Marketing has had a bit of a shakeup in the last 12 months, but one thing continues to be true – video in marketing is on the rise. The trend that had been growing before the pandemic has been accelerate by it, and now lots of businesses are realising that they need to reframe their previous quite ‘traditional’ strategies and embrace digital properly before they get left behind.

On average we now spend 2 hours and 25 minutes a day watching video content online, compared to just 1.5 hours in 2018. This can be anything from vlogs to webinars, and the list of formats is growing all the time. More viewers means more companies incorporating video strategically, which in turn means more viewers… you get the picture.

So how do you come out on top in this new normal? The secret doesn’t lie in producing more video content to keep up with the competition and the rise in demand. The secret lies in making sure your video content is completely aligned with your customers’ values.

According to Wyzowl, 92% of video marketers feel the level of noise and competition have increased in the last year, and 47% [of those] said video was made necessary by new challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic.

 

What will the marketing landscape look like in our post-pandemic world?

In 2020 we saw many businesses cutting their marketing budgets and focusing on brand building and customer retention. Although this is expected to continue, recent surveys suggest that acquisition and ROI objectives will ‘resurface’ in 2021.

2021 marketing landscape
What role will video play?

Video will continue to do the same things it always has – building brand values that connect with customers, employees and partners, retaining and acquiring customers, and improving the customer experience/journey.

  • 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool
  • 93% of marketers who use video say that it’s an important part if their marketing strategy
  • $33.27billion spent on digital video ads in 2020

However, it will also be the tool of choice when communicating about societal issues that companies are tackling, and the support they are giving employees and their communities.

What does this mean for me?

We’ve used the projected 2021 marketing landscape, hours of our own research and our well-cultivated industry expertise to compile a list of video marketing recommendations for the year(s) ahead. They won’t all apply to your business, or necessarily match your unique marketing goals, but each one has been cherry picked to help you build brand value, retain and acquire customers and grow brand awareness – so you should find some handy tips.

 

Tip 1. Use video explainers to improve your customer’s journey

The Global Web Index 2021 Connecting the Dots report says “customer service in 2021 won’t just be about providing helpful advice quickly, but being empathetic as well.” And we think that’s on the money. Video – both live-action and animation – can create a stronger connection with audiences than any other medium hands down, not least because it allows you the dual emotional impact of moving images and soundtrack.

Video is already a “consumer-favourite” when it comes to learning about new products or services, especially for utilities and consumer facing software companies, where good explainer videos can help free up resources too.

 

Tip 2. Consider re-purposing archive material

If your budget is tight, why not have a look at your company’s archives and find new meaning in existing footage and pictures? A lot can be done with an archive, you just need to look at it with fresh eyes and an open mind. Here is an example of how to do it well:

It might be a little time-consuming digging things out, but that can be more than offset by the power of nostalgia and insight that comes with using archive material well.

“After 2020, we need to remind our community, how precious a world full of freedom was. With some nostalgia marketing, we can create fun campaigns and look back to the good old days. The world is change, and we never know when it’s over. Staying positive is the best way to life with this pandemic.” – Aji Aditra Perdana , Head of Social Media & Content Marketing, Home Credit Indonesia

 

Tip 3. Focus on people-centric strategies

The experts say that 2021 will be all about “people, people, people”.  This means that video is bound to be centre-stage, thanks to its ability to connect on a deeper emotional level than written pieces or photos.

When you humanise your brand, you can engage your audience more deeply. Check out our recent overview of video case studies for more on this.

Whether you’re bringing together employees scattered across the world or really getting to the heart of charity events or community schemes, nothing does the job quite like video.

But whatever your goals, authenticity, compassion and empathy are key. Which leads us to our next point…

 

Tip 4. Promote conversations around issues that your audience cares about

Being vocal about issues such as wellbeing and mental health shows your workforce that you’re here for them. Recent surveys suggest that physical health and wellbeing is and will continue being everyone’s biggest priority for 2021, with special emphasis being put on mental health.

