Over the last decade, video platforms and techniques have performed a few pirouettes. Some have quickly spun in and out while others have stuck around. But that doesn’t mean that platforms won’t pivot once more as technological abilities and consumers’ habits shift.

To get an idea of how video will be used as a tool in marketing, entertainment and education, we sat down with Rachel Yancey, one of Trilix’s video producers and editors. She’ll walk us through her predictions of future video trends.

Why video

Video has long been a popular medium for entertainment and information. In 2005, YouTube brought viewers and producers together in a more intimate experience: anyone with an account can create and post a video that is informational, entertaining or simply a stream of consciousness. Audiences can pause or play at will.

Consumers have fallen in love with short bits of easily digestible visuals they can view on demand. It’s safe to say that after more than a decade and a half, this way of consuming videos is not going anywhere.

So how do marketers break through the buzz to represent a brand or product? Quality rather than quantity will continue to distinguish video producers.

“A lot of people just want to throw video out there because they can. That’s great, but what we’re trying to get people to do is go to that next level,” Rachel said. “Quality matters, and image matters. Consider what message are you trying to communicate, and can we do that with the tools we have?”

Our video team’s busy schedule reflects our clients’ desires for quality video. Short videos are shared with many social media posts; documentary-style pieces and testimonials are compelling ways to share information about a brand and its values.

Though video continues to capture consumers’ attention, marketers shouldn’t ignore traditional forms of sharing information.

“I think it’s more having the option. Most websites will have an article, visuals and video at the top,” Rachel said. “It’s more about making sure everything you want to say is available in every way it can be consumed.”

Already 85 percent of Facebook videos are watched without sound. Videos, especially those on social media, will need to have subtitles or overprints. It’s yet another option for consumers to read or listen.

Live streaming will be even more popular in the future as viewers can watch while multitasking and feel like they’re instantly in-the-know.

Critical length

There is no secret to the perfect video length, but we have seen some flux in audience’s attention span. Vine, the video app founded in 2012, was about as short-lived as its 6-second time limit. Other social media sites have created their own video platforms with about 15-second videos, allowing for slightly more substantive content. Instagram is full of short cooking, fitness and makeup tutorials. Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat all host advertorials and other informational and entertaining videos. But 15-seconds seems to be the sweet spot, Rachel said. Buy-in for a longer video comes if viewers know the time commitment up front.

“You’re catching people in spare moments. You either have them in the first 15 seconds or you don’t,” she said. “If you grab them in the first 15 seconds, you might have them for 90.”

More interaction

Rachel believes the demand for interactive video will increase. Think more of Netflix original “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” but for more than entertainment. Facebook Live, Twitch and other live-streaming platforms already allow viewers to comment questions in real time. Rachel suggests one of these companies could create a platform that also allows voting for polls, for instance. It could be a boon for marketers to gather instant feedback from an audience, but it will require more planning for any potential backfires from an uncooperative audience or technical difficulties.

The future also holds more immersive visuals as equipment for 360 video becomes more affordable, but it needs to be done with purpose. 

“It’s still a novelty,” Rachel said. “It’s a lot better for showing spaces, but I think that’s also where we’re struggling. Do you really need to be fully in that environment?”

Trends we did and didn’t expect

It’s no surprise that 3D video is still not in vogue. It’s hard to produce and not that rewarding to watch yet. However, Rachel believes holographic content will be on the rise in the next five years.

Yancey believes video podcasts — a few of which are already on Stitcher and Apple Podcasts — will be more popular and on more sites in the coming year.

Vlog tutorials are here to stay, as well.