3 Video Trends Shaping the Future of Digital Media

Opinion: Successful storytelling and content starts with being human and connecting

Today’s consumers expect content that’s live, on-demand and hyper-relevant pixelfit/iStock

Evergreen content will always be an important part of content marketing. However, relying too heavily on evergreen to drive engagement is not going to be the most effective strategy for marketers going forward. Today’s consumers expect content that’s live, on-demand and hyper-relevant.

If you’re a forward-thinking brand, you’re probably already considering how to make your content strategy more compelling, concise and addictive. And if the trends are telling us anything, it’s that video is on the rise—from vertical video on social media, to using video for storytelling in micro-moments and geo-located video discovery and sharing.

Vertical video on the rise

By 2019, video will make up an astounding 80 percent of all internet traffic and, not surprisingly, two out of three marketers expect video to make up the majority of their content in the near future.

In the mobile-first world, vertical video rules the day and is only expected to keep growing. Today, 94 percent of people hold their phones upright when capturing content on their smartphones. Billions of Snapchat Stories and Instagram Stories are created worldwide every year, nearly all shot vertically. It makes sense that we’re seeing major brands across categories move to embrace the vertical video format.

Even Facebook is seeing the vertical video light, with a recent upgrade to its default video orientation. In fact, last year, Facebook tested the “larger rendering” of vertical video in News Feed on mobile and discovered that not only did people like the larger view, they watch longer—and with the sound on.

Live video is taking off, as well: According to Facebook, live videos have six-times the engagement as non-live videos.

We’re already seeing more live vertical video on mobile-first platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. Moving forward, we might see even more savvy brands experimenting with livestreams across mobile, social and digital mediums.

Storytelling in micro-moments

It’s not enough anymore for brands to create good content. To stand out in a sea of millions of stories, brands need to also tell stories in shorter increments, with bite-sized videos. As Gary Vaynerchuk puts it, brands today have to “storytell in micro-moments because it’s apparent that we’re living in an ADD culture, where everybody is short on the only commodity that matters in this life—our time.”

Our time is even more fragmented online. Instead of spending hours online surfing the web and social media, people explore the digital world in short bursts, from mobile devices. And those micro-moments—moments when people go online looking for recommendations for what to do, where to go, what to buy—are opportunities to connect through storytelling.

People love brands that aren’t afraid to let people in. That’s why the most popular videos on Snapchat and Instagram Stories have a more edgy, intimate feel. They capture human experiences. T-Mobile USA CEO John Legere’s Slow Cooker Sunday is a great example of how authentic storytelling can put a human face on a big brand and connect with people in real-time.

In the coming years, we’ll continue to see investment by brands in live, ephemeral and localized content for Snapchat and Instagram Stories.

Geo-located video discovery and sharing

As a longtime partner of Snapchat, Tagboard has worked with dozens of professional and college teams across sports to share live Snapchat content on the giant video displays in stadiums. You probably saw a recent example of this if you went to this year’s college playoff games.

The power of Snapchat’s Snap Maps is undeniable. You share your location for snaps, which then appears to friends on a map and updates when you open the application again.

Location is already starting to play a bigger role in how people discover video at events. We’re seeing Facebook Messenger build on its Live Location feature, while YouTube recently launched Director Mix, allowing brands to deliver thousands of localized videos in one campaign using Google Maps data.

With stronger location and metadata, marketers now have information to deliver content that is much more relevant.

For example, if a potential customer is searching for a new snowboard, the store can show a snowboard-related video shot recently in that person’s skiing area. Likewise, a well-timed and targeted video could guide consumers to the local retailers with the desired product in stock. Keep a close watch as this trend is set to grow, driven by the rise of video overall, as well as a practical need to bridge the gap between digital marketing and brick-and-mortar sales.

Why this all matters

Ultimately, successful storytelling and content starts with being human and connecting—having a two-way conversation. Live content, especially when it’s hyper-relevant and local, provides brands with an incredible opportunity to create a fast-track memory shortcut, building real relationships with consumers and brand affinity with people directly in their community.

Josh Decker is founder and CEO of Tagboard, a social media display partner for sports, entertainment and broadcast media companies.