Today, we live in a world where we can literally take control over our media. From streaming videos on the internet to on-demand TV, we choose what we watch, how we watch it, whenever we want it, 24/7.
In the early days of television, of course, there were only a few channels to choose from – NBC, ABC, CBS. However, the proliferation of cable, satellite and digital TV channels, and an endlessly growing number of web-pages, over 20 billion so far, means we’re now inundated with choice.
According to Nielsen, “Americans are spending more time watching video content on traditional TV, mobile devices and via the Internet than ever before” (source: Nielsen’s 2011 State of the Media: Cross-Platform Video Report). Online Video Marketing is growing.
Through these multiple platforms, we have gained the autonomous power to pick and personalize our media, whether selecting our favorite shows for our PVRs, or surfing the videos and channels available online at YouTube, Hulu and Netflix, giving rise to the Age of ‘Me’dia. This is content that you control, and even create yourself – as consumers are becoming providers, courtesy of the expanding number of online avenues for uploading videos and sharing with Facebook friends, Twitter followers and other social media sites.
As a result, watching online videos has become a way of life – we watch them on our wi-fi enabled TVs and consoles, and via PCs, iPads, and mobile devices.
This has ultimately revolutionized how businesses can reach consumers with their marketing and advertising.
Why Online Video Marketing?
- Faster – 75.85% of our population is online. Broadband penetration is at an all-time high. Does anyone use dial-up anymore? That dial-up sound… so cruel and unusual, like a beast whining to be put out of its misery.
- Easier – With built-in video players, there’s no need for downloading software or figuring out the various file formats, or the distractions of annoying pop-ups. Most online video is Adobe Flash-based, and Flash usage is almost ubiquitous (99%). It’s also easier to share, and humans love to share experiences, right?
- Cheaper – Content is cheaper to make than ever before. You needn’t be the next Spielberg, just grab a flip camera, or your mobile phone, and start creating videos…
No longer is a static ad or website enough to drive traffic to your business or make that meaningful connection with your target audience. Instead, the companies and brands that are making a real splash in the market are ones with videos that attract viewers, and even go ‘viral’ – where word-of-mouth spreads through social media, driving millions of customers to seek out these fresh, new videos.
Naturally, in a similar fashion, a consumer-made video can go viral, too. For instance, one United Airlines passenger found out that his guitar was broken in transit, but couldn’t get any compensation from the company. So, he created an online video entitled ‘United Breaks Guitars’, singing funny lyrics about the incident. It went viral and received over 3 million views within a week of uploading it – that definitely got United’s attention and I bet they wish they’d just paid him for his guitar! As of today, the YouTube video has been watched over 10 million times…
However, people aren’t only watching comedic videos, the usual fare of pets biting their owners, or whatever is the flavor of the month. Videos are actually making a difference and having a profound impact on their viewers. In another example, a video produced by MoveOn.org, which was aimed at inspiring citizens to go out and vote for Obama in 2008, was seen by 13 million people within days of going viral. A conventional TV ad campaign would have cost a fortune to achieve the same success of reaching such large numbers of viewers.
This is the power of online video and, if working to your advantage, a company can prosper and benefit from this exposure and traffic using online video marketing.