The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What’s Next [Expert Predictions + Data]

The Future of Social Video: A Brief Look Into What’s Next [Expert Predictions + Data]

Over the past few years, video has become one of the most compelling ways for brands to tell their stories on social media.

From the instant popularity of Facebook Live videos to Instagram increasing their video length from 30 to 60 seconds, marketers are using the power of video to communicate their business’ personalities and brand stories, to express creativity, and to build emotional connections with fans and followers.

And it’s working: 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI, according to a research report from Adobe. And over 60% of marketers plan to increase their investment in video over the next year.

Right now, video is performing incredibly well on social media. So where is it headed during the rest of this year and beyond?

Read on to learn more about the future of social media video trends with these predictions backed by today’s research and notable marketing experts.

Check out our interactive guide to creating high-quality videos for social  media here.

The Future of Social Media Video

YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram will be the preferred platforms for social media videos. 

While video will content to grow in popularity on social media, not every platform will benefit equally from this growth. Some social media platforms will be better equipped to create, publish, and share videos than others. And, the ones where marketers are the most successful will be the ones that brands will gravitate towards the most — namely Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.  

For instance, over 100 millions hours of video a day is watched on Facebook, and of the 79% of marketing teams that published videos on Facebook in 2020, 85% said it was successful. Of the 85% of marketing teams that published videos on Youtube, 83% found it to be successful. And, 65% of video marketers said that they plan to include Instagram in their 2020 marketing strategy because of how effective video content was on this social media platform. 

These three platforms will be the most popular when it comes to social media video content. Not only do they already have millions of active users, but they also let you engage with followers after you post a video. The more you respond to comments and communicate with your audience, the more they’ll interact with your content the next time you post.

Adweek’s Meghan O’Neil offers this advice.

“When you engage with your fans on Twitter and Facebook, it makes them all the more likely to notice when you have a new video up… and share it with their friends.” – Megan O’Neill, Adweek

There will be more video-based social media platforms.

While Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram will start as the leading platforms for social media video, that doesn’t mean they’ll be alone at the top for long. In fact, there’s already been a wave of new video-based social media platforms that are rapidly gaining popularity around the world. 

Take Twitch, for example. In just eight years, the video game streaming platform has grown from 102K viewers to over 1.4 million viewers.

Twitch-usersImage Source

Tik Tok is another good example. It was the number one app downloaded in 2020 with an estimated 738 million downloads. With over 500 million active users, Tik Tok is now the sixth largest social media platform in the world behind Instagram, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, Facebook, and WhatsApp. 

But, Tik Tok and Twitch aren’t the only social platforms aiming to joining the ranks of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. Aside from smaller players like Meerkat and Parascope, Twitter is now getting into video with its newest feature, Fleets. Fleets are temporary posts that expire after a day, similar to an Instagram Story. With Fleets, users can post videos to their timelines which are six times more likely to be retweeted than a photo tweet. And, research from Nielsen suggests that Twitter video is twice as memorable than videos watched on other social media platforms. The reasoning here is that Twitter videos tend to be viewed as more organic and genuine than videos posted to Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram. 

Social media platforms will compete with streaming services. 

The next frontier for social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram appears to be television. In fact, Facebook marketing expert, Mari Smith, told Likeable that she believes that Facebook’s goal is “to become the next generation digital streaming television platform.”

“Facebook is on a mission to become the next generation television platform” – Mari Smith

This means that Facebook would completely directly with brands like Netlix and Hulu. Its goal is to become the destination for video streaming and, according to Smith, it’s investing heavily in its “Watch” feature to accomplish that goal. 

YouTube, on the other hand, has been experimenting with YouTube TV since 2017. With YouTube TV, users can watch live television without a cable subscription. This is much different than YouTube’s original approach, which was completely centered around user-generated content. With more social media platforms competing in its space, YouTube is expanding its offering to appeal to a larger audience. 

Let’s not forget Instagram, either. While it doesn’t offer a full-fledge streaming service, Instagram recently launched its IGTV feature which is geared towards long-form video content. And, rather than having to tilt your device sideways to watch a video, IGTV expands the image so the video can be watched from your device’s vertical interface. Research shows that watching videos from this angle improves its completion rate. 

Video will become part of the shopping experience. 

