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Video marketing trends to cut through the noise in 2021

Author's avatar By Gabrielle Wright 11 Dec, 2020
Essential Essential topic

Are you making the most of the latest video marketing trends and opportunities to increase customer conversions?

As technology and digital habits evolve, it's not really surprising that video predictions and usage have shot up in 2020. In preparation for 2021, I've collated our industry experts' video marketing trends and our recommended resources to optimize your digital marketing strategy and convert more customers using video.

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But first, let's fact-check the numbers. It is predicted that customers will spend 100 minutes a day watching online videos in 2021. This is a 19% increase compared to daily viewing minutes in 2019, which stood at 84. But why?

Jonathan Barnard, Head of Forecasting at Zenith describes:

“The consumption of online video is growing rapidly, and the average person will spend half as much time viewing online video as they spend viewing conventional television this year.

This fast-expanding supply of audiences is fuelling rapid growth in demand from advertisers, making online video the fastest-growing digital channel by advertising expenditure.”

Online video is growing exponentially faster than TV, partly due to its multichannel nature. Today users are consuming online video on mobile, for on-the-go, bite-sized entertainment but also, ironically, coming back into the living room with video streaming.

Mobile video marketing trends

In today's omnichannel era, it's not a surprise that over 50% of videos views take place on a mobile device. Marketers and designers need to consider the whole customer experience, ensuring videos and images are optimzied for all shapes and sizes from desktop to mobile and in-between!

mobile video marketing trends

The development of mobile video marketing technology constitutes a new opportunitiy for all marketers. However, for some industries, mobile video could well be the answer to their biggest problems. For example, the rise of social commerce means more customers are making purchases via social media than ever before. If your product or service could benefit from an 'explainer', a mobile-optimized video will solve you (and your copy-team!) a lot of headaches.

Video marketing budgets in 2020

So, it's not surprising that 99% of video marketers planned to continue to use this format, and 95% planned to increase their spend this year. With this in mind, you're in the right place to discover the latest video marketing trends and recommended marketing training to elevate your strategy to delight your video-loving customers.

Video marketing trend increase in marketing spend

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Video marketing trend: Social will advance video ad formats

It's impossible to talk about video marketing trends without discussing Facebook - which welcomes 2.7 billion monthly active users, and counting! Facebook is a mover and shaker in the video and mobile marketing world. Why?

  • Users view an average of 8 billion videos daily.
  • Engagement is highest on posts with videos at 13.9%.


This second point is particularly poignant for marketers relying on organic social reach, as Facebook is outspoken about its strategy of rewarding engaging content in the algorithm.

If your video content engages your audience, it will be seen by even more prospective customers - ultimately fulfilling both your reach and engagement goals, can't say better than that.

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Video marketing expert:

Facebook has always been a big advocate of video, and the rollout of Instagram reels this year (amidst the TikTok boom) reflects this also. Social Media users are becoming far more video orientated, so marketers are adapting their strategies to reflect this.

Video AI is currently being developed from what is essentially a creation point of view, identifying which parts of videos users resonate with, chopping and changing them, then re-serving them as an optimized form of content, which I think is quite interesting.

I also think Augmented Reality is going to continue growing, especially within health and beauty companies who’ve had to re-evaluate how customers can visualize products during Covid-19. AR can mimic the in-store experience of trying on makeup without any cross-contamination, and apparel stores are starting to do a similar thing too. It’s easy to see how this can move into ads within social platforms, especially as they’ll be competing to deliver the most engaging video formats to capture their audience.

Macy Edwards, Director of Digital Paid Media, Clickthrough Marketing

Macy video trends expert at Click Consult



Video marketing trend: User-generated video content

User-generated content is authentic, trustworthy, and fun! Moreover, this content cuts through the noise in a cluttered digital landscape. 70% of consumers trust customer opinions, whereas only 25% trust advertising. And, today, it's easier than ever to review and research customer opinions.

Ariel Shemesh, author at convinceandconvert.com, explains:

"We live in a world of instant access and many options of how to express ourselves. Feelings are tweeted, images are Instagrammed, posts are Facebooked, and pins are uploaded millions of times a day. If someone has an opinion, you better believe that it will be accessible to the entire internet community within minutes."

If you're struggling for ideas, check out 7 great user-generated content campaigns by Maddy Osman, Pixlee, including content that gets us all itching to pack our suitcases for travel.

User generated video trends

Moreover, to succeed in the world of user-generated content, I recommend applying market research and reputation management, through the form of social listening. Through strategic governance, relevant content and conversations, identified from social media sites such as blogs, social networks, forums, and blogs can provide insight to inform customer engagement, collaboration, and new product development.

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Video marketing expert:

Is User-generated video content in advertising the ultimate in brand advocacy?

