3 Video Marketing Trends to Guide Your Digital Strategy in 2021

2020 ushered in a new era for video marketing trends. As we migrated our lives to the internet, people began consuming more content than ever, while also becoming even more skeptical of being sold to. It became harder than ever for brands to stay relevant in a rapidly-changing world. But don’t worry – with 2021 ahead of us, we outlined 3 video marketing trends to focus on to keep your audience engaged.

1. User-Generated Content

People are more skeptical than ever about brand marketing. But user-generated content offers a trustworthy alternative. With scaled down production and face-to-face messaging, viewers are more willing to buy into the story being told by a relatable creator. 

Plus, user-generated content is a win-win for marketers who are battling the constraints of social distancing. User-generated video can be made from the comfort of your room and it gives audiences the relatable perspective of someone who is also stuck at home. 

UGC isn’t just for customer reviews. B2C and B2B companies can use user-generated video content to boost marketing campaigns, humanize their brands, and even give a behind the scenes look at what it’s like to work with their teams. 

2. Live Video and Virtual Events

With LinkedIn live streams increasing 89% since March 2020, it’s clear that live video is more important than ever. To keep up, marketers should continue honing their skills in live video and virtual events

After almost a full year getting used to virtual replacements for in-person events, viewers have built expectations about what a good live video experience looks like. It’s not enough to just decide to go live on Instagram. For a successful live video, brands need the pre-production and technical support that makes any video run smoothly.

When producing Sotheby’s Virtual Auction Series, our team factored in extensive rehearsal, preparation, and technical troubleshooting before ever taking the event live. This made sure that the virtual events matched the calibre of the in-person events they were replacing, and reflected what their audience expects from a Sotheby’s experience. Virtual or not, an auction featuring work by Van Gogh and Magritte is held to a high standard.

Live video may never completely replicate the experience of an in-person event. But it will give you access to a larger audience. Live video takes the exclusivity out of in-person events, making your content more accessible and removing limits on audience size and viewership. 

Plus, live video draws engagement long after the original stream. In 2021, repurpose and remarket live video to keep viewers coming back to your content. If done well, repurposed live video can be successful on all social platforms, and will help your brand build a loyal audience. 

3. Long-Form Video

With commuting time reduced or eliminated altogether, many video viewers now have much more time to consume content. And a larger, more engaged audience gives marketers the  opportunity to grab viewers’ attention for a longer period of time. In 2021, marketers should lean into long-form video content to make the most of people’s increased viewership.

But know that higher viewership doesn’t mean audiences are engaging with video content in the same ways they did when they had less free time. According to YouTube’s Digital Culture and Trends Report, 40% of people say they participated in an activity simultaneously while they watched a video online in 2020. 

Yes, audiences are more interested in long-form video, but many viewers engage with that type of content more passively. Marketers should be optimizing long-form video in the same way that they optimize content for each social media platform. Cater to what audiences want and expect from long-form video in every step of production. Pacing, story arc, and even sound design should all be in line with the standards of long-form video. 

Take our video for the 2020 Peabody Awards as an example. Green Buzz was tasked with turning what would have normally been an in-person awards ceremony, and translating it into an hour-long roundtable. To keep the video engaging over the full hour, we mixed in clips of the award-winning documentaries as the filmmakers discussed their work.

Where Do We Go From Here?

There’s no denying it: video is now. But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we should expect the unexpected. So take these 3 video marketing trends into account when implementing your marketing strategy for the new year, but remember to stay agile. 

The best video marketers can simultaneously stay ahead of trends and act quickly when something throws a wrench in those predictions. Stay plugged in to current trends, stay adaptable and always consider how your content feeds into specific KPI’s. 

If you need more support guiding your marketing strategy for 2021, reach out to our team! We’ve guided social media campaigns, big name awards ceremonies, our own webinar series, and more through the pandemic – and all from our home base in Washington, DC. Wherever you are, and whatever content you need, we’ve got you covered.