With 2020 finally behind us, it’s time to look ahead to a fresh start in 2021. For marketers worldwide, 2020 presented opportunities like never before to reach out to audiences with increased connectivity online. And to ride into 2021 on that wave, marketers need to know just what the year holds for them.

If you want to give your marketing strategy a boost, the best new year’s resolution you could make would be to invest in more video marketing. But there are a lot of elements under the umbrella of video marketing, and a lot of things to keep in mind when producing videos to further your business. It is important to know which buttons to press to get the best results.

To do that we must first understand what are the emerging and prevalent trends that are dominating the video marketing industry this new year.

What is the “It thing” this 2021? What type of video production will your business benefit the most from? What do you need to know to give your video marketing strategy the edge it needs to help your company thrive?

Here is a guide to the top trends in video marketing to watch out for this year.

1) Interactive Video

24% of video marketers who have not yet begun using interactive video plan to include it in their 2021 video marketing strategy. (Wyzowl)

Interactive video is a fairly new but extremely effective video marketing strategy that is rapidly gaining popularity. It emulates the feeling of real human interactions through video. Especially in these times when the scope for real-life human interaction is dwindling, replicating a feeling of intimacy in your videos is a strategy that works.

Interactive videos, unlike the regular ones, engage the customer by letting them make decisions. With these videos, a viewer can participate in the process, choose paths and watch only the parts they want to.  Interactive video is scalable and fairly inexpensive and simple to do with the right platforms.

For instance, a tool like VideoForm lets you create effective and efficient interactive videos easily. It serves as a great replacement for mechanical, inhuman sounding chatbots, and lets you create and employ interactive video content across every stage of your sales funnel. You don’t need to stretch your budget too far to invest in video marketing either. You can get started with VideoForm for free, and try it for yourself.

2) Live Video

82% prefer live video from a brand to social posts. (Livestream)

Live streaming was one other area that saw a massive boost in 2020, partly owing to the pandemic. Live streams in social media are slowly becoming a replacement for traditional television content, and people are consuming content from Facebook Live and YouTube Live with the same gusto they once reserved for Television sets.

Live streaming shows transparency and authenticity, and greatly encourages customer interactions. You can have actual conversations with your customers. Through live streams, you can conduct Q&A sessions, product demos, and even make entire events available live to a global audience.

A lot of social media platforms have realized the importance of live streaming and those that weren't in the business of live streaming before have all jumped on the bandwagon. Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter all offer live streaming services.

3) Google Video Rankings

Video Increases Organic Search Traffic By 157%. (Search Engine People)

Video SEO still remains a hugely important yet grossly underutilized part of marketing. You might be focused on ranking on YouTube and that can be good, after all YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google. But ranking on YouTube is more unpredictable than Google, and if your video fails to get the top spot in the first 24 hours of posting, it won’t get much traction. And Google and YouTube have significantly different approaches to assigning ranking, so if your video doesn’t have the potential to go “viral,” it may be better to focus on Google SERP rankings.

Your goal is to get links and shares to your videos, and for that ranking high on Google is obviously important. With Google rolling out more updates and getting smarter, what matters more than SEO tricks is good content it seems. Google rewards high quality, unique and valuable content, and considers it the most important factor in assigning SERP rankings. You need your video to add value to people who are searching for something in your niche.

Using long-tail keywords in the video title and description and targeting a specific search intent is also important. The length of the video should be optimized, as should its loading speed, especially if you're self-hosting. Insert a video transcript, captions, and put effort into creating an engaging thumbnail. Embedding your video on your landing page can help you bring more visitors indirectly.

4) Webinars & Conferences

62% of companies used webinars in 2020, compared to the 46% of 2019, and 91% of webinar marketers say they’ve been a success. (Wyzowl)

The number of people attending virtual events in 2020 had understandably increased a lot, because well, virtual events were the only events they could attend. Webinars are an effective way to boost brand awareness and customer interaction, and establish yourself as an authority in the field. Find and discuss topics and ideas that your target audience might be interested in. Don’t focus on plugging your brand, the goal here is not short-term, but building long-term trust and reputation.

Conferences are events that are typically longer than webinars and other events and have a series of different events and discussions packed into several days sometimes. It is more engaging than webinars but demands more time and commitment from attendees. It may have demonstrations, workshops, and debates within it, and focuses on a wholesome experience for everyone.

5) UGC Videos

75% of marketers know that adding UGC makes brand content more authentic, and 93% of them agree that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands. (State of UGC 2021 report- Tint by Filestack)

UGC or user-generated content is content that is created by the users and not you. It is basically free video production. It’s a strategy that has hugely grown in popularity in social media marketing in recent times.

You get users to create videos that are relevant to your brand and products, and you can share them on the social media accounts of your own brand. Firstly, it gets you popularity with the people who see the original post. Especially if the post was made by an influencer or a popular social media personality, you can get great visibility this way.

