difference is like recording from a well-lit studio versus recording yourself while walking down the street. Where do you get more authenticity?

2. Provide real-time interaction – the end goal of every marketing campaign is to make conversions. Conversions can only be made if the content is engaging. “Engaging” is easily defined as interactive.

If interaction is what you need, there’s no better place to get it than in live videos. Doing a live video on social media gives you great opportunities.

You see the viewers’ comments and questions and respond to them. You can also promise to do another live video to cover a question asked, thus hooking the viewer and other leads.

Apart from the interaction between you and the viewers, a community can be created around your live videos. You can have viewers discuss your video as it plays.

From this, you can pick opinions and understand behavior which you could then use to further customize your content.

3. Humanizes your brand – anytime a video features a real person, there is a human element to it. This is compared to cartoon animations, which are also powerful in their own way. But when that person is live, the effect is greater.

People prefer human interactions as they show the reality of life.

If you for instance used cartoon animations, they will surely be engaging but more on the side of entertainment.

On the other hand, appearing on a video helps people connect with you on the basis of personality.

4. Great for different purposes – live videos offer you a lot of versatility in your quest to net more customers. Instead of just shooting a video of yourself talking about your products, there are many other things you could do to increase customer loyalty.

One of them is doing a live Q&A video. From the comments on your previous videos or a blog post, you can address FAQs.

Alternatively, make it clear that you want to know what questions your viewers have. Afterwards, announce that a specific day will be set aside for them.

As these Q&A videos become more popular, you’ll have more interactions and shares. This increases the chances that you’ll get more conversion.

Live videos can also come in handy during product launches. Instead of posting a video of the event, broadcast the event live.

To open yourself up to customers and allow them to know you more, you can also do company tours. You can show your viewers how you run your operations.

Introduce some of the people who work behind the scenes. Let customers know you more. That increases trust.

3. How-To Videos

Depending on the kind of business you’re doing, you can either do a little or many How-To videos.

If you’re a manufacturer, then you can have lots of these, especially if you produce many different products.

If you’re a service provider, you can still make some of these for the benefit of your customers.

Take the example of an Internet Service Provider. Many customers complain about slow speeds.

And for those on metered connections (data bundles), their data runs out fast.

What do you do as a service provider?

Create videos around topics which either answer these questions or help customers deal with the situation.

Examples of video topics include, “How to troubleshoot your internet connection,” “How to get the most out of your data package,” “How to check which devices/apps are using the most data” etc.

These are one of the ways to get customers to understand what happens behind the scenes.

More than that, How-To videos give customers step-by-step instructions which are easy to follow and remember. They will help you build loyalty and lessen the burden on your customer care agents.

To see how a How-To video can help the message stick, watch the below video. It’s both educational and entertaining while communicating the intended message well.

Here are some reasons to include these in your marketing basket.

1. Highly focused on specific questions – How-To videos are always done to address specific questions. There is no room for discussions on other matters. This highly focused nature of these videos make them valuable to your customers.

Your customers need solutions to the issues at hand. And when you provide them through such videos, you hit the nail on the head. It’s like throwing a dart and hitting the bull’s eye.

2. Highly shareable as solutions to problems – the reason many customers seek solutions from customer care agents on Twitter is because of the quick response they get. They know they can get answers to their problems almost immediately.

Since these problems are common, your customers will naturally want to share the solution with others.

As your video solution is shared, your brand gets more exposure, resulting to more leads and potentially more conversions. You will also cut down on customer care costs.

4. 360° and VR Videos

The new technology is gradually becoming mainstream.

This is especially the case with 360° videos. These videos are relatively cheaper to produce than Virtual Reality videos.

They are also cheaper to watch. You don’t need any specialized equipment to do so.

There are smartphone apps which can shoot 360° videos. This makes their production within reach for everyone. Regardless of the size of your marketing budget, there is no reason why you shouldn’t use these.

Although VR videos require more effort to be put in, they deliver what is literally an out-of-this-world experiences. As a marketer, nothing so far can beat the results you can get from these.

Furthermore, the market is seeing an increase in the number of VR headsets being produced. This increases the possibilities of more consumers will be able to enjoy more of these.

Some of the reasons to include these in your marketing strategy include:

1. 100% attention grabbing – nothing grabs attention like something new. The technology of 360° and VR videos is a sure head turner. Just mention that you are offering VR content to help customers understand your product and there will be people willing to see it.

Being a technology that has been talked about in mainstream news and social media, it doesn’t need an introduction. Instead, it’s the experience that people are looking for. And upon getting it, they will definitely tell others about it.

For example, you could produce a VR video and provide headsets to watch it.

Announce on social media that you will be having a VR week where you showcase how your products are manufactured.

Customers will see the manufacturing environment, hear the sound of the machines, see your staff at work and develop trust for your brand.

Alternatively, you can shoot 360-degree videos and have them see what your factory is like.

2. Highly immersive – immersion is the one advantage that these videos boast of. If you’re looking for immersion, then you will get it here. This is far beyond what normal videos with an emotional story line can give you.

Of the two types, VR videos provide the most immersion. This is because they completely block your view of the world you are in as you put on VR headsets.

These transport your customers to another world where they can be in the environment you want them to be in.

In this case, there is very little need for imagination as the images are created for them. Where sound is incorporated, then it becomes an even fuller experience worth sharing.

3. Guaranteed conversions – if your marketing budget is subject to approval, then this point will add strength to your proposal. If you’re the decision maker, then rest assured that your ROI is taken care of.

With all the immersion that comes from VR videos, a lot of awareness is created. Having been transported to where the action is, the experience envelops the customer. This activates empathy and increases the chances of a response from the customer.

If you have created the right kind of content and used the right kind of messaging, then conversion is guaranteed. 

VR Videos

Source: Omnivirt

5. Voice Over Videos

You might be wondering which kind of videos these are.

But if you’ve been involved in video production, you might know these. You may even have used them.

But do you know their strength?

Voice over videos are the go-to tools when you want to explain more about a video which only consists of images. Videos recorded using smartphones are good candidates for these.

Instead of just showing your colleagues enjoying the cake during your company’s anniversary celebration, you can add some explanations.

For example, for the cake-cutting scene, you could give the name of the person or people doing the cutting. You can mention how your ever-serious boss is overly happy.

This helps viewers know the people behind the brand as well as identify with their personalities.

Here is a great video showing what a voice over is. It even takes you through the steps to make such a video.

Although voice over videos have benefits like other video types, one benefit stands out pretty tall. This is the ability to include persuasive and helpful CTAs.

Since the video is being explained, a deeper understanding of the message can be achieved.

This does the heavy lifting in preparing for the CTA. The human voice makes the video more real due to the narration of the experience to be achieved or already achieved.

When the narrator has gained the trust of the viewer, then the CTA becomes relatively easy. The same voice which has been guiding the viewer in understanding the video content now gives the next steps to follow.

With possible tone variations and audible emphasis, conversions have just gotten easier.

CONCLUSION

Continuing with the established video types like horizontal and square can get you moving.

But if you’re interested in keeping up with the new, then pick two or three options from this list and get rolling.

In any case, these are what will soon be the established video types. Won’t you rather be an early adopter?

5 Video Marketing Trends You Should Follow

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