"As consumers continue spending more and more time on their screens - whether mobile or desktop - brands need to take the extra step to connect with their core audiences."
Rising economic uncertainty and distrust in the industry amidst accusations of fake news, fake followers and data scandals saw marketers’ strive to demonstrate the value and return of investment to the rest of the business in 2018. Thanks to strategic thinking and greater collaboration with other departments, the industry has developed a more rounded, integrated approach to marketing and communications using storytelling and data insights.
Visual content is becoming more powerful than ever, particularly on social media platforms. As the use of Stories continues to rise and use of news feeds continues to decline, marketers need to stay ahead of this ever changing landscape to ensure audiences remain engaged. So what’s next for 2019, and how can marketers stay ahead of the curve?
1 - Moving beyond vertical - engaging audiences through stories rather than feeds
It’s no secret that vertical video has been on the rise for the past few years. With audiences increasingly moving to mobile, content providers have met the calls for readily-available news and entertainment at the swipe of a smartphone. And while we know that an overwhelming majority of people watch videos vertically on their mobile devices, we need to look to the next natural step in this evolution.
With the rise of things like Snapchat Stories, Instagram TV and Facebook Watch, marketers have a wealth of new opportunity to create engaging content and reach highly targeted audiences. What can we expect to see in 2019? More creative, emotionally engaging and curated content to appeal to various audiences across social platforms.
2 - Brands inject ‘human touch’ into marketing efforts
In 2018, advertisers spent more than $10bn on their video marketing efforts, and as consumers continue spending more and more time on their screens - whether mobile or desktop - brands need to take the extra step to connect with their core audiences.
The holiday season always brings out the most heartwarming, emotional advertisements, particularly within sectors dealing with end users, like retail, travel, or healthcare. I think we can expect to see a real commitment to brands making that ‘human connection’ in 2019.
3 - Retailers cash in on emotional customer experience
Retailers have connected the dots - and as brands like John Lewis, Iceland or Nike have shown us - creating video content that means something to your customers can do wonders for your bottom line.
While brands like John Lewis have long dominated the UK holiday market, this year others took note. Iceland’s ‘Rang Tan’ character gave John Lewis a run for its money with over 15 million views, proving that emotion sells. Similarly, Nike sparked controversy with its Colin Kaepernick advert. The viral ad may have been polarizing, but it sparked engagement from both sides as they battled over the brand, bringing a 31% increase to online sales after the ad aired.
What’s apparent is that video works. And as we move into 2019, I think there’s a lot of value to be gleaned from brands like these. Having an opinion will engage audiences, and increase a brand’s likelihood of bringing customers in - whether on the high street or online.
4 - Investments in the power of voice activated search
Consumers have fully invested in the idea of smart speakers. In the US alone, one in five people own a smart speaker, which they use daily. Because of the surge in demand, many speaker producers (like Amazon and Google) have begun to implement video capability into their devices.
We recently partnered with Amazon’s Alexa to produce all video content on the Echo Show - this means that when someone asks Alexa to ‘show me news on Brexit’, Wochit will generate video content fit for that purpose.
The power of voice search, tied to video generation, is a game changer for publishers and brands looking to reach audiences where they live - literally.