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What's in-store for video in 2018?

Published on Wednesday, 7th February 2018, contributed by Suited and Booted Studios

The ever-increasing rise in video consumption

2017 proved a particularly competitive year for video creators, with almost 70% of all global consumer internet traffic being comprised of viewing video content. Marketers worldwide have been taking advantage of the consistent rise in video consumption over the past 3 years, integrating video into their campaigns wherever possible and flooding social medias with viral-geared content hoping to be the next big hit. However, last year was not kind to video marketers unwilling to alter content to the new pressures, with Forbes dubbing 2017 ‘Darwinian’ for digital marketers where ‘survival goes to those who can adapt’. Large influxes of band-wagon trend content have proven that it is not enough to keep up with competitors. To survive 2018 video marketers must be producing AAA innovative video content that can be heard above the crowd.

2017’s climate of competitive survival has not been unique to video creators; these pressures having shown their effect across almost all social platforms. Twitter revolutionised their platform’s founding concept last year by increasing their per post character limit from 140 to 280 characters, a controversial move that cynics note to wide reporting of Twitter losing users earlier in the year. This shift to longer form content was also reflected in the announcement that their updated algorithm would begin favouring video content over text, filtering more video into user’s feeds. These changes have meant that from July to November Twitter gained 2 million new users, a positive sign for those looking to take advantage of Twitter’s declining ad-prices into the new year.

Not all social platforms have been able to make a recovery however. Since the introduction of Instagram Stories in August 2016, Snapchat’s growth rate has consistently been dropping to Instagram’s gain. One year on from its debut Instagram stories had already doubled the amount of daily active users of Snapchat, reaching upwards of 300 million in November compared to Snapchat’s 173 million. While critics maintain Facebook’s adoption of Snapchat’s USPs was anything but innovative, the inclusion of face filters and stickers early in the year has demanded Facebook stray from the Snapchat playbook and begin incorporating their own features. The resulting updates have rendered Snapchat’s USPs near obsolete, a position reflected in Snapchat’s dwindling growth in both DAU’s and B2C video content. Snapchat’s attempt to reinvent their UI this month was widely decided a ‘flop’, only spelling out more misfortune for the platform this year.

Facebook has had a contrastingly strong year across all of their content platforms. With the parent site having experienced a phenomenal 16 percent growth year over year, there currently stands more than 2.07 billion monthly active users of which slightly more than half access the site daily through a mobile device, an increase of 23 percent year on year. Though the platform was not without its issues in 2017, Zuckerberg’s new year’s resolution being ‘to fix Facebook’, video viewing on the site has reached an all-time high with 8 billion daily video views resulting in 100 million hours of video content being watched by users. A key proponent for Facebook’s growth has been the popularisation of Facebook’s Live feature, a format that has received strong results in C2C and B2C video sharing. Currently 13% of all video web traffic is attributed to live video, a share size not initially expected until 2021.

This eager take-up of live video can be owed, in part, to the exponential growth of mobile video viewing. Mobile live streaming app Periscope saw an average of 1.9 million DAUs in 2017, while statistics from Ooyala have shown longer live viewing on mobile compared to other devices since 2013. Currently over half of cross platform video views take place on a mobile device while mobile oriented platforms such as Twitter see up to 90 percent of video views from mobile devices. The beginning of 2017 also saw general mobile video viewing in the EMEA region overtake desktop viewing for the first time, ending 2017 with a significant upwards inflection that is mirrored by similar global trends. As mobile networks prepare to usher in new 5G data technologies over the course of 2018, we can only expect this number to rise across all forms of short and long video content.

The growth of influencer marketing

2017 saw a huge popularisation of influencer marketing, not only on Instagram but across almost every social platform. Collective Bias’ 2017 report found that traditional product placement and endorsement by celebrity influencers has been displaced by new media non-celebrity bloggers who were shown to be 10 times more effective at influencing an in-store purchase. Influencer marketing has been shown to not be limited to stereotypical industry sectors fashion and beauty, but has had a huge impact on products as wide ranging as fine winesto dog food. Though several news-worthy controversies appeared in the news towards the year’s end, one of which severe enough to push YouTube’s hand in remodelling premium creator monetisation, this has not led to a reduction in influencer marketing and has prompted instead a long-needed air of caution in the industry. 2018 will see a far more agency or creative director involved influencer content creation, keeping influencers working far closer than the industry has been used to.

Working in tandem with the rise in influencer marketing, content video marketing saw huge gains in 2017, marked by a matching shift toward users viewing far more long-form content than previously seen. Ads like Hyundai’s ‘Shackleton’s Return’ saw phenomenal results, with Hyundai’s revisit to Ernest Shackleton’s journey reaching over 100 million views on YouTube in eight months and thousands of shares across multiple platforms. The automotive industry is by no means the only sector seeing strong results from the form, with industries as video-phobic as book publishing seeing huge returns in exposure and brand association from open ended video content campaigns like Pearson’s ‘First Words’. The popularity seen by both these examples across social media only corroborates with reports early in the year that for younger demographics, video consumption online is more than doubling traditional live TV viewing.

For such a tumultuous year for video marketers, never before has it been so apparent that it is no longer enough to produce limp, short term content. With the video marketing industry being at perhaps its most competitive, content for 2018 must not only be narratively and visually stunning, but campaigns must also be prepared to work dynamically and versatilely with platforms to deliver tailored experiences to different demographics and users. Be it through personality driven influencer pieces or long form narrative content marketing, it is clear that slick, platform-appropriate narrative focused storytelling will be the key focus for video in 2018.

If you need help with creating any form of video content in 2018, please get in touch with Suited & Booted on and view our work here