2016 Video Marketing Trends: Insights & Predictions From 16 Experts

16 experts share their insights on the key trends that will help shape the future of video mar­ket­ing strate­gies for brands in 2016.

Greg Jarboe By Greg Jarboe from SEO-PR. Join the discussion » 2 comments

2015 was a busy year in video mar­ket­ing. In July, YouTube announced that 400 hours of video were being uploaded to the site every minute. In Novem­ber, Face­book announced that they are gen­er­at­ing 8 bil­lion video views per day. And accord­ing to Tubu­lar Labs, 654.7 mil­lion videos have been uploaded by 66.7 mil­lion cre­ators in the last 365 days to more than 30 video plat­forms. And these videos have 2.8 tril­lion (yes, that’s tril­lion with a “T”) views, or an aver­age of 4,390 views per video. But that’s last year’s news. What does the future of video mar­ket­ing look like?

We asked 16 video mar­ket­ing experts – espe­cial­ly ones who made accu­rate pre­dic­tions last year – to share their insights into the video mar­ket­ing trends that we will see in 2016. In alpha­bet­i­cal order, here’s what they told Momen­tol­ogy.

Cenk Bulbul, Head of Agency Marketing, Google

Cenk BulbulDri­ven by con­sumer momen­tum, I expect mobile video to dom­i­nate the video con­ver­sa­tion in 2016.

Mobile devices have rede­fined the way we live our lives and online video is in the midst of that rede­f­i­n­i­tion. For exam­ple, YouTube has seen a 100 per­cent growth in watch-time on mobile devices vs. last year. Under­stand­ing and tak­ing advan­tage of the changes in con­sumer behav­ior is more crit­i­cal than ever for brands.

We are see­ing a new behav­ior pat­tern emerge around micro-moments – intent-rich inter­ac­tions where deci­sions are made in real-time. As all media chan­nels are flood­ed with cre­ative and engag­ing con­tent, brands will need to under­stand how to build con­nec­tions with­in these micro-moments.

The answers may be sur­pris­ing; there is a lot of con­ven­tion­al wis­dom that small screens mean only short-form con­tent. On YouTube, con­sumers choose to watch longer form con­tent on their mobile devices and that long form con­tent deliv­ers stronger results for brands than super short con­tent (see exam­ple here).

I think it takes more than 3 sec­onds to build your brand, and con­sumers are will­ing to spend the time if your con­tent is com­pelling, rel­e­vant, and valu­able.

In 2016, adver­tis­ers, agen­cies and media plat­forms will need to stay ground­ed in data and con­tin­ue root­ing their inno­va­tion in insights into the behav­iors that are emerg­ing in this new world of mobile video.

Rob Ciampa, Chief Marketing Officer, Pixability

Rob CiampaWalled gar­dens will rule in 2016 by grab­bing a lion’s share of the young audi­ence’s atten­tion. Each plaftorm will con­tin­ue to inno­vate with new ad for­mats and fea­tures attrac­tive to adver­tis­ers, sig­nif­i­cant­ly advanc­ing their video prod­ucts, and will step in and own the audi­ences from TV net­works.

The com­bi­na­tion of YouTube’s intent-dri­ven user behav­ior with Facebook’s “Super Bowl-sized” dai­ly reach, cou­pled with emerg­ing and dynam­ic video ad offer­ings from oth­er walled gar­dens like Insta­gram, will present the largest threat to TV to date.

Buy­ing on 100 per­cent viewa­bil­i­ty will become the norm, and pub­lish­ers will con­tin­ue to exper­i­ment with alter­nate pric­ing mod­els like time based met­rics. Cross-plat­form cam­paigns – offer­ing the reach of TV and the engage­ment of dig­i­tal – are the future of video adver­tis­ing.

