At the end of every year, you can expect every content creator on earth to talk about upcoming trends.
And, at the end of 2018, they all said the same thing: video.
(And nothing has changed six months into the year.)
It’s all about video. For everyone.
Students and entrepreneurs and hobbyists and movie fans and gardeners and video gamers and everyone in between are creating videos.
Some of them are good, some of them are bad, and some of them are completely irresistible to small children, which has created a whole sub-genre of how-to-setup-parental-control-without-your-children-finding-out-about-it videos for anxious parents.
As a communications expert, you probably know how valuable video is for connecting with audiences.
So let’s talk about how to produce videos that are as timeless as possible in a fast-changing world.
We’re not exactly aiming for Singing in the Rain timeless, but we can go for solid YouTube timeless.
This means creating videos that, regardless of changing trends and online behaviors, will continue to be useful as long as the information in them is relevant.
The Video Trends of 2019
Video trends are caused by a combination of monitoring and responding to audience behavior, and monitoring and mimicking what other video makers are doing.
We’ve seen trends for:
- Short videos
- Long ones
- Green screens
- Talking heads
- All manner of text overlay, production quality, and editing effects
I’m sure we all remember 80s corporate training videos and can breathe a sigh of relief they’re not in style anymore.
Although, I have to admit a favorite past time is searching “80s training videos” on YouTube to watch everything from McDonald’s and Wendy’s to Old Country Buffet and AMC Movie Theaters in all their glory.
It’s pretty fun!
Trends come and go, but what makes videos timeless is how well they work for your audience and for your specific business goals.
There is everything from influencers unboxing your product to a version of Christopher S. Penn’s, “You Ask, I’ll Answer”—and they all work.
Some people even create video when they’re recording their podcasts, because I guess people will watch that versus listen to the episode.
I’m not one of those people, but I’m told I’m in the minority (and now you can guess what our content team wants me to do).
The key to video marketing success is you have to know who you’re talking to (audience-wise), so your brand voice comes through and it’s valuable to them and their decision-making process.
Here are some strategies you can use to make sure that YOUR videos have the same kind of effect not on the total world, but on the specific audience you’re targeting with them.
The Purpose of Your Video Marketing
The first step is to figure out why you’re creating a video in the first place.
This sounds really obvious, but you would be amazed at how many organizations do video marketing because it’s “the thing to do” now, regardless of whether or not it’s a strategy that makes actual sense.
If what you need to communicate can best be conveyed with a video, then by all means…do a video.
Your Video Marketing Audience
The second step is to make sure you really know who your viewer is.
You can’t be all things to all people—and that’s OK.
When I got married a thousand years ago, my mom said:
Do what makes you and Kelly happy because someone will be unhappy with your choices. But as long as the two of you are happy, no one else matters.
You can’t go quite that far with marketing to your audience, but as long as your audience is happy, no one else matters.
You absolutely have to understand exactly who the person watching this video is and the kind of information or education they need at that moment.
How to Determine Length—and Where It Will Live
The third step is to determine length.
This is one of those things that lots of experts have lots of opinions about.
And the answer is really annoying.
Because, like most almost everything, it depends.
It depends on the purpose of the video and the intended audience, and it depends on where the video will live.
You can have a much longer video on your website or YouTube channel then you should have on social media, for example.
Of course, there are exceptions, but a good rule of thumb is this: the more you want to move OFF a specific platform and on to something you own, the shorter the video should be.
Where Your Video Marketing Will Hang Out
Let me explain.
You can create a video for almost all of the major social platforms—SnapChat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn—you name it.
But those platforms want to keep us there, scrolling through the feed and not ever leaving.
This means they’ll never come to your website, where you can get to know them, build a relationship, and end up working with them.
The social networks also tend to encourage short attention spans, so your videos should be short—a minute or less.
Those short, bite-sized videos can be easily shared, which is great, but more importantly, they direct people to other content.
If you’re sharing a minute’s worth of information on a social platform (which, by its nature is fast-changing) you can lead them to more timeless content on your YouTube channel or website.
In a perfect world, you can even use parts of longer videos ON your social accounts to help consistently move your fans and followers into your own area.
A Great Example of Repurposing Videos
One of my closest friends does a fantastic job with video of all kinds.
He has a business that helps people find, interview for, and accept six-figure jobs.
When a client has been in their new job for a month or two, they ask them to jump on a Facebook Live where they discuss what it was like working with Career Attraction, what they learned, what they loved, where they had challenges, and their results.
It becomes a case study, of sorts that, once it’s aired and downloaded, become lots of different videos.
First, of course, it lives on Facebook and Instagram.
Then it’s added to their website.
Then they take one minute clips and share those on social and in ads…all directly back to their website.
Their purpose is to showcase the great work they’re doing with clients, their audience are executive-level job seekers, and they’ve figured out how to take one piece of content and use it on every platform by whittling it down for each.
The Three Parts of Successful Video Marketing
These three elements together—purpose, audience, and platform, will combine into content that will keep your watchers engaged, and continue to be useful over time.
Be like Christopher S. Penn and my friends at Career Attraction and create video that is useful to your audience, not because it’s what you’re supposed to do.
If you do that, you’ll have massive success.
Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash