2021 is (finally) here, and it’s safe to say that video just wrapped up its best year ever. That fact isn’t all that surprising—video consumption has been trending positively for years, and the pandemic likely accelerated its growth with many consumers at home and glued to their screens.
For the data-driven minds out there, here are the findings that point to video’s success. (Source: Wyzowl)
- 85% of businesses used video as a marketing tool, up from 61% in 2016.
- 88% of video marketers reported video having a positive ROI, up from just 33% in 2015.
- 99% of current video marketers plan to continue using video next year, and 95% plan to increase or maintain their spending.
It’s safe to say that video is here to stay. But what does that mean for your 2021 marketing strategy? We’re glad you asked.
2021 is going to be an interesting year for video. Marketers will have to balance the obvious success of video content with some of the pandemic-related roadblocks like physically-distanced productions and lack of in-person events. Plus, going into a year that’s more unpredictable than most, it’s especially important to plan for video content that will work even if your strategy doesn’t go as planned.
Here are the types of content we’d recommend including in your 2021 strategy.
1) Evergreen video content
Since we don’t quite know what to expect from the business landscape over the next 12 months, your safest bet is to prioritize production for evergreen video content. Think videos for your website, customer testimonials, explainer videos, about us videos, and other content that will be relevant and accurate even if 2021 doesn’t go as planned.
Because evergreen videos have such a long shelf life, it’s often a good idea to put resources behind them. These are the videos that you might want to outsource to a production company or otherwise invest in. While some of the other options on this list are easy to accomplish in-house with the scrappiest of “production” teams, this is one instance where the increase in quality that you’ll notice by leaving it to the professionals can have a real impact on the video’s success.
2) Social video content
For the DIYers out there, social video content is often appropriate to tackle internally, even if you don’t quite have the skills to make the perfect content. Why? Social audiences typically prefer authentic content above all else, so it’s okay for videos meant for a platform like Instagram or TikTok to have a slightly lower-quality feel to them. The key is to infuse these videos with personality and leave viewers feeling like they understand your brand and the people behind it.
The other benefit of social video content? Because viewers aren’t expecting the same production value as, say, a commercial, you can make loose content plans and then pivot to take part in the latest trends or reference cultural moments. Perfect for a year like 2021 when it’s difficult to plan for next week, let alone the next 12 months.
3) Live stream event content
For early 2021 at least, it’s unlikely that we’ll see in-person events pick up at all. If your audience engages with events or conferences, you should consider incorporating live stream events into your strategy.
The key is to put real time, thought, and potentially budget into any virtual events this year. After all, how many times have you registered for a webinar, skipped the event itself, and then forgotten to watch the email recording that you told yourself you’d watch? Many of our inboxes are so flooded with webinar invitations lately that you’ll have to go out of your way to create an engaging and successful experience for your audience.
One way to accomplish that is to partner with a production company for your live stream. We can help you think through the best ways to reach your viewers and maintain their attention with high-quality, interesting content.
4) Asynchronous video content
If you’re not familiar with this terminology, asynchronous video typically refers to personal video content that you send back and forth with someone—a customer, a new trainee, or a sales prospect, for example. Think of it like a Zoom or FaceTime call but with gaps between each person talking. You record your piece, you send it to the recipient, and they watch and respond on their own time.
Asynchronous video has plenty of interesting use cases in a year like 2020. It’s an incredibly useful tool for onboarding new employees, solving customer service complaints, and connecting with prospective customers in a novel way. Platforms like Loom make it especially easy, allowing you to record yourself and your screen at the same time for situations like software walkthroughs or tech troubleshooting.
If you haven’t experimented with asynchronous video yet, 2021 is the perfect year to get started. Try incorporating it into your onboarding, sales, or support processes to add another layer of communication and personalization to processes that can sometimes lack a personal touch.
5) Interactive AR content
Finally, 2021 is likely to be a great year for interactive, augmented reality content. Some consumer brands have already fully embraced the AR concept, like Warby Parker or IKEA. Both companies have virtual tools on their websites that allow you to see their products in their intended use cases. Warby Parker allows you to see the way different pairs of glasses will look with your specific facial features, while IKEA allows you to place new furniture items into your living spaces to see how they’ll fit into your current décor.
This approach is especially useful for brands (like Warby Parker and IKEA) that sell products that are hard to purchase without seeing the items in person. And going into 2021 with continued limitations on in-person shopping experiences, interactive video content is one way to bridge the gap with consumers.
2021 may be looking a little unclear at the moment, but that doesn’t have to mean that you go into the year blind. Now is the time to take a look at your video options, assess your overall marketing strategy, and make plans that account for the year’s uncertainty. Now that you know what you might include in your 2021 video strategy, check out this article for guidance about how to get started with execution.