VIDEO CONTINUES TO DOMINATE ONLINE SOCIAL CONTENT, and the way people consume video is rapidly evolving. Adapting to ever-changing trends is key to growing your brand and building culture with the distributor field and customers. Cisco said that video streaming was on pace to account for 82 percent of total web traffic by 2022. These seven rising trends, relevant to the direct selling industry, are changing the way people consume online content and how they interact with brands.
1/ SHORT IS SWEETER
Cielo 24 predicted that Instagram Reels could overtake TikTok in 2022, noting that Reels receive 22 percent more engagement than regular video content. “Brands that capitalize on this trend will win in 2022,” the article explained. Either way, it certainly signals a sharp rise in short video format. This also reflects the effectiveness of authentic content people trust versus overly produced video that can come across as too “salesy.”
Advertisers know the importance of capturing someone’s attention within the first five seconds of a video, which is typically the window of time people decide whether or not to continue watching. Today, people are consuming more and more content that’s 15 to 30 seconds or less. The ability to quickly scroll through these types of videos also keeps users engaged and helps them find the creators and brands they want to follow.
2/ Vertical videos are becoming the norm
The rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Stories and YouTube Shorts—all vertical formats—have helped change the way many people consume online video content. More than 80 percent of all online videos are viewed with a smartphone, and according to MOVR’s Mobile Overview Report, people hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time. AdNews found that 70 percent of millennials don’t flip their mobile devices horizontally when watching videos on mobile. It’s no surprise that vertical video orientation is so sharply on the rise.
According to Yans Media, vertical videos have nearly 14 times more visibility on Facebook, and 90 percent more visibility compared to a post with an image. Vertical Snapchat videos are watched to the end nine times more often than horizontal ones. And 90 percent of vertical videos have a higher watch completion rate compared to horizontal counterparts.
3/ Micro-influencers might be the sweet spot
It wasn’t that long ago that “influencer” meant famous online personalities with hundreds of thousands of loyal followers. Today, brands are discovering that micro-influencers (those with around 10,000 to 50,000 followers) can deliver significantly high engagement rates. Companies partner with these influencers to create authentic content, and short videos can be an effective way to grow the brand and reach niche audiences. This is great news for the direct selling industry that relies on an army of independent contractors to make connections and grow the brand.
A Morning Consult study found that 88 percent of people say it’s important for influencers to be authentic and genuinely care about their interests. Social Bakers reports that micro-influencers deliver a 60 percent increased engagement rate compared to macro-influencers (more than 50,000 followers).
According to Forbes, “We have found [micro-influencers] have stronger relationships built on expertise and trust with their followers. A micro-influencer serves more niche audiences and can be beneficial to a brand because they provide access to a small subset of a targeted demographic interested in your business.”
4/ CAPTION IT
Even though video is the hottest online content trend, silent video can still be effective. But the key is to add captions. Cielo24 revealed that 92 percent of viewers watch videos without sound. Creators are now using creative captions with different colors, sizes and animation to grab attention.
“Try watching your videos without audio to see if they still make sense without that context,” an article on Sculpt.com suggested. “If they don’t, you likely won’t achieve the same amazing results made possible with good video marketing.”
Captioning videos can also help in search engine rankings. For example, when uploading a video on Facebook or YouTube the captions are indexed and used for keywords.
5/ It’s Story Time
Telling compelling stories is still a highly effective marketing strategy, and doing it in video format is the best way to connect to an audience. Social media stories (i.e. Instagram Stories and Facebook Stories) typically string together short video clips and images to create a sequence that only lasts for 24 hours. The limited nature helps drive engagement and in-the-moment interest.
Hootsuite shared Instagram Stories has 500 million daily users, with an 80 percent year-over-year increase in the creation of video posts. Social Insider aliased more than 960,000 Instagram Stories and found that posting up to five stories per day ensures a retention rate (impressions of the last story divided by the impressions of the first story) of more than 70 percent. Also, major brands doubled their Instagram Story usage from 2020 to 2021. As an example, brands between 10-50K followers have an average posting of 15-16 Instagram stories per month.
Tyler Lessard, the VP of Marketing at Vidyard, shares his four E’s of video storytelling:
- Engage: Driving the viewer to like, comment and share
- Emotional: Invoking an emotional response (happy, sad, shocked, etc.)
- Educate: Providing value to the viewer and helping them process and retain the content
- Empathize: Developing trust with the viewer through human empathy
6/ COLLABORATE LIVE
Live video collaboration can be a terrific way to reach new audiences and create dynamic interaction with viewers. Live videos also create more authenticity and tend to capture viewer attention three times longer than recorded video. Many social platforms allow accounts to bring viewers on live video to chat or ask questions.
Collaborations can include third-party industry trainers or speakers to create engaging and educational events from different voices and perspectives. Live collaborations are great for product demonstrations incorporating different people and different ideas, and you can even give away products or prizes live during the video to encourage engagement.
7/ Go behind the scenes
One of the most unique aspects of building a direct selling business is the collaboration between corporate and the distributor field. Pulling back the curtain on operations, product development, philanthropy efforts and field training can be a great way to build culture, attract customers and increase retention.
Distributors love to feel included in the overall brand development, and customers love to feel connected to brands they buy from. These videos are also great for providing updates and exciting announcements. Even showing off some of the challenges and vulnerabilities goes a long way in humanizing a company. Incorporating the highest-level corporate executives even on seemingly smaller issues makes distributors feel important and shows a genuine partnership.