T The most-watched video on YouTube in 2021 was “I Spent 50 Hours Buried Alive,” where a man was filmed being buried alive in a plexiglass coffin, complete with a headstone for 50 hours straight. What does that say about current video trends? It supports the claim that listening to the voice of your audience and meeting them on the platforms they are using can be a highly effective combination for garnering attention and engagement. In this case, some key comments from his subscribers were “The only YouTuber who didn’t lose his originality” and “He lives on a different planet than the rest of the YouTube world.”
According to HubSpot, video remains the key priority in both usage and spend for marketers in 2021 and continues to increase every year. Marketers are feeling more positive about the return on investment offered by video as it continues to influence traffic, leads, sales and audience understanding. The challenging thing about video is it’s constantly evolving and adapting. What was viral yesterday is outdated today, and what was trending this morning is overdone by the afternoon, so being able to decide what stage you want to play on is just as important as playing in the first place. You need to decide what voice and position your brand has and ensure you stay true to that position in order to remain authentic, all while being adaptable to your audience and evolving when the gap gets too big.
Thankfully it doesn’t have to be as challenging as it sounds. What’s important is that you don’t try to insert your brand on every platform in every way possible. You should be selective in what video styles are best suited to your brand and utilize the platforms that are best suited to your audience. Here are some of the top video trends of 2022 that are growing in popularity, so you can start thinking about where your brand might fit while reaching your audiences more effectively.
It’s no surprise that YouTube has the top spot for video marketing platforms with more than 30 million users visiting each day to discover and consume content. It’s easy, accessible and helps connect businesses with current and potential customers through analytics and video comments. YouTube also serves a secondary purpose of being a search engine; it’s the second-most popular search engine after Google, providing more value to consumers and increasing traffic as a result. Here’s a video our team filmed widescreen, created specifically for YouTube: Let the holidays begin.
Explainer videos top the list for the highest category of videos being created. An overwhelming majority of people (96%) report watching explainer videos to learn more about a product, with 88% being swayed to make a purchase. The product doesn’t have to be physical, either. 78% of people say they’ve been convinced to purchase an app or piece of software because of a video. Here’s an example of an explainer video our team created to educate and create awareness for the “Healthy Meals for All” program: School Meals At No Cost To You
Short-form social media stories
They call it short and sweet for a reason. This type of video marketing has proven to be highly successful for hyper-connected, low-attention span audiences. With the ability to market directly in stories, this method can capture audiences as they scroll through their feeds, and because they disappear after 24 hours, viewers are more likely to watch them all the way through. Convenience and exclusivity are combined to make a big impact on your outreach.
User-generated videos perform so well on platforms because they feel authentic and real, helping audiences connect with the content on a more personal level. This technique works in two ways: a brand can tell a more authentic story but can also collect user-generated content from their customer base in the form of testimonials, creating another stream of self-promotion.
Often considered a more polished and planned form of user-generated content, Vlogs are popular because they are so deeply personal. Viewers get to know the content creator on a more intimate level, creating a connection that you can’t imitate in other forms of content creation. This style of video typically forms a community with its audience as they share similar interests and passions and can develop a strong level of trust in the Vlogger’s opinions and recommendations.
These types of videos are shot in portrait orientation and are primarily meant for mobile devices, which is the most common device used to consume online videos. When I mentioned meeting audiences where they are at, this is a perfect example of building your creative to suit the audience's needs. Consumers are all about convenience, and this format is perfect for scrolling and makes the content easier to absorb and digest. Vertical videos are even gaining momentum on platforms like YouTube, which only further supports the claim that this is the style of content consumers are drawn to. Here’s an example of a video our team filmed vertically to tailor specifically to the platforms it would be used on. There are fully vertical versions for stories but as you read in the short-form section, they expired after 24hrs. Unbottled - The Great Outdoors
Interactive shoppable videos
Social media is all about experience, therefore interactive videos keep growing in popularity. This style allows viewers to interact and participate in the creative, whether it be clicking on areas of the screen, voting or making choices that affect what they see next. This format has also evolved into shoppable features, allowing consumers to make purchases directly through the video itself without having to leave the page. This level of convenience has been proven to increase conversion rates significantly.
AR and VR videos
Augmented and virtual reality are all about that immersive experience. There was a surge in AR and VR marketing when the pandemic started as companies quickly had to react to maintain connections with prospects and customers. Although considered a more complex and expensive form of marketing, it provides the highest level of user experience that is accessible to the masses without them having to pay for it. That’s a huge attractor to consumers and a great way to get audiences interacting with your brand and product with minimal effort on their end.
Social media video ads
This may seem like an obvious one as it’s been tried and true for many years, but social media advertising isn't going away anytime soon. With billions of users, social platforms are a gold mine for businesses looking to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness. There are many ways to advertise on these platforms, but the biggest thing to note is that if you aren’t leveraging this tool yet, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Executing some of the above trends that fit with your brand and applying them on social media will prove to be a very powerful combination for your return on investment. Here’s an example of a video our team created for one of our client's social channels: Dyna-Gro Seed - Nothing Gets You Closer
As video marketing continues to increase year over year, oversaturation will continue to pose a challenge, making it more tempting for brands to jump on the latest trend in hopes of standing out. This oversaturation isn’t going away anytime soon, so it simply raises the bar in terms of content quality, including an effective video strategy that targets the right audiences in the right places. Plan your videos well, execute them strategically on the right platforms for your audience and you just might be the next trending video out there.
About the Writer
Kourtney Tyndall – Associate Creative Director
With over 12 years of industry experience, Kourtney has produced and directed commercial videos in a variety of industries including engineering, tech start-ups, aviation, agriculture and entertainment. She believes every brand has a unique story to tell and understanding the magic of good storytelling is the key to making strategic and impactful content. Learn more about Kourtney here.