The 5 Best Video Marketing Strategies in 2021

Discover how to bring about positive change in your business strategies through video marketing in 2021. Explore TikTok contests, Instagram Reels, and more.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・5 min read
Business & Marketing Strategy
Social Media

If you’re like me, on December 31st, you cracked a big bottle of champagne as the clock ticked down to midnight and put the infamous year of 2020 behind you......but the morning of January 1st, you opened your eyes and realized not much had changed.Although the newspaper headlines are still not saying what we’d hoped, there is always room to bring about positive change. Each new year brings an opportunity to reassess, realign our perspective, and refocus.In terms of our business strategies, the foreboding news headlines give us even more reason to bring about said change. Video marketing is the perfect place to reassess what’s currently working for us and, with the rapidly changing video marketing climate, to also incorporate some fresh new approaches.In this article, read about some of the video trends that propelled businesses through the storm of 2020 and how you can use them to help sail you through 2021, no matter what type of rough (or calm) waters lie ahead.

Run a TikTok Contest

If you were avoiding TikTok for fear that you’d have to make silly videos or buy ads, you’re in for a treat. Hosting a TikTok contest not only lets you circumvent investing time in short-form video production, but you can also charge your audience with the task of promoting your brand for you. The perfect medium for this, of course, is in the form of a TikTok contest.Guess, a titan in the denim and fashion industry, has forged marketing frontiers by being the first in their industry to market on TikTok. And their debut campaign - the #inmydenim challenge - is nothing short of marketing brilliance.The #inmydenim contest challenged Guess loyalists to make a post on TikTok illustrating a transformation “from a mess to best dressed” using denim. The videos got more than 50 million views - all while the fashion brand sat back and let the content roll in - they didn’t have to produce one video or buy one ad. Not bad!

Your audience is sitting at home waiting for a challenge so why not be the one to give it to them? Then, if you want to take this challenge to the next level, build a landing page where participants can submit their video for an extra chance to win or the entries can be voted on in an easy-to-view gallery.

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Use Instagram Reels

Depending on your business, one drawback to TikTok is the average age of its user base. One-third of TikTok users are barely even old enough to drive. Another third are between the ages of 20 and 29. So, if your audience tends to lean toward the 30 and older crowd, Reels may be a better place for your video marketing to get seen.Instagram Reels are very similar to TikTok videos with a few key differences:

  • The max length of a Reel is 30 seconds vs. TikTok’s 60 seconds
  • Reels doesn’t provide music assets for Business accounts, so you may need to purchase and edit royaltyfree music on your own.

The lack of music assets may be a bummer, but there could be a bigger boon in the size of Instagram’s user base, which dwarfs TikTok’s by half of a billion monthly active users.It boils down to where your audience is most active, and if you’ve spent years building up an Instagram presence, then branching out and creating Instagram Reels is a safe bet.

Run a video contest

Why not bypass social media and build your very own video contest? You can leverage the traffic you’re already driving to your website as well as drive new traffic by embedding the contest in a page on your website.Video contests come in all shapes and sizes. The entries can be silly, like in this slow mo challenge where participants drew inspiration from the Baywatch reboot and made their own slow motion video.

This contest collected over 5,300 entries and raised awareness for the film’s release.A video contest is a great way for individuals to show off feats of strength, such as their ability to endure pain. In this Paquis #OneChipChallenge, the criteria was simple: eat a single Carolina Reaper Paquis chip and film what happens next. Brave souls from all around entered their video evidence of enduring the Reaper’s wrath.

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Create a Vlog

Vlogging isn’t new, but if your business maintains a blog, it’s worth considering incorporating video content into it or starting a new vlog series altogether. Understanding that viewers retain 95% of a message when they watch it in a video compared to 10% when reading it in text, it’s easy to understand how vlogging and blogging are like comparing a rib-eye tomahawk steak to your regular New York strip.If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry. Blogging isn’t a rite of passage or stepping stone to vlogging - you can jump right in.Moz, the go-to for all things SEO, created a Whiteboard Friday series to help regular folk like you and me understand the complex mysteries behind SEO optimization. If you check out a video from the series, you’ll see it’s not a professionally produced video. Vlogging isn’t meant to be polished. It’s meant to be transparent and real, which makes it an easy traffic-driving tool to get started with.

Create (or Sponsor) Tutorials

How to Fix a Running Toilet, How to Install a Carseat, How to Make a Roux - these are but a small sampling of video titles that saved me a heap of time and headache in the last week. And an even smaller (microscopic, even) percentage of the 1 billion hours that Youtube viewers watch every day.Your customers are most likely scouring video content like mad, searching for those simple solutions, quick fixes, and fun projects to tackle on their own. Why not get in on the action by making your own tutorials for topics related to your business?If you want to skip the part of building a massive subscriber following, sponsor a tutorial with an established YouTuber that’s already done the leg work.There are so many examples of YouTube creators and brands partnering up to create win-win relationships, such as this DIY craft vlogger and musician - Lauren Fairweather. In the wake of the Stranger Things craze, the ScyFy channel reached out to Lauren to create a Stranger Things scarf for the holidays, tapping into her audience of likely SyFy crossover fans 93,000 strong.

Always remember...

Have some fun with it! The medium of video content is the safest place to interject humor, be clever, and really let the personality of your brand shine through.So don’t overthink it. A flashy, agency-produced video has its place, but great video content can come from so many other moments - an off-the-cuff sit-down when you have something important to share, clips from your company happy hour, or even your account manager doing a backflip in the hallway.Let 2021 be the year we change our notions of what video marketing is, pull out our cameras, and start creating.

Create your first video contest now

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About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・5 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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