Seems like 2016 was just yesterday, but before we’ve even had the chance to blink, July is upon us. And as the seasons move forward, so do the things we consume and how we like to consume them. Online, this of course includes video, and trends in video tend to move as fast as your Facebook feed does. So what have content creators been brewing up?
Everything is temporary
Live in the moment. Seize the day. These clichéd terms usually apply to those who read self-help books (good for them!), but who knew how explosive this very concept would be in video? Short-form videos have blown up the social media scene. First there were Snapchat stories, then there were Instagram stories, and then…you get it. But the influence of this spilled over into almost everywhere else we consume video. Attention spans are shorter in 2017, and capturing viewers’ attention within the first 15 seconds is a must. Moreover, shorter video content is more likely to be watched all the way through. Out of digital storytelling came digital short storytelling, and this concept seems to be thriving.
Life in 360°
360-degree videos offer us the ability to transport ourselves into parts unknown without ever leaving bed. Many of us have seen 360-capable video on Facebook or maybe even The New York Times. More platforms have added support for this trend than ever this year. Before you start imagining an Inception-like future, consider the benefits–global news and travel is more accessible and gaming and sports are more lifelike than ever. A case study by Magnifyre found that a 360-degree video got 28.1% more views than its non-360° counterpart. The number of viewers who watched the former all the way to the end also doubled. On top of all that, click-through rates for 360-degree videos are 4.51% higher. As we move further into 2017 and beyond, filming from every angle—literally every single angle—will continue to grow in popularity.
Speaking of 2017 and beyond, this year in video has been all about the future. And why wouldn’t it be, what with Elon Musk wanting to launch himself (and whoever else is rich and bored enough) to the moon? According to a study by VideoBlocks, more and more people are searching for video using keywords related to concepts of futurism and surrealism. Elements of space, time, and existential dread are often included. Interpret that how you will. As viewers look to the future, content creators and brands are drawing their attention in new and compelling ways.
Explain that again?
Explainer videos are exactly what they sound like. According to Wyzowl, 79% of consumers would rather watch a video to learn about a product than read text on a page. 91% of consumers in the same survey said that they have already used explainer videos at some point to learn about products or services. If you want to inform or educate your audience on what you have to offer and you have the budget to produce one, an explainer video is an effective way to, well, explain it, and this is one reason you’re seeing them everywhere this year. Many things fall under the umbrella of the explainer video, be it a product or a concept. BuzzFeed is known for using this concept in excess, but the success of those videos should speak for itself.
Make ‘em laugh
This is kind of an obvious one: funny content is shared now more than ever. While explainer video informs and educates, as viewers would expect them to do, funny video content incites positive reactions from people—you can even say they incite joy. And while the concept of a sense of humor has been around for as long as humans have, it isn’t exactly the first line of weaponry used in branded video content—until now. The single most successful video content publisher on Facebook is UNILAD, which is now infamous for its comical and at times, absurd videos. And then there was Vine, the wildly successful 10-second video platform which became an unexpected goldmine for branded content and content creators alike.
The takeaway here is that humor, when executed correctly, is an easy way to illicit a positive reaction, which is why so much of the content we see in 2017 is trying to make us laugh. And the more we experience those feelings of joy (or sheer confusion, or horror), the more likely we are to sit through something.