In 2021, brands must evolve to produce relevant video content or risk losing followers.
In 2021, videos will rule the online space more than ever. From brand videos to live videos and general video content, videos have received the greatest possible boost from 2020. The stats are staggering.
According to Oberlo, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand, person, or business that they support. More staggering is a recent Youtube survey that revealed that 50% of Millennials and Generation Z users say that they “couldn’t live” without video in their life.
The explosion of video content is in tandem with the need for it. The only question left unanswered is whether brand content is evolving with the ever-changing appetites of the typical consumer of video content.
I caught up with Emmy-nominated television journalist Charisse Yu, a former reporter for ABC, CBS, and CNN affiliates, for a chat. Charisse has since left television reporting and started a recipe video-based business under the Charisse Yu brand. Parts of this article are inspired by my conversations with Charisse about how today’s social media users consume video and how these trends could affect brand visibility and acceptance in 2021.
Videos are getting even shorter
This year, I spent much more time viewing videos on Instagram and YouTube than the average person. It became increasingly apparent that I was naturally drawn to shorter videos. It almost felt like I had a goal of fitting a larger number of videos into the 1 hour I spend viewing videos each day. The tendency to skip an ad also adhered to this unwritten rule.
Charisse echoes this same sentiment as a professional video creator. According to Charisse, her average video length is 45 seconds. Charisse has built a strong following with her quick, snapshot 30-60 second recipe videos. The reason she cites for the increasingly shorter lengths of her videos is simple, “Viewers appreciate videos that are easy and simple to consume. Videos must also catch the viewer’s interest in the first 5-6 seconds.”
Length has always been important to content creators, whether it’s text, audio, or video. The longer a piece can run, the better they can express themselves and wow the audience. However, the tolerance for longer videos has gone down year after year, and content creators are left with little wiggle room. The results? More innovation.
Stop Motion Videos have risen to the fore with the new realities. Charisse Yu has utilized this system almost exclusively to build her brand in 2020. She expects that based on the success it has attracted, along with a combination of traditional top-down videos, this trend would see more and more brands adopt it in 2021.
Animated videos also stand out as one innovation brands have used to pass their message to great effect while also being innovative enough to imprint the brand qualities in their viewers’ minds.
Augmented Reality is also gaining a stronger presence in the ad and video content space. Of all the future technology inventions predicted by Techlurn in the business space, AR might be the most prevalent in 2020.
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said that AR will one day be as important in our everyday lives as “eating three meals a day,” It is looking like his prediction just might come to pass.
Longer videos are not exactly out of the window; they require far more creative, “in your face” quality to keep the viewer engaged. Brands can often release such engaging videos once in a long while.
User-generated videos go mainstream
User-generated content (UGC) has grown in importance in the last few years. However, 2020 seemed to be the breakout year for UGC’s, where we saw brands begin to utilize it more broadly.
A recent study revealed that 81% of customers are influenced to purchase a product, service, subscription, or membership by a social media friend or family member’s post. The bottom line behind the success of UGC’s is the subtle distrust people have for brand marketing due to increasingly unethical marketing practices.
Getting loyal customers or viewers to speak about your brand may be more effective than anything you can say about your brand. Charisse Yu describes this phenomenon as a “Trust Construction” process. According to her, the world of videos has a great impact on customers and viewers and so tends to build the greatest suspicion. UGC’s are a great way of building trust in the customer’s mind.
This is especially effective when the user who generates the content is traceable and accessible by other users of your platform. 2021 is certainly going to see UGC’s explode even more on the video scene.
Collaboration videos and live video become mainstream
The Video Live Streaming Industry increased by 99% in 2020. Let that statistic sink in. It probably goes without saying that brands need to seriously look into generating more live streaming content in 2021.
“Live videos have a way of inviting people into the process and making them stakeholders in the end product,” says Charisse. The impact of live streaming on diverse industries in 2020 has been encouraging.
Live videos also create room for collaboration with your users and other professionals. The popularity of video-conference collaboration content in 2020 signals growth in that trend in 2021.
In the words of Charisse Yu, “Collaboration videos broaden your brand’s horizon in the eyes of your audience and signals that you are relevant in your industry and beyond.”
This kind of video has overlapped with influencer marketing in 2020. Brands made collaboration videos with influencers like the popular SkillShare Ad with Olivia Wilde and Neil Patrick Harris or the Coin Master ad with Jennifer Lopez and Kris Jenner. The success of these ads is expected to inspire more similar video content for both ads and regular content.
Collaboration videos can also include members of your audience. This strategy doubles as UGC’s as well and is certain to yield similar, if not more tangible, results. Another Popular ad that utilized this strategy in 2020 was the plethora Expert Option ad that featured users of their platform.
Collaboration videos can stand alone, but when combined with the tremendous success of live videos in 2020, it might double the engagement for brands in 2021.
In 2021, Charisse plans on continuing her video efforts to support her more than 400,000 followers on social media. These strategies have seen her videos produce, on average, more than 275,000 views, some exceeding more than 1 to 3 million views.
The pandemic has come, but it has not quite gone yet. The effects are certainly going to be with us far into 2021. This is why it is no surprise that the trends that have risen this year are only poised to explode more into the scene in 2021. The idea is for brands to discover what trends work best and ride that wave into the sunset.
by Chidike Samuelson