Kartoffel Films’ Guide to Video in Social Media in 2021

15.02.2021 Content Strategy
Eoin Dowdall
Creative Director

Social media has become central to the lives of most people on the planet. Even more so during the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns across the globe. In a time when our lives have become restricted by necessary new laws, social media has been a release for many. As such, usage has skyrocketed. Coinciding with the rising popularity of video as a form of branding, 2020 has seen video in social media reach new heights. But where will it take us in 2021?

63% of mobile traffic in 2020 was in the form of video content and this is predicted to rise to 76% by 2025. Experts also predict that 2021 will see the average US consumer have an average of 9.5 streaming apps installed on their smartphones. This tremendous rise in video usage and popularity on social media has made it more important than ever for brands to keep up with current trends. To predict these trends and efficiently include them in your content strategy is not an easy task. That’s why we are here to help.

At this current moment in time, predicting anything is a risky game. After all, who could have foreseen what happened in 2020? But we’ve decided to put our necks on the line and attempt to predict the future anyway. So here it is: Kartoffel Films’ Guide to Video in Social Media in 2021.

Videos will stay short (or get even shorter)

One trend that social media has brought about is the need for videos to be punchy. People are often on their social media accounts for mere seconds before they decide to switch to some other form of entertainment. As such, you need to grab their attention from the get-go. Because of this, videos on social media have been getting shorter and it shows no sign of slowing down in 2021.

In 2020 73% of videos on social media had run times of 2 minutes or less. On top of that, only 2% lasted between 10 and 20 minutes. So, upload long form videos at your peril… No, not really. Each video’s play time will depend on the content, so simply trim what is unnecessary rather than cutting out good content in order to fit the mould.

Shorter videos can be a great means of increasing your chances of creating new business leads, optimising social ad performance or simply upping engagement with your audience. Instagram videos have been proven to reach optimal engagement rates when around 26 seconds long. This need for short, sharp video content was a feature of 2020 and is sure to continue – or even become more drastic – as we delve further into 2021.

There will be an increase in “stories” features

Stories were a feature that began with SnapChat back in 2012. A quick snapshot of the accounts that you followed, they would be there one day and gone the next. The trend has since started to catch on, with other social media outlets, including Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, borrowing the idea. Stories are now a significant feature of social media video content. Over 400 million users interact with Instagram stories every day.

Stories are a reflection of the rapid rate at which social media users now consume content. But their popularity makes them a video marketing avenue that is just too good to miss. Because of this, they have become increasingly popular in the brand’s video content strategies. A study by Social Insider found that 51% of companies were making use of Instagram’s story function. A symbol of the recent rise in the popularity of this feature in the world of business.

Because of their short form, stories are perfect for grabbing your followers’ attentions and drawing them to your page or website. For example, teasing new products give customers a glimpse that leaves them seeking more. That is why stories can be an excellent means of drawing initial interest to your brand or a specific product.

The additional benefit of using stories on apps like Instagram is the fact that it allows your customers to directly interact with your account. Not only can you run surveys or attain details from your audience using stories, but by actively encouraging interaction with your brand you will gain familiarity and validity. This is a great way of giving your company a more genuine brand image in the eyes of the audience.

Video will be introduced across other social platforms

Social media is a platform that is constantly on the grow. Take video app TikTok for example. After emerging in 2018 with 54 million monthly active users, the app exploded to 689 million by July 2020. TikTok is now the fifth most popular social media app going. This is a symbol of the fast-growing popularity of video in social media.

91% of marketers are satisfied with their company’s ROI of video marketing on social. So, logic would suggest that this trend of using video to market your brand will continue to grow. Where will it head next? Good question. Platforms like LinkedIn haven’t quite taken to the video craze like other sites, such as Facebook and Instagram. However, it is on the rise. Research shows that LinkedIn users are 20x more likely to re-share a post if it is based around video. This is an indication of consumers’ preferences in terms of observing information rather than reading it.

Whether it will be through an increase in functionality on apps like LinkedIn, or rise as the central theme for a yet unknown brand-new social platform, video’s presence across social media apps is sure to expand during 2021.

