Video already killed the radio star in the late 70s and early 80s, and it’s now looking like it will do the same to static image content in the 2020s.
According to Mention’s Instagram Report, video is the most engaging type of content on Instagram globally, bringing in an average of 24.25 comments and 1097.95 likes per post. Carousel posts are coming in at a close second place, but ‘plain old’ image posts get left behind with on average only 1.65 comments and 476.15 likes.
This development is mirrored by the exploding popularity of TikTok. The app is expected to reach 1.8 billion active users by the end of 2022, an impressive number considering it has only been available globally since November 2017. For comparison, it took Instagram over 7.7 years just to hit 1 billion.
But it’s not just all about the Tok. Video content is overall 50x more likely to rank organically than plain text. So, you really want to get shooting some videos to realise their potential within your marketing strategy. To help you find some inspiration on how best to incorporate video content in your marketing strategy, we’ve collected a few video trends below.
- Short-form video is for everyone
Given the stats above, this one seems pretty obvious, but we can’t stress the importance of TikTok enough. In less than five years, the app has shaped how we consume video content. Videos need to be short, fast-paced, engaging and on trend, otherwise we scroll right past them.
While creating videos for YouTube and Instagram has become common practice, TikTok is still a bit underutilised by many brands. We don’t really understand why, because it’s really easy to get started.
The beauty of it is that it’s not all about production values and special effects. While some of the biggest TikTokers do put a lot of money and effort into high-production videos, the title of “most followed TikTok account” just passed from high-flyer Charli d’Amelio to Khaby Lame, a 22-year-old Senegalese creator who often films from his bedroom with poor lighting.
We think that’s pretty telling, and our tip is to silence your inner perfectionist and just get on with frequently posting on TikTok.
- User-generated content is king
Content should always centre around people and their needs, not products that you want to push. An Econsultancy report found that visitors arriving to an ecommerce site via user-generated content (UGC) are 184% more likely to make a purchase and spend 45% more on average. UGC has an inherent credibility that can’t be achieved with marketing tactics.
After all, who would you rather listen to when making a buying decision; someone who has actually used a product, or someone who is looking to make a profit by selling said product?
Combine that with the fact that anyone can create content these days and you’re onto a winner because pretty much anyone could become a brand ambassador. The crux is that not just anyone will.
People don’t just line up to create content for you. You have to actively work on building connections with your audience and engaging with them, otherwise you run the risk of content looking fabricated. The more genuine your connection, the more likely this will reflect positively on your brand and turn followers into advocates.
- Giving credit where credit is due
This trend ties in nicely with the above, because you can now directly credit creators that have had an influence on your content. It might not be as game-changing when it comes to marketing strategies, because we very much hope you’re already crediting any TikTok users that you work with. But it’s a trend we’re super excited about.
TikTok says the new creator crediting tool aims to promote equitable creator amplification with the creator crediting tool. This in turn helps ensure that the platform remains a home for creative expression.
The feature lets video makers tag or credit other users and cite their inspiration with the simple tap of a button. Previously this was done by including credits in captions or comments, but the new feature makes them more visible and traceable.
Image source: TikTok
- Videos are not a “one size fits all”
With the rising popularity of TikTok, other social platforms quickly adapted and copied some of the functionalities that make TikTok so addictive. Whether it’s Reels, Stories or Shorts – it’s tempting to simply share the same content on different platforms to maximise its reach. And TikTok is doing the same, raising its maximum video length to 10 minutes earlier this year, trying to encroach on YouTube territory.
But there is so much more potential in adapting your content for the different platforms and their individual audiences. Make them feel just a little bit more special and show your audience that you’re talking to and not just at them.
For one thing, the various platforms have different preferred video formats and durations. By slightly adapting those you can make your videos feel more native to the platform they are watched on.
Another thing to note is the different viewing expectations. Let’s be honest, I probably wouldn’t watch a 10-minute video on TikTok, so please give me the highlight reel there. Equally, I’m probably looking for beefier content from a YouTube video, so do bulk it out.
We’re also starting to see software that uses AI to help you optimise your videos and efficiently adapt them for different platforms. There really are no excuses anymore to copy/paste your videos across multiple channels.
- Making your content searchable
This one is especially true for videos that are a bit longer and/or convey information that can really help someone out. While short-form content is usually consumed while scrolling on TikTok, longer videos are often specifically sought out for the information they provide.
And if people are actively looking for your content, why not make it even easier for them to find it? Whether you created some kick-ass educational resource, a new product demo/review or a how-to guide – if you think someone is looking for your video content, then it only makes sense that you guide them in the right direction.
So, make sure to add keywords, tags, transcripts, chapter segments, custom thumbnails, cards, end screens and all that other good SEO stuff.
- Being creative with TikTok avatars
Earlier this month, TikTok announced the launch of TikTok Avatars. This new feature lets you create an animated Emoji version of yourself, similar to Apple’s Memoji and Snapchat’s Bitmoji. Is it a bit gadgety? Maybe. But we think it’s also an easy way to get in front of the camera without necessarily having to show your face. Plus, it has loads of styles and accessories to make it your own and have fun with it.
One idea could be to use it as a personalised trouble-shooter. Think Microsoft’s Clippy, the paper clip guy, but maybe a liiiiiittle less annoying and intrusive. You could use Avatars to provide actually helpful insights, tips and tricks, and make them memorable by having their own character attached to them.
And do I even need to mention the benefits on bad hair days? Where were TikTok Avatars during lockdown?
- Shoppable video opens up new opportunities
With a shift towards web3, we are also seeing more and more technologies that cater to an integrated shopping experience. One notable example is Firework, a SoftBank-funded company that provides shoppable video and livestreaming commerce capabilities. They do this by tapping into customer data to build engaging video experiences across channels and transforming websites into storytelling hubs that foster relationships with customers.
Likely due to this very personalised nature, live commerce proves to be a highly effective sales tool with a conversion rate of around 70% in the luxury industry. It already has a significant market share in China, where in 2020 two-thirds of consumers had bought products via live stream in the previous year. It will be interesting to see how these technologies get adopted in the West and how our shopping landscape might change accordingly.
One common thread we see in all of these trends is the increasing importance of personalisation and adding more ‘human touch’ to the technology we use on the daily.
Let us know if you agree with this and which trends you are most likely to reflect in your content strategy. Are there any others that you think should be on this list?