“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million” — YouTube Blog
It says something about the enduring value of video that the quote above was written in 2010. Nearly twelve years ago. And yet it’s even more relevant today than it was back then.
There can be little doubt that video will dominate 2022 and beyond. One need only look at the meteoric rise of platforms like TikTok and YouTube — the former of which grew by 325% in 2020 alone. And if that’s not convincing enough, consider the following from Wyzowl’s 2022 State of Video Marketing Report:
In short, video is no longer optional. You need to understand the basic best practices of video marketing. More importantly, you need to understand the trends currently shaping both how marketers leverage video and how audiences engage with it.
We’ll help you stay competitive by identifying these trends and providing you with actionable tips you can follow to adapt to each.
Brands Are Telling Stories Through Social Video
Modern audiences expect brands to reach them where they are — and where they are is on sites like YouTube, Facebook, and TikTok. That’s been common knowledge for a while now. What you might not know is that paid content like pre-roll ads and sponsored posts isn’t the only way to get in touch.
Mediums like Instagram Stories and Facebook Live provide your brand with a casual, personal, and interactive channel for engagement. They allow you to directly communicate with both current and prospective customers, providing you with potential insights about your brand. They also give people a glimpse ‘behind the curtain,’ which humanizes your business in their eyes.
That makes your business considerably more likable, which in turn can lead to increased sales.
User-Generated Content is Front and Center
As in previous years, user-generated content (UGC) will remain a cornerstone of effective video marketing in 2022. The unfortunate truth of marketing is that no matter how authentic and transparent your branding is, your customers will always be at least slightly suspicious of your motives. It comes with the fact that on some level, they understand that you’re trying to sell them something — a little wariness is a natural response.
On the other hand, if they see content created by their peers around your brand, even the more naturally suspicious among them will likely be intrigued. Case in point, compared to branded content, 80% of consumers feel UGC is more trustworthy. Another 70% find it more appealing and authentic.
Businesses for the most part understand this, and more and more companies have been adopting UGC into their strategies as a result.
Shorter is Better
As noted by Forbes Magazine, short-form video was the most popular content type in 2021. If you’ve been paying attention, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Savvy marketers have known for years that users prefer shorter content.
It’s not solely a matter of attention span, either. People simply don’t like having their time wasted by a brand that hasn’t already captured their attention. The surest way to sow frustration amongst your target audience and sabotage your marketing efforts is by trying to shoehorn longer videos into your outbound marketing content.
We’ll be blunt here — if your marketing advertisements are longer than 30 seconds, you are doing something wrong. Reserve longer videos for your inbound content. People who seek out your YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok page will be far more willing to sit through them.
Vlogging is a Huge Opportunity
First emerging in the 2010s, vlogs have seen a sharp increase in popularity over the past few years, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. Upon examination of the format, it’s not difficult to see why. For influencers, vlogging represents the perfect way to forge a connection with their audience.
It gives people a window into the vlogger’s life and personality. It allows the vlogger to share their thoughts and ideas on a wide range of topics. And ultimately, it provides viewers with a sense of human connection that in 2022 is still somewhat lacking.
Brands have become increasingly attuned to this, with more and more businesses establishing brand-focused blogs. Some even go so far as to have leadership publish their own vlogs, promoting the business while forging their own personal connection with viewers. This tactic is especially valuable if your business operates in a field where thought leadership is an important driver of sales — executives can use their vlog to effectively publish mini keynotes covering a wide range of topics and challenges.
Live Streams Are More Important Than Ever
Livestreamed content has all the benefits of vlogging and social stories, with the benefit of offering an even deeper sense of connection between audience and brand. And with the pandemic shutting down many in-person events, the popularity of streaming exploded. Live Streams were the only way people could safely attend certain conferences and events.
Yet even once we return to normalcy, streaming will remain an invaluable source of audience engagement. Live Streamed content is estimated to receive up to six times as many interactions as ordinary video. It also offers a number of other benefits:
- More authentic interaction
- Targets the most engaged, interested, and qualified leads
- Relatively simple to produce
- Can be readily repurposed into other forms of content
Vertical Videos Are Becoming the Format of Choice
An increasing number of video advertisements and marketing campaigns are switching up their aspect ratio. This is in large part due to the popularity of platforms like TikTok, on which the majority of content is filmed via smartphone. This results in videos being presented in a vertical format rather than horizontal.
In addition to being simpler to consume on smartphones — which are quickly becoming the device of choice for the majority of Internet users — vertical videos also lend your marketing an extra degree of authenticity, as they’re presented in the same format as user-generated content (which we’ll discuss in depth a bit later).
Interactive Content is In
If you’ve been paying attention to the wider marketing industry, you’ve likely heard that a positive user experience is one of the defining characteristics of a brand’s success. There’s a lot that goes into providing that experience, enough so that we could publish an entire piece on that topic alone. For the sake of brevity, we’ll instead focus on how interactive video can slot into an experience-focused, omnichannel strategy.
Personalized videos could be used for customer onboarding and customer care. Dynamic video content could be part of an ongoing alternate reality game (ARG). Alternatively, you could use video as a critical touchpoint for customers, bringing them into your sales funnel and directing personalization based on how they interact.
AR and VR Will Change the User Experience
Just as COVID-19 generated significant interest in live-streamed video, it also resulted in a renewed focus on augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The reasons were much the same. In the absence of physical venues, people sought the closest thing to an in-person experience possible without leaving the house.
It’s worth mentioning that neither of these technologies is new, and multiple businesses have tried (and failed) to embrace them at various points. Widespread interest aside, what makes this time different is the fact that AR and VR are becoming increasingly mainstream. And as it does, it will change the nature of video marketing, providing deeper immersion, interactivity, and engagement than ever before.
You’re likely already well-positioned to start leveraging AR at this very moment. Given this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, you’d best start doing so sooner rather than later. There’s already software that allows you to overlay video content onto the real world, and tools to provide interactive video demos — we suggest starting there.
Animated Explainers Provide Some Excellent Education
If you’ve noticed a resurgence of animated series recently, you’re not imagining things. With pandemic lockdowns making live filming functionally impossible, many studios instead looked to animation as a medium. They found that not only was it effective, but that there was a very real hunger for it across all age groups.
But what does any of that have to do with video marketing?
Just as film and TV studios were unable to safely record live video, marketing agencies had to seek an alternative for their own content. Explainer videos ended up being one content type for which animations were found to be highly effective.
They allowed brands to express their identity in ways that would have been difficult with live video, making their message considerably more compelling and causing it to leave more of a lasting impression on the audience.
360-Degree Video Offers a New Perspective
Closely related to the growing popularity of AR and VR, 360-degree video is exactly what it sounds like. Recorded via either an omnidirectional camera or multiple lenses, this interactive format allows viewers to rotate the video as it plays. You might look at it as sort of a ‘bridge’ between current technology and full-immersion VR, one which offers a range of benefits compared to a two-dimensional video.
Embrace Video Marketing at Scale with StoryTap
There’s no denying how important video is to any marketing strategy today. One look at the trends and it’s clear: video drives engagement, authenticity, and continues to grow in popularity as the most consumable form of media.
And yet, creating videos at scale remains a significant challenge for most companies. Enter StoryTap.
StoryTaps video automation platform allows you to collect, curate, and distribute compelling, empowering video content across your entire marketing ecosystem. More importantly, with tools like an intuitive video recorder, we make it easy for you to guide your audience through the stories they tell.
The end result is high-quality, engaging UGC that truly stands out, driving interest, awareness, and engagement.
Interested in seeing StoryTap in action? Book a demo and see how easy we make it to achieve UGC video at scale.