There’s perhaps nothing trendier than a blog outlining the trends to watch in a new year. But here at Storyboard Media, we love jumping on a good trend before it’s been beaten into the ground by a toddler with a wiffleball bat. So, without further ado, here are 9 video marketing trends to watch in 2019.
1. The Proliferation of Personalized Video
One of the most effective and affordable ways you can use video in your sales funnel is to create attention-grabbing, personalized videos that address the prospect by name. But selling with personalized video isn’t just an excuse to use your laptop’s built-in camera for kicks. According to Vidyard, personalized thumbnails can increase click-through rates by 4.5x. I guess we’re all a little narcissistic that way.
How to do it: Let’s get one thing out of the way – these do not have to be Michael Bay productions; no explosions or special effects necessary. Rather, these are short and sweet, with your prospect’s name written on a whiteboard or a piece of printer paper. A dog in the shot never hurts. And whatever you do, do not worry about being perfect. In fact, a minor mistake here and there can show your prospect that you’re a human (a slip of the tongue, not a John McEnroe-level meltdown).
After all, the purpose of the video is to prove that you’re a real flesh-and-blood person who is making a personal connection and will pick up their next phone call or answer their next email. And in an era of chatbots and auto-responses (and Skynet preparing to go live), just knowing that there’s a fellow humanoid on the other end can be downright relieving.
2. The “80%” Video
This term, borrowed from the marketing agency IMPACT, refers to a video which answers roughly 80% of your prospects’ most frequently asked questions – before they even have a chance to ask them. Once your sales associate has qualified a prospect and made a personal introduction (perhaps using the aforementioned personalized video), perhaps even gone through a general demo with them, an 80% video can be sent automatically to address some of their expected questions about how your product/service/company works. You’ll know more about what this content should be after having answered 5-50 of these post-demo emails.
This video can drastically reduce the back-and-forth between your prospects and your sales team, with some companies reporting a 50% reduction in the sales cycle.
How to do it: To create an effective 80% video, each member of your sales team should put together five to ten of the most frequently asked questions they receive from qualified leads. Compare these lists and look for the overlap. Then, put some resources behind a well-made, concise video that answers these questions clearly. You should also use this as an opportunity to further underscore your company’s culture.
3. Smarter Video Strategies
We’re not just calling this a video marketing trend because it’s what we do at Storyboard Media. The truth is, in 2019, more companies are recognizing the importance of having a video strategy in place before spending money on production. A smart video strategy begins with specific goals: Are you trying to increase brand awareness? Attract better-qualified leads? Improve your churn? All of the above?
How to do it: Make an effort to understand your department/company’s desired outcome, decide on a game plan for how your video is going to be distributed once it is created and determine the metrics that will define success. Is this going to be native video used on your social media channels? Are you using this video in an AdWords campaign and, if so, what is your budget? What about a YouTube channel? This will give you a better idea of the type of creative concepts you want to develop for your videos.
Once you have strong creative concepts in place – ideas that were informed by your desired future state and ultimate distribution/promotion plan – you are ready to move into the production phase, including script development, hiring actors, renting studio space and equipment, and shooting and editing your video.
By starting with strategy, you’ll save time, money, resources, heartache while also increasing your video’s ROI.
4. Scalable Video Content
When we say scalable video, what we’re really talking about is a single piece of video content that can be used on multiple platforms, in multiple formats. A piece of well-made anchor content can be cut up into a variety of satellite video content that meets different needs and fills gaps in your distribution strategy. In short, a scalable video gives you way more bang for your budget, driving more folks to your intended piece using various limitations/advantages of those platforms.
For example, you can create a two or three-minute video which outlines the best features of your content management software. From that piece of anchor content, you can then break out multiple, shorter videos highlighting individual features using the same footage – also known as micro demos. These can be used to convince a decision-maker by showcasing the features that would be most appealing to that person through a tailored video playlist that still respects their time. Similarly, you can use different thumbnails and calls to action on the same video content to increase the odds that the intended viewer actually, ya know, views it.
5. Higher Video Ad Spends
In 2018, video’s share of digital ad spending topped 25% for the first time – and it’s only going up from there. As marketers flock to video ads in 2019, the heightened competition will likely prompt an increase in the cost of what you can expect to pay for your video ads, too. This includes the cost of advertising with video through Adwords (YouTube), Facebook (Instagram), Twitter, Snapchat, and various retargeting platforms.
