Top 5 Video Trends for 2016 with Joe Switzer
#1 Less Is More
Fewer tools, shorter edits, simpler concepts, smaller crews and outsourcing. Last year, we got rid of jibs, time-lapse tools (intervalometer), extra lenses and bags, and downsized lighting. For years, we have outsourced accounting and taxes. This less-is-more approach makes it easier on us with higher company margins—but most importantly, it’s what clients want.
Your customers want to have fewer people involved on the shoots and a streamlined process. They like that you can move faster and more quickly with less red tape in the way. Smaller, less, faster and better. For us, this means filming with Sony A7s cameras, a Ronin M handheld stabilizer, and a track, tripod and monopod.
This also means that most of the time we film with only one or two cinematographers. Letting go and outsourcing is some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten. I went to my dad’s boss years ago for advice on running a successful business. His best tip was to outsource accounting and taxes. Taking his advice has been one of the biggest factors behind the growing revenue of our small business. It gave us more time to focus on video rather than stress over new tax codes or why numbers don’t add up.
Making shorter edits this year will help you with your engagement. Are people watching your videos? If they’re 10 minutes or longer, audiences won’t watch. Fifteen-second Instagram videos, one- to three-minute wedding highlights and 30- to 60-second company trailers are more fun and take less time to edit—and people will actually watch the videos, which is why your customers are investing the money in you.
Ask yourself this year what you can let go of and how you can consolidate your tools and edits to make your life easer.
#2 Social Media Marketing
Facebook and Twitter are the two dominant companies in the social media space. Twitter owns Periscope and Vine. Facebook has Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp and Oculus. If I had to pick one social media company to focus all my energy into, it would be Facebook. The book of faces has a Wall Street valuation of over $300 billion, and Twitter stands at $18 billion.
Why does Facebook have all the investor money and company momentum? I like to compare it to the Google versus Yahoo search engines. If you’re going to invest your time and money in a search platform, you’d be crazy to think that Yahoo is the best. I’m not saying you should delete your Twitter accounts or not use Yahoo for search. If Twitter makes you happy, then tweet away.
I’m all about saving time and having fun—and engagement—on social media. Mobile users spend 20 percent of their phone time on Facebook and Instagram. That’s where you want your videos to be. Facebook alone has 1 billion visits and 8 billion video views a day. You can post your company videos and promote them with this massive engaged audience. With interactive 360-degree videos now showing up on your feeds, it’s going to be another year of amazing growth for Facebook.
We spend half our marketing budget on video adds, and I advise you to do the same. More and more of our clients are seeing our content, and they always tell us it’s from Facebook. Stay focused on your company page. Stop spending so much time on other parts of Facebook when it’s your company page and your content that will connect you with clients who are begging you to post and engage with them. Keep sharing and promoting videos in 2016.
#3 Video Boom
The demand for quality video continues to increase. Companies want more and more video. From our experience last year, we are surprised to see how many new clients of ours have never had a video produced. I’m talking big companies with revenues approaching $100 million, with no history of video production. Corporate America is behind and needs content for its YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and website presence.
On the most recent Facebook earnings announcement, Mark Zuckerberg said, “Over the next few years, video is going to be some of the most engaging content online, and by continuing to innovate here, we have a chance to build the best place to watch and share video.”
I couldn’t agree more with Zuck. Video is interesting to mass audiences. How many times a day do you find yourself watching video on your mobile phone that happens to be in your newsfeed? Facebook says it’s getting 500 million people a day watching video, and YouTube reaches more 18- to 34-year-olds than any cable network. Video has been underinvested in for many years, and will be playing catch-up for as long as I can see.
All the big companies want a piece of the action. Walmart and Amazon have been very public about their intent to use drones. Some might argue that the mainstream has a problem with privacy issues of drones, but rules and regulations are minimal for personal use, which means filmmakers are having a ton of fun capturing beautiful aerial footage.
The drone company DJI had revenues of about $500 million in 2014, and was on pace to double that in 2015, according to The Verge. 2016 will be even bigger.
Aerial footage gives the filmmaker so much more to work with. The angles a drone can get from the sky will take your videos over the top. It adds a professional cinematic feel. If you don’t have a drone or can’t fly one, don’t worry. We always outsource our drone work. We can’t do it all. We want to stay focused on producing and filming from the ground.
Drones are becoming standard in most of our productions now. They will continue to evolve and get smoother and more reliable. Every kid in America wanted a drone for Christmas this year. Aerial footage is going to be expected from your future clients, so find a good drone pilot or purchase one yourself, and learn to fly.
#5 Interactive 360-Degree Videos
Mind blown. I encourage you to visit Walt Disney World’s Facebook page and view its 360-degree video that takes you through an adventure with Goofy. It makes you feel like you have entered another parallax. These are going to be in high demand this year. Figure out how to shoot and edit these to provide a cutting-edge experience your clients will never forget.
2016 is the perfect storm for filmmakers. Let go of gear and processes that are taking too much of your time. Outsource your accounting and anything else you can’t master. Facebook is the place to be for your content. Engage with you company page and your clients. The world can’t have enough video to consume. It wants more. Don’t forget to look into the interactive 360 videos that will be all the talk of 2016. Run a great business and produce compelling videos, and you will have a tremendous year.