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.

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2 Comments on "2016 Video Marketing Trends: Insights & Predictions From 16 Experts"

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Miljana Mitic
Miljana Mitic
9 months 14 days ago
Great insight! I especially agree with Rob Davis and his remark that marketers will need to focus more on understanding how video influences commerce-related behaviors. I’d also like to add that in 2016 we’ll see that not only more brands are getting into video creation for social, but also that consumers are seeking help to navigate through that new content. Consumers will no longer be satisfied with browsing YouTube on their own searching for videos that explain how products work, but they’ll expect brands to deliver them curated collections of video content that they can use to make informed purchasing… Read more »
2 months 15 days ago

It’s interesting to see what turns video marketing trends are predicted to make, especially from video marketing experts themselves. I am curious to see what will happen in the rest of 2016! Thanks for sharing.


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