The Top 6 Video Marketing Trends for 2021

With the rollercoaster of 2020 behind us, it’s time to set our sights on 2021. If last year taught us one thing, it’s that marketers are an incredibly agile bunch. 2020 required quick thinking unlike any in recent memory. And we met the challenge at hand: we adapted video marketing strategies, restructured workflows, and continued to grow our businesses.

Carrying that agile mindset into this year will be key. Many of the challenges we faced last year have yet to be resolved, so we need to leave room for unpredictability. If there’s any “new normal”, it’s that there is no such thing as “normal” anymore.

Even though the exact course and timeline out of the coronavirus pandemic remain uncertain, one thing is overwhelmingly clear—video marketing is on the rise. With social distancing directives and the rise of #stayathome last year, many video consumption trends were catalyzed. Searching for connection and entertainment, we turned to video, contributing to historic traffic records across social media video and streaming. 

And this increase in video consumption (across all ages and demographics, by the way) is expected to be a permanent one. With more eyes focused on devices than ever before, 2021 is poised to be the year of video marketing.

This year is one of transition. As vaccines roll out and we find our footing in a rapidly evolving world, it’s a pivotal time for your brand to remain top-of-mind with your audience. But with competition at an all-time high, you must optimize your video marketing strategy to capture attention and convert.

Here are the top 6 video marketing trends for 2021 to keep in mind as you shape (and inevitably reshape) your strategy this year.

#1 The Video Marketing Landscape Will Become Even More Saturated

Marketers have already overwhelmingly recognized the power of video. A recent QuickFrame survey revealed that over 85% of marketers use video as part of their strategy. As competition for market share grows in nearly every industry, video is the optimal medium to stand out, capture attention, and convert.

In 2021, video’s dominance is slated to continue. Not only will video-first platforms continue to proliferate, but with the rise of 5G and unprecedented download speeds, video will become the default communication currency. If a movie took 6 minutes to download on 4G, it will take less than 20 seconds on 5G. 

RELATED: 5G in 2021: What Marketers Need to Know

The vast majority of marketers are keenly aware of the need to deliver a constant stream of fresh, relevant video content to their audiences. In a QuickFrame survey, 85% of marketers indicated plans to maintain or increase their video marketing cadence—and nearly 50% plan on using more video this year.  

Graph depicting survey results that indicate nearly 50% of marketers surveyed plan to use more video in 2021.
QuickFrame survey. November 2020.

If you’re not already using video in your marketing plan, it’s time to start. And if you are already producing video, you will need to seriously increase the cadence of your video marketing. With more video content being published across more and more platforms, you need to compete for attention with timely, relevant, platform-specific content.

That charge probably sounds expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. With a thorough pre-production checklist and a marketplace approach to corporate video production, QuickFrame unlocks more audience-specific, high-performing videos faster and more cost-effectively than ever before. More details about how QuickFrame works here

#2 Creative Collaboration Will Be Mostly Digital

As offices closed around the world, the vast majority of us have been forced to move our workspaces into our homes, and this shift appears to be a lasting one. 

In a QuickFrame survey, more than 25% of marketers indicated that they expect to be permanently WFH and nearly half think they’ll be remote at least 2-3 days a week—even after the pandemic ends. This is a remarkable shift that cements the permanence of communication, collaboration, and productivity in the digital realm.

With more eyes focused on devices than ever before, 2021 is poised to be the year of video marketing.
QuickFrame survey. November 2020.

The days of localized video production are gone. Now, you can tap into global resources to get any type of video—including live action production—produced anywhere in the world. QuickFrame’s global production marketplace connects you with expert video content makers for any objective, platform, or style

#3 OTT/CTV Will Become a Dominant Marketing Channel

With little else to do for much of 2020 but stay at home, OTT/CTV saw tremendous growth that far surpassed predictions. This is great news for marketers as OTT/CTV has many of the same audience targeting capabilities as digital channels. 

THE BASICS: CTV & OTT Advertising: A Guide for Marketers

According to a QuickFrame survey, the majority of marketers advertising on OTT/CTV use the channel for top-of-the-funnel marketing and see its advanced audience-targeting capabilities as a key benefit. And, some brands are experimenting with lower-funnel OTT content targeting conversions (by including a QR code on-screen that leads to a landing page, for instance). Nearly a third of marketers surveyed believe the channel directly drives sales for their business. 

In 2021, a greater share of marketers will invest more in OTT/CTV spend when compared to Linear TV. Furthermore, Linear TV advertising may actually be on the decline, indicating a gradual shift of budgets from Linear TV to OTT/CTV as consumer consumption habits change and marketers become increasingly aware of the audience targeting capabilities of various OTT platforms. 

Graph depicting marketing survey results that show how advertising budgets will slowly move from Linear TV to OTT and CTV in 2021.
QuickFrame survey. November 2020.