Paul Colligan, Author of ‘How to Podcast 2015

Rob Davis, Executive Director, Content & Social, Ogilvy

Rob DavisLast year, I pre­dict­ed 2015 would be the year that atten­tion to sto­ry­telling would return, audi­ence-build­ing would become a major focus for brands and the notion of full-fun­nel video mar­ket­ing would final­ly become main­stream. I believe I went as far to say that 2015 would be “the year of cus­tomer engage­ment and renewed video strate­gies.”

It turns out, achiev­ing and mea­sur­ing engage­ment is still a strug­gle for many brands for sev­er­al rea­sons: viewa­bil­i­ty issues, hes­i­ta­tion to inte­grate with CRM sys­tems and – unbe­liev­ably at this late date – wide­spread mis­un­der­stand­ing of how to best acti­vate the video mar­ket­place. Where does that leave us for 2016? Here are two pre­dic­tions:

1. 2016 will be the year that “views” as a met­ric dies. I have railed against using views as a lead met­ric for years as they are eas­i­ly manip­u­lat­ed and rarely does any giv­en platform’s def­i­n­i­tion of a view bear even a slight resem­blance to the def­i­n­i­tion used by oth­er plat­forms. Despite the well-known inher­ent prob­lems with view counts, the desire to make head­lines by “going viral” trumped con­cerns about what the stats actu­al­ly mean… until the mar­ket­ing man­agers respon­si­ble for videos were asked to quan­ti­fy their ROI.

Why does the ROI ques­tion final­ly res­onate? Pri­mar­i­ly, the bad press about ad net­work viewa­bil­i­ty com­bined with the much pub­li­cized changes to the Face­book plat­form that juiced the num­ber of raw views (inter­face updates, auto­play, etc.) put the issue out in the open.

As 2015 clos­es, we are see­ing signs that brands will be insist­ing upon more accu­rate engage­ment met­rics with the num­ber of views falling to the bot­tom of the list behind click-through, length of view and actions after a view. In 2016, the video mar­keter focused on views will have a much hard­er time show­ing suc­cess than the mar­keter who under­stands what com­merce-gen­er­at­ing behav­iors are dri­ven by video usage.

2. 2016 will not be the year of ver­ti­cal video, even though it should. Of all the stud­ies released in 2015, the one that made me sit up and take notice was Snapchat’s look at the increased effec­tive­ness of video ads on their plat­form that were shot ver­ti­cal­ly rather than the tra­di­tion­al hor­i­zon­tal for­mat. It makes sense. Mobile is most­ly a ver­ti­cal expe­ri­ence. When cre­at­ing con­tent for apps built for ver­ti­cal use, the videos should match the rest of the envi­ron­ment.

So why won’t this click in 2016? Habit and snob­bery. Sim­ply put, there is a strong resis­tance among the cre­ative com­mu­ni­ty to make the move to ver­ti­cal video. While we have evi­dence that sup­ports the val­ue of at least try­ing ver­ti­cal con­tent, it runs direct­ly against the grain of “how it’s always been done.” Noth­ing is hard­er to change than habit backed up by a sense of right and wrong.

In my dreams for the con­tin­ued growth and con­sumer impact of video mar­ket­ing, we would see vertvid across the mar­ket­place in 2016. Alas, despite the intrigu­ing effec­tive­ness data that sug­gests vertvid is worth­while, I think it is sim­ply too much of a depar­ture from habit to be accept­ed.

John Follis, President & Creative Director, Big Idea Video

John FollisMany video trends for 2016 are easy to pre­dict – increased cre­ation; more inclu­sion on web­sites; and the con­tin­ued pop­u­lar­i­ty of explain­er style videos. Cer­tain­ly video inte­gra­tion con­tin­ues to grow.

Yet, I’ve noticed a major social media plat­form where video adap­ta­tion is sur­pris­ing­ly lack­ing: LinkedIn. Whether it’s because peo­ple don’t real­ize it’s pos­si­ble to add video or they don’t have the savvy to do it, I pre­dict you’ll be see­ing a lot more video on LinkedIn in 2016.

