Many of this year’s biggest marketing headlines were about video.
Facebook added video capability to Instagram to compete with Vine, kicking off a race to own the “video tweet.” Facebook launched video advertisements in its mobile News Feed. YouTube added a channel gadget to make a brand’s YouTube channel shoppable. Video consumption accounted for more than half of wireless network traffic.
We’re transitioning to a highly visual, content-driven shopping experience. Consumers rely on videos to help them confidently make buying decisions. An Invodo-sponsored, e-tailing group study found that consumer engagement is greater on retail sites with video content. Video will play a decisive role in many consumers’ buying decisions this holiday season.
So with that in mind, here are five predictions for video marketing in the 2013 holiday season.
1. Video will be an expected part of the shopping experience
Last year, about 66% of shoppers used video regularly. The 2013 holiday shopping season will be the most video-dominated yet, with that rate climbing to near 75%. As consumers shop online (using PCs, smartphones, and tablets), they’ll be looking for video to assist with purchase decisions and help them feel more confident. Toys, apparel, consumer electronics, sporting goods, and health and beauty will be the most popular categories that consumers will expect to find and watch videos, especially products that are more complex and may require assembly.
2. Consumers will share more video from retailer and brand sites on Facebook
Nearly half of consumers who have shared retailer and brand videos have chosen Facebook, with 40% choosing email. Facebook is becoming a more video-centric experience, and shoppers like to broadcast their holiday gift ideas over Facebook. Consumers will increase social shares of products they’re researching this holiday season, and Facebook will be the dominant channel.
3. Retailers and brands will have varying success with Instagram and Vine
With consumers flocking to Instagram and Vine to share videos, some retailers and brands will become intrigued by the hype and rush to implement a Vine and Instagram strategy. For some, it will be a wasted effort that won’t lead to sales. Those who will have more success will use Instagram and Vine as outposts in a broader video strategy that leads consumers through the purchase path.
4. Consumers will expect videos across devices and channels
As the HTML5 vs. Flash debate of a couple of years ago showed, users don’t care about the enabling technology. Consumers just want video available on-demand on computers, tablets, smartphones, and connected TVs. Retailers and brands that don’t meet their video needs will lose business to more progressive competitors.
5. Leading-edge retailers will deploy video that becomes interactive—and that pushes the boundaries of what “video” means
Interactive “shoppable video” has been a buzzword for some time, but we will see several leading retailers deploy it during the holiday season to great effect. That is only the beginning, as adding interactive elements to a video opens the door to mashing multiple content types up to create entirely new ways for consumers to experience shopping. The retailers that do best with this will be the ones that remove silos between the creation of video content and the development of interactive experiences.
If and when these predictions come true, it will be a strong indication of what retailers and brands should do with their video strategy starting in 2014.