You don’t need broadcast-quality creative to diversify your mix with OTT/CTV—the channel is hospitable to many formats, including animation and motion-graphics based videos. Invest in OTT advertising this year—or at least consider experimenting with the channel.

CTV and OTT’s incredible traffic growth is projected to sustain even after the pandemic is behind us. Plus, its modern targeting capabilities mean that you can finetune your audience for any objective—from awareness to conversion

#4 Social Will Get More Competitive

Over 75% of marketers ran paid video ads on Facebook in 2020. But last year also saw the long-dominant platform falling out of favor with some. 

76% of marketers advertised on Facebook in 2020, but only 64% plan to this year, according to a QuickFrame survey. Facebook (and Instagram) are still poised to remain preferred platforms for social media marketers in 2021, but survey results indicate that YouTube will surpass Instagram in popularity next year. 

Graph depicting marketing survey results that indicate that fewer marketers will advertise on Facebook in 2021 and that YouTube will surpass Instagram in popularity with advertisers.
QuickFrame survey. November 2020.

Other platforms, too, are poised to command more of the conversation in 2021, especially when it comes to video. TikTok dominated the zeitgeist for much of last year and it continues to grow its user base, making it an attractive buy for brands targeting Gen Z and Millennials. Pinterest has upped their traffic and video game, too, with new video pin features and ad placements

As you diversify your social mix this year, running one or two ad creatives won’t break through the noise. Run multiple creatives simultaneously, using multivariate testing to see what resonates most with your audiences. QuickFrame creates platform- and audience-specific performance video assets at scale, backed by data that shows what’s working. Learn more about our Performance Marketing solution here

#5 Retail Will Move Online

Coronavirus restrictions last year rapidly drove a greater and more diverse set of consumers from brick and mortar to eCommerce. As a result, eCommerce captured nearly 15% of total retail sales in 2020—an all-time high.

Over 70% of marketers in a recent QuickFrame survey said that eCommerce is currently part of their business’s revenue strategy. For more than half of these brands, eComm accounts for at least 50% of total revenue.

The shift to eCommerce is forecasted to be permanent and our survey results confirm that it’s here to stay. 68% of marketers expect eComm sales to represent a greater share of business revenue this year. 

As consumers shop on social and online, use video to elevate their experience with your brand. SEO video marketing is also a no-brainer. A business is 53x more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results if it utilizies videos on its web pages. Incorporating videos on your PDPs can drive conversions by giving your customers a visually dynamic online shopping experience while highlighting key value props and product features. 

GET ECOMMERCE-READY: Using eCommerce Video to Drive Conversions

#6 COVID-19 Will Continue to Impact Your Video Marketing Strategy and Production

Pandemic fatigue has set in hard, but COVID-19 remains a major threat to public health. Though vaccines are rolling out and a light at the end of the tunnel may be visible, the coronavirus pandemic’s impact will be felt for all of this year.

A recent QuickFrame survey revealed that the unpredictability of the pandemic’s course is a top concern for marketers. Nearly 85% of marketers indicated that they were at least moderately concerned about COVID-19 affecting their marketing plans in 2021, with more than half indicating high anxiety. What’s more, nearly 25% of marketers report a decrease in their marketing budgets this year as a direct result of the pandemic. 

Graph of survey results that show that coronavirus remains a major concern for marketers in 2021.
QuickFrame survey. November 2020.

Staying prepared for any scenario is the name of the game this year. Last year, 58% of marketers had to cancel live action video projects or pivot to remote production options because of COVID-19. With cases still raging in many parts of the world, it’s likely that you’ll need to remain agile in your video marketing plans in case localized restrictions reemerge. 

Even if there are local coronavirus-related restrictions where you work, you shouldn’t discount live action production. You can still execute on your concept and conduct a shoot in an area that’s less impacted. QuickFrame’s Video Production Marketplace is global, so we can find the perfect production house for your live action project. 

Staying communicative with your customer will be key. Keep them up to date about any relevant COVID-19 protocols your business is adopting. Lean on budget-friendly video production pricing options such as motion graphics and repurposing existing assets through post-production techniques to increase your video marketing cadence affordably. 

FIND OUT HOW: How to Turn Photos Into Video Ads That Stand Out

The Takeaway: The Top Video Marketing Trends for 2021

Though 2020 was a year of massive change, its impact wasn’t predictable. 2021 is a different story. 

We know that this year will bring about multiple reframings of our everyday lives as we optimistically look forward to an end to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s an exciting year—and a vital one for your business. Making the right calls with your video marketing strategy will reassure your consumers, grow your audience, and ensure the longevity of your brand.

GET OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: 16 Video Production Tips for Planning Your 2021 Marketing Strategy

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