Brendan Gahan, Founder, EpicSignal

Brendan Gahan2016 is the year that dig­i­tal video is broad­en­ing beyond just YouTube, mean­ing adver­tis­ers, audi­ences, and cre­ators are going to have count­less options to cre­ate and con­sume con­tent. While YouTube dom­i­nat­ed dig­i­tal video, it’s no longer the only viable option and big play­er.

Con­sump­tion of con­tent has already splin­tered dra­mat­i­cal­ly. Every major social net­work is pri­or­i­tiz­ing video and will con­tin­ue to do so.

Last year Mark Zucker­berg stat­ed that “In five years, most of [Face­book] will be video,” and Face­book is hard­ly alone. Twit­ter is pri­or­i­tiz­ing video with the launch of Twit­ter video, Periscope, and Vine. Snapchat, Insta­gram, Tum­blr, etc. have all pri­or­i­tized video and we’ve seen the launch of mul­ti­ple VOD plat­forms (Ves­sel, Go90, YouTube Red, etc.).

Undoubt­ed­ly, over the next year, these plat­forms will gain real trac­tion and carve out their own nich­es and viable audi­ences.

Greg Jarboe, President & Co-founder, SEO-PR

Greg JarboeThe emerg­ing tech­nolo­gies that offer the great­est threat to video mar­keters in 2016 is the dra­mat­ic increase in ad block­ing. Con­sumers are using these tech­nolo­gies to pre­vent the down­load or dis­play of adver­tis­ing.

Ad block­ers exist for most desk­top web browsers and are now begin­ning to impact mobile web brows­ing as well. U.S. ad block­ing grew by 48% year-over-year to reach 45 mil­lion active users in 12 months through June 2015.

How­ev­er, ad block­ers don’t pre­vent the down­load or dis­play of con­tent. So, I expect an unex­pect­ed wind­fall in the share of total mar­ket­ing dol­lars spent on con­tent mar­ket­ing next year. The trends that offer the great­est oppor­tu­ni­ties for video mar­keters in 2016 are over­com­ing the biggest chal­lenges most mar­keters are fac­ing today. These fall into two relat­ed clus­ters.

  • They face chal­lenges pro­duc­ing engag­ing con­tent, pro­duc­ing con­tent con­sis­tent­ly, and pro­duc­ing a vari­ety of con­tent.
  • They face chal­lenges mea­sur­ing con­tent effec­tive­ness, mea­sur­ing the ROI of their con­tent mar­ket­ing pro­gram, and get­ting a big­ger bud­get.

To over­come the first set of chal­lenges, video mar­keters need to learn how to:

  • Think like the gen­er­a­tion of con­tent cre­ators who are earn­ing six fig­ures per year on YouTube.
  • Col­lab­o­rate with estab­lished YouTube cre­ators who are already reach­ing your tar­get demo­graph­ic.

To over­come the sec­ond set of chal­lenges, video mar­keters need to learn about web ana­lyt­ics and con­ver­sion opti­miza­tion. If they can over­come both sets of chal­lenges, then they will do more than get a big­ger bud­get next year. They will increase the share of total mar­ket­ing dol­lars spent on video mar­ket­ing for years to come.

Hilary Kay, Marketing Director at Wibbitz

Hilary KayVideo mar­ket­ing is going to take over mobile in 2016, and will result in the rise of the “mini-form” ad cre­ative.

Video mar­keters are already famil­iar with core social plat­forms like Face­book and Twit­ter, and we’ve begun to see more lever­age of mobile-first social apps like Insta­gram and Snapchat. These mobile-cen­tric plat­forms are increas­ing­ly becom­ing key com­po­nents of video mar­ket­ing strate­gies.

Mobile apps also offer esteemed access to the elu­sive mil­len­ni­al demo­graph­ic. Per Wib­b­itz’s recent sur­vey, a whop­ping 44 per­cent of mil­len­ni­als pri­mar­i­ly con­sume con­tent on their mobiles, while near­ly a quar­ter rely pri­mar­i­ly on social plat­forms for news con­tent.

