2017 is well under way, so you've probably already read a million blogs about what we marketers can expect for this upcoming year.
But bear with me, this one's different, honest.
How can I be certain?
Because I'm not sat here with my mystic ball trying to guess at what's going to happen just for the sake of writing content.
We've compiled a "State of Video Marketing 2017" survey with 49 results from marketers and consumers, which detail exactly what's going to happen this year.
And let me tell you, there are plenty of trends that as a marketer, you need to be considering if you want to get ahead of the game.
So, let's get started...
1. Facebook Live
78% of businesses that have used Facebook Live said it was an effective marketing tool.
Facebook Live is a great trend to adopt because it's so versatile, and instantly connects you with your audience. You don't even need a fully defined plan, because your audience can ask you questions as you go, meaning the conversation can go in many different places.
Plus, it's completely free. No need to worry about your marketing budget, just hit live and Facebook does the hard work for you. It'll send out push notifications to your audience, notifying them that you're live - which of course encourages more people to watch it.
One of my favorite examples of a Facebook Live video is The Body Coach - Joe Wicks. He creates tons of live videos with him showing his audience different work out routines. He's managed to build an entire community of the back of this, and people will tune in to join Joe as he does an entire routine.
He also gets the person filming him to read out comments as they appear, which helps to encourage more people to join in, helping to build his community every time he holds a live workout session.
Top tip when creating a Facebook Live video: Focus your Facebook Live videos on learning from what your audience wants. Hold Q&A sessions, read out responses from people taking part in the session, and do all you can to build a growing Facebook community.
2. Instagram Video
85% of businesses that have used Instagram video said that it was an effective marketing tool.
Instagram recently rolled out the same feature as Facebook, in that you can now do live broadcasts. The only difference with Instagram is that once the stream's finished, it'll disappear. For marketers, I still think this is a beneficial feature to utilize. I've already spent a lot of time taking part in Instagram live stream videos, asking questions and waiting for a response from the host. It makes the viewer feel part of a community, and because it won't stick around forever, it almost feels like exclusive viewing.
Instagram will also let you create a regular "story" video, similar to Snapchat, which will lie at the top of your users' feeds. Of course, you're limited to 10 seconds, but I've seen many brands uploading a "story" of videos to help keep people engaged.
For example, this Instagram video story from Asos follows a fashion event that they were holding, which helps boost brand awareness, and promote their new line within their online shop.
Top tip when creating an Instagram video: Use your video to promote an upcoming product launch, or cover an event. As you've only got 10 seconds to play with, make sure you create a fun story that keeps viewers wanting to watch the next one.
88% of businesses that have used Snapchat said that it was an effective marketing tool.
Snapchat has a bunch of options to choose from including, paying for video ads in between users' stories, creating Geofilters to encourage users to promote your product for you, or simply setting up your own story and uploading it to your followers.
Snapchat's certainly a social media channel that focuses on having fun, and one brand that's known for doing this successfully is Sour Patch Kids. They create funny videos, such as the one below, which are essentially mini ads, but are presented in an entertaining way:
Top tip when creating a SnapChat video: A Snapchat video should be fully focused on building brand awareness. Make sure you don't try and go too hard on the sales, have a bit of fun and create an engaging story.
4. 360 Video
86% of the businesses that have used 360 video said that it was an effective marketing tool.
360 video is fairly new, but that hasn't stopped businesses testing it out to see if it works. The idea behind 360 video is that every direction is recorded at the same time, so that you get a full panoramic view of wherever you may be.
A great example of this is the video below by Gatorade. It features a baseball game, and puts the viewer in the shoes of the players, giving them to opportunity to see what it's like to hit the ball in a real match. Check out the example below, and be sure to move your mouse around so you can enjoy the full 360 degree experience:
Top tip when creating a 360 video: The content of your 360 video could be absolutely anything. Think about shooting in a cool location to showcase interesting scenery which will really keep the viewer engaged.
5. Interactive Video
92% of businesses that have used Interactive video said that it was an effective marketing tool.
Interactive video is another fairly new marketing trend, but it's one that can be incredibly beneficial because it's tailored to the individual viewer. The way it tends to work is that you would create a "story", to which the user can then choose different options mid-way through the video, depending on the content that they want to see.
Take a look at an example we've put together, to see what you can expect with an interactive video:
Top tip when creating an Interactive video: Think about your audience. What journey do they want to go on? If you've got different products on offer, tailor the experience to different buyers' and their experience with your brand.
94% of businesses that have used a webinar said that it was an effective marketing tool.
A webinar is one of those tools that should be in every marketers toolkit, as it's the perfect way to drive more leads.
So how does it work?
The idea behind a webinar is that you create it on a topic that is highly valuable to your audience. It needs to be so valuable, that they're willing to sign up with their contact details to watch the webinar. Once you've got that, you've got yourself a relevant lead that you can go ahead and nurture through to the sale at a later date.
A marketer who offers great webinar content is Neil Patel. He regularly holds his own webinars, teaching his audience different tactics on digital marketing. The reason his webinars are so successful is that they are super valuable.
For example, this webinar below is part of a series of content that he's produced, to help his audience get started with online marketing:
Once the visitor has clicked on the webinar, they're taken to a signup page, where they can learn valuable tips on how to start their online marketing journey.
Top tip when creating a webinar: The best thing to do with a webinar is to make sure that the content isn't fluffy and light. You've got to get your audience interested in who you are and what you can offer them. By providing useful information, they can then move further towards the decision of using your product or service.
So those are my key trends on what to look out for - or even test - this year. Each of these video marketing trends can be used in such a variety of different ways, that you can include them within your marketing strategy throughout the entire year. Be sure to get creative, and produce content that your audience would want to view.