Secondly, when you share the videos on your account, you get posts that look authentic and different. It’s a customer testimonial basically. The authenticity and appeal of UGC videos are unparalleled.  People tend to trust stuff that is used, reviewed, and recommended by other people, even if it is a stranger on social media.

There are different strategies you can use to generate UGC. You can create brand-specific hashtags and encourage users to use them in their posts. Instagram especially is a hotbed for UGC campaigns. Conducting contests is a popular tactic to use. But you don’t even need to give big rewards as prizes most of the time. Getting featured is a pretty big catch for most social media users, and they tend to jump at any opportunity to do so.

6) Social Media Content

In 2020, 91% of marketers are satisfied with the ROI of video marketing on social media, and 93% of businesses landed at least one new customer because of a video on social media. (Animoto)

Everyone knows that nowadays if you're not on social media, you don’t exist. The relevance of social media marketing grows with each passing year, as new platforms emerge and old ones lose traction. It requires you to be constantly up-to-date with current trends.

Short-form video content is something to take seriously this 2021, a format made popular by TikTok. TikTok was the next big thing at the beginning of last year, and now it is the big thing. According to Wyzowl, the number of marketers using TikTok as a marketing platform went from 10% in 2019 to 20% in 2020, although only 67% reported it as effective, and 20% of video marketers plan to include TikTok in their 2021 video marketing strategy.

Other social media platforms are rushing to jump on the bandwagon of short video content, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts among them. It’s not just a format for teenagers to show off their dance moves anymore, short-form video is a serious marketing tool.

Apart from that, Facebook is still going strong in its importance as a marketing channel, Twitter is a wholesome platform for making yourself known, and Instagram and Snapchat are growing in popularity with the younger crowd. If you're a B2B marketer,  the importance of LinkedIn marketing could not be stressed enough.

7) Personalized Video

80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences. (Epsilon)

Personalized video is video that has been made to feel like it’s tailored for each individual viewer, by using data you have collected on the individual to insert some personal element into it. People are frustrated by the impersonal nature of marketing, and place a lot of importance on brands understanding them and their needs.

You can use the recipient's name, industry type, company name or logo, title, age, gender, location, and other such tidbits to provide viewers with an intensely personal experience. You can incorporate personalized videos into different areas of marketing by using them in the form of welcome messages, introductory videos, holiday greetings, birthday wishes, or event invitations.

With the help of tools, you can easily use personalized video on a large scale. This means that you can use the same template to send videos to your entire mailing list and each person would feel like that video was made just for them.

8) Educational Video

Even before the pandemic, 59% of GenZ learners and 55% of millennials said YouTube is their number one preferred platform for learning. (Pearson)

The pandemic had forced educational institutions and companies to move their education online, but we were already moving closer to a video-based, internet aided learning using digital tools and resources.

Offering value to the customer has always been important in inbound marketing strategies, and what better way to offer value than to teach people something. Educational videos work because they build authority and trust in your brand.

Educational videos should not be focused on your business, but instead on how to provide solutions to questions that a potential customer might be asking. In the end, you make sure the customer knows who helped them, but do not push products on them. “Educational” doesn’t exactly mean science classes though, it means offering knowledge on topics related to your niche.

You can also use training videos for recruiting employees for your business. Put out courses that teach the skills you need in your employees, and then hire the best learners. Simple as that. Especially with the uncertainty in the job market owing to the pandemic, it might be easier to rope in good talent these days. For your employees, you can also create training videos to better retain them and build a more positive brand image.

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Things To Keep In Mind

Now you know where to use video to ensure the best results in 2021. When updating your marketing strategy to meet the up and coming trends, there are also certain key points you should keep in mind.

  • Branding is important for building brand awareness. Maintain consistency among all elements of branding- from your logo and company colors to your brand values.
  • Even before TikTok and ultra-short videos, it was known that short and strong videos work the best, and that hasn’t changed. Optimizing your videos for mobile is also a crucial point to note.
  • Be aware of who your target audience is. It won’t do to just think about the most popular trends in the industry. Your marketing strategy should be tailored taking into account these things- who you are, and who you're selling to.
  • Repurpose and update existing content to make videos. A lot of marketers struggle to put out videos consistently due to a lack of content.
  • Invest in good tools. There are a lot of decisions that go into each aspect of video marketing, there’s a lot to think about in terms of budget, scale, video type- live-action or animation, production- in-house or outsourcing, distribution channels, so on and so forth. So for planning, creating, and distributing videos, you need to find the right tools that suit your specific needs.

Keep Up With The Changes

Video marketing is a rapidly evolving area of marketing, particularly so this year because the pandemic has caused major shifts. The importance of video marketing during COVID19 has increased undoubtedly, with consumers spending more time watching videos from their homes. A report shows 98% of consumers say the pandemic has caused an increase in the amount of video content they’ve watched online, and 91% of marketers feel video is more important for brands in light of the pandemic.

This little compilation has hopefully helped you assess the state of the video marketing landscape in 2021, and given you some ideas as to what type of video content you need to create for your business to succeed this year.