9 Video Marketing Trends You Need to Keep an Eye On

Unless you’re talking to a fortune teller or a venture capitalist, no one really knows what the future holds. We here at Lemonlight are no exception, though we certainly have opinions – and brackets – on just about everything.

When it comes to the future of video, however, we know what we’re talking about.   We’re not following the tea leaves, we’re following the news, trends, and industry-backed statistics that show us what’s working and what isn’t in video marketing, and there’s some interesting stuff happening, either just on the horizon already taking place.

Needless to say, there’s some interesting stuff taking place already – here are nine future video trends to keep an eye on this year.  

1. Instagram is the new king of video.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, Instagram’s estimated worth is over $100 billion after surpassing 1 billion monthly active users in June. Analysts found that at the current rate, Instagram is on track to exceed 2 billion monthly active users within the next five years.

This is important. As advertisers are pumping more money into Facebook video ads than ever before (despite some serious security concerns raised earlier this year), the data seems to be moving in Instagram’s favor. In fact, a recent study from eMarketer estimated that Instagram currently accounts for nearly 30 percent of Facebook’s net mobile ad revenue, and that number is projected to grow up to 40 percent by 2020. That means Instagram could make up close to 16 percent of Facebook’s total ad revenue over the next year alone.

What does all this mean? It means brands and advertisers CANNOT afford to sleep on Instagram video marketing any longer. And the great news is there are a lot of options to work with when promoting video content on Instagram’s platform, including traditional timeline videos, Instagram stories, or direct video messaging followers, the last two of which we’ll cover slightly later in this post. Instagram also just launched Instagram TV, which allows users and brands to upload up to 10 minutes of video.

When planning videos to share on your company or client’s timeline, consider creating a stylish brand video with breathtaking visuals, or a how-to video to grab the attention of your target audience. If you have a product as cool as GoPro, you can even create something like this.

2. “Story” style short-term video is here to stay.

More than 250 million active users view Instagram Stories every day. While a lot of these users are going to Stories to check out what their friends and family are up to, a lot are also following brands they like, and those brands are missing out on easy exposure by not creating Stories as frequently as possible.

Plus, don’t forget – Instagram isn’t the only social network with skin in the “story” game. The function was popularized by Snapchat and Facebook has even created its own version to stay relevant.

There are a lot of unique ways companies can take advantage of the 24-hour lifespan of “Story” content. Some include:

  • Limited Time Offers – The short-term nature of Stories give brands a unique opportunity to share a time-sensitive opportunity using discount codes and links that expire within 24 hours.
  • Behind the Scenes – Try using the 24-hour window to share exclusive content, give a backstage tour of your facilities, or offer sneak peaks of upcoming products still in development.  
  • Introduce Your Team – The stripped down feel of Story content, which is mostly shot directly on an iPhone, lends itself to more intimate interactions. Introduce your team and have them speak about what they do and why they love your company.
  • Influencer Takeover – Invite influencers to take over your Story for a day and bring over some of their followers to boost your brand.

3. Influencer-boosted branded vlogging combines the best of three worlds.

By now, you’ve heard plenty about influencer marketing, even if you haven’t attempted it yourself. When it comes to the future of video, influencer marketing is only going to get bigger. However, it’s not necessarily about size, but how you use it. So what trend should you be following when it comes to maximizing influencer partnerships for your company or client?

The answer: branded vlogging. Your company has a blog, now it needs a vlog. It’s not enough to put up a blog and expect leads to pour in. Viewers retain 95 percent of a message after watching it in a video compared to 10 percent when reading it in text, so if you want your message to stick with your audience, you’re going to want to start repurposing your written content into video.

Since you’ll be turning your blog into a vlog, what better way to drive more traffic, achieve higher engagement, and earn more conversions than through video influencers? Companies have a golden opportunity to maximize their SEO and increase their leads by engaging influencers to help create their video content. By working with influencers to create these co-branded vlogs on topics that both appeal to the influencer’s core audience and attract the partner-company’s target demographic, they can create quality evergreen content with a heightened SEO rating. Three birds, one video.

4. Live video is the way to grab an audience’s attention.

The way we consume video content today is more fractured than ever, The key to standing out? Make an event out of it!

Live video by its very nature creates urgency, and has statistically been proven to draw more viewers in than pre-recorded video and hold their attention for longer. In fact, 80 percent percent of viewers would rather watch a live video than read a blog and 82 percent prefer live videos to simple social posts.

For some examples, check out how GE put together a five day Periscope campaign for #Droneweek to show off their remote facilities, or how Nissan streamed its live launch of the 2016 Maxima as it premiered at the New York auto show.

