If you’ve been following digital marketing trends, it’s no surprise that video is shifting and shaping the world of marketing more than ever in 2017.

And if there’s anything to take away from 2016, it’s that video is no longer an option for marketers — it’s a vital part of any content strategy that wants to taste success.

But the question we’re answering now is what’s next in the world of video marketing?

From strategy to sales, we’ve examined the video marketing landscape and curated the smartest trends you should be watching for in the coming year.

But you should know… these trends aren’t about video technology, effects or animation.

They’re real shifts in the video marketing industry that will help you better understand your audience’s preferences, habits, and how video can help move the needle and drive ROI for your business.

That’s why I brought on the WireBuzz team to share which video marketing trends you need to know about in 2017.

Free Bonus: Discover how to create videos that generate ROI with this free, 5-part video course. Click here for instant access!

So tune in to this 2-part episode, or keep reading to find out where video marketing is headed in 2017!

Get the episode on iTunes: http://apple.co/2h9WaUM

1) Video Will Drive More Self-Service Sales Processes

Ten years ago, your website was the hub for prospects to build interest in your product. But if they wanted to go any further, they would have to get on the phone or meet with a sales rep.

Today, consumers have been trained to expect a self-serve, on-demand experience — one that gives them the information they want, when they want it, how they want it. In fact, 19% of prospects only want to talk to a salesperson at the consideration stage of the buying process, while 40% of prospects prefer to buy without ever speaking with a salesperson at all.

When you incorporate video into your sales processes, customers get what they want: a frictionless, self-serve experience on their time, and on their terms.

2) Consumers Will Expect Content to Be in Video Format

Marketers are now at a critical time where they need to view video as a necessity, not a luxury.

When you realize that 25% of consumers will lose interest in your brand if you don’t have a video explaining your product or service, it’s easy to see how much of an expectation there is for video to be a part of the buying experience.

But your videos aren’t just about the consumer experience…

Today, the average product has 15 competitors. Unless you’re running a monopoly, that increased competition means that your brand will need to stand out from competitors by meeting prospects where they are (online) in the format they prefer (video).

3) Video Quality Will Trump Video Quantity

Since the video landscape is becoming more competitive, the quality of your videos will need to become more of a priority. Just pumping out “another video” or two won’t cut it.

Who wants to watch low-quality videos, anyways?

Video competition will eventually become too stiff for low-quality videos to get the views or results businesses need, which means if you’re going to invest in video, you need to do it well and do it the right way, the first time around.

Higher-quality videos rise above the rest, see higher engagement, and drive overall better results in the sea of digital content. Plus, they’re more likely to stand the test of time, which means you’ll see higher ROI and an asset that you can rely on for years to come.

4) Video Will Continue to Become a Larger Piece of the Content Marketing Pie

As the demand for video content grows, brands will need to save a bigger piece of their content budget for video.

In fact, Brian Halligan from Hubspot recommends that at least 50% of your content mix be video.

It’s not that text or images don’t have a place, anymore. But remember: video will eventually be expected as a part of the consumer experience, or else a big chunk of your prospects will lose interest.

If you’re worried about a massive hit to your budget, remember that your video content doesn’t have to be highly-produced. Live video is quickly becoming a tool that gives brands a high level of reach and engagement on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so take full advantage.

Either way, video is looking to claim more of the digital real estate in 2017.

5) More Brands Will Prioritize Creating a Video Strategy

While 73% of marketers say that video gets the best ROI, it was the other 29% that cited the lack of an effective strategy as the reason they didn’t see a larger return.

As hot as video has become, creating a video strategy is surprisingly not as popular. Many companies actually take the “ready, fire, aim” approach when it comes to video marketing by creating random videos before thinking about their strategy.

Expect that to change, though, especially as businesses discover that video gets the best return and results, only when it’s tied back to a well-planned strategy.

6) Sales Process Videos Will Become a Higher Priority

While most marketers are eager to create videos for awareness, the majority of them would see higher ROI from bottom-of-the-funnel videos.

