The Video Marketing Trends You Need To Know

Video makes the marketing world go ’round. That’s what it feels like right now, at least, with “use more video” showing up as a best practice in a majority of blogs on marketing.

Businesses are being encouraged to use video in blogs, content marketing, social media marketing, and even email. Customers don’t just like it; they’re starting to expect it.

All that being said, the world of video marketing is changing. It hasn’t always looked like what it is now, and it’s evolving quickly. In this post, we’ll take a look at its history, where we think it’s going, and the video marketing trends you need to adopt right away.

History of Video Marketing

Video, of course, hasn’t always been in existence, but it wasn’t too long after it became available that businesses started using it to sell in one way or another. Let’s take a (brief and simplified) look at all the big moments in the history of video marketing.

The First Commercial

In 1941, the Bulova watch company spent just $4 in air charges and $5 in station charges to run the first-ever TV commercial during a Yankee game in New York City. Consider that your run-of-the-mill TV commercials now cost around $8,000, and that’s a pretty impressive jump even after you factor out inflation.

After the Bulova commercial, it didn’t take long for other brands to realize the potential of what TV had to offer.

The Expansion of TV Marketing

After the war was over in 1948, advertisers were scrambling to run television ads (aka commercials) to reach a wider audience, even though only 1% of homes had a television. By 1952, however, almost 1/3 of all homes had a television set, and with that percentage increasing, advertisers knew they’d be able to reach even more people.
During the 1950’s and the 1960s, we saw commercials move beyond that first Bulova statement and start to incorporate storytelling, giving us the foundation of what our commercials would become.
Commercials got smarter, learning more about how to sell their product and position themselves well against competition. Of course, as the numbers of commercials grew, people grew tired of watching them.

Video Marketing Online

And then the internet was born, and as it rapidly expanded, people started watching more videos online. With sponsored content and influencers online, it was a little trickier to know who was creating what content and with what motivation, but users started to expect more video.
YouTube launched in February of 2005 and was a huge success. Google realized the importance of video search and purchased YouTube in 2006, and brands started using organic, free channels like YouTube to share commercials they didn’t pay a penny for. BlendTec, for example, started running its “Will it Blend?” campaigns on YouTube, and according to some sources it became the most watched commercial of all time. This campaign is still going today, with the most recent video testing out if the blender will be able to pulverize an Amazon Echo. (Spoiler alert: it does).
By 2010, we had those ridiculous Old Spice campaigns going viral and being shared on other platforms. Throughout the Old Spice campaign, they would even add a new layer of interaction by getting requests and questions from users on Twitter (and influencers like Ellen, of course).
And the rest is history, as we know. Social media platforms started prioritizing video, rolling out their own native video platforms in their own time. Vine was founded in 2012, giving us short but entertaining potentially-viral videos that helped set the stage for GIFs.  Users started to expect it everywhere from blogs to email campaigns, even if you’re just using basic animation effects or a popular GIF.

The Biggest Video Marketing Trends to Get On Board With Right Now

Video marketing has always been evolving, but it hasn’t been bouncing all over the place for the past century; instead, it’s been moving in the same direction. It’s been more dynamic, more personalized, smarter, and increasingly accessible. Because there’s so much content, video needs to be entertaining or valuable in some way or users will click away, and video marketing has adapted to that concept.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most important trends in marketing that will help you keep your content valuable, relevant, and accessible to your audience right now.

1. Storytelling

Storytelling will help you stand apart in today’s overwatered video marketplace. Using stories to convey your brand message, product uses, and even customer experiences is so important. It will help you connect with new users, establish a rapport, and make you more memorable.

We talk more about storytelling in video here.

2. Don’t Count on the Sound

Remember how we mentioned accessibility before? Relying on sound in your videos can actually hurt the accessibility of your video content, believe it or not. Not only does it isolate the hearing impaired from being able to view your videos, but even fully hearing individuals are watching more and more video without sound. This is partially because we’re more on-the-go, and partially because more videos are running on auto-play where sound is automatically disabled, but the point remains the same.

video marketing trends

Use sound (including music and narration) to enhance your videos, but remember to use closed captions and video descriptions to establish context quickly. This will help get more video views and increase viewer retention rates.

3. Personalization

Personalization in video marketing is important because the more personalized something is to your audience, the more likely they are to respond to it and remember it. With increasing competition, personalization is the only way to go.

Personalization can refer to targeting, and using buyer personas to create more relevant videos to specific niches of your target audience, creating content that feels like it’s “speaking” to them. It can also refer to creating actual personalized content for specific people.

You know those videos on Facebook that show you a quick video on a “friend-versary” with one of your friends, with some of your pictures together and a message about how long you’ve been friends? These are videos that have been personalized to the max, with Facebook automatically pulling baseline information images it has access to, compiling it into a video, but making it feel truly personalized to you.

Cadbury ran a campaign last year that did something similar. They used age, location, and interests to automatically match users with a “flavor” of their chocolate, making an emotional connection and then generating a video as a result. These videos were personalized, using their Facebook profile pictures.

Since Facebook has user security and access to apps locked down a bit, this one may be an extra challenge for the time being, but keep an eye out for opportunities to create similar content, even if you’re only doing it on a small scale for a few select customers.

4. Keep Mobile in Mind

Mobile-friendly means accessible, and that’s one of the big focuses right now. This is a pretty simple tip, so it’ll be short.

Make sure that your video is mobile-friendly. This means keeping it as short as possible, adding closed captions (I know, it’s so important I’m mentioning it again), and to not use videos and images so detail oriented it will be difficult to make out on a small screen.

5. Immersive Video

If you’ve been watching video marketing closely, you’ll have seen a lot of really awesome new features rolling out that allow video to be more immersive for viewers.

A great example of this is the 360-degree videos on Facebook. Users can click on one of these videos, and see things from all angles. It’s one step closer to getting to experience something first hand, letting you linger or zoom in on something you find interesting.

I’m going to go ahead and count live video broadcasts in here, too. Facebook, Periscope, and Instagram all have live video options that allow a business to broadcast live, and respond to user comments in real time. This is immersive because it’s engaging, and users get to participate in the moment.

Then, of course, we have the super technologically impressive types of immersive video, which incorporate augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR). Thanks to mobile phones and new apps, businesses are actually able to create AR video experiences that users can enjoy without having to do anything more than download an app. You can read about this more here.

Immersive video is important because it’s exceptionally engaging. Getting users to interact with your video content will be superior to getting them to just watch, and this increases the likelihood that they’ll do so. Invest in immersive video wherever possible.

Final Thoughts: So What Now?

We’ve seen video marketing become a continually dominating force, and that won’t change. Instead, we’re just likely to see more advancements in the video marketing field that will require new strategies.

Personalization is almost certainly going to increase, and the need for mobile-friendly content will evolve as we develop more wearable technologies. We’ll also likely see new technologies like augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) start to slowly affect video marketing at some point on a greater scale than it is now.

Video isn’t just some passing fad; it’s here to stay and it’s only going to become more prevalent, so it’s time to start adapting if you haven’t already.

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Ana Gotter is a business writer specializing in social media and content marketing, though she writes on a variety of other niches and subjects. She can be contacted at anagotter.com.