It isn’t hard to find examples from the recent past. Look at how American Greetings used YouTube to advertise the “World’s Toughest Job” (over 26 million views!) or how T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere uses Periscope to regularly live-stream events and operations behind the scenes at various store locations.
According to one recent study by Wyzowl, an “explainer video” production company, 63% of businesses are currently using video as a marketing tool. Some 83% of those businesses say they believe it gives them a good return on investment. This makes sense, given that 79% of consumers would rather learn about a new product or service through video than reading text on a page.
No wonder all of those “expert prediction” roundups about 2017 were so adamant that this was going to be the year of video. A couple of months in, and those predictions appear to be coming to fruition. However, when it comes to video content marketing, 2017 is already shaping up to be a bit different from what we expected.
Here are a few of the most noteworthy developments so far.
Snapchat self-service video ad booking is well on its way
Thanks to a new collection of ad partners, many of which come from Facebook’s marketing partner program, Snapchat announced in late January that it’s set to launch a system that will allow marketers to purchase video ads with their automated system.
Although the ad program was initially open to partners only, it will be available to agencies and brands that license the API to do their own buying. While Facebook has been borrowing ideas from Snapchat’s product design, Snapchat is borrowing Facebook’s early advertising model to drive revenue.
Barriers to entry are coming down
Budget is an issue for all of us. Until relatively recently, if you couldn’t afford to create a high volume of high-quality video content – using fancy software that’s hard to learn to edit and enhance footage shot by a production company on retainer – you were basically priced out of the video content marketing game.
Image source: https://slide.ly/promo
The growing availability of affordable DIY solutions means that anyone can now get in on the action. With apps like Promo by Slidely, you can create a promo video for your products or services in as little as five minutes. With a huge library of existing video content and music footage, with lifetime licensing, you choose your video, the music you want to go with it, add your text and logo – and you’re done. Promo was such a hit in 2016 that Slidely is currently gearing up for a major release in the months ahead, with several upgraded features.
Measurement is even trickier than we thought
Remember those amazing stats everyone kept citing last year about the Facebook Video platform’s view counts? Many of them turned out to be totally false, we learned last fall.
But the ripples are continuing to shake the media industry. In the wake of the misreporting scandal last year, Nielsen has recalibrated the way they measure live streams and other video content. As a result of that change, Facebook streaming numbers declined a whopping 94%. The vast overestimate of video views was based on people watching as little as three seconds of a stream.
Formats and platforms are fleeting
Vine, a popular network and one-time competitor of Snapchat and Instagram, was a platform where users could share six-second videos that loop. The network shut down in January 2017, set to re-emerge as Vine Camera. Now, you can still make the looping videos, but you’ll only be able to use the platform to share the videos to Twitter, or download them to your camera roll for use elsewhere. The ecosystem of influential “Viners” and all of the app’s content will otherwise be gone.
Image source: https://vine.co/
This development highlights the need to diversify your strategy, because you never know when a network will vanish, or change direction. General Electric, for example, had quite a Vine presence, but thankfully, they weren’t affected much by the change, since they were already active on many other social channels.
Anyone can now buy full-screen video ads for Instagram Stories
In January 2017, Instagram announced they’d be accepting orders for immersive full-screen ads to run within Instagram Stories. As of earlier this month, the ability to purchase ads, regardless of business size or location, is available through the marketing API.
Businesses will soon be able to use Facebook Power Editor and Ads Manager to control how the ads are shown, and get information on reach and other metrics. Among the companies that tested the in-Story ads, Airbnb said they saw a double digit point increase in ad recall. Since the process is now open to anyone, the landscape is becoming increasingly more competitive.
The influencer bubble may be bursting already
Are influencers getting paid too much? Let’s take a look at the story on Felix Kjellberg, the Swedish gaming vlogger better known as PewDiePie. He’s the most popular personality on YouTube – making him a quite a heavy influencer. But, as we know, anyone who comes into the limelight is subject to scrutiny – and whether you’re famous in Hollywood, or because of YouTube – you could get yourself in trouble with relative ease. After it was discovered that nine of his videos posted since August 2016 featured some kind of anti-Semitic humor or Nazi imagery, he’s lost two major partnerships, including one with a Disney-owned video distribution network. YouTube itself canceled the second season of its reality show Scare PewDiePie, and removed him from its preferred advertising program.
Image source: http://blog.tomoson.com/influencer-marketing-study/
This puts businesses in a tough spot – not all influencers will behave the way PewDiePie has, but not all of them will be in the spotlight at that level. The point is, businesses always take a risk that the influencers they sponsor will do something that doesn’t align with the brand’s values, and may have to engage in some PR and online reputation management to undo the damage.
What it all means
Video marketing, like online marketing in general, is constantly changing and evolving. To keep up with it, you must be on the cutting edge, ready and willing to adjust your strategy as needed. Experiment with multiple types of video – both live and pre-recorded. Upload on various platforms – and see what works best for your audience.
This post is part of our contributor series. It is written and published independently of TNW.
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