When it comes to digital marketing, videos are rapidly outpacing other forms of content as one of the most effective tools for e-commerce. They’re more engaging, and for many, more easily consumed too.
Within the realm of social media marketing and videos, there are a few trends to follow in order to create the best possible content marketing strategy for your brand. To learn more about some of the top trends, read below.
1) Closed Captioning in Short-Form Videos Is a Must
You’ve probably been seeing lots of short-form videos with closed captioning these days — and there’s a great reason why this has been trending! Simply put, mobile device usage is at an all-time high. As of 2020, 43% of Americans reported using video apps like YouTube or Netflix regularly for entertainment. Pretty much everyone with a smartphone — which is most people these days — watches short form and social videos at least occasionally on their phones because it’s just so convenient.
What’s less convenient for smartphone users is attempting to watch a video in a noisy, crowded, or quiet place. Waiting for food to arrive at a restaurant, but you don’t want to be rude by making others listen to what you’re watching? Riding the noisy subway? Or are you at the library and can’t turn the volume up? This is where closed captioning becomes essential because it allows viewers to watch videos anywhere, any time, even when they can’t hear the audio.
Check out this video from the popular haircare and skincare brand Suave. It’s a great example of how to use closed captioning. Note that there is a difference between closed captions and open captions. Open captions cannot be turned off, but closed captions can be switched on and off just like in this video. That gives users ultimate control. Turn them on when you can’t listen, switch them off if you’d rather listen than read.
2) Short Videos Continue To Dominate
Today’s most successful videos are the short ones — mostly less than a minute, and on some social platforms, just seconds.
Why are short-form videos dominating? You’ve probably heard this nugget again and again, that “you have a shorter attention span than a goldfish.”
That’s not quite true.
The actual truth is that people still have attention spans just as long or as short as they ever did. But we’re also leading busier lives than ever before, so we have to pick and choose which things we spend a lot of time on. As a result, most won’t devote more than a few seconds to an ad, and for informative videos, most would prefer to skip the lengthy introductions and long-winded explanations in favor of videos that get to the point pronto.
Another reason why short-form videos are a great marketing tool is because they’re easy to distribute. They upload faster, load faster, and make it easier to post and share them on a wide range of social platforms where there may be strict limits on video size and length.
Makeup tutorials are known for breaking a lot of the “rules” dictating what makes a great video. They often start with lengthy intros, discussion of things not related to the subject at hand — in other words, a lot of fluff mixed into the info people came to see. Whether you’re creating an ad or informational content, skip all that fluff so that your target audience doesn’t skip your video.
Here’s a makeup tutorial that does it right. At just three and a half minutes, the intro is long enough to introduce the topic and no more. Then, it gets right to the instructional content it promises. It also fits well into other social media trends, including shoppable videos that encourage people to try the products they see.
3) New Platforms and Functions Offer More Opportunities for Video Content
It’s more than YouTube these days. Twitch, TikTok, Instagram Reels, Patreon — there are all kinds of platforms where video content is either gaining in prominence or the main thrust of the platform. In fact, you could say that social media in general is becoming a video-first place.
What does this mean for you? It means that video and video marketing trends should be a key focus for your marketing efforts. It also means that now is a great time to get in on the ground floor, establish a presence, and start building brand awareness among active users on newer platforms.
HelloFresh is a brand that is killing it with video ads on TikTok, and that’s because their videos have everything TikTok wants: cool music, great visuals on new products and new features, and the videos are nice and short. Here’s a recent example to illustrate how this brand is leveraging a relatively new social platform, but you can look through all of their posts to see a lot more.
4) Videos Should Be Optimized for All Devices
There are more mobile devices than ever before and more types of devices than ever before. Computers, laptops, tablets in sizes small to large, phones — you get the idea. You can’t control how your viewers will access your videos, so they should be optimized to look great, no matter the device. It’s also smart to create online videos that will fit a variety of social platforms so that you can post them in more than one spot.
Never mind creating complex, highly detailed scenes that are shot in 4K ultra HD for your social media strategy. While this is nice, it can also be super hard to load on a cellular connection. Instead, create videos that are short and easily consumable, easy to load, and have attractive thumbnails that make people want to click or tap. These are the most accessible across all devices.
