Though the litigation is very much alive, the pivot to video is definitely dead. But what about video itself? Does it still have a place in 2019?
First, let’s revisit 2015. Neither the U.S. or the U.K. had yet to embarrass ourselves on the world stage by making some questionable Election Day decisions, Drake had just blessed us with adorkable dancing in Hotline Bling, and Mark Zuckerberg was The Authority on all things media. After making some bold future predictions, the now-infamous pivot to video was born.
“We’re entering this new golden age of video,” Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you fast-forward five years and most of the content that people see on Facebook and are sharing on a day-to-day basis is video.”
If only media execs had listened to The Onion (Caution: NSFW language) instead of the Zuck, things might have been different. Alas.
Cut to 2019, and we know how it all turned out. Hundreds of journalists and editors lost their jobs. Traffic didn’t grow. And Facebook has been hit with a big, fat lawsuit for allegedly knowingly inflating their video views up to 900%.
Facebook has forced us all to take a good, hard look at our tendency to find narratives that reinforce our own beliefs, effectively telling us what we want to hear. But with that lesson safely learned (ha!), let’s get back to the original question — what happens to video in 2019 and beyond?
As it turns out, the problem is with the pivot, not video itself. Frantically shifting strategies based on trends (or singular, unsubstantiated metrics) tends to yield less than stellar results. Video is still a “powerful storytelling medium, but only when underpinned by strong journalism and creative collaboration between the full range of creators working in publishing today.”
So what are some strategies for maximizing the effectiveness of video in 2019?
First and foremost, tell a story and be authentic. Today’s savvy consumers are looking for genuine interactions with brands and, serendipitously, live streaming and short-lived stories on social make it easy (and cost effective) to provide those interactions. Think behind-the-scenes, Q&A, tutorials… maybe even your Friday afternoon staff ping pong tournament. This type of video allows marketers to give their audiences a peek behind the curtain, driving loyalty in the process.
While pushing out authentic content via social channels and email, don’t forget about the effectiveness of video on your own site. Beyond a carefully curated welcome video on your homepage, opportunities for engagement lie in the About Us and Careers pages (more openings for authenticity here), product pages, and especially landing pages for qualified leads.
Try — but don’t live and die by — the trends. VR and 360 video, vertically shot (my, how times have changed) and square video, 1:1 (personalized) video, and influencer partnerships are all poised to make a big splash in 2019. Thoughtful utilization of some of these video approaches in the right places can bolster your marketing efforts and deliver wins for your brand. Just promise us you won’t lay off all your copywriters and replace them with Instagram models.