Today, video is in more places and faster than ever. Yet it wasn’t long ago that most people waited hours to download a single movie. As the demand for streaming has grown over the last decade, we’ve seen high-speed Wi-Fi go from being a nice-to-have feature to appearing in most homes, offices and major public spaces across the world.
Network service providers responded by investing in 4G infrastructure and offering unlimited data plans, setting the foundation for explosive video growth. With the widespread adoption of Wi-Fi and wireless tech, smartphone users could finally play clips, shows and even entire films on their devices. They could even broadcast themselves, integrating video into everyday experiences like never before.
Still, issues persist, even in a 4G and Wi-Fi 5 world. Latency, bandwidth and connectivity problems remain primary roadblocks to seamless real-time streaming, AR/VR applications and even standard video playback for large swaths of people, particularly those in rural locations and heavily insulated spaces like basements and underground train stations.
As 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are further integrated into our network systems and devices, the technology and tools will quickly catch up to humans’ desire and expectation to access high-quality videos anywhere, anytime (even on the subway). With more people able to connect more devices and get faster, more stable and farther-reaching internet access — even in remote outdoor areas and indoor spaces unaccustomed to service — the demand for online video is only going to increase.
Add to that blazing processing speeds reaching the realm of 1 gigabit per second and bandwidth to serve more devices simultaneously with even greater stability, and you have the mix for a major evolution in our “video everywhere” digital landscape.
Here are a few of the trends I foresee as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 become widespread — and how business leaders should prepare for the shift.
The new standard in UX/CX will be driven by video
Before you know it, the masses will have upgraded to 5G- and Wi-Fi 6-compatible devices, and the demand for video will only grow.
It wasn’t long ago that video had the potential to hinder the user experience because of negative effects on page load times, but 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will eliminate those problems and bring this medium to the forefront of UX and CX, from ecommerce to SaaS, sales to customer service, and everywhere in between. Think informative product demos, how-to videos, marketing campaigns with clips highlighting employees and customers, and personalized sales videos that can drive engagement.
Consumers may also become wary of businesses that don’t rely on video as it further integrates into the majority of companies’ content and campaigns — and the ones that don’t find strategic ways to keep up with the trend of constant output risk losing out if they don’t invest heavily in the medium moving forward.
Marketers will embrace livestreaming to boost engagement and build brands
Imagine the possibilities of seamless real-time broadcasting from the comfort of your own conference room. The reality of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 means virtually no buffering when viewers watch videos and latency being drastically reduced from 20 milliseconds to as low as 1 millisecond. I believe marketers will leverage this medium for boosting engagement, product understanding and brand efficacy.
Expect a digital landscape where the majority of companies offer regular live webinars, product tutorials and sales demonstrations, where the possibilities will be virtually endless. High-level executives and subject matter experts will even be able to deliver presentations at conferences without having to leave their office, lowering company expenses and boosting productivity. Even more noteworthy is that studies show 95% more information is retained by viewers who consume videos, so the brands that embrace this medium will see a boost in name recognition the more they invest in it.
Employee onboarding will be done predominantly by video
As remote workforces and international teams collaborating across time zones become typical for 21st-century businesses, the shift toward digital onboarding and providing continued education to employees through videos in a learning management system (LMS) will become the expected method.
Training employees is expensive, and these eLearning systems eliminate company travel costs and remove the need for your valuable, seasoned employees to spend time away from their typical duties. Plus, a robust internal video library can be used repeatedly for onboarding and promoting company culture and events.
Prepare for the 5G and Wi-Fi 6 shift today
While the widespread adoption of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 technologies is still in its infancy, the evolution of today’s “video everywhere” digital landscape is well underway. Now is the time for companies to shift their content and communications strategies accordingly to be video-first.
Start by greenlighting your marketers, salespeople, customer service reps and other key employees to prioritize video. Then, provide them with everything they need to be efficient and creative, especially if this is your company’s first foray into video. Stay on top of the latest video trends, platforms and devices as they hit the market to find opportunities to increase your teams’ creative output. And invest in tools like automation that empower employees across your company to quickly and easily produce video content.
If you think video content is popular now, just wait until the masses have the power of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 at their fingertips.