For most of 2020, COVID-19 shaped almost every facet of personal and professional communication. Video marketing trends have followed suit.
Companies faced unprecedented challenges in how to get their message across very saturated airways. There is a constant battle to find new ways to create engaging video campaigns, reach more audiences, and keep strong connections with your existing consumer base in these taxing times.
Video Dominance in 2020
Since the COVID-19 outbreak started, as much as 80 percent of consumers have increased their consumption of video content.
Cisco suggests that by the year 2022, upwards of 82 percent of all content creation on the internet will be video-based (15 times more than in 2017). By the end of 2022, a consumer is likely to watch 100 minutes of video content every single day.
Two-thirds of businesses have relied on videos to communicate with their audience — stakeholders and consumers alike.
In 2016, video was shared 12 times more than text and image content combined, and things have only grown since then. This is primarily because of the way video can elicit visceral, memorable emotions from viewers through the combination of audio and visual input — something that no other medium is capable of doing. Being able to like, comment, subscribe, and share videos across platforms can send a video campaign out across huge swaths of audiences in a matter of minutes.
It is imperative that you meet your consumers where they are. If your video campaigns do not have closed captions, viewers are more likely to watch a different video than to turn on their sound (or stop their music or podcast playback). As many as 85 percent of videos are watched without sound, so simply offering closed captions can completely transform your video outreach.
What Consumers Want and Don’t Want
Even as consumers want sensitivity about advertising during COVID-19 and beyond, they still expect to be engaged with.
As many as 75 percent of consumers want ads that tell them about what the respective brands are doing to manage the pandemic, but those consumers draw the line at exploiting the situation to promote a product or service. Topical issues of income inequality that have been highlighted by the pandemic have also made a lot of consumers very leery about rampant consumerism.
To create engaging video campaigns through and after the pandemic, don’t just promote. Instead, inform.
That being said, many consumers feel like the video campaigns they see currently are too similar. If you want to make your messaging more engaging, try diversifying your content.
Take the time to understand who your audience is and speak to what is unique about them. That way, when they see your content on their newsfeeds, they will recognize that you have taken the time to speak directly to them.
As many companies have to turn to digital platforms to replace face-to-face meetings and events, video ads have become a great choice for marketing campaigns. The need for virtual connections presents an unparalleled opportunity to use video as a way of increasing engagement, communication, and retention rates with customers.
Establish Campaign Goals
Here are a few ways you can create engaging video campaigns through and after the pandemic.
- Establish a clear goal. Online videos are undeniably popular, but that is not a guarantee that every video campaign will be a success. For example, nearly half of video teams have suspended their work on a video campaign this year, largely because they did not have a clear goal in mind when they started.
It is vital to determine what the end goal of the campaign is, even before the first storyboard is drawn. This will greatly increase the chances of the campaign engaging with consumers.
The end goal should clarify if you’re looking for straightforward engagement, to retain customers, to share information about what your company is doing to adapt to the coronavirus reality, and to inform how you’re going above and beyond to keep your consumers feeling like you’re there for them.
- Keep the message clear. However you articulate your goals, it has to translate to the video — and specifically to the mobile video format of immediate engagement, clarity, and branding. You need to ensure your message is clear before the campaign gets rolling.
- Keep your expectations realistic. Even though the rate of video consumption during the pandemic has increased, actual consumer demand is low. You have to respond to that drop in demand even if it means changing your expectations about what your consumers want and what they can afford to invest in your business or service during the pandemic.
Make Meaningful Content
Your campaign’s message should be meaningful. This is important because consumers are oversaturated with content now. There was already an abundance of material before the pandemic, but with everyone having to rely on online content almost exclusively due to COVID-19, messaging can be easily lost.
Every business wants to tell their consumers everything they are doing to keep themselves, and their products and services, safe. There’s nothing wrong with that message, but it’s a message that almost every business is putting out there. And 43 percent of consumers claim that all the COVID-19 messaging they’re getting is becoming indistinguishable.