Video was already becoming a standard part of the customer experience, and now, as more people are working from home and shopping online, it’s an essential for brands trying to promote their products. Social media presents the perfect opportunity to share these videos as 61% of consumers crave video content when interacting with a brand. And, 55% of people will use a brand’s video content when making a purchase decision. 

Here’s an example of how J. Crew is using video to promote its new products on Instagram. 

 

But, product promotion isn’t the only way to capitalize on social media video. Brands like Napoleon Cat are creating “explainer” videos where they explain how a product works and who would use it. 

 

Other brands are hosting Q&A sessions and posting customer testimonial videos as well. This provides a level of social proof that helps customers trust a brand after they watch one of these video. For example, here’s a testimonial video for Clek created by one its customers. 

These are a just a few ways that social media videos are affecting the customer experience. As Brian Halligan highlights in the quote below, these are the timely opportunities that “marketers need to adapt to or risk extinction” by falling behind their competitors. 

Tweetable_Quote_Halligan

For more video tips, learn how to create social media video ads

free guide to using video in social media

5 Expert Tips on How to Increase Site Traffic in 2020

5 Expert Tips on How to Increase Site Traffic in 2020

It’s no secret that Google loves updating its SEO algorithm. In fact, over the course of a year, they may make upwards of 500+ changes!

SEO is the process of optimizing your content, so it shows up more often in search results. With so many changes to navigate, it’s easy to miss something. And soon enough, you could find your first page search rankings now on the second or third pages.

If your site content isn’t ranking in the search engines for your preferred keywords and phrases, all is not lost. There are still plenty of ways to improve your rankings while also getting quality traffic from other locations as well.

But if you get it right, you can reap the benefits of increased traffic, which leads to more conversions, improves lead generation, and boosts sales.

To help with this process, here are five practical content creation and marketing tips that worth exploring. Be sure to read along and follow these tips to increase back traffic to your website.

1. Blog Regularly and On Schedule

In recent years, blogging and content marketing have been very big components of the digital marketing landscape.

Now it seems like most businesses and websites have their own blog, and with good reason – blogging brings more traffic to your website, helps you establish better and stronger relations with the audience, and will help you to establish yourself as a lead thought in the niche.

However, it to comes to blogging and business, there is a certain art to it. For example, what are ecommerce sites and ‘boring’ niche markets supposed to blog about?

More often than not, the best way to get around this is to create content that is relevant to the business or service offered, but still providing value to your audience.

A perfect example of this can be seen on WithClutch, as they are a refinance and personal finance business, but also have blog topics ranging from “When is the best time to buy a car?” or “Whats the cheapest state to buy a car in?” and other related topics.

The key takeaway here is that they are able to create content through their blog that are covering topics that their audiences and potential customers are likely already searching for. This is a win-win situation for both the blog and the end user.

As with all blogging efforts, will take time, but it’s really worth it when you have a clear plan and a content calendar in place. You can also convert the blog content into an infographic, slide deck or e-book. And definitely make sure you are taking advantage of social media and everything it has to offer.

The better the content, the more it is enjoyed and discussed by the public, which means more readers and loyal fans who visit your blog on a daily basis.

2. Focus on SEO and Long Tail Keywords

Like it or not, search traffic is still one of the most effective ways to get high quality traffic and leads back to your site. The only problem is it’s super competitive and saturated.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process by which a website is visible in the search results, and can improve their rankings by making improvements to their site, content and social channels.

This can be done by optimizing keywords and site layout, reducing loading time and making the website easy for mobile users to search the site. It’s also important to make sure you are using SERP tracking tools to see what keyword and ranking movements your optimization efforts are having.

The early ranking algorithms of the search engine relied heavily on the content of the keyword for ranking purposes. This meant, however, that website designers could hack the system and use keyword stuffing to increase rank.

Now it’s a much more complicated process and not one that is easy to game. Page ranking algorithms are much more advanced and rely on several factors, like inbound or backlink quality and relevance.

3. Create Comprehensive, Authoritative, Evergreen Content

If you are going to spend your time writing content, it’s important that you make sure it’s worth your audiences time and provides real value. It’s also a good idea to focus on ‘evergreen’ topics so you content doesn’t go stale after just a few months.