An increase in shoppable videos

Shoppable videos are the craze that hasn’t quite swept the world of social media, but they are sure to do so soon. Shoppable videos are a means of streamlining the eCommerce process. Instead of using links to lead the user to a website in the hopes of converting, shoppable videos take you directly to the item in question. A means of cutting out the middle man, viewers go from advert to checkout in the blink of an eye.

Much has changed during the COVID-19 pandemic (including in the video industry itself) and features like this which allow for shopping without leaving the comfort and safety of your home are the perfect solution. The ideal user experience for any online shopper. It is predicted that people will watch 100 minutes of online videos every day throughout 2021. On top of that, social videos are fast becoming the highest percentage contributor of online consumer traffic. That is a powerful combo that companies will not want to be missing out on.

These videos add an interactivity and convenience to online shopping that strengthen the connection between customer and brand. With the recent introduction of functions like Instagram’s “Shop” feature, this latest social media video theme is sure to grow in 2021.

The rise of AR and VR

Video media itself is fast developing new forms. This step into the future comes primarily in the format of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Whilst it is still in the earlyish stages of development, we can now place the audience in a completely different space using video technology. This is a media tool with astronomical possibilities and it shows great signs of becoming more common in the near future.

The VR market is predicted to grow by 21.6% annually between 2020 and 2027. What’s more, by 2030 it is predicted that 23 million jobs will use AR and VR technology in one form or another. It is difficult to truly predict when access to this technology will be widespread, but is growing at some rate.

The use of AR and VR will be massively influential across all industries. Imagine being on social media and having the ability to see how a sofa being advertised would fit into your home. Or whether a piece of clothing you like the look of would suit you. It will compliment features like shoppable videos perfectly and will be a hugely influential on industries like technology and healthcare. VR and AR have the potential to be the future of video marketing. Whether it will truly blow up in 2021 is difficult to say, but it is sure to come on leaps and bounds.

More educational videos

Educational videos come in a number of formats, from how-to instructions to full on lectures. They add convenience to the everyday and have become key to the education sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, national lockdowns have seen a steep rise in the use of video for educational purposes. With people unable to attend school or work physically, businesses and places of learning have come to rely on video.

Unfortunately, the spread of COVID-19 hasn’t yet fully ceased. Because of this, we will likely see this educational video trend continue. But it isn’t just work and education where such video formats are popular. Social media platforms like YouTube are used to upload educational videos concerning everything from bleeding your radiator to solving a Rubik’s Cube.

Surveys show that 65% of people use YouTube to help solve problems. This just goes to show how often social media videos are used as a means of education. And these clips, whether it be conventional or bizarre, are sure to continue as a social media theme in 2021.

An increase in the use of vlogs

Vlogs, or video blogs, are exactly how they sound – blogs presented in a video format. Most commonly used as a means of revealing what goes on behind the scenes at a company, they help to humanise a brand’s image. Suddenly all the flashy advertising becomes stripped away and the audience can onnect with the company on a deeper level.

Stats show that over 44% of internet users watch vlogs on a monthly basis. On top of that, vlogging has also been deemed the third most popular form of online video series. Very common on platforms like YouTube and Facebook, vlogging reflects the modern consumer’s desire for more personal content. 2021 will likely see more vlogs as we moved towards a more video-centric social media world.

More live videos

Live videos are a trend that has exploded onto the social media scene recently. Again, like vlogging, it adds a humanising element to your content. On this occasion it is the unpredictability and personal element of the video happening as you watch it. 2019 saw internet users watch 1.1 billion hours of live video. But the real increase in popularity was again sparked by the COVID-19 outbreak.

During lockdown there was a 70% increase in live stream viewings on Instagram and a 50% increase on Facebook. Presumably this was in part thanks to the hours of spare time that many individuals had on their hands and the resulting increase in time spent on devices. Regardless of the reasoning, this is a theme on social media that we will see continuing into 2021. Not all companies can take advantage of this directly, but many use alternative avenues like influencers to promote their brand through live video.

It is difficult to say whether or not this trend’s popularity will dip once the world returns to “normal”. But for the time being, live video streams are sure to remain popular amongst social media users.

If you want to learn more about what’s to come for the world of video in social media, please drop us a line.

Start A Video Project With Us Today

    Let's create your video