Ignore these trends at your peril, Tim Wilson-Frier, Head of Digital at themission Agency, Speed, tells us what's hot.

Ten years ago Forrester Research claimed video would take over the world. Building on the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words”, James McQuivey boldly predicted that a minute of video would one day be worth 1.8 million words.

We are now living in those days - research has shown that viewers retain an incredible 95 per cent of a video message compared to just 10 per cent of text. Also, video content can earn 12 times more shares than text and images combined. It is therefore not surprising that 64 per cent of marketers believe video will soon dominate their content marketing strategies. As marketers look to optimise their video content, there are a number of developments they should be aware of:

1. Social takes on TV
YouTube is now rivalling TV in terms of influence and popularity – there are more than 1.9 billion YouTube users each month and on average, they watch more than 180 million hours of YouTube on TV screens every day. In particular, younger audiences watch far more YouTube than TV, and YouTube is seen as the only channel with a positive impact on people’s lives.

This year alone, Facebook is investing $1bn in programming to strengthen its video offering “Watch.” It wants to make Watch, like everything on its platform, a social experience. Most newer TVs can stream YouTube, and access Facebook and other social channels so the viewer experience can be akin to that of watching the TV - but much more interactive.

Social videos can easily be shared with friends and family, they can then chat about them online, reply with another video and invite others to join the conversation. This is transforming the viewer experience and tapping into a desire for social interaction and communal conversations as we watch.

2. Longer video
Another key development has been the move towards longer videos – as most social is enjoyed via mobiles, consumers have historically been limited by broadband speed and the cost of data. However now that most consumers have larger data packages and 4G is improving, we are getting used to watching longer videos on our phones. The social networks are responding accordingly - in June, Instagram launched a new video platform called IGTV, where videos can run for up to 60 minutes. Longer length videos mean users stay on Instagram longer, which will inevitably boost advertising revenue.

3. More live and ephemeral content
In addition to longer videos, we are also seeing a trend towards more and more live videos, especially on Instagram and Snapchat. Often these videos are designed to only last 24 hours. One example is Instagram Stories that lets you create sequences of photos and videos that expire after a day. In this way, social offers something different to TV - it can be seen as more reactive and forces followers to tune in regularly (unlike a Netflix model where content is always there whenever we want it.) This short-lived, temporary video content gives the user a sense of urgency and “a fear of missing out” and therefore much greater engagement rates, even if the reach is smaller.

4. B2B video
B2B usually lags behind the consumer sector, but video is increasingly being used by businesses. More native video is appearing on LinkedIn and the platform recently launched video ads. In fact, 62 per cent of B2B marketers think video is the most important format they will use for content this year, far more than email (48%), other forms of social media creative (36%), infographics (29%) or case studies (23%). Twenty-six per cent predict they will spend more than £300,000 on video advertising in 2018.

5. More robust video metrics
While B2C and B2B marketers agree about the power and effectiveness of social video, there is still progress to be made in terms of evaluating exact impact. Most platforms currently class a view as just a few seconds but over the coming years, Agencies and marketers will need to quantify the value of videos a lot better. Metrics will need to advance, possibly to include reporting on views of 95% or more, or the video conversion rate such as click through to website and purchase of a product. At the moment it is too easy for marketers to promote a video and then report that thousands have viewed it for 3 seconds or more – this doesn’t tell the full story and will, in the long run, undermine the credibility and value of social video.

Agencies and brands are becoming increasingly sophisticated in their use of social video and with good reason - analysts predict that by 2021 video will represent 82 per cent of all consumer web traffic. If you feel you are not yet maximising the opportunity or want to know more about creating compelling and hyper-relevant video content, please get in touch with us at info@speedcomms.com.

October 2018