Once upon a time online video was thought of as a fun fad – a nice add on to a marketing campaign, but not something to be taken too seriously. Today not only is viral video marketing making headlines in the advertising and PR worlds, but it is increasingly becoming a major focus for more and more businesses.
Indeed eMarketers estimate that US advertisers will spend $3.1 billion this year on video ads – a jump of 40% since 2011, which in turn jumped 52% from 2010 – by 2016 this is expected to rise to $9.3 billion.
Certainly the rapid growth of ‘social video’ is one reason there has been such a rise in spend in this area. According to recent data released by video measurement firm Video Measures, views for social video ads increased by almost 1.33 billion in Q1 of 2012 – a 78% rise over Q4 of 2011. These results are also 72% up from Q1 in 2011.
There are also a number of other factors that have contributed to growth:
Video is by far the most powerful form of communication online. In fact, according to kissmetrics.com users who view video are 85% more likely to buy products than those who don’t. According to Forrester, users are 75% more likely to watch video than read print. Adding video to your website makes it six times more likely to convert browsers into paying customers (buzzom.com).
The SEO benefits of online video are well documented. However, the bottom line is Google is among the hundreds of search engines that give priority listings to websites that host video content and is 53% more likely to pick up online video than articles (Forrester)
The rise in smart phones and tablets over the past few years have had a huge impact on the sector, making watching online video super convenient. For instance, back in the dark ages a friend might have texted about a funny online video or mention it in passing, but you’d have needed to be in front of a computer to see it. Today with your Ipad or Iphone you can watch that video anywhere at any time – in fact Ooyala, an online video company, recently reported that following Apple’s March release of the iPad 3, the amount of video watched on tablets jumped 26%.
Content, content, content – for me by far the most important aspect in video marketing. I could write a whole post on this subject alone, but for me the biggest difference between traditional advertising and online video, is that online video marketers are interested in creating content that viewers will not only like, but want to share with their friends. It’s all about producing content that is targeted and really engages with users.
There is no doubt that this is currently an extremely exciting time for the online video industry – with brands getting more and more creative with content. We now live in an age where rather than adding value to a marketing campaign, online video themselves are becoming the centrifugal elements – with other promotion tactics such as PR, advertising, DM and social media spinning around them. Just check out T.Mobile’s latest virals:
• Royal Wedding Imposters:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kav0FEhtLug]
• Organised flash mob at Liverpool Street Station:[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQ3d3KigPQM]
But while the latest statistics are exciting, it’s worth remembering that this is still a new, fledgling and developing sector. No one quite knows what’s around the corner – although I suspect there will be a move towards increasingly interactive content. However, what ever the future brings there is no doubt online video is the fastest growing marketing sector and certainly the one to watch.
Cover image courtesy of: youtube.com/watch?v=_OBlgSz8sSM
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