Some of the best forms of evergreen content come in the form of resource guides, how to’s, and user tutorials. You must then create content that targets the customers rather than robots—using quick, short, but true phrases.

Depending on the niche market you are currently focused on, this might be easier or harder to accomplish. MeetEdgar has a nice resource guide that highlights a few different examples of evergreen content across a wide range of niche markets. Be sure to check it out to get some new content ideas for your site or blog.

No matter what type of content you are creating or who it’s for, there are several great ways to show search engines that your site really provides content of value — and that through detailed, authoritative, evergreen content.

Here are some of the working methods to best accomplish this.

  • Long-form content stick. Longer content tends to exceed shorter content (at least 2,000 words).
  • Use LSI keywords. There are keywords or phrases that are closely related to the content of your post.
  • You will have to do research to write quality content so that you can have information that is very valuable.
  • Be easy to learn. Be quick to read. Html uses whitespace, headings, short paragraphs and related photos to facilitate the page’s consumer consumption and time rise.
  • Have links and deals of high relevance on the page. Provide meaningful internal connections to address the query of a reader. This will also reduce error rates significantly to bring people onto the website.
  • Include photos, illustrations, video and text. This catches the interest of readers and makes them more interested in the content.

Before writing your next article, be sure to run through the list above to make sure your content hits all of these fine points.

4.  Comment and Contribute on other Relevant Blogs

Despite what many people thing, commenting on and contributing to other websites and blogs is still very effective today. Yes, you might not get a dofollow link back from these efforts, but they can help with getting your name out there and boosting new clicks and visits over to your site.

Comment threads are very close to forum marketing, in the sense that you can take time to show that, rather than searching for traffic, you are trying to contribute when commenting on a post. In a perfect future, you can frequently try to comment on your own blogs.

And the act of guest blogging or contribution with original content to other sites is also nothing new, however, it is still a huge opportunity for your site and brand. More often than not, the only cost associated with guest blogging is your time and outreach effort, and as you continue to gain new placements on smaller sites, this will help with your ability to contribute to much larger ones down the road.

Both of these methods are perfect for backlinks and creating influencers in your niche, but in this situation, you are still a daily reader and blogger so you won’t sound as though you were a spammer by linking to one of your pages.

5. Find Your Audience on Social Media

Social media can be a perfect way to build your following and consequently boost your website traffic. You cannot, however, only post links to news items or blog posts and hope people can fly.

Instead, you need a plan to identify the best brand platforms and then find out how your specific target customers use those platforms.

And when it comes times to read new audiences, don’t over your options with influencer marketing. And depending on your niche market, the reach and power of influencer marketing can result in higher

With more than 3 billion users spread across the most active social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, it’s now easier than ever before to reach new audiences and redirecting them back to your site.

With influencer marketing in play, it’s also a cost-effective solution for testing out. While celebrities and big players are generating thousands of dollars for individual posts, smaller micro and niche-influencers often cost a fraction of that, but also offer much tigher audience targeting.

Bonus Tip: Promoting Webpages on YouTube

This last bonus tip is one that we could write a whole resource guide on, but we will just quickly recap here and let you explore it in more detail on your own.

In short, YouTube is the largest video search engine in the world. It’s free to use and they even host your video content for free. Throw in that billions of video impressions are taking place daily, and when utilizing this platform correctly, it could be a huge source of traffic for your site.

When creating videos, don’t forget that most readers have a short focus and attention span, so the video must be short, snappy and also includes a call to action telling the viewer to click on the links in the description area.

YouTube allows for users to add backlinks to their video content descriptions, which also means more clicks and traffic back to your site. To learn more about how to rank videos on YouTube, check out this YouTube SEO resource guide.

Quick Tips on How to Increase Real Traffic to Your Site

There you have it. Five simple and effective expert tips to help increase traffic to your site through the use of improved search rankings, more social activity and creating better content for your audience.

Be sure to start implementing these methods, while also keeping an eye on your traffic levels to see which methods work best.

9 Social Media Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2021 [Data + Expert Tips]

9 Social Media Trends Marketers Should Watch in 2021 [Data + Expert Tips]

As we near the end of 2020, one thing is certain: We’ve spent a lot of time on social media this year.

But, our increased connection to social media isn’t at all shocking.

