Content marketing is becoming increasingly visual. As we transition into 2016, it’s time to think about which visual marketing trends are most likely to stick around.
The State of Visual Marketing
2015 was a rich year for visual marketing. When we look back on the industry from five or ten years in the future, we’ll likely recognize this year as the one in which things really began to take off on the visual front.
But 2016 has the potential to be even more transformational. By 2019, it has been predicted that 80 percent of all Internet traffic will be to videos. That figure would be 64 percent higher than 2014 … and a significant portion of the growth will probably occur in 2016.
In other words, video content is on the rise and visual content will play a major role in facilitating the development of this burgeoning segment of digital marketing.
Five Trends to Keep an Eye On
The term “visual marketing” is a broad one. It encompasses a range of media and strategies. Where should you be focusing your attention in 2016? Start with the following trends.
1. Increased Emphasis on Branded Video Content
In the coming months, the value of branded video content is going to increase dramatically. This is due, in part, to the power of YouTube. The popular video publishing platform rakes in more than four billion views per day, making it the second most popular search engine in the world and the third most visited website (behind only Google and Facebook).
As traffic shifts away from traditional blog posts and toward YouTube channels and dedicated video blogs, more and more marketers will embrace the significance of this evolving tactic. Branded video content will become the lifeblood of the modern digital marketer.
If the term branded video content is unfamiliar, don’t worry; it’s pretty straightforward. Branded video content is nothing more than videos published under a brand’s name for the sole purpose of engaging users, providing value, and presenting a direct and compelling call to action.
Branded videos can range from interviews and behind-the-scenes footage to dramatic shorts and product promos. In response to the rising demand for video content, brands will naturally begin to turn their focus toward creating fresh content.
The good news is you don’t have to start from scratch. Many brands will simply be able to repurpose some of their existing content by converting it to video form. Thanks to modern video solutions and streamlined editing platforms, the ability to create content has never been easier.
2. Videos on Home Pages and Product Pages
While off-site videos on YouTube and other publishing platforms are valuable, you’ll see more and more video content migrate to branded URLs in 2016. Marketers will continue to find ways to integrate video into web design and make pages less static and more immersive.
There are two specific places where video will likely surface:
- Home pages. One could argue that a brand’s homepage is the most important expression of its Internet presence, which means you have to make your homepage compelling. One trend we’re seeing a lot of — and expect to see more in 2016 — is the use of background videos. For some examples of how this looks, check out these 16 sites.
- Product pages. On-site videos are particularly powerful when they’re placed on product pages. This is especially true in industries where products and services are complex or unfamiliar. Short videos can be used to guide customers through the purchase process and boost conversions.
You’ll also see more video content used on landing pages and “About Us” pages, as well. Textual content won’t disappear completely, but we can expect video to permeate web design much further in the coming months.
3. Use of Animated GIFs on Social
As many social media marketers and avid users have recognized, animated GIFs and short videos have become pervasive over the course of 2015. If you look at Twitter in particular, the majority of its best-performing content involves some kind of visual element.
This gravitation toward visual posts is based on human preferences. The average person’s attention span in 2015 was 8.25 seconds. Thus, most social media users aren’t going to read an entire article; they simply want the basics.
GIFS, or bite-sized animations, are ideal for telling stories in a short timeframe. The motion in these images also gives them an advantage in vying for attention in crowded newsfeeds. You can expect to see increased use of animated GIFs in 2016.
Also look for Vine video clips, which are six-second truncated videos, to rise in popularity. Vine is already extremely popular with the general public, but brands have yet to fully adopt it. This will likely change in 2016.
4. Real-Time Storytelling Via Live-Stream Social
Thanks to Meerkat and Periscope, an entirely new social medium came into existence in 2015. Known as real-time storytelling or live-stream social, these video platforms enable users to live-stream videos to their followers.
Periscope may already seem big, but expect the platform to explode in 2016. It offers the perfect blend of social media and video that progressive digital marketers have been looking for. If you want to see how to use Periscope in your online marketing strategy, check out what some brands are already doing.
Also expect to see a lot of brands doing sneak peeks, product presentations, celebrity takeovers, live question-and-answer sessions, behind-the-scenes footage, contests, and more. If you’re a digital marketer, the possibilities created by social live-streaming are exciting. It’s the future of the industry, and it’ll be intriguing to see how live-stream social evolves in 2016.
5. Video Will Revitalize Email Marketing
Though email marketing is still very much alive, its power has waned in recent months because more attention is being given to evolving mediums such as social media and SMS. Still, expect video to revitalize email marketing in 2016.
Marketers will rely less on heavy text content and more on videos that encourage recipients to interact with their brands. The key to successfully using video in email depends on the quality of the video and its length. Anything longer than three or four minutes will be overlooked.
Make Visual Marketing a Priority
Visual marketing is on the rise; that much has been clear for a while. As we enter 2016, digital marketers should invest their energy into these five trends.
From branded video content to the revitalization of email marketing, visual marketing will be a key component of the successful marketer’s 2016 strategy.
This article was written by Jayson DeMers from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.