The more val­ue that video mar­keters place on mobile, the short­er video ad cre­atives will become. Aver­age lengths for dig­i­tal video ads range from 10 sec­onds to over 2 min­utes on plat­forms like YouTube. But as video mar­keters gain a bet­ter under­stand­ing of what works on mobile, aver­age lengths for video ads could drop to 5–8 sec­onds.

We’re already see­ing some excep­tion­al ‘mini-form’ ad cre­atives on plat­forms like Snapchat, and in 2016 we’ll see even more.

Richard Kosinski, President, U.S., Unruly

Richard KosinskiVer­ti­cal video (shoot­ing and watch­ing videos while hold­ing your smart­phone ver­ti­cal­ly) is the next big thing in video.

Con­sumers’ behav­ior is all about con­ve­nience and ver­ti­cal video dis­play taps into that behav­ior.

Ver­ti­cal video makes it eas­i­er for con­sumers to view an ad and the brands that tap into that insight are going to be the big win­ners of atten­tion!

Laney Lewis, Senior Director of Marketing at Clearleap

Laney LewisMuch like tra­di­tion­al TV adver­tis­ing, dig­i­tal video mar­ket­ing was ini­tial­ly focused on reach, with less atten­tion paid to the dif­fer­ing inter­ests of each view­er. But as video mar­ket­ing con­tin­ues to mature in 2016, strate­gies will focus on per­son­al­iza­tion to increase the like­li­hood of con­ver­sions.

Along with this, we’ll see a real growth in dig­i­tal video track­ing. Mar­keters are look­ing to deter­mine the ROI of video cam­paigns in an action­able way, par­tic­u­lar­ly on new­er plat­forms.

In 2016, I expect that more mar­keters will lever­age data from apps like Snapchat, Insta­gram, and Face­book to cre­ate video cam­paigns cen­tered around their tar­get con­sumers’ unique social data.

Rachel Malone-Olson, Social Account Manager, aimClear

Rachel Malone-OlsonFor con­sumers, 2016 will be the year of the mobile app view. Face­book and YouTube are in a rat race to flex their native video mus­cle while mobile-only apps like Insta­gram, Snapchat, and Periscope are snatch­ing up adver­tis­ing dol­lars with short and dis­pos­able con­tent.

Users are view­ing the most video in a real-time, low-pro­duc­tion, ver­ti­cal for­mat. Six bil­lion of those views com­ing from Snapchat, on a dai­ly basis, and the Periscope com­mu­ni­ty is view­ing a total of 40 years of con­tent every day.

Face­book has respond­ed with Face­book men­tions where celebri­ties and ver­i­fied accounts can live-stream to their fol­low­ers but how will they scale and what will YouTube do? The chan­nel that can meet the needs of the ever-evolv­ing and ever-dis­tract­ed mobile view­er will win the adver­tis­ing dol­lars of com­pa­nies and brands alike. The chan­nel that can report on the true engage­ment of the mobile view­er who has con­sumed the adver­tis­ing con­tent, will win the hearts and minds of mar­keters.

For mar­keters, 2016 will be the year of the engaged view. Mar­keters can see past the 4 bil­lion dai­ly views on Face­book facade and want to know how long those views were, on what device, what was the next ele­ment that the user inter­act­ed with after that view, etc.

Face­book (Insta­gram), Twit­ter, and YouTube whet the engage­ment appetite by going beyond the view vol­ume and report­ing on views to 50 per­cent, 30-sec­ond views, aver­age dura­tion viewed. Real-time chan­nels like Periscope and Snapchat have the poten­tial to serve a juicy main course by allow­ing mar­keters to see, up to the sec­ond, detailed engage­ment report­ing.

The chan­nel that can sweet­en the con­tent strat­e­gy meal and deliv­er a com­pre­hen­sive report­ing struc­ture with gran­u­lar engage­ment data will be the top­ic of con­ver­sa­tion in 2017.

