The events of 2020 turned many marketing strategies upside down. The businesses and organizations that best weathered the change were those that stayed flexible and pivoted quickly. With rapid changes likely to continue into 2021, creating a flexible video marketing strategy can help marketing teams meet their goals with minimal disruption. Here are our top tips for developing a flexible video marketing strategy for the months to come.
Integrating lessons learned
Whether they intended to or not, many marketing teams found themselves experimenting to get through 2020. Marketing spend shifted as trade shows were canceled or moved to online formats. Customers also spent more time online. With fewer out-of-home entertainment options, they spent more time with social media and OTT channels like Hulu or YouTube. That meant that digital advertising offered the best opportunity to reach customers.
Although pandemic uncertainty pushed many businesses to reduce marketing budgets overall, digital channels accounted for almost 80% of what they did spend. Continuing that trend, many CMOs expect digital budgets to grow in 2021. About 74% expect to increase spending on digital advertising including social media marketing and OTT video ads.
It’s hard to say exactly how much investment in video marketing will grow, but the numbers from 2020 can give us an idea. By September of 2020, digital media connected TV was estimated to have grown 19% over 2019.
At the same time, many consumers reported spending more time on social media and mobile apps. TikTok stole the spotlight when President Trump attempted to ban the app in the United States. The increased interest in this short video sharing app pushed Instagram to introduce Reels, creating even more video channels for viewers to engage with.
Most importantly, many marketers realized that their customers were lonely, anxious, and seeking community. Pouring resources into nurturing existing customers suddenly seemed more important than reaching new ones. These insights can shape video marketing strategy into the new year. They encourage more video, a greater focus on social media, and a re-commitment to listening to customers.
Video marketing trends in 2021
Even with a vaccine finally making its way around the world, it’s hard to say exactly when this situation will end. That means that lessons learned in 2020 will be especially valuable in the first half of 2021. As you craft your video marketing plans, keep these four ideas in mind.
- Social distancing isn’t over yet – Based on the most current timelines, we’re likely to see stay at home orders and social distancing guidelines in effect well into May and June. So Q1 and Q2 will be video heavy with no trade shows and few face-to-face opportunities. Marketers should be prepared. Even when in-person events come back, there may be a period of caution during which at least some consumers aren’t quite ready to reengage. Video can help you stay connected through these shifts.
- Animation will stay in high-demand – Social distancing protocols present extra challenges for live-action video. It’s still possible, but requires extra planning to achieve safely. As a result, more marketers may turn to animation, which is less impacted by social distancing.
- 3D animation continues to advance – More businesses may embrace 3D animation as the technology improves, making it more affordable. If you’ve avoided animation due to budget, now might be the time to reexamine your options.
- TikTok may start a revolution – The loose and immediate style of TikTok is beginning to bleed into business communications. Some businesses have already staked their claim to the channel, but everyone else can also learn something from the success of this app. Viewers will come to expect shorter, more engaging videos. In response, marketers will get better at creating active, interesting video. Doing so doesn’t require a huge budget, but commitment, planning, and creativity are essential.
Setting a video strategy for 2021
All of these insights are interesting, but how can you apply them to your own video marketing strategy?
Start by setting priorities. If they’re not already, building community and creating more engaging video should likely become your primary goals.
Next, select your channels. Where are you audiences spending time? Social media and streaming channels are good bets for B2C marketers. B2B may want to invest more in virtual events, at least for the first half of the year.
Then, consider how you can best build community. Customers crave connection right now. You’re more likely to see a positive return on investment when you provide opportunities for engagement and entertainment. Quality, authenticity, and connection should guide every choice you make.
Most importantly, remember to stay flexible. Over-investing in a single channel may not give you the opportunity to respond when circumstances inevitably change. The good news is that video marketing remains a good investment regardless of outside events. The videos you create for online events can be repurposed to in-person settings. Social media videos can swerve as the basis of paid advertising campaigns. The question isn’t whether you should make videos, but where you should place them when you do.
The right video marketing partner can help turn your marketing strategy into compelling content. At IdeaRocket, we’ve created hundreds of videos for B2B and B2C businesses. Contact an IdeaRocket video marketing expert to find out how we can support your video strategy in 2021.