It’s the first year of a brand-new decade, and the future of video marketing has never been so bright. We’ve all heard the oft-quoted statistics that reflect a seemingly endless upward trend in demand and consumption of online videos, but those “straight line” statistics don’t always reflect that the way consumers consume video is much more fluid and ever-evolving.
Looking forward to the new year, let’s examine a few emerging trends we predict will be big in 2020.
The Crave for Interactivity
One of the biggest (and most exciting, if you ask me!) ongoing conversations in the industry this year is the future of “interactive” video.
With much media attention being given to complex interactive technologies like VR, this conversation can sometimes become overly focused on the methodology of customer interaction, losing touch with the why.
So what is the why? Interactive content makes your customer the proactive “hero” of a powerful brand narrative, empowering them to help shape their purchasing experience.
What this means is that your brand doesn’t necessarily need cutting-edge technology to deliver the interactivity consumers crave. Whatever technology you are using in 2020, remember to tell emotionally dynamic stories that invite consumers to engage.
A clever example of “low-tech” interactivity is the fan-favorite “Hashtags” segment of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. Using a unique hashtag as a prompt, viewers are invited to send in tweet-length personal anecdotes, the funniest of which are read aloud on the show.
Inviting viewers to ask questions during live streams, offering viewers chances to vote and change the outcome of branching ad “stories”, and integrating user-generated content into your ad narratives are all ways of using traditional (non-VR or 360) video that put the consumer in an interactive role.
The Importance of Segmentation & Optimization
Closely related to the power of video interactivity is the increasing importance of video content being personalized to the consumer. Now more than ever, consumers expect to have targeted ad experiences, and they feel frustrated and misunderstood when marketed to with a broad or scattershot approach. In fact, a study published by OneSpot discovered that 63% of consumers would consider ending their relationship with a brand due to irrelevant content!
So what does “relevant” content look like in 2020?
According to September 2019 data compiled by MarketingCharts.com, 48% of consumers want videos targeted to only show them products and services they care about, while 22% report that they want to see content geo-targeted to their location.
Interestingly, consumers surveyed are least interested in seeing their name or other personal information appear in the video, which suggests that the long-term power of individualized content is not in offering personalization as a cool video “gimmick”, but in delivering truly relevant video content that helps consumers make purchasing decisions and doesn’t waste their time.
When planning your video marketing campaigns, consider producing several slightly differentiated ad sets and running them in segmented campaigns that target individualized demographics. Segmentation helps prove to your customers that you understand and can meet their individualized needs, once again keeping the consumer at the center of the narrative.
The Gen Z Takeover
Gen Z — the net-savvy, money-smart generation that follows the Millennial generation — are poised to take over the economy, with some projections showing this generation accounting for 40% of all consumers in 2020!
One study made waves a couple of years ago when it claimed Gen Z has an “8-second attention span”, but I prefer the perspective put forth by Jeremy Finch at Fast Company that Gen Z has an 8-second filter.
Gen Z consumers are inundated with information and surrounded by advertisements, which means they must aggressively filter the content they actually consume in entirety. This means that your video marketing must prove that it has value within that first critical eight seconds.
It also means that video marketers attempting to target Gen Z should be open to experimenting with popular Gen Z platforms like Snapchat, Instagram’s ten-second “stories”, and near-overnight App Store sensation TikTok — a video platform for creating short (often humorous, musical, and/or surreal) 15-second clips of viral video.
Looking ahead to 2020 (and beyond) we see that video marketing will become increasingly competitive as brands continue to invest marketing dollars behind the online video. We also predict that the brands that will have high ROI are the ones that take a consumer-first approach that uses technology to tell relatable stories.
By remembering the “whys” behind the “whats” in 2020 and keeping those whys first, you and your organization can be well ahead of these coming curves!