According to comScore Video Metrix 182 million U.S. internet users watched online video content in September 2011, for an average of 19.5 hours per viewer. Meanwhile, the total U.S. internet audience engaged in more than 39.8 billion viewing sessions over the course of that same month. 85.3 percent of the U.S. Internet audience viewed online video.
With such incredible numbers, what is driving this surge in popularity? Well, the top 3 drivers behind the explosion of online videos are:
1. The ability to search for content.
2. The ability to share via social networking sites.
3. The ability to upload / view via free web-based video players.
Thus, it’s no surprise then that the top three online destinations are:
1. Google – Google Sites ranked as the top online video content property in March 2011 (comScore) with 143.2 million unique viewers, followed by AOL, Inc. with 57.0 million viewers and Yahoo! Sites with 56.4 million viewers.
2. Facebook – As of February 2011, Facebook had reached over 600 million users who spend over 700 billion minutes per month on the site!
3. YouTube – Google Sites’ leadership as the highest ranking online video content property is thanks in no small part to YouTube.com. According to Nielsen, in April 2011, YouTube was the top U.S. online video brand at home and work, with 111,184 unique viewers and over 8 million streams in that month alone!
What they say with their wallets … Online Video Stats
There is a tremendous dependence on video for all aspects of our life now. Online shoppers are actively seeking video at every stage of their buying decisions – from early research to the final purchase. They want to see things in action, they want to learn how it works, and they want to see how brands fit into their lives before they buy.
Therefore, companies can create demonstration videos that provide deeper product exploration, or fun/entertaining/informational videos that bring customers closers to their brand. For instance, Betty Crocker publishes online videos, such as ‘how to bake a birthday cake’, which provides advice and cookery tips, adding value to their target customers: people who like to bake.
Ultimately, a video connects on a visceral emotional level that is beyond the words of text or a flat 2-dimensional website / print ad. In a video format, brands can be conveyed in music, spoken words and moving imagery, helping to create a shared multimedia experience that establishes a lasting bond of trust with the viewer.
At the heart of any good relationship is trust, and at the core of social networking is relationship building. People don’t make friends with logos; they want to know who they are dealing with, and savvy organizations are finding that video is the closest they can get to ‘touching’ their customers.
Online Video Stats have proven that consumers reward this brands they trust by opening their wallets. Did you know: a company that incorporates an online video into their marketing can expect a 20-40% lift in sales!
A Kelsey Group study found 55% of people who view a product/service-related video visit the company’s website, 30% visit the physical store, and 24% make a purchase as a result of watching.
So, if you’re a company hoping to convert video viewers into consumers of your product/service, the first step is harnessing the enormous potential of online videos by evolving the role of marketers into publishers.
Being an advertiser is no longer enough! Instead, as publishers of your own online videos, promoting your message, vision and brand; you can effectively engage audiences in their native environment – on the internet. Then, relationships can begin to build via social networking tactics, and trust can be formed through the visual experience of communicating to your current and future customers.
This is the language that they speak. Surely if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth… a million!?