For mobile-first videos (things more likely to be viewed on mobile than on a TV or PC), consider adding vertical video to your video formats since many people find it more comfortable to watch this way. In fact, if you’re targeting specific video platforms, like TikTok, vertical may be the norm.
IKEA has some good examples among their YouTube shorts. Here’s one with a great thumbnail and beautiful visuals that has been optimized well to work on a variety of devices and platforms.
5) Social Video Marketing With Influencers
Influencer marketing is effective for two big reasons. The most obvious is because it leverages word-of-mouth tactics, which is a fancy way of saying that simply having people talk about products is a great way to spread word about them. It works so well with influencers because influencers have large followings, so they can spread the word fast.
Influencer marketing also provides social proof. There’s a reason why trends become trends, and that’s because people are prone to copying the things that other people are doing. That’s especially true when influencers are involved. When someone is perceived as influential or an expert, people will naturally follow along.
Find an influencer to showcase your product, and watch your sales grow. How does it work? Watch this video from popular makeup reviewer Christine of Temptalia. She reviews makeup from all sorts of brands, and you can see how people flock to her website and videos, providing brands with both word-of-mouth marketing and social proof since people get to see an influencer using them.
Need help finding an influencer to showcase your product? Click here to start searching Popular Pays for influencers who have both the reach and the subject expertise to market your wares.
6) The Continued Rise of Social Media Stories and Live Video
If there’s one word to keep in mind throughout all aspects of your marketing campaign, it’s this one: Authenticity.
Here are some key stats to think about:
- 90% of Millennials say authenticity matters to them.
- 85% of Gen X craves authenticity.
- 80% of Boomers prefer authentic messages.
To put it straight, people are tired of being pushed around by ads, and they’re more suspicious than ever before of brands that feel like faceless corporations. Consumer awareness is on the rise, with people doing what they can to make socially, environmentally, and ethically conscious choices.
So when we say authenticity is important, these are the reasons why — because people want to trust that the brands they choose come from real people who are also trying to do the right thing.
And what does authenticity have to do with social media stories and live video? Everything. Both formats give the look and feel of unscripted, real-life happenings. Stories and live streams are humanizing, which is what you need to create authentic content.
Michelle Phan is a popular makeup influencer, one who has started her own popular brand, Em Cosmetics. She also Twitch streams and has super-popular stories on Instagram. Check out some of her Instagram stories here. These slice-of-life compilations are exactly what we’re talking about when we say that authenticity matters.
7) User-Generated Content Is Increasingly Valuable
User-generated content is growing in popularity for many of the same reasons that influencer marketing is successful. It provides both word of mouth and social proof, and it gives content a huge dose of authenticity. Where influencers are concerned, most people are aware that they often get perks for showcasing products.
User-generated content is completely organic, however. The people who create it are doing so not because they’ll get paid but because they’re excited to participate in a promotional program or because they enjoy creating content around a particular product.
The Doritos brand was an early adopter of consumer-generated videos. Here’s a hilarious one as an example.
What makes this ad successful? It started with the call for submissions from Doritos, which got people excited to create their own commercials for a chance at winning a Super Bowl spot, which is great for word-of-mouth marketing. Then people actually got to enjoy the best user-created ads, most of which were not only promotional but entertaining enough to boost engagement and automatically authentic since they were created not by studio pros but by people who love Doritos.
8) Videos Make Great Paid Ads on Social Media Platforms
ROI can be a tough thing to measure since it differs from industry to industry, but according to a Wyzowl survey, 86% of video marketers say that video has increased traffic to their website.
When it comes to making sales, your website is where it’s at — and anything that drives traffic to it will give you a boost. Videos are more effective than photos and other types of content because when they’re well done, they’re engaging and clickable. They pull people in and get them interested where they might have scrolled past a photo just like they scroll past hundreds of other images cluttering up their social feeds.
Here’s one of the Cold Callers ads from Tide. What’s the ROI on these? Hard to say without information from Tide, but you can imagine it must be huge since they’re paying celebrities to feature in these ads! Either way, there are a lot of elements here that help boost the ROI: influential people, an attention-grabbing opening, plus engaging content that keeps people hooked and encourages them to try the brand.
Find creators and influencers for your next video campaigns with Popular Pays!
Ready to add video marketing to your content marketing strategy? Popular Pays is here to make it easier. Use our platform to find the creators who can help you get the content ready and the influencers who can popularize it. Check it out here.