Ten Video Trends Affecting Content

Adweek recently ran an article covering six video trends shaping content today, but I believe there are four more worth mentioning. And most notably, is the fact that video is fast becoming the preferred delivery method for content. A recent Ascend2 survey asked what types of content were proving the most effective for marketers. The top three were articles/case studies (54 percent), videos (46 percent), and infographics (43 percent). And, by 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. So back to the trends, let’s look at their list first.

Front-Load Excitement

Couldn’t agree with this one more. You have only a few seconds to capture the attention of the viewer, so don’t waste time building up to a story line or message point. If you have something compelling to say, get it out there. Lead with a breakthrough visual. Hit their pain-point right on the head. A recent study from Twitter/Dentsu Aegis Network revealed that videos which feature people in the opening moments are up to two times more likely to be viewed. I am going to assume that this works best when the people or person is a recognizable industry expert, or directly relatable to the viewer. So think about it as the all-important opening sentence of a great novel—and grab their attention from the start.

GIF Extensions

Brands are carving up their longer form videos in to multiple GIFs with the hope that they’ll be more accessible and increasingly shared. Obviously, this depends on the content and context of your video, but think about highlights, factoids and ways to connect with major cultural moments.

I Can’t Hear You Now

Many social sites today automatically play videos within their platform minus the sound until you click on them. So when planning a video that you expect to push out through social media (and why wouldn’t you?) think through the visual content (the opening especially—see above) and attempt to make it non-reliant on sound.

Creator Collaborations

Collaborative content creation is being harnessed by many consumer brands allowing individuals to connect with brands, and enabling brands to tap into personalities to tell their individual stories. Associations are able to naturally harness this concept since their membership is their active ‘fanbase’. In a B2B or professional services environment, this technique can be an effective way to have employees at all levels contribute to meaningful communications.

Brands as Live Broadcasters

You’ve heard about Periscope (recently acquired by Twitter) and Meerkat—both live video streaming apps. Though their popularity is building slowly, conceptually they capitalize on today’s focus on immediacy and instant access. They deliver in-the-moment real-time content. Think of creative ways to use live content streams—such as keynote speakers at your annual meeting.

Cause-based Content

Go ahead, stand for something. Keep it true to your organizational DNA and be careful of over-promoting. When done well, taking a supporting position on an issue of importance reflects positively on your brand and resonates with audiences in the long-term. Just Google ‘cause marketing’ for a wealth of information, dos and don’ts and statistics on the subject.

Those are the six mindsets that Adweek covered. In addition, recent experience with numerous clients and trending industry discussions have provided us with four additional concepts worth noting when developing your strategy for video.

Creative Trumps Length

For the longest time, many clients wanted videos within the 60 – 90 second range because of perceived attention spans. Now, however, there are 6-second Vines, animated GIFs, long-form video, live-streams and more. The key here is creative and content. If the video is compelling and the content resonates, viewers will watch. If it’s short and sweet, they’ll share. On a recent day, looking at the top ten most popular YouTube videos, the shortest was 42 seconds, and the longest was 9 minutes and 15 seconds. The average video length was 4 minutes and 20 seconds. ComScore reported that in January the duration of the average online content video was 4.4 minutes.

Vertical Video

Less talked about is the concept of vertically oriented videos. If the primary distribution and viewing is intended to be mobile/smartphone, realize that a vertical video will fill the screen in the newsfeed. Discussions/arguments abound on this subject, but just considering the option puts you ahead of the crowd. Snapchat claims that vertical video ads have up to nine times more completed views than horizontal video ads.

Money Matters

The trend we’ve seen lately with our clients embracing video as an important part of their marketing mix has also led to the inevitable discussion on how to develop more content for the same budget—i.e. can we make each video cheaper? Our answer is maybe. Searching online, you’ll get posts showing the typical range from $500-$10,000 per finished minute. And an average cost around $5000-$6000 per minute. To help manage budgets, we look at a variety of creative approaches, each with pluses and minuses. Our advice is not to cut corners, but consider all options. After all, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well—everyone wants to rank high in the search engines, and videos can help you do that. In fact, according to a Forrester study, pages with video are 53x more likely to rank on the first page of Google search results.

All About You

Many organizations want videos that describe their organization and their services. Yawn. We are proponents of content—video or other—based on the ‘what can you do for me?’ concept. In a recent engagement with MedSpeed, we developed a series of video briefs that addressed the audience’s top pain points. Subjects like “The Death of the RFP’, and ‘Savings Hidden in Plain Sight’, engaged prospects’ on MedSpeed’s promise of enhanced healthcare transportation solutions that deliver operational quality, economic value and strategic advantage to large healthcare systems. Filled with facts, questions and a few ‘aha’ moments, the fast-paced animated style stands out from a sea of stock and talking head videos. A uniform look, voice-over talent and brand bookends ensure consistency across the series.

MedSpeed-Logophone-video medspeed-video-series

So what’s next? There’s buzz about interactive and multidimensional video, and numerous other possibilities. What do you see coming and what will you incorporate in your overall marketing strategy?

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