Videos posted to social media—also referred to simply as social videos—are by far one of the best content marketing mediums businesses can utilize. Brand owners invest so much in social video production because of the numerous opportunities and benefits it gives them in terms of reaching their marketing and business objectives.
Current statistics show that 81% of the US population has a social media account. That means that roughly 264 million people have access, one way or another, to the content you post on social platforms. Facebook videos alone collectively generate more than 8 billion views a day.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the demand for fresh, funny, and valuable social content continues to increase. This demand translates into social video trends—the kind that content marketers need to follow religiously in order stay relevant.
As trends rise and fall, it’s important to know which ones are simply fads and which ones might actually stand the test of time. If you’re a forward-thinking brand looking to increase your social media following and engagement, fully investing in social video production might be the smartest move you make to prepare for 2019.
- Vertical Videos are the New Preference. Back then, people scrolled through social media networks using their PCs and laptops (shocking, right?). Because of this, videos were oriented horizontally by default. If a video was vertical, it didn’t fill up the entire video player, leaving black filler bars on both sides of the video. Regardless whether it was a YouTube or Facebook video, users found this annoying.
Now? The rise of social media apps and mobile-optimized websites has made it so that viewing videos shot vertically is just as comfortable as—if not more preferable than—watching videos shot horizontally.
Here’s why the “vertical video” trend is rising (and will no doubt continue to rise). When people whip out their phones to film something, they hold their phone vertically. When people scroll through their Facebook and Twitter feed, they hold their phones upright. Because a landscape orientation requires two hands, people don’t use it much unless they really think about it.
Facebook has cottoned on to this trend and switched their default video orientation to portrait, making it much more convenient for people scrolling through their feed on their smartphones. In fact, when tested, Facebook learned that people actually preferred the vertical view. Vertical videos were watched longer than horizontal ones, and they were watched with the sound on.
- Capture Micro Moments to Create a Longer Story. The introduction of smartphones and mobile optimization has really changed the game for both marketers and consumers alike. Before all this, people had to set aside a specific amount of time in their day just to check their notifications since they were limited to PCs. This meant catching up with hours’ worth of content that had been posted throughout the day.
Smartphones and mobile apps have since then made it possible to access content instantly, effectively feeding the ‘right now’ mindset and allowing it to fully evolve. People who want to act on something immediately have the means to do so. If they want to capture and share something on the spot, they can do so freely.
Hence the rise of ‘micro moments’ in social video production.
Micro moments, as the name suggests, refers to the little instances in someone’s day that can be captured and shared via social video. Businesses that value brand-consumer relationship capitalize on this tactic, for three big reasons: (1) it’s a great way to both humanize the brand, (2) it personalizes the consumer’s experience, and (3) it perfectly fits the market’s current ‘right now’ or ‘need it now’ mentality.
- Less Traditional Ads, More Content. This may be old news to some of you, but most consumers avoid traditional ads like the plague. According to a 2015 Nielsen study, the most-trusted source of advertising remains to be personal recommendations from friends, family, and acquaintances—in other words, word-of-mouth marketing. Tied for second are online consumer opinions (reviews) and editorial content, such as newspaper articles. Regarding the top three, ads were nowhere to be seen.
This isn’t to say that marketers should give up on advertising entirely. On the contrary, traditional ads are still considered somewhat trustworthy—it all depends on how they’re presented. Paid ads that pop up on pages and channels that have nothing to do with the content of the platform are, in fact, considered spammy by many users, and they’re liable to be ignored—if not blocked out altogether.
Brands need to find a balance between advertising and content marketing. Thankfully, users prefer consuming content that they feel is relevant to them, never mind if it’s actually an ad or a campaign. If it interests them and is related to what they want, the chances of them actually watching it straight through to the end are significantly higher. Therefore, there is still a need for social video production to use as traditional ads. It’s just not as strong as it used to be.