Why? Because video can help automate and speed up your sales cycle faster than any other type of content.

WireBuzz actually cut our sales cycle down from 8 weeks to 3 weeks after we turned our sales materials into video format.

Plan to see a higher rate of video dedicated to closing the deal as more brands discover that sales process videos pull more prospects through their funnel at a much higher rate.

7) Salespeople and PR Will Use More Personalized Video

Personalized videos are making their way into the video marketing world, mostly to help salespeople build a personal connection with prospects while standing out in their inboxes.

And it’s a really simple concept…

Salespeople or customer service reps can record short videos on their webcam and email them to prospects or customers to follow up or introduce yourself as the main point-of-contact in case they have any questions.

Wistia refers to them as Video Voicemails, but whatever you decide to call them, they’re becoming a popular way to stand out and build a deeper personal connection to your brand or business.

8) Video Advertising and Video Ad Budgets Will Skyrocket

2017 is projected to be the year where online ad spending surpasses TV ad spending.

Don’t believe us? Just ask the 70% of marketers who plan to increase their video ad budget next year.

Call it a trend, but we just think it’s a logical response to where people are spending their time. In 2016 alone, both the Summer Olympics and the Presidential debates saw more viewers tune in online than on TV for the first time ever.

9) Accelerated Growth of Video Retargeting

Video advertising, in general, is set to take off in 2017. But we’re planning to see video retargeting grow at an accelerated rate, too.

Marketers who aren’t using video ads to retarget their website visitors should do their own research on how effective running a retargeting campaign can be. The cost per impression is much lower, and they’ve been shown to convert those who have already shown interest in your business at a higher rate.

80% of your website visitors will not return… ever. Thankfully, marketers are able to combine the power of video with a retargeting campaign to pull those long-lost visitors back into their world.

10) Increase in A/B Video Testing

Split testing is a great way to test your content and learn about your audience…

It’s become increasingly common to test landing pages, emails, headlines, etc.

But why not add video to that list?

Producing your video the right way will usually come at a cost, so you want to get the right video out there to make the most of your investment.

That’s why A/B testing your videos can help you see a better return on your investment — you’re optimizing and refining the form of content that already get the best results.

There are several ways you could A/B test your videos:

  • Long/short versions
  • Different calls-to-action
  • New messaging
  • Animation vs. talking head style
  • Different introductions or hooks

11) Engaging Videos Will Rise to the Top

It’s kind of a marketing buzzword, but engagement is one of the most important factors to keep in mind with your videos.

Engaging videos are really all about holding your audience’s attention and getting them to take the next step or continue the conversation:

  • “Leave a comment below”
  • “Share this video with a friend”
  • “Subscribe by clicking the link”

Why is that important? Well, engagement is a sign to platforms like YouTube and Facebook that your video is a big hit. So, as YouTubers and businesses learn to tweak their content to climb the search rankings, engaging videos will rise to the top in 2017.

12) Longer Videos Will Become More Valuable (If They’re Done Well)

The giant myth in video marketing is that shorter is always better.

But here’s the truth: videos can never be too long — only too boring.

Expect to see longer videos in 2017, especially on YouTube. In the information-hungry world we live in, long-form content is actually a good thing — as long as it’s done well.

13) Storytelling Is King

Storytelling is far from being a new “thing.” But what’s starting to catch on is how powerful it can be as a marketing tool.

For ages, storytelling has been the most powerful communication tool known to man. But science has shown us recently that storytelling actually engages our brains and taps into our emotions better than anything else.

When you can weave stories into your videos and marketing material, you’re more likely to spark emotion and hold people’s attention more effectively.

14) Customized Videos For Different Platforms

YouTube… Facebook… Instagram… Snapchat…

Every social platform is unique in its own way. If you want to effectively reach your audience on YouTube, or grab the attention of your Facebook followers, you have to know how those communities prefer their content.

