Video has come a long way: from a rare novelty to 70% of all Internet traffic, as of 2017… and on track to reach 80% by 2022 (according to Cisco).

So: what does the future of video marketing look like?

It’s a tough question to answer from where we are. But that’s exactly what we’ll try to do in this article! We’ll examine the biggest video marketing trends of the past 5 years and use them as guidelines to figure out where the industry is going.

Now, where did our crystal ball go…

The world will hold Big Tech accountable for phony video metrics

There’s no easy way to say it: much of what we know about video marketing statistics is… inaccurate, to put it mildly.

There’s a ton of data out there suggesting that video marketing works and delivers great ROI. Real data, that is.

However, for a long time tech companies have been peddling phony stats about video and its effectiveness. For example, Facebook inflated view counts and watch times for its video ads – by as much as 900% (talk about pants on fire!). Other social platforms like Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram count any watch time of over 3 seconds as “a view.” It’s not just an absurdly low bar – it’s misleading!

Big Tech made video sound like the only kind of marketing content anybody would ever need — a magic bullet that will open the floodgates of unlimited revenue and customers. And they did all that in the hopes that companies would publish their video content on their platforms and pay to promote it.

As a video marketing company, you know how much we’d love that to be true… but it isn’t.

And in the coming years, the world will need to step back and reexamine many of the assumptions about online video — especially social video.

Sure, social videos have a place in a well-designed video marketing strategy. But how effective are they? This is something every business owner needs to test and validate for themselves — without relying on metrics from biased third parties.

It’s already started: the smartest brands are already looking for new ways to engage an increasingly fickle audience and stand out from the sea of unlimited video content.

Which brings us to our next prediction…

The war for attention is just getting started

An average person gets distracted online every 40 seconds. There’s more video content than ever before — and every minute it’s increasing by another 400 hours.

You can still capture and maintain your viewers’ attention… but to do that, you’ll need to stand out as much as possible. In the near future, marketers and business owners will be experimenting with new ways to engage people, like:

Personalized and interactive videos. A surefire way to keep a person watching is to make them feel like a video was made specifically for them.

For example, personalized videos that display the viewer’s name on screen are a simple and delightful way to add uniqueness – and personalization will only get more sophisticated with time! Interactive videos let people change a video’s narrative, navigate the content at their own pace, and discover new things by rewatching them.

Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality videos. Computing and gaming technologies will give us new types of video that we’ve never seen before: Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality. Videos where you navigate the camera and get a 360-degree view of the scene – as if you’re inside it. Videos with interactive digital elements that give you useful information, change what you see, or both.

This technology is still in its infancy, and most of it is wildly expensive – only big brands can afford it. But as the gear becomes cheaper and more powerful and the production costs decrease, we’ll see more videos like these.

Live, time-sensitive and exclusive videos. Nowadays, everybody has access to unlimited content at their fingertips – at all times. So how do you convince them to watch your videos as opposed to… well, anything else?

You find ways to make your content seem special. You broadcast live to take advantage of increased engagement and retention. You create perishable videos that have an expiration date — like Instagram stories and Snapchat stories. You produce video content exclusive to certain platforms, or to your email list, or to existing customers.

These strategies help you incentivize the most engaged segment of your customer base to keep interacting with you, to keep watching. The future of video marketing will see a lot more of them — especially live content, which keeps growing by leaps and bounds.

Longer videos will come back in vogue

Have you heard that today’s average attention span is just 8 seconds?!

(Please read the phrase above in a scandalized whisper.)

That statistic has been debunked – thoroughly, and more than once. But marketers and business owners everywhere are still using it as justification to produce “bite-sized” content: 60-second, 40-second, 30-second, and even 15-second videos.

Short video content has its place — but we shouldn’t be afraid of longer videos and try to cram a 15-minute tutorial into a snappy 60-second clip.

As long as you engage your viewers with high-quality content on a topic they deeply care about, they will watch for as long as it takes. This holds true even in a world where we have to fend off thousands of distractions per day.

If people only preferred short content, so many videos would never have gone viral – like this 13-minute video essay with 3+ million views, for example. And things like 24-hour live streams with thousands of concurrent viewers simply wouldn’t exist!

The future of video marketing will see a resurgence of longer content. It’s already happening, and not just with video. People are rediscovering the value of long texts, long podcasts, and yes – long videos! We think (and hope) that this trend will continue.

Billions of new customers will go online — on mobile

If you do business internationally, then your customer base is about to become a lot bigger! By 2020, 3-5 billion people will enter the online marketplace from developing countries in Africa and Asia.

These emerging consumers will be extremely comfortable paying for products and services online – but they won’t speak English natively, and they will use the Internet mostly (or even exclusively) on mobile.

If you want to market to these customers, here’s what you can do to set your business up for success:

Teach your videos a new language. To win over an international audience, English-only videos might not cut it. If you know that you’re going to be selling to, say, Mandarin Chinese speakers, consider translating your marketing videos into that language. Also, making foreign-language subtitles is a great (and much more affordable) alternative.

At the very least, all your videos need English captions – it’s good for accessibility, SEO, and non-native English speakers.

Mobile optimization is a must. The future of video marketing is more than 50% mobile. In fact, global website traffic reached 52% just last year. Even if you don’t take into account these billions of new consumers, you still want to make your videos as mobile-friendly as possible. It’s a new world!

There won’t be a single “best” platform for video

Big tech companies are still fighting for their share of the video pie. They’ve been at it for a long time, become pretty punch-drunk, and not one of them has managed to corner the market completely:

  • Google has its one-two punch of owning the biggest video platform in the world (YouTube) and the biggest search engine.
  • Facebook is king of live content (thanks to FB Live and Instagram) and a huge hub for video searches.
  • Amazon is betting on video ads, video streaming, live streaming (via Twitch), and original programming.

This stalemate is both good and bad news. Good, because you have more channels to reach potential customers than ever before. And bad… for exactly the same reason.

There’s no “one platform to rule them all” that will become your core video marketing channel. You have to think strategically about where your customer base hangs out, where you can reach them most easily, and what kind of content will work best.

You know: just like you’re supposed to do with marketing!

Which brings us to our most important point…

The future of video marketing (mostly) doesn’t matter

Oh, don’t get us wrong: the world of video will change massively. We’ll see new technologies, new platforms, and new types of videos.

But here’s something that will never change:

Showing the right customers what they want to see, when they want to see it, will always be effective. Whether it’s an animated video ad on YouTube right now — or a Virtual Reality experience 20 years from now, on some new platform that hasn’t been invented yet.

You don’t need to know the future of video marketing for that. You need to know the present reality of who your customers are, what they want, and how to address those needs with video.

You need a strategy.

The Draw Shop experts can give you a free audit of your video marketing strategy. We can’t guarantee that it will remain relevant in 20 years – but it may help you grow your business here and now!

To apply for your free audit, visit this page and book a no-obligation pow wow with our marketing ninjas.