Language about “doing everything we can” and “being in this together” comes off as generic, almost to the point of being inauthentic. If consumers feel the trite messaging is just a way to get them to look at your ad longer, it will turn them off very quickly.
Consumers want signals, not noise. Izea reports that as many as 60 percent of consumers expect to watch more videos on YouTube due to staying at home (and working from home) during the pandemic. Viewers report primarily watching videos on how to work from home, fitness and cooking videos, and more serious material on stress reduction and parenting.
Work out the true purpose behind your communication to your consumers, and that should not just be your business goal or your bottom line. Your video campaign should give something of value back to the consumer.
To add meaning to your video campaign, you have to think of a very clear way to engage your consumers, genuinely uplift them, and offer unique and wanted support.
Be Authentic With Consumers
Authenticity is the key word when it comes to creating engaging video campaigns, and this is perhaps more true now, than it ever has been in the past. This is especially true when the medium is social media, which can make content (good or bad) go viral in minutes.
Video is the kind of content that is most likely to take off. The only way to have the best message out there, that consumers will want to positively respond to, is to be authentic to your brand and to your consumers.
Material that puts a smile on your consumers’ faces, relates to them, and resonates with them and their values is the kind of material that consumers like. This is because:
- The content feels like the brand.
- The content doesn’t blatantly tell consumers to buy the product.
Some companies have the budget to spend a lot on talented crews and production. Many others don’t have those resources. But what all companies can do is use their voice in a way that is as authentic as possible.
Your business has a unique voice. How can you honestly use it? What can you do with your voice to create video campaigns that consumers won’t just scroll past, but will watch to the end and then share with their friends?
In 2020, making engaging video campaigns is not possible without a focus on mobile delivery. As tens of millions of people are without their usual places of community during the pandemic, over half of them get their news, entertainment, and information from their mobile phone.
For that reason, you have to make your content mobile-friendly. It is impossible to survive without doing this.
Think about how long it might take to buffer and stream a video. Consumers aren’t inclined to wait for too long if there’s another notification on their device or another video they can scroll to quickly. Think about the difference between uploading to YouTube or Vimeo or if your consumers are more easily reached on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
These details are significant, and they can make a massive impact as you try to maximize your engagement with the budget you have.
How We Can Help
COVID-19 has presented incredible challenges for getting your message out to your consumers, but there are incredible solutions too.
Video campaigns don’t have to be time-consuming. We can help you maximize the effect of your video marketing campaign, make it as engaging as possible, and reach as many relevant people as possible.
At Gather Voices, we can help you to make easy, accessible videos with just your smartphone, enabling you to get relatable and engaging videos out to your audience with ease and trust.
Making Video An Effective Part Of Your COVID-19 Marketing Strategy. (May 2020). Forbes.
A Definitive Guide to Video Marketing 2020: Stats, Strategies, and Challenges. (April 2020). ClickZ.
Cisco Annual Internet Report (2018–2023) White Paper. (March 2020). Cisco.
Online Video Consumption Continues to Rise Globally. (October 2019). Marketing Charts.
27 Video Marketing Statistics That Will Have You Hitting the Record Button. (October 2016). Small Business Trends.
Mobile Videos Often Watched Without Audio, Study Finds. (May 2019). NextTV.
66% of Social Media Consumers Expect Their Social Media Consumption to Increase During Coronavirus Confinement. (March 2020). Yahoo! Finance.
Consumers Don’t Think Brands Should Stop Advertising During Coronavirus Pandemic. (April 2020). eMarketer.
Adapting Customer Experience in the Time of Coronavirus. (April 2020). McKinsey & Company.
11 Tips For Creating Compelling, Authentic Video Content. (July 2018). Forbes.
Google to Cut Marketing Budgets by as Much as Half, Directors Warned of Hiring Freezes. CNBC. (April 2020).
Navigating Your Campaigns Through COVID-19 With Display & Video 360. Google.
The 37 Best American Coronavirus Ads. (May 2020). Medium.
How Marketers Responded to Coronavirus in the First Three Months. (May 2020). Ad Age.