Video marketing is the key to content marketing. Video today comprises more than just a night out at the movies or a YouTube cat video binge (though both of those things can be rewarding!). Businesses are increasingly using video to advance their marketing strategies, targeting pre-established audiences while reaching out to new ones. Different kinds (and lengths) of video all share different purposes, from showcasing products to introducing a service. At the same time, technology is evolving to continually engage viewers in new ways. We checked in with Lauren Cunningham, Lead Digital Producer and Senior Project Manager, about four trends on 2017’s horizon to gather some insight into their potential marketing impact.

Trend 1: VR (Virtual Reality) and AR (Augmented Reality) games, ads, and apps will proliferate.

Q: Is AR/VR at a point where it can use for widespread marketing purposes?

A: AR and VR are slowly creeping into the scope of the masses. Just this Christmas, I saw VR taking over my social media feed as people opened their gifts. As audiences get more familiar with VR, marketing efforts will be geared towards that demand. People will be excited for something new. And with VR, companies will be able to provide them with an experience they’ve never had before. They are able to simulate branded experiences that people will respond to in new ways. AR and VR have been sliding into the scene for years, but just now it’s becoming accessible. So that companies are maximizing how they can use it.

Trend 2: Live video is here to stay — especially on social media channels.

Q: How does live video change the impact of traditional video marketing? What are the benefits?

A: I don’t know if I would say that live video has changed the impact of traditional marketing. But I would say that it has expanded its capabilities. Live video has allowed brands to directly interact with their audiences. With live video, companies are able to communicate breaking news, broadcast behind-the-scenes events, and more, which isn’t something audiences have ever had much access to before this point. Live video allows companies to build on their voice and to present something. It feels a bit more real and less polished. It gives brands a chance to become more personable and also gives them a direct shot at going viral (if the content is exciting, of course).

Trend 3: Explainer videos will be sought out and appreciated.

Q: In a 2017 survey of 311 video marketing professionals and online consumers, 91% said they’ve watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service. Are there any uses for an explainer video that extend beyond a product-based focus? How can marketers tap into that?

A: Explainer videos can be used for anything that needs to be explained, be it products, concepts, or processes. Explainer videos can promote white papers or break down annual numbers. There aren’t a lot of limitations on what explainer videos can explain — it’s just a matter of how much time is allotted for the explaining and how in-depth you choose to go. Anything that is explained clearly for an audience has a higher chance of being engaged with. So, explainer videos can even take a more narrative approach and/or inject bits of emotion into the content. When an audience is engaged and left with more answers than questions, their intimidation is lessened and their excitement, heightened.

Trend 4: Videos will be shared more often if they’re funny.

Q: In a 2016 survey of 230 video marketing professionals and consumers, 76% of users said they shared a branded video with their friends if it were entertaining. Why are funny videos successful in marketing? What are the dangers of marketing with humor?

A: I know I’m not alone when I say that my favorite thing in the world is to laugh. Laughing allows me a temporary break from everyday stressors and from any tension I’m feeling. It’s the same for viewers of video marketing content: presenting them with humor is atypical from the approach that marketing normally takes. Audiences expects educative and informative content, but not necessarily it needs to entertain always. When audiences react to content in an unexpected way, I think they’re more likely to consume all of it — whether it be watching the full 2-minute video or reading the full 6-scroll article. It injects the piece with energy and the audience can feel that. It also has an impact on things like brand perception and positioning.

At the same time, humor can go wrong when it’s not done well. A company’s attempt at humor can result in a loss of interest or a change in the audience’s brand perception. Humor always consider as well thought out and intentional. But It should be light and inoffensive. It should be relatable and current. Choosing humor is an awesome route to take. Although it isn’t always appropriate or the best approach.

Tuned In to 2017

With so many video techniques and technologies on the brink of making it big in 2017, marketing strategies need to be ready to accommodate the changes and flexible enough to shift as trends adapt.

Credit: KillerInfographics

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