To control your costs amid the frenzy of this video marketing trend, make sure you’re using as much data as you have available to devise smart, targeted campaigns. A/B test your video ad campaigns if your budget allows. And don’t simply set ‘em and forget ‘em; take the time to review your campaign analytics and make adjustments accordingly. Last but not least, get creative with your content. It doesn’t have to go viral, it just needs to be compelling enough to stand apart from the crowd.
6. More Experiments in Social Video
In 2019, social media giants like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter will continue to experiment with video to keep up with their users’ hunger for video content. This is already evident in LinkedIn’s efforts to launch its version of Snapchat Stories, which will target one of the B2B platform’s most coveted audiences: non-old people.
The first iteration of LinkedIn Stories is called “Student Voices,” and will allow college students to post short videos to a playlist associated with their school. The idea is that students will further their academic and professional careers by sharing ‘success stories’ related to their school work, internships, jobs, and extracurricular activities. Unlike Snapchat and Instagram, however, the videos posted to LinkedIn’s Stories feature will not vanish completely; rather, they will live on the user’s profile until deleted.
Some potential complications: Will college students who are accustomed to videos of their killer bong loads disappearing after a few seconds realize their LinkedIn profile now scrolls like Cheech & Chong’s Greatest Hits compilation? When a right-wing conspiracy theorist books the auditorium for an evening of insights and fear-mongering, will the student videos be shrouded in tear gas? Will these young people – notorious for their inability to consider the long-term consequences of their actions – do more harm to their careers than advance them? Only time will tell.
Either way, given the exponential expansion of video, you can expect similar experiments from other social media companies are just around the corner.
7. Video “Storms”
This is almost as frightening as it sounds: ‘storming’ a chosen social media feed with video after video for a designated period of time, ranging from hours to days. Video storms are an increasingly popular way for companies (or in some cases, individuals) to create buzz and increase brand exposure. It’s a risky maneuver; on the one hand, you have an opportunity to make a bold statement, engaging your followers and potentially expanding your network. On the other hand, you can be that person who posts way too many Instagram pictures in a row, dominating the feed in a way that comes off as annoying instead of ambitious.
How to do it (right): There are a few ways to mitigate those risks. First, a storm should be comprised of diverse video content that doesn’t all come across as the same. This could be achieved by changing up the style of your videos, with some having higher production values than others, some being longer, some shorter, etc. Next, be sure to announce your video storm a few days ahead of time so that followers understand this is a one-time event and not a new standard being set by a go-getter intern. If you’re considering a video storm, make sure you choose the right channels (LinkedIn tends to be less cluttered with toxic hot takes than Twitter). Last but not least, keep in mind that view counts don’t mean much these days, so be sure you set expectations accordingly and understand what metrics you do want to use to measure success.
8. Squaring Up (or – FML – Vertical Video)
Like it or not, square formatting is a video marketing trend that is here to stay. In 2018, more than 60% of video content was being viewed and shared on mobile, a figure that is only going to increase in 2019. And when your video is formatted in a 1:1 aspect ratio, it actually occupies 78% more real estate on the feed than traditional landscape video. That means that, in order to get the most ROI out of the videos you share on social, you need to think about how you’re going to shoot before you actually start setting up the cameras. (someday, cameras will offer this aspect ratio, but for now, we’re all subject to pre-committed ratios. (BS))
But what about video that is already horizontal? Not all is lost. If you want to convert your horizontal videos into square video, a simple solution is to letterbox it by adding caption bars to the top and bottom of your video. This turns your rectangular horizontal video into a square while giving you the opportunity to caption important dialogue and grab a scroller’s attention even when muted. Like this.
9. Augmented Reality May Finally Become a Reality
We’ve been teased with AR for years now, but the truth is, it has yet to truly blossom as a mainstream element in video content. Sure, video games like Pokémon Go have successfully leveraged AR (you may have noticed a herd of teenagers staring at their phones in an abandoned gas station parking lot) and Animojis can transform anyone’s grandma into a talking Basset Hound. But generally speaking, AR technology has been somewhat under-utilized – until now.
In 2019, with an increasing number of users aware of and comfortable with AR, more businesses may have the confidence they need to incorporate it into their products. Furthermore, the imperfections of AR technology that its gaming applications have shined a light on are being ironed out. The frustrations companies like Ikea have experienced in convincing customers to take advantage of AR may begin to fade, possibly paving the way for a breakthrough moment that offers brave new opportunities in video.