Blog / December 14, 2016

Which Digital Video Trends Will—and Won’t—Change the Marketing Game in 2017

By Melanie Franke

As one of the most dynamic elements of a business’ marketing strategy, video has the power to capture new audiences and delight current customers through the power of sight, sound and motion. 

With a medium as influential as video, there is always a lot of discussion about what’s coming next. Here are our predictions on what video innovations will—and won’t—impact marketing strategy in the year to come.


Temporary Video Content

Snapchat and Instagram Stories have given rise to “temporary content” where video and photos are available for only a short time before they disappear. This affords brands the opportunity to engage with consumers in a unique, more urgent way because this content isn’t for posterity—it’s for the moment, then it’s gone.

digital video trends instagram
Lush Cosmetics uses Instagram Stories to show how new products get made from mixing the initial ingredients to final packaging.

With a growing user base of more than 200 million people, Snapchat is an incredible way to reach the coveted Millennial audience with more immediacy, especially in the retail sector. And Instagram, with its 500 million users and added Explore tab, allows brands to be discovered through the platform’s recommendations based on user data. Brands like Nike, Coach and Ketel One have already leveraged Instagram stories with staggering success through views and engagement, and we expect to see more brands following suit as we head into the new year.

Live Events Outside of TV

Coming off of a year of firsts for live videos on social media, Facebook Live, Snapchat, Periscope and other live-streaming platforms have established legitimate ways for consumers to engage in live events through video without the aid of television networks. Although the marketing and advertising opportunities available here aren’t exactly defined yet, these growing audiences give marketers the opportunity to leverage online data and targeting within a space similar to live TV.

Still not convinced? Even online behemoth Amazon is in talks to join the live-streaming game. This is a huge opportunity for more niche events that aren’t normally televised. We expect to see a rise in live-streaming events next year, and more opportunities solidified for marketers to host, sponsor and advertise during those live videos.

Very Likely

Marketing Opportunities within Facebook Live

A more concrete outcome of live-streaming next year is the introduction of mid-roll ads during Facebook Live videos. In the second half of 2016, to the anticipation of the advertising community at large, Facebook began testing mid-roll ads during Facebook Live streams. The ads can be seen five minutes into a broadcast, last up to 15 seconds and are sourced from promoted video campaigns already running on the platform. The idea of running mid-roll ads stems from the growth of live-streams and TV-viewing behavior; live video starts automatically, so a pre-roll ad doesn’t make sense, but mid-roll ads can serve as a commercial break from the live video.

Combining a live-viewing experience the consumer selects with targeted advertising presents a winning combination. It’s especially interesting when considering the potential feature of serving different ads to different viewers watching the same live broadcast. This digital video trend is still being tested, but we expect to see it rolled out to the larger Facebook advertising community in 2017.

Even More Relevant Video Content through Data Collection

Consumers are used to seeing ads that are relevant to their past purchases and browsing history, and that same expectation is extended to video—across online and TV channels—now.

Netflix is famous for its decisioning algorithms, all meant to offer the best content experience for viewers. For instance, they can determine that people who enjoy House of Cards also like It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, even though the shows are quite different. Google collects consumers’ browsing data and recommends videos on YouTube based on that history.

What does this mean for video in 2017? We expect to see even more precise targeting and messaging next year. The amount of data collected each day continues to grow; brand marketers and third-party data providers can use this to create fully customized experiences for target audiences.

digital video trends - cross-screen

Video Consumption on Multiple Devices at Once

The rise of watching videos on a mobile device while watching TV from the couch isn’t slowing down. The demand for video content through multiple screens speaks to an increase in users, faster bandwidth and the soaring number of smartphone owners. With concurrent, cross-screen viewing comes an increased opportunity for brands to transform passive video viewing into an of-the-moment, e-commerce experience. Targeted calls-to-action with more information through video can pull cross-screen shoppers further down the purchasing funnel, especially in high-consideration product categories, like vehicles, home and consumer electronics.

Including video in an omnichannel marketing strategy is crucial for reaching audiences, as almost three quarters of consumers say over half their purchases in the past three months were influenced by multiple channels. And 74 percent say they are more likely to buy when video is part of the process. With video consumption on a steady rise, opportunity is behind every click in 2017—especially while the TV is on.

Not Likely, but Interesting

In-Vehicle and Mass Transit Video Experiences

Driverless cars show much promise for video marketing, and regular use of these vehicles could lead to an increase in video, TV and movie views by passengers in transit. This presents an interesting business prospect for publishers: a captive audience with purchasing power. With Uber launching a self-driving fleet of cars, it’s only a matter of time before these vehicles can actually transport passengers, who will be looking for something to occupy their time in the absence of a driving companion. This is already underway on a smaller scale in taxis across America with autoplay videos when you hop in a cab.

digital video trends public transit wifi
In addition to captive audiences in driverless cars, the increasing availability of wifi in trains and cars equips consumers with enhanced streaming capabilities not previously seen while using cellular data. With unprecedented access to video comes yet another opportunity for businesses using video marketing: mass transit will look to offset the cost of offering wifi with sponsored content and ads for their destination-bound audiences.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

We are in the midst of a virtual reality boom. Consumers are constantly bombarded by VR ads and the experience it’s selling though the question remains at large: is this a scalable technology? When asked about virtual reality being the future of marketing tech on Digiday’s podcast, Huge CEO, Aaron Shapiro, basically said, “No.” VR is specifically an insular experience where an individual engages with the technology alone, and while it’s not really scalable from a user perspective, consumers are specifically looking for a shared experience.

digital video trends virtual reality
However, one must consider the mainstream adoption of augmented reality and the potential it already holds for marketers. AR is used in programming, like televised sporting events, pop-out photos, 3-D emails and text messages on mobile devices, leaving a very clear opening for video marketing. This also presents a more shared experience and scalability for the technology.

Final Thoughts

Now, it’s unlikely that you can incorporate all of these items into your 2017 planning, but there should be some wiggle room to play with new technology. You can focus your brand on just one or two of these digital video trends to keep your marketing game strong and on the front line of innovative efforts.

Learn more about what Facebook Live is planning with its mid-roll ads.

More about the author

Melanie Franke Content Marketing Manager

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