Have a 15-minute presentation from last year’s conference? Upload it to YouTube, but break it up into several 3-minute clips with captions for Facebook.

15) Facebook Will Put Video First (Even More)

Facebook’s preferential treatment of video was announced by CEO Mark Zuckerberg in 2016, but it’s just the beginning.

The obvious trend that will steal the video marketing show in 2017 is Facebook Live — especially since their recent advertising push encouraging users and brands to broadcast live to their friends and followers.

We’re just beginning to see the wave of live video grow, but expect for it to pick up some serious steam in the coming year.

16) More Videos Will Be Designed to Play Without Sound

Thanks to mobile video, 85% of videos on Facebook are played without sound, which presents a challenge for video marketers. But it also sets us up to see more and more video content designed to be viewed without sound.

Marketers will need to adapt and create their videos for autoplay, keeping their silent viewers sitting in the doctor’s office or on the subway in mind.

If you want your videos to succeed, it’s important to use captions and on-screen graphics to grab your viewers by the eyeballs and communicate your message — even without sound.

17) Live Video (Really) Takes Off

“Going live” became the thing to do in 2016, and social media platforms aligned with the growing trend.

Now that YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all feature live video inside their platform, we’re just beginning to see the rise of “going live.” YouTube saw an 80% increase in their live video views in 2016, and Facebook recently launched 360-degree live video, giving viewers a unique live-viewing experience starting in 2017.

We’re living in a live feed world now, and marketers who use it wisely in 2017 will have an advantage as they engage their audience in new and creative ways.

18) More Helpful How-To Videos

Whether it’s a new recipe or directions on how to build a deck, how-to videos have turned the Internet into DIY central.

The “search, watch, and learn” era is good news for marketers, though. As prospects are hunting for answers to their questions, how-to videos make for great top-of-funnel content. Plus it’s a chance to share your knowledge and be helpful — and don’t forget that helpful is the new viral.

19) Video Will Play a Major Role in PR Outreach

Since video clarifies your message and holds your viewers’ attention better than text, PR reps will eventually catch up and use video more often when they need to get the word out — whether that’s in an important press release or a big company-wide announcement.

20) Video in Email

We’ve already talked a lot about the wonderful relationship between video and email.

The bottom line here, though, is the fact that people prefer to watch rather than read.

And since video boosts open and click-through rates, we expect to see more video thumbnails incorporated into email campaigns in 2017 — especially once marketers start to see the benefits.

21) Crisis Management and Video

Video is a powerful tool for sales and marketing, but it can also help you get your message out during a crisis situation in a way that a written statement never could. Plus, more people are likely to watch your videos than read a long, wordy press release.

PRO TIP: When you need to control the message during a crisis, create a video and avoid the media “spin” by getting your message out first.

BONUS: Will VR Become a Trend?

As VR becomes more available to consumers, we’re not seeing anything that points to it becoming anything more than a niche fad.

Is it fun? We’re sure it is.

Interesting? Maybe.

But when it comes to business impact, it’s just not there — unless, of course, you’re in the gaming industry.

VR has actually become a useful tool in health and rehabilitation space with PTSD and burn victims. But outside of those small, niche industries, don’t expect VR to take off in the world of video marketing.

Conclusion

Hopefully, you’ve caught on by now…

Video is beginning to dominate the world of digital content. Prospects are expecting it, social media platforms are boosting it, and businesses of all sizes are using it to get real, measurable results.

But just like every other trend we’ve seen, it’s important to get out ahead of it — to push the norms and be a trailblazer before the trend becomes old news.

In other words, if you haven’t created your own video strategy yet, it’s time.

Links & Resources

 

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Todd Hartley is the founder and CEO of WireBuzz. Before he got started in video marketing, Todd ran digital marketing for 7 of the largest national talk shows. Today, Todd is a respected expert in the digital marketing industry and is frequently invited to speak about video at marketing and technology conferences.