Whether you're a video maker or marketer, explore the top video trends for 2020—including vertical, gradients, and UGC.
Video marketing has some of the fastest moving trends. Thanks to TikTok, Instagram and less and less hardware being needed to stream, upload and share high-quality videos, the video content evolution is constant.
For brands, current video trends focus on getting colors and movement right, but they also need to think about the intent behind the execution: to be authentic, to truly engage viewers, and to break down the wall between brand and consumer.
A picture is worth a thousand words, and it follows that motion has even more impact. So it’s important to deploy it with care. Here are the top video marketing trends our experts think we’ll be seeing more of this year.
Fluid animation is motion animation with persistent movement, and is often characterized by having an appearance akin to liquid.
The gradient design trend has become increasingly popular in video. For example, Paris, a department store chain in Chile, used gradients as a compelling background in this sneaker campaign.
“[Gradients] fit really nicely into the retro, ‘80s, cyberpunk theme that’s been trending since early 2019. They’re being used as bold striking backgrounds, or to accentuate text and other elements, helping them to leap off the screen,” says Mark.
Gradients are a great way to incorporate full-page backgrounds while avoiding a color-blocked background that overpowers other video elements. Especially demonstrative of this trend (and also reminiscent of the fluid animation trend) is the Lava social media pack by MotionMediaGroup. For motion transitions, look to something like 25 Gradient Colorful Transitions by agungugang. For a package using imagery of people, useful for presentations, try Gradient Slideshow by Media_Stock.
The trend toward authenticity in marketing—now more of an audience expectation—is all about feeling human. For video, it means any text (written or spoken) is inseparable from the design concept itself. It also means that tired stock assets are well and truly (or really should be) a thing of the past.
Brands like Ben & Jerry’s are often touted as some of the most authentic in the game. Take a look at Ben & Jerry’s Instagram live feed for surprising and playful video content, often featuring coverage of social causes like Earth Day and their partnership with Advancement Project, which uses a simple talking head format cut with footage that supports the narrative.
Interviews and talking-head video content are great ways to demonstrate humanity and authenticity in your brand, so items like this Lower Third Animation Pack by YETYYY are in high demand.
UGC is something that a lot of brands and marketers talk about doing, and nearly as many struggle to execute.
As Jen McKinnon, Envato’s Video Marketing Specialist, explains: “There is no better advertisement for your brand than someone else plugging your products or services for you. User generated content is so valuable, and I suspect that in 2020 brands will become smarter about how they include these little endorsement bombs into their mainstream marketing efforts.”
Not only is this tactic resourceful, it inherently delivers the all-important brand authenticity we just looked at and creates a great impression. And it’s not just about sharing videos from customers—it’s about planning campaigns that actively include the customers’ content.
An example of a brand doing it well is Google Australia, in their ‘Here to Help’ campaign. Google featured snippets of user video to create a mainstream broadcast ad to the Max Frost track, Good Morning.
“This is the type of creative thinking brands will adopt more widely, as it maintains the brand essence while using content that speaks directly to the target audience,” says Jen.
Color can make, break or date a video instantly.
“Nothing makes more of an impact than bold colors with minimal but strong typography. Vibrant colors are appearing more frequently, giving designs a younger, trendier look and feel,” says Mark.
We’ve also seen a lean toward strong, earthy tones like burnt oranges, rusty reds, and rich browns, as shown in our roundup of Color Trends for 2020.
For retail projects, an opener like Shopping Colorful Promo by TranSMaxX is eye-catching and interest-grabbing, ideal for Instagram stories or sales promotions. The Colorful Opener from MotionMediaGroup is widely versatile, as is Colorful Opener by Renname, though this one has a distinctly summery feel.
Following in the footsteps of all things mobile-first, the vertical video trend also owes its continued rise to the popularity of Instagram and TikTok interfaces. It’s 2020, and users just aren’t tilting their phones as much—especially for short video content.
In videos on social, more room needs to be prioritized for the subject rather than a generous amount of background. So when the subject is people (which we’ll look at more in vlogging, up next), it makes perfect sense that vertical is the way to go. It’s immersive, without becoming as invasive as the wide-screen expansion.
A good example is video content by toilet paper brand Who Gives a Crap. Their 'About' Instagram story highlights show ways to integrate written information and straight-to-camera delivery from staff.
“This year we can expect to see vertical video continuing to thrive. As Breadnbeyond says, ‘smartphone users hold their phone vertically about 94% of the time’. This transition is being reflected in the types of tools and templates you can use to streamline your video production,” explains Jen McKinnon. Templates like Vertical Event Promo by vals_valley can get you started straight away.
If you’re hungry for more details, including more examples, platforms, and templates, check out Envato’s Vertical Video Guide.
Vlogging has risen exponentially leading into 2020—it’s at every event, it covers every travel, fashion, and food trend, and it popularizes and satirizes culture. And as we said above, through social media, vlogging is now often a vertical undertaking.
“This is not a new trend, but vlogging is definitely tipped to pick up steam in 2020. As the world turns to online content to fill the void of social events and activities, vlogs are likely to thrive,” says Jen McKinnon. “This content type is also starting to gain traction as a valuable marketing tool as it shows a more human side to a brand or business.”
For inspiration, think about the ultimate beauty, book, and lifestyle vlogger, Zoe Foster Blake, and her recent how-to beauty videos. To try vlogging for yourself, a template like the Brush Lower Thirds by flikmotion is a good place to start as you can highlight your products while providing additional information onscreen for the viewer. Alternatively, try the slick YouTuber Subscribe Pack by Gioraphics.
Businesses are now starting to think smarter about achieving design cohesion across multiple platforms, and, as a result, video templates have become increasingly popular. With a template, you not only ensure consistency, but you also save time in the production of your video content.
Three of the others—always considering accessibility, asking questions to foster engagement, and using clever collaborations to build trust—are still relevant trends that all marketers should be incorporating into their video marketing strategies.
And the last trend we looked at, “repeat it”, is worth reiterating. Think about how any ideas you have on the above trends could be spread over a series, and create familiar formats that will keep your target audience engaged over a longer period of time.
There’s never been a better time to build your virtual brand following.