Why Online Video Is Hot [Research]

7 Elements that Make Online Video Attractive

Online video is hot. While traditional television viewing has remained stable, consumers are slowly changing their viewing habits.

Concurrently, marketers are looking to online video to expand their content marketing offering and advertising options. Further, online video enables media entities, stars, marketers and individuals to contribute to the format’s evolution. Digitas’ NewFront examined a variety of different offerings.

To understand these changes, let’s examine the research findings. According to Nielsen, Americans spend roughly the equivalent of six days (or 146:45 hours) a month watching television compared with about four and half hours a month watching video on computers and nearly the same amount of time watching video on smartphones. With the growth in smartphone and tablet ownership, it’s a good bet that these rates will increase as owners snack and time shift video content onto these devices.
Television & Smartphone Video Viewing in hours via Nielsen


Slightly more than half of the marketers surveyed plan to use online video in 2012 according to ContentWise and the Custom Content Council’s research. This makes sense since videos provide consumers with a 360 degree view of your product. Further, YouTube is the second largest social media site after Facebook and the second largest search engine after Google. Just make sure you associate text with your content!  Online Video use to increase

From an advertising perspective, online video advertising is projected to be 7.9% of the $39.5 billion total online advertising market in 2012 based on eMarketer’s estimates. This represents a 54.7% increase from 2011. Further, online mobile video advertising is expected to increase from 68.2 million in 2011 to 151.5 million in 2012 according to eMarketer’s estimates. What’s missing from these estimates is the investment in sponsored content and product placement that have a high degree of variability depending on the video series and related media entity. 

What makes online video attractive for marketers?

Online video appeals to our senses in the same way that television does. It’s a visual representation that attracts our attention because we’re programmed to see images. Here are seven elements that enhance online video’s appeal for marketers.

  1. Online videos are micro-targeted. They answer unmet needs in the marketplace. Look at broadcast and cable television to determine where there are gaps.
  2. Online videos are personal. They’re real people talking to real people who relate to them because of shared experiences. Novelists have understood this for years. Not that they retell their experiences but rather that the specific details make it more universally human.
  3. Online videos have a defined point of view. Some call it attitude. The goal is to stand out from the crowd.
  4. Online videos have organically grown their audience. Individuals building their online video (or vlog) following have to work to engage their audience. Many of those present at NewFront had been vlogging since 2008. Like bloggers, length of time and consistency producing content helps build an audience over time.
  5. Online videos don’t need big budgets. Elle and Blair Fowler started taping in front of their computers. By contrast with television (or movies for that matter), you don’t need a big production or distribution budget although it can help attract an audience quicker.
  6. Online videos allow for experimentation. Unlike television, there’s an ability to push the limits of the medium and try new things. There’s lower risk and faster turn around.
  7. Online videos blur the line between content and advertising. Marketers can have a say in how their brand is portrayed at a lower cost than product placement and advertising that has low credibility (Here’s an article explaining the advertising trust research.)

For marketers, online video provides opportunities to cost effectively expand their content marketing, brand association and advertising to reach the growing userbase of smartphone and tablet owners. While television still provides reach that online video can’t match, don’t underestimate the potential for this attractive medium to support your organization’s marketing goals.

Have you used online video as part of your marketing mix? If so, how have you used it and what are your recommendations?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Here are some related articles you may find of interest.

Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffanddayna/3621024022/




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