Video content: hi-fi storytelling with lo-fi production set for 2021

The pandemic has made many brands realise they can still produce successful video content without the need for a large, hands-on crew. Self-recorded video content, stripped down sets and simple production mean brands can still tell their story in an effective, albeit low-key, way.

We’ve also seen big in-person events make way for virtual gatherings. Last year, many marketers made use of live video platforms such as Facebook and LinkedIn Live. The benefits are strong: live video offers a chance for brands to connect with audiences directly. People at home can engage with the people on camera in a way that feels more intimate. It’s no wonder that 83% of marketers who have used webinars report its been successful. Until normality and a desire to travel returns, live video is likely to remain standard in the coming months ahead.

Video is the most effective awareness driver for lots of brands on social. And it will continue to be in 2021, with 82% of all consumer internet traffic due expected to come from online video by 2022. But creating video that feels at home on its respective social channel, and stands out from its competitors, will be key.

Authentic, DIY-feeling videos will prevail

With marketing budgets likely to be reduced in 2021, these more cost-effective and social-distancing-friendly methods of creating video could be set to continue.

Brands can take advantage of the growing popularity of TikTok and other channels that are riding the crest of the influencer/creator wave. These are great opportunities for brands to create authentic conversations through video content that the audience will expect to look less polished and with the creative stamp of the influencer.

We see video content featuring influencers is driving results. TikTok claims to have an average higher engagement rate than Instagram, no matter the size of the account’s following. (Though we’d caution that the channel has to align with the brand’s objective, audience and the message – the engagement rate itself isn’t everything.)

Innovation still matters

We don’t expect lo-fi to be the only type of video content in production though. Brands will want to  have a blend with more polished branded video content as well. Remember, it can still look like the real deal while being made in the lo-fi spirit, as this example from Dacia shows.

This is because polished video output is really important for top-level brand awareness. And, it will help combat some of the low-fi fatigue people might be feeling in 2021, after having seen so many ads produced that feel quite similar throughout the pandemic. A mix of these content styles is important when considering your brand’s perception amongst customers at different stages of the journey.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that, a year ago, we didn’t know we would be making more lo-fi content. So, the next big trend in video is likely around the corner. It’s simply waiting for those brands and agencies to be the first out of the gate with it. One thing to watch could be two-person video podcasts that Spotify and Teams are testing, for example.

This article is part of our five trends to expect in 2021 series. Catch up on all the trends we’re expecting to see play out over the next 12 months:

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you make the most from social and digital comms, please get in touch at [email protected].

Or find out how we can help you start thinking about creating a strategic online approach in our ‘Five steps to social media success’ guide here.

Written by Kinda Jackson, MD Digital & Influencer

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Emily Reid