In March, as countries implemented stay-at-home orders due to the global pandemic, Statista reported a 21% uptick in monthly social media usage.

Throughout the year, consumers have not only continued to use social channels to catch up with loved ones, but they’ve also embraced them for product research, the latest news coverage, and hours of mindless entertainment. 

Now, as the world hits 3.6 billion social media users and continues to deal with the pandemic, brands aren’t just wondering how they’ll engage huge social media audiences next year. They’re also asking, “What social media trends should I expect in this constantly changing landscape?”

To learn more about what brands can expect next year, I spoke with HubSpot’s Social Media Manager Kelly Hendrickson and dug through research including HubSpot and Talkwalker’s Social Media Trends Report.

Below, I’ve compiled nine expert or research-backed trends social media marketers should watch or leverage in 2021.

Download Now: Social Media Trends in 2021 [Free Report]

1. Brands will continue to take a “less is more” posting approach.

This year, many brands spent less time churning out social media posts and more time producing only content that felt thoughtful, valuable, and in-touch with the world around them.

According to Hendrickson, the trend of “less is more” is likely to continue in 2021. 

“COVID-19 had brands starting to ask a question they may have never asked themselves before: ‘Does my audience even want to hear from me right now?’,” Hendrickson says.

“I expect we’ll see brands being more thoughtful about when they post. This may even mean posting less — regardless of algorithms — because it’s the right thing to do,” Hendrickson explains. “There will also be more thoughtful ad buys and partnerships.”

“Never before has ensuring your audience obtains true value from your brand meant so much,” Hendrickson adds.

2. Content value will beat production quality.

When many businesses were forced to go completely remote in 2020, social media and video marketing teams needed develop scalable production processes that could be done from home

When consumers still continued to engage with videos, live streams, and other social media content that was clearly made from home offices, marketers realized that content with lower production quality can still be engaging — if it provides value. 

“COVID19 forced many brands to get scrappy when it came to producing content, especially video work,” Hendrickson explains. “Without a production studio or tons of equipment available, production value became a bit more lo-fi and in the end, but also a bit more human.”

“The exciting thing for brands is that — generally — audiences loved it. If anything, they saw themselves more in the work,” Hendrickson adds. “They too were on Zoom, filming things with their phones, or stuck in their homes.”

Hendricks predicts that “we’ll see bare bones productions in 2021. But, audiences will continue to appreciate it.”

3. Conversational marketing will change its tone.

Conversational marketing isn’t new. In fact, most of the big brands we know and love allow you to connect with them via social media messaging channels at any time. 

But, in 2021, with more messaging channels than ever — and consumers needing more information to make a worthy investment —  the tone of digital conversations might change. 

For example, while past conversational marketing tactics centered around promotions and making sales as quickly as possible, 2021’s conversational marketers might be more focused on helping a user with something, educating them about a product, and nurturing them to conversion with a more thoughtful or empathic tone.

“Brands need to be more human on social media, inviting the world to your dinner table for a meaningful and engaging conversation,” says Aaron Kaufman, Director of Social Media at Square Enix in our Social Media Trends Report. “You are your fan’s greatest fans and need to embody that no matter what social media channel you live on. Emote, respond, recognize, relate, be engaging. We’re not robots.

So, how will brands deal with more demand for thoughtful conversational marketing? A mix of AI tools and human interaction could help. 

A healthy combination of AI and human interaction could enable brands to run efficiently on social media while still giving consumers the authenticity they need to see to trust a brand and make a purchase. For example, a bot could handle quick message queries, while sales, service, or community management reps could respond to more complex questions and concerns. 

To learn more about scaling up your conversational marketing strategy, check out this guide to building a chatbot or learn how HubSpot increased qualified leads with by mixing human and bots in our conversational marketing.

4. Consumers will crave snackable content.

In 2020, we saw the rise of TikTok and Instagram Reels, continued engagement on Stories content from Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, and brands creating other short-form or “snackable” pieces content to educate consumers about their brand. 

As social media attention spans continue to shrink and more people scroll endlessly through feeds while bored at home, don’t expect snackable content to lose steam anytime soon. 

To learn more about four types of snackable content your brand should leverage next year, check out this helpful post. 

4. Video will continue to take center stage. 

Early in 2020, HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report found that video was the most commonly used marketing content — and the second most engaging content type on social media. 

