If a picture paints a thousand words, then video paints a hundred thousand more.

Certainly, that seems to be the consensus among marketers, who are increasingly realising that video can reach the parts that other mediums can’t.

With a survey of marketers and small business owners by Animoto showing that 76.5% felt that the use of video marketing had a direct impact on their business, it’s clear that more video = more sales, but what sort of techniques can we expect to see digital marketers using in 2017?

More live streaming

Forget Sarah Greene and Philip Schofield, 'going live' has got a new 21st century meaning. Facebook spent the back end of 2017 pushing its live option and, in a reversal of the usual advertiser/platform relationship, even reportedly signed contracts worth upwards of $50 million for a number of organisations and stars – such as Gordon Ramsey and the Huffington Post – to produce live content for its site.

So how can other business capitalise on this trend? The key is finding content that works, well, live. This could be live streaming interesting events, demonstrating and launching products, making announcements, giving a sneak peek behind the scenes or daily tips for things like fitness or dieting. The trick to engagement is keeping things immediate and making audiences feel like they’re privy to something they might not ordinarily get the chance to see. Careful attention should be paid to the aesthetic of Live videos too. While looking over-polished doesn’t suit the medium, broadcasts should be punchy and visually attractive.

It’s not all about Facebook, though, Periscope and Snapchat will continue to be popular options for live streaming while in figures published last month Instagram revealed that 150 million people currently use its Stories feature.

Silence is golden

Move over ‘talkies’, silent movies are back. Research shows that around 85% of Facebook videos are now played without sound. So it doesn’t matter how compelling that marketing spiel is – it’s rendered meaningless if nobody is listening. Finding ways to creatively make video work for those who are listening-and-watching and just listening will continue to be a challenge to creatives as they experiment with simple steps such as overlaying text or even just ensuring that the visual content is so compelling that no narrative is required. This is less of an issue for those pushing content through Snapchat, where users are much more likely to keep sound switched on when playing videos.

Not just for social

The significant appetite for video content means that the best brands should be thinking of how they can deploy it in all parts of their marketing strategy – not just social. Retail is an obvious market in which video marketing can be deployed. In fact, Treepodia has conducted research that indicates that video can increase conversion rates by 101% in electronics, 85% for jewellery, 14% for personal care products, 43% for home and garden products and 113% for gifts. If consumers like the look of your product, seeing it in action via a simple how-to, modelled on the catwalk or styled in several different ways can nudge them over the finishing line towards pressing ‘buy’. Brands should also consider the way their potential advocates are using video. For example, seeding the right product to the right vlogger can send sales through the stratosphere, especially for beauty and fashion brands.


By Lubna Keawpanna, co-founder and creative director at SMACK

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