It's becoming easier and easier for small businesses to compete online with established brands, but you absolutely need to adopt a multifaceted approach to content production.
How boring and unappealing would your website be if it only contained text?
Are the sites you visit text only? Probably not. So why would you want to bore your visitors.
Naturally, you need to add visual content to your website to make it more eye catching and engaging. But simply signing up with ShutterStock and sprinkling in a few high quality images isn't enough.
There's no two ways about it – people love video content. And if you want a leg up on the competition, then it only makes sense that you need to outperform competition in the video production arena.
But video content is challenging to make, and if you don't know what you're doing, home brewed video content can look terrible and reflect poorly on your business.
Let's take a look at some of the top video marketing trends that are emerging as we move forward into 2018.
Facebook Video Continues to Grow
Facebook video options are positively elbowing YouTube out of the way in the small business world. According to a marketing report from Magisto, small businesses post on Facebook 64% more than one YouTube.
Part of the rise of Facebook video has a lot to do with maturation of millennials, who use social media and video apps much more frequently than the baby boomer generation.
I don't mean to disregard YouTube, because like it or not, it's not going anywhere anytime soon. YouTube still remains an effective way to post and share video content, and a great way to build an audience. But realize that more effective marketing strategies will utilize both Facebook and YouTube to distribute video content.
Transparency Is Increasing
In days of old, it took a lot of work and a ton of money to make a video. For that reason, people on television always dressed up and adopted a very formal appearance.
These days, however, things have changed completely. Anyone with a smartphone (which is just about everyone) can shoot a high definition video whenever they want, and in today's world of video, transparency is critical.
Part of the reason transparency is so important is, in part, due to new technologies like live streaming. The last thing you want to do is come across as a stuffy, overly formal, pompous character.
Sure, there may be exceptions depending on the industry you're in, but by and large, transparency helps promote trust and engagement with your audience.
Live Streaming Will Become Increasingly Popular
Video content has changed a lot over the last few years, and one of the hottest trends that will continue to grow in 2018 is live streaming video content. Five to ten years ago, people simply didn't have the access to live streaming video content like they do today, and many brands (especially lifestyle brands) are capitalizing on it.
Tools like Facebook Live and Zoom offer ways to stream live video, which is always more exciting than a stale video that was posted on YouTube several years ago.
The bottom line is that live video is more exciting.
For example, consider live sporting games. It's always more fun and engaging to see a game played live, and most people don't see a lot of entertainment value in watching a a rerun of a game.
Plus, live video is a great way to show your audience who you really are. Live events are sometimes rather unpredictable, and your audience can see your personality bleed through the camera in real-time. Don't get me wrong though – videos posted on YouTube that aren't live are still a great way to create evergreen content that will keep visitors engaged and entertained for years to come.
360 Degree Photo and Video Content
You have probably already seen 360 degree photos online. They are especially favored by location technologies such as Google Maps and the real estate industry to let visitors take a virtual tour of their property.
But a lot of people still haven't experienced a 360 video, such as this 360 YouTube clip of a roller coaster ride.
How cool is that?
360 video is the next major trend that's going to explode in 2018, and finding a way to incorporate it into your marketing strategy will put you further ahead of the curve than the majority of your competitors. Whenever a new technology or trend like 360 video surfaces, it presents an opportunity to distinguish yourself from others in your industry.
Will you take advantage of this opportunity in 2018? If so, you'll need a camera. We recommend this very easy to use Rivio from Amazon - It's just over $100 bucks.
VR is still an embryonic technology, though I imagine many of you are already familiar with the Oculus Rift. Some of the bigger brands with tons of money to throw at new marketing trends have already started trying to find ways to incorporate 3D virtual reality marketing tactics into their strategy, such as virtual tours of facilities.
However, VR is still a vastly unexplored frontier, but it is definitely a hot trend for 2018.
I doubt that the average small business – or for that matter, even medium sized businesses – will be adopting VR marketing strategies in the coming year, but it is something to keep your eye on.
After all, no one wants to be left behind.
Don't Miss These Opportunities
Technology is expanding and evolving at an every increasing rate.
More specifically, video technology presents a huge marketing opportunity for businesses, and exciting new trends are emerging as we move into 2018.
Don't let the lack of professional equipment stop you from getting started. Make a plan, go live, and publish! See what works, what doesn't, and modify your approach from there.
And when you're ready to create high quality video content, then it's time to seek the help of a professional video team.
Poorly produced video content will hurt you more than it will help your business, but the right marketing professional can strengthen your online presence to build a larger and more engaged audience.