Loads of businesses created “awareness” material at the start of the pandemic, on everything from avoiding the virus to mental health and working from home. So why not carry on with the next subject your community cares about most deeply? Raise questions, give them a voice, share expert knowledge. If you drive the conversation you can create a stronger connection with your employees and community, and show them you really do care.

 

Tip 5. Increase brand value by making the most out of your original content

If you’re a B2B business and generating brand value is a priority for you this year, then your original content catalogue is where it’s at.

Livestreams, Zoom meeting recordings, Webinars etc are all easy wins, but if you just hit upload and move on you’re missing a trick. For instance, creating shorter edits helps to give you way more collateral for social channels, sustaining that engagement for longer and increasing retention.

If you’re releasing articles or white papers, a short 10-20sec teaser video can massively boost engagement at launch. It’s a simple technique that turbo boosts the things you’re already doing, so they have a bigger impact for longer, and avoiding dreary ‘repost’ fatigue.

Here’s a great example of this in action:

  • Mercer’s HR Accelerator product film

  • Mercer’s HR Accelerator social cuts

 

Tip 6. Use video to validate your company values

OK, so you have a page in your company website about your core values/principles and a paragraph explaining it. Great! That’s that sorted then. Well, not quite.

Your values shouldn’t be theoretical things tucked away somewhere. They should be dynamic tangible actions that you live and apply every day. And what better way to show this to the world than with video?

Film them in action, or film staff or customers talking about how they resonate with them. Then share them online and embed on your site for maximum impact and engagement.

(This is not just valid for 2021, but for the years ahead too)

“[…] as younger generations inch toward becoming a critical mass of the workforce, the companies that will be able to attract the newest wave of talent will need to prove their support for every employee.” – Global Web Index 2021

 

Tip 7. Prioritise short-form video over longer form

With marketing efforts progressively switching to social platforms, you might need to reconsider how you approach video length. Audiences are increasingly time poor, so don’t expect users to be able to give you 2-3 mins. 90 secs is much more likely to have impact.  Sub-60 secs, even better. Less can be more with video, especially when it comes to ROI.

For example – you want to do an explainer film that covers 5 topics, but with the amount of information you need to include, your script stretches over the 5 minutes mark, which is not ideal. Instead, you’d do better to create five films, one for each topic, keeping the messaging simple, clear and easy to digest.

That said, it is worth emphasising that long form video still has its place. If you already have an engaged audience or are targeting a very specific group of people, it can perform equally well. The key here is to get to know your audience better and know what they want. Make iterations based on response and build a profile for their behaviours. Then use this to help develop your future films and animations.

 

In summary…

The marketing landscape is constantly changing, now more than ever, which means video strategies keep adapting and transforming too. Emerging tools like interactive video are likely to be heavily adopted this year, as is user generated content (UGC), but all businesses are different.

If you’re re-examining your video strategy and still think it’s fit for purpose, great. There’s so much you can achieve. The only wrong approach is to just assume what you’ve been doing over the last couple of years is still fine for the next couple of years.

If you want to chat about what a cohesive video project plan would look like for your organisation, just give us a shout. We’d love to use our insights to shape your video marketing strategy for the year ahead.

 

 

Research references

CMO Survey, February 2021, Highlights and Insights Report
CMO Survey, February 2021, Marketing Leadership UK
Global Web Index, Connecting the Dots 2021
HubSpot, Marketing Predictions by Experts
Martin O’Toole on a Smart Insights 2021 post
Wyzowl, The State of Video Marketing 2021 (data collected in December 2020)
Hubspot and Talkwalker, 2021 Social Media Trends
Hootsuite and We Are Social – Digital 2021 Global Overview Report
Statista Market Outlook for Digital Advertising (accessed Jan 2021)
Hootsuite Social Trends 2021 Report

 

Posted on 13th April 2021