Carla Marshall, Managing Editor, ReelSEO

Carla Marshall2016 is going to see an explo­sion in influ­encer mar­ket­ing when it comes to video.

Brands and cre­ators have been dip­ping their toes in the water for a while regard­ing this strat­e­gy, but I think the pen­ny has final­ly dropped that view­ers are con­sum­ing video in an entire­ly dif­fer­ent way, than even a cou­ple of years ago.

Salesy videos can do well — with a sub­stan­tial paid pro­mo­tion bud­get. But a col­lab­o­ra­tion between and a brand and an influ­encer can reach a new and engaged audi­ence that mar­ket­ing dol­lars can only dream of reach­ing.

Mark Robertson, Founder of ReelSEO & Director of Advanced Video Marketing at Tubular Labs

Mark RobertsonEver since Google pur­chased YouTube back in 2006, we’ve seen mas­sive growth in terms of online video view­ing, advance­ments in tech­nol­o­gy, and over­all pro­lif­er­a­tion in usage of dig­i­tal video by con­sumers and busi­ness­es alike. How­ev­er, in just the past year or so, we’ve seen the race for video dom­i­na­tion inten­si­fy with almost every tra­di­tion­al and non­tra­di­tion­al media com­pa­ny and plat­form invest­ing heav­i­ly into video tech­nol­o­gy and con­tent.

Accord­ing to data from our par­ent com­pa­ny Tubu­lar Labs, over the course of just the last 365 days, Face­book videos have gen­er­at­ed more than 1.2 tril­lion views, vs. 1.1 tril­lion views on YouTube. Grant­ed, we all know that views are treat­ed much dif­fer­ent­ly on each plat­form (and some would say Face­book views are not a good indi­ca­tion of per­for­mance). How­ev­er, this shows a sig­nif­i­cant trend toward video pub­lish­ers lever­ag­ing these “new­er” video plat­forms for traf­fic and dis­tri­b­u­tion.

Twit­ter video, which just launched video func­tion­al­i­ty to the pub­lic in late Jan­u­ary of this year, has already seen more than 43 mil­lion videos uploaded to the site by more than 10 mil­lion cre­ators. Add this to the rapid pro­lif­er­a­tion of mobile video plat­forms and live video plat­forms like Meerkat, Periscope, Snapchat, and oth­ers – and you now have a few new chal­lenges for video mar­ket­ing in 2016.

While the indus­try has made tremen­dous progress in solv­ing tech­ni­cal prob­lems and equip­ping resources with exper­tise in dig­i­tal video pro­duc­tion and sto­ry­telling, many busi­ness chal­lenges still remain. There are issues with regard to which plat­forms pro­vide cre­ators with rev­enue oppor­tu­ni­ties as well as issues with declin­ing CPMS due to mas­sive increas­es in avail­able video inven­to­ry. I have no doubt that we will con­tin­ue to see rapid inno­va­tion in video func­tion­al­i­ty across plat­forms like Face­book and YouTube (as well as poten­tial­ly the rise of new play­ers) to help address some of these chal­lenges.

How­ev­er, for me, since my inter­est lies pri­mar­i­ly in video mar­ket­ing strate­gies and tac­tics, I am most inter­est­ed in see­ing how mar­keters and video pub­lish­ers nav­i­gate this new land­scape and evolve their video mar­ket­ing best prac­tices to take full advan­tage of the new oppor­tu­ni­ties that exist, while main­tain­ing clear focus on mar­ket­ing objec­tives, stel­lar sto­ry­telling, and pos­i­tive ROI.

2016 will be an excit­ing year, but I believe that it’s going to require more focus than ever in order to excel effi­cient­ly in a rapid­ly chang­ing online video plat­form land­scape.

Tim Schmoyer, Founder of Video Creators

Tim SchmoyerIn 2015, Face­book start­ed to heav­i­ly push their video prod­uct, and in 2016 they’ll con­tin­ue to do so. While we’ve some­what fig­ured out how to opti­mize our video con­tent specif­i­cal­ly for Face­book, there is still a steep learn­ing curve ahead. We’ll see more and more Face­book video ads along with web series and video con­tent strate­gies designed specif­i­cal­ly for Face­book users.