Screen Shot 2020-11-17 at 2.59.58 PMImage Source

As major platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn increasingly amp up their video capabilities, marketers can expect high video consumption to continue and grow in coming years. 

5. More brands will go live.

In 2019, one in five Facebook videos were live. In May of that year, YouTube users cumulatively spent 284 hours watching live video.

In 2020, as many brands were forced to take conferences, events, and other marketing experiences online, it’s not shocking to think that 2020 live stream numbers could be higher. 

At the moment, many brands are using Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, and Twitter to live stream events, Q&As, tutorials and other types of content. These types of content keep your followers engaged with your brand by bringing an event they otherwise might not be able to attend directly to their screens.

For example, each year, INBOUND interviews some of its noteworthy speakers and guests in live INBOUND Studio episodes on Facebook. This allows followers who can’t join us to get live tips from experts. It also allows followers of interviewed experts to learn more about INBOUND and HubSpot.

To learn more about going live online, check out this guide to live streaming, as well as these tips for marketing your next virtual event

6. Social media platforms could double as shopping channels.

As many brands learned how to do business completely online, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and TikTok raced to develop more online business marketing solutions.

While TikTok and Snapchat expanded business marketing offerings in 2020, Facebook and Instagram actually brought shopping capabilities directly to their apps. 

With Facebook Shops, Instagram Shoppable posts, consumers can buy a product seen in a post without even leaving the app they’re on.

For consumers, this adds convenience. For brands that couldn’t build their own ecommerce store, the online shopping tools noted above are providing new opportunities to effectively sell products online. 

8. Social media users will embrace gaming and VR.

In the last year, the number of social media users who identify as “gamers” increased by more than 10 million — or 32%. Our Social Media Trends Report reveals that the highest uptick in gamer identification happened in COVID-19’s heaviest lockdown months.

Now, with Facebook’s company, Oculus, launching new VR products, Twitch continuing to expand online game-streaming capabilities, and platforms like Snapchat launching mini-game apps, it’s clear that gamification and social media will continue to go hand in hand in 2021. 

As a small to medium-business marketer, gaming-related promotions might be inaccessible now, but with Facebook and other major platforms continuing to launch brand tools around their newest features — it’s not shocking to think that more social media in-game advertising opportunities could be possible in the future. 

Brands should keep an eye out for game-related promotions in 2021.

Even if advertorial game content becomes available to big brands but not smaller companies, marketers can still watch what bigger companies are doing and hit the ground running with fresh ideas if gamified promotion become more scalable.

9. Authenticity will be vital.

This year, consumers and brands faced a global pandemic, uncertain financial times, and a number of major events that paused nations in front of news channels.

Now, consumers need more than just great deals to trust, identify with, and invest in a brand. At this point, many brands have taken notice by embracing authenticity and their human side on social media.

While some brands have spoken directly about their thoughts related to COVID-19 or other news items, others have shown authenticity by zoning on their customers through user-generated content or customer testimonials. 

When done authentically, both strategies can help brands gain trust from their audiences while boosting awareness as a company that cares about people.

“We will continue to see the growth in creators in
the social media space. Influencers will continue
to be present, but accountability, authenticity,
and transparency will be the areas brands and
companies will use to determine who to partner
with, and who to pass on,” says Karen Freberg in our Social Media Trends Report. “Empathy and advocacy will be elements that will be integrated within messages and purposes for creator campaigns. The days of ‘faking it till you make it’ without any experience other than having lots of followers are over.”

In 2021, expect authenticity to take center stage on social media as successful brands continue to build trust from their audiences.

Navigating Social Media in 2021

Today, the world around us is constantly changing. And, although we think we know what to expect with social media, this list of trends is likely not exhaustive of what we’ll see in 2021.

As a social media marketer, the best thing you can do is to continue to research trends, online consumer behaviors, and your team’s social media data to determine which trends or strategies to lean into or how to navigate unprecedented online scenarios. 

One great place to start doing this research could be our HubSpot and Talkwalker’s recent Social Media Trends Report.

Along with insights and quotes from social media experts, our Social Media Trends Report walks through all the major 2021 trend predictions to know about and data on how COVID-19 could impact social media marketing. to see the free report, click here or the banner below.

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