Video content is ever changing. If you look at the most popular videos from a couple of years ago they are completely different in style and content to videos that are trending today.
While it is difficult to predict exactly what the video landscape will look like in 2018 there are current trends that will continue to shape what PR video will look like over the next twelve months.
Take a look at your social media feeds; you will not have to scroll down too far before you see a video. Increased video presence on social is not a new trend, but what has changed is the style of the videos that are watched.
The big three social platforms for brands wanting coverage are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. How video is viewed on these platforms really differs, which means a video that will work on one may not be as successful on another.
For example, we recently worked on some video content with The National Lottery. Although the main video was intended for online editorial use, different versions were created for The National Lottery’s social media channels. The version created for YouTube was the same as the version created for editorial, except that it included subtitles (but more on sound later!), however the version created for Facebook and Twitter had to be shorter in length. This is due to the audience expectations of what appears on their social feeds.
It is not just the length of the videos that is important. Recently social media channels have changed how videos appear in feeds. With audiences watching video content on their phones, many social channels have given priority to videos that are formatted vertically. Therefore, when on a shoot, make sure to film it in a way so the video can be repurposed and still work when viewed vertically. This trend is set to continue in 2018, so ensuring that your videos will look great and engage with audiences across all platforms will be very important.
Sound, or should I say lack of it, will also continue to influence how we make our PR videos in 2018. Since most videos will auto play without sound you need to make your video work visually. This means that most videos now have subtitles. Sometimes, just adding subtitles will not be that effective. With the attention span of audiences getting shorter, and websites and social platforms changing how video is viewed, you can expect to see more visual, interesting, ways of making videos work silently.
News and lifestyle websites have been embracing video content for some time and many now have their own in-house videographers and editors. This means that rather than taking a polished PR film, they may be interested in cutting B-roll footage into their own online package.
When we create a B-roll for television, we ensure that it is filmed in a news style so that broadcasters can seamlessly edit our footage into their own packages. This is also the case for websites that use B-roll. However, the style of filming will differ from television. For example, you may have to leave space for text and frame your shots in a way that they can be cropped to fit on multiple video platforms.
Websites are also more likely to take your B-roll if you can give them something that they cannot film themselves. This could be using some gadgets, such as a slider or a jib to increase the production value of your shots (see my blog on improving the production value of PR videos), or filming something that only you have access to.
One final trend for 2018 will be how technology will change PR videos. Virtual reality headsets are now extremely affordable, and it won’t be long until they are commonplace in everyone’s household. This will mean that PRs will need to start taking advantage of this new technology. It is genuinely exciting to consider the possibility of being able to fully immerse your audience into the brand or product that you are promoting.
For more about video production see our E-book: Best PR Video Practices