Also, Snapchat’s rise to have almost the same num­ber of dai­ly video views as Face­book with only a frac­tion of the user base, while also being 100 per­cent mobile, is some­thing that a lot of mar­keters missed in 2015. There’s a tremen­dous untapped oppor­tu­ni­ty to have a direct con­nec­tion with Snapchat users through their most per­son­al device and on arguably their most per­son­al social net­work. In 2016 more mar­keters will lever­age the 6 bil­lion dai­ly Snapchat video views for the brands they rep­re­sent.

Jeremy Vest, Founder & CEO of Vidpow

Jeremy VestOne of the biggest trends in 2016 will be mass cre­ation of bite-sized sim­ple con­tent.

How-to con­tent on Face­book and Insta­gram will keep get­ting big­ger and bet­ter. Buz­zFeed Tasty is one of the best exam­ples, many of their videos get over 10 mil­lion views and hun­dreds of thou­sands of likes.

Anoth­er exam­ple of bite-sized con­tent that you will see a lot more of in 2016 are what I call “Meme videos” that have con­stant text like a meme.

Jeroen Wijering, Co-Founder and Creator, JW Player

Jeroen WijeringVideo mar­ket­ing in 2016 will pri­mar­i­ly be dri­ven by three con­cerns:

1. Access­ing and lever­ag­ing video data Adver­tis­ers will con­tin­ue to demand data and trans­paren­cy. Pub­lish­ers that have con­trol over their video con­tent and play­er tech­nol­o­gy ben­e­fit from access to data about their video per­for­mance, play­back qual­i­ty, and con­sumer habits. With greater con­trol and vis­i­bil­i­ty, these pub­lish­ers are able to gar­ner high­er CPMs for their video ads.

2. Cre­at­ing video con­tent that is mobile opti­mized in-line with lat­est ad stan­dards Mobile video in 2015 was a huge oppor­tu­ni­ty — but as it turns out, an even big­ger chal­lenge. This year, we found that only 10 per­cent of ads were deliv­ered in a mobile-com­pat­i­ble for­mat.

With the rapid increase in mobile video con­sump­tion, adver­tis­ers clear­ly need to recal­i­brate their online video strate­gies to suc­cess­ful­ly lever­age cross-plat­form reach. For exam­ple, adver­tis­ers should update their cre­ative to use VPAID 2.0 so their mes­sage can reach view­ers on mobile devices or browsers that had Flash dis­abled.

3. Expand­ing reach through Over-the-Top (OTT) Video With new ser­vices like HBO Now and devices like AppleTV, and the much-ana­lyzed audi­ence shift away from cable and toward dig­i­tal sub­scrip­tions, mar­keters are explor­ing ways to work with con­tent cre­ators to reach view­ers where they are.

Greg Jarboe

Written by Greg Jarboe

President, SEO-PR

Greg Jarboe is President and co-founder of SEO-PR, an award-winning content marketing agency that was founded in 2003. He’s the author of YouTube and Video Marketing and also a contributor to The Art of SEO, Strategic Digital Marketing, Complete B2B Online Marketing, and Enchantment. He’s profiled in the book Online Marketing Heroes, a frequent speaker at industry conferences, and writes for Tubular Insights and The SEM Post. He’s an executive education instructor at the Rutgers Business School and the Video and Content Marketing faculty chair at Simplilearn.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

Discover why brands and agencies choose Linkdex

  • Get started fast with easy onboarding & training
  • Import and connect data from other platforms
  • Scale with your business, websites and markets
  • Up-skill teams with training & accreditation
  • Build workflows with tasks, reporting and alerts

Get a free induction and experience of Linkdex.

Just fill out this form, and one of our team members will get in touch to arrange your own, personalized demo.