online spaces, video, instagram, video production, facebook, digital marketing, content creator
Over the past year, the digital marketing industry has continued to transform and expand in a variety of new and exciting ways. Tech-giants across the web have been growing and developing, releasing new platform features or apps that expand the limits of how marketers reach the lives of consumers. If you’ve been paying careful attention to these developments, you’ll notice one familiar format that seems to keep cropping up:
Video has been at the centre of a number technological announcements since 2016 - and that’s no coincidence. It seems that the popularity of the format is being recognised and capitalised on by some of the biggest players in the industry. The result of this blanket of developments is a significant shift in the way online spaces are designed and used, all optimised towards the consumption of video content.
The most recent development in this chain of events came from Instagram. Last month, its executives took to the stage to make two big announcements. The first was that they had officially hit one billion users around the globe. The second was the launch of ‘Instagram TV,’ or IGTV.’
IGTV is a new feature within the Instagram app (as well as its own separate app) that acts as a hub for long-form video content. Previously, Instagram limited users to sharing only 3 60-second long videos at once, but IGTV will now allow for video posts up to an hour long.
The development represents Instagram making a big stake in YouTube’s functionality and audience, which has been a trailblazer in the growth of the individual video ‘content creator’ or ‘influencer’ amongst youth demographics. Arguably, Instagram adopting long-form video content is a balancing of the scales after it adopted micro-video content in the form of ‘Instagram stories,’ a format originally pioneered by Snapchat.
The new platform also represents yet more wind in the sails of the video marketing industry, which has been expanding so rapidly in recent years it’s hard to keep up with.
Last year Facebook announced their own exclusive streaming platform, ‘Facebook Watch’ which follows in the footsteps of other streaming giants such as Amazon and Netflix. It was revealed earlier this year that Netflix, with its 700 original shows, now attracts more young viewers than the entirety of the BBC’s TV and radio output.
Amongst these developments has also been Tumblr’s launch of ‘Cabana,’ a Tumblr/ video-call hybrid designed for watching videos with friends, allowing you to see one another’s live reactions. In May, YouTube also dropped the ‘YouTube Red’ brand name for its exclusive service and re-launched it as ‘YouTube Premium.’ The service gives users an ad-free experience as well as the ability to view exclusive, original content from some of the platform’s biggest creators.
So, what does this all mean?
There are a few key takeaways that these developments are indicative of, and that marketers ought to pay attention to:
The tidal wave of popularity behind video content doesn’t show any signs of diminishing, and there’s good reason for it: nothing sells better than a visual treat.
If you’ve been holding back from video because it seems daunting, complex, or expensive - don’t be. With smartphone cameras constantly improving and new video-oriented technology being released all the time, it’s never been easier for a small business or even an individual to give it a go. There’s also no need to be in front of the camera if that’s a concern: there are plenty of video styles out there that use animation, text or voice-over, or simply good visuals to get a message across...
All signs point towards video as the future of digital spaces - if you want to be a part of that future, why not take the plunge?