If the objective of brand storytelling is to engage with your customers by truly understanding what it is they actually want to see and hear from your brand, user-generated video ticks all the boxes.

Whilst written reviews and photo posts etc are undoubtedly powerful in terms of brand advocacy, it could easily be argued that video is in fact the most powerful. Why? Simple! It’s all-encompassing. It allows viewers to see, hear and feel the content on a far deeper emotional level.

Martin O'Toole is a freelance writer and brand strategist.

Martin video trends expert



Video marketing trend: YouTube’s bets start to pay off

Video marketing trends span numerous digital channels. There are so many different types of video content available to consumers today, it can be difficult to know where to start. We've already discussed Facebook, so now we turn to YouTube, which welcomes 2 billion logged in monthly users. Truly a melting pot of digital experience, YouTube receives 500 hours of video uploaded every minute.

YouTube 2020 video channels trends

But with so much video out there, it's difficult to keep track of what is actually resonating with your target audience. In a field as fast-moving as video, I recommend conducting regular digital environmental scanning.

In our Digital Experience Learning Path, best practice is broken down into 4 primary areas:

  1. Usability: User and customer experience including information architecture and interaction design.
  2. Design: Visual and graphic design.
  3. Data-driven marketing: Digital Analytics and conversion rate optimization.
  4. Marketing technology: Changes in technology underpin all of the options above.

An effective video strategy will encompass the above, to truly cut through the clutter and drive you more leads and sales.

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Video marketing expert:

While super-short form video content appears to have overtaken YouTube in popularity, I have a feeling that Google are going to be looking to advance their YouTube capabilities much further in 2021. YouTube is still a growing channel from a B2C and B2B content perspective.

We’ve seen that Google are testing options for video building and sequencing, so I expect they’ll be looking at how they can get that to market in a more effective way than the social channels can.

Considering the release of image extensions earlier this year, I wonder if video extensions could be something that’s coming next, perhaps as a static image that autoplays as you scroll.

Macy Edwards, Director of Digital Paid Media, Clickthrough Marketing

YouTube video marketing demographics

Video trend: Investing in video

So, onto the practicalities. A specialized format such as video marketing may involve initial marketing investment. Interestingly, with 89% of video marketers say video, in general, gives them a good return on their investment, there are certainly strategic arguments to be made for investment in video. In particular:

  • 80% of video marketers say video has directly helped increase sales
  • 83% of video marketers say video has helped them generate leads

And it's not just acquisition that benefits from video marketing, the same report found that 43% of video marketers say video has reduced the number of support calls they’ve received. That's a win for both marketers and customers!

When making the case for any kind of investment in digital marketing, it is crucial to demonstrate the commercial benefits to your business. Our dedicated Learning Path module in our Digital Transformation Learning Path includes a number of recommended Return on Investment models and Lifetime Value models, to put across your point with data.

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Video marketing expert:

It's been quite a year...With a lot of uncertainty around businesses and many marketing budgets shrinking, in 2021 there will be a need to make video content work harder and really justify its investment.

To do so, a closer more performance-driven relationship between agencies and brands will be needed. Traditional production agencies are moving up the food chain and becoming more strategic in their offering.

At Skeleton, we have seen first hand how important this strategic offering is becoming, with clients increasingly seeing us as an extension of their marketing team, rather than just a disposable supplier.

We see this trend accelerating into 2021, particularly in difficult times like these.

James Bryant, Video Strategy Director, Skeleton

James video trends expert at Skeleton


Video marketing trends to elevate content marketing

Finally, a note on repurposing content, which is a crucial tactic in every savvy marketer's video strategy. After all, as BrightTalk outline in their dedicated video talk:

"As marketers, we need to wring every last drop out of the content we work so hard to produce"

So, when planning your repurposing, you need to ask yourself:

  • What are you looking to accomplish?
  • What are you replacing or redirecting?
  • Who are you trying to reach, and where are you trying to reach them?
  • What is your brand? How can it be interpreted in video form?

By keeping up to date with our latest trends and strategic marketing training, you will set yourself (and your business!) up to answer these questions and inform an effective video marketing strategy. If you're at all interested in video marketing trends, these resources are your go-to solutions. So, invest in yourself in 2021 and watch your digital marketing strategy soar.

Author's avatar

By Gabrielle Wright

Gabrielle Wright is the Smart Insights blog editor, managing the company's SEO and social media strategies. With specialisms in marketing for the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry, financial services, manufacturing, IT/high tech, brands and e-commerce, Gabrielle can generally be found in her home office in Sandiacre, with a cup of tea, reading and writing about marketing theory and its practical application in the global economy! You can connect with Gabrielle on LinkedIn.

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