It’s that time of year in which every expert wants to provide advice on what next year’s trends will be. Sometimes, focusing on trends that have yet to occur means companies forget the progress and success they’ve made over the last year. This lack of hindsight can cause problems going into the upcoming year, especially if overlooked flaws clash with future goals.
Instead of the traditional “online video trends in 2017” piece, I’m going to cover what brands should be focusing on in their past in order to safeguard their future and expand in the long term. Companies who used online video or video marketing in 2016 should start by performing an audit of related strategies. The more your brand is aware of which video efforts were worth your time and which weren’t, you’ll have a better chance at succeeding at whatever strategies you’d like to implement.
Ask yourself the following questions about your brand’s video efforts from 2016.
- What worked really well and why?
Knowing what video strategies worked well for your brand in 2016 will help slingshot you into 2017. The more you understand about your company’s successful online video efforts and why they worked, the more you’ll be prepared to repeat them for the coming year. For example, if you garnered lots of measurable brand awareness in 2016 thanks to Instagram videos, continue to keep these as one of the top priorities in next year’s marketing efforts. Granted, just because one of your video strategies was successful in 2016 doesn’t mean it will be in 2017. In this sense, you need to make sure you are staying up-to-date on the latest trends in online video and video marketing—and comparing them to what you know your audience will react positively to. However, there’s a high chance that if those Instagram videos performed well, a similar content or slightly altered strategy will work for your company on that platform this coming year.
- What has the potential to work?
Were there any video efforts that received some attention you were pleased with? If so, what were they? Review any video marketing campaigns you felt were almost a hit, and analyze what could be improved for 2017 to make the strategy more successful for your brand. Let’s say you just started experimenting with video advertising on Facebook and YouTube (which will continue to be big in 2017). You’ve found more success on Facebook when you publish humorous ads compared to on YouTube—why is that? What advertising would your YouTube audience prefer to see instead? Push out new iterations of this past year’s online video efforts if you believe you can make them work the next time around.
- What did you wish you had more time for?
In any business, there’s always a list of “maybes.” These are the items you hope your brand can accomplish at some point, but it rarely does, because you don’t make the time to get them done. In the coming year, don’t let that be the case for your video marketing and online video pushes. Not to sound fatalistic, but the further behind you get on digital video, the more likely your brand will become irrelevant, possibly even obsolete. In order to avoid such a fate, make sure you’re not just focusing on the here-and-now video needs, but also on the video you’ve wanted to test out but haven’t. Maybe you wanted to create an original video series for YouTube because you know your audience would love it. Or maybe you were hoping to work more mobile video advertising into your marketing campaigns (you should probably do this, as almost anything mobile—especially digital video—will be one of the biggest trends in 2017). Whatever your “maybes” were in 2016, make them a reality for 2017.
Online video trends come and go. They’re important to pay attention to, but only if you know they’ll work for your brand. And you can’t know if trends are worth your brand’s time if you don’t already understand what video-related efforts have been successful for your company in the past. As 2017 approaches, take some time to review these efforts from 2016. Your brand will thank you for it next year.