5. AR and VR are off to the races to re-imagine reality.

Between augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the future of gaming is going to be sweet. But AR and VR isn’t just for games. Between health care, education, occupational training, research and development, social media and marketing, construction and manufacturing, it’s hard to think of an industry or business on Earth that won’t benefit in some way with VR and AR technology. Hubspot even predicts the economic impact of virtual and augmented reality should reach $29.5 billion by 2020.

With more developers and exhibitors than ever, this year’s Consumer Electronics Show featured over 350 VR and AR companies strutting their stuff. This means that as technology advances, incorporating VR and AR into your company’s video marketing is becoming more and more affordable and accessible.

For some ideas on how companies are using VR right now, check out Honda’s Virtual Reality Experience for their Honda Civic vehicle or this Star Wars behind the scenes experience from the set of the movie Rogue One.

On the AR front, companies have been able to use AR to create viral videos, like this campaign using AR zombies at a bus stop to promote The Walking Dead in Germany, or this collaboration between Coca Cola and the WWF to spread conservation efforts in the Arctic.

6. 360 video is not just a niche, but it is better for certain niches.

By 2019, more than 175.4 million people in America alone will be watching video on their mobile devices. With so many more viewers going handheld, 360 video offers a new dynamic way for your brand to keep them engaged and inspired.

However, before you go investing thousands of dollars in your very own top of the line 360 video camera, it’s important to think about whether 360 video is a good fit for your company. According to Hubspot, viewers have specific opinions on what type of content should go 360 or not.

Here’s what Hubspot says viewers want to see in 360:

  • 60 percent travel and sports content
  • 55 percent live entertainment content
  • 39 percent feature length movie content
  • 31 percent news and documentary content
  • 30 percent television series content

It seems likely that the best use of 360 video will come into play when paired with new content mediums, like AR or VR technology, or used for live videos like live sports events.  

If you’re looking for some ideas, check out shoe company TOMS’ virtual journey to Peru created to promote the company’s charity work, or Universal Orlando’s immersive 360 roller coaster tour.

7. Branded short films are taking over.

Between 360 video, AR and VR tech, and influencer-partnerships, none of these trends are going to be cheap. The future is expensive. Branded short films are no exception and are arguably one of the more expensive ventures you can undertake. However, industry-leading big-budget brands are killing it with branded short films and will only continue to utilize this medium to promote their products.

Check out one of the original branded short film series, BMW’s ‘The Escape’ or Marriot’s ‘Two Bellmen’ for some truly creative storytelling. Even if you don’t have a budget the size of BMW, Star Wars, or Nike, you can still incorporate branded short film storytelling techniques into your video marketing strategy, like this filmmaker does in Coors Light’s ‘My Climb. My Story’ documercial highlighting fashion designer Shezi and his personal story.

Stories are not only more entertaining to viewers, they’re often more compelling and keep viewers much more engaged than a flashy product video. It all depends on where and how you’re trying to expand your reach and attract new audiences.

8. Video is becoming more searchable than ever.

Developments in artificial intelligence are enabling technology to better scrape videos and transcribe their audio tracks using voice recognition software. This means video has never been more searchable. That, coupled with the added SEO benefits of having videos on your webpage, your video’s entire audio track will add to your company’s SEO. That means you’ll be even further penalized for not using video in your businesses’ marketing.

Plus, YouTube is currently the second largest search engine in the world. To keep up, Google recently announced the rollout of a new video preview feature that can help viewers assess whether a video meets their needs before clicking on it, showing how invested they are in the growth of video marketing.  

9. Personalized video messages are about to slide into your DMs.

Because it’s never been easier to point a phone camera and shoot a quick video message, don’t be surprised if, in a few months, you’re getting highly personalized video follow-ups in your inbox or your social media messenger.

Even now, your team could be using personalized videos to improve your company’s sales process, drive stronger lead nurturing, improve online customer support, and delight customers with more personalized Thank You messages. This trend could easily snowball into a more direct, video-driven communication cycle, where prospective customers are sending video responses back to their favorite brands or sales representatives.

While many might find the idea of sending personalized videos back and forth with a sales rep a little creepy, think about how much we’re already communicating exclusively through video with our friends and family. Wouldn’t you rather be getting your questions answered in a direct, immediate way than waiting a week to schedule a follow-up call?   

The future is exciting, isn’t it?  

With technology advancing so quickly, there’s only more exciting opportunities for video on the horizon. Whether you’re branching out into video marketing for the first time, or looking to dramatically improve your video content efforts, reach out! Schedule your call with one of our producers today and we can go over everything you need to know to master the future of video marketing.

Grant Harvey

Grant Harvey