By Warren Lutz – Contributing Writer
What does a sneezing panda, a double rainbow, a pack of roller skating babies, the phrase “will it blend” and a finger-biting kid named Charlie all have in common?
If you know the answer, you probably have some sense of how deeply woven online video has become in our culture. In fact, video has become so popular that the number two Internet search engine behind Google is now YouTube. An astounding 100 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute and more than 6 billion hours of video are being watched every month, making the video site more popular than Yahoo, Bing, Ask.com and AOL combined.
Video is the fastest growing marketing tool in use today.
It’s used for everything from product advertisements to political campaigns, corporate presentations, employee training, product demos, customer support, and client testimonials and case studies.
But why would you use video for your business?
Except for face-to-face interaction, video is the most compelling method of human communication. We instinctively respond to sight and sound, and whether we experience these senses in person or through an electronic screen seems to make little difference.
But a more relevant reason—from a marketing perspective—is that video sells.
A growing number of consumers today rely on videos to make buying decisions. According to the Online Publishers Association, four out of five Internet users recalled watching a video ad on a website they visited in the past 30 days. Nearly half – 46 percent – took action after watching the ad, and 12 percent made a purchase.
Video has a major B2B impact as well. According to Forbes Insights, which, in association with Google, recently surveyed more than 300 C-level and senior executives at large U.S. companies on their video-watching habits. It found that every week, three-quarters of those surveyed watched work-related videos on business-related websites, and more than half watch work-related videos on YouTube.
Video is inexpensive.
While professional video production facilities are recommended, high-definition video cameras can be bought for under $1,000, making it possible for almost anyone to produce a high-quality video.
Compared to TV, the distribution costs of online video is practically nil. According to AdAge, the average cost of a 30-second ad on broadcast television is more than $100,000. Today, with YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, Instagram, Vine and a host of other online platforms, the ability to publish and share video costs only the amount of time to upload it.
Video is fast.
In the “old days,” it could take months to plan, shoot and air a broadcast commercial advertisement. But an online marketing video—even one created professionally—can be produced much faster, giving companies to respond with greater speed to market trends and new sales opportunities.
Companies that incorporate video into their marketing strategies are also easier and faster to find online, too. According to a 2012 study by Forrester Research, a web page with video is 50-times more likely to appear on the first page of an Internet search results than a text-only page.
And because videos can be embedded and linked in blogs, on somebody’s individual social media page and in emails, a particularly unique or entertaining video can spread like wildfire—and often does.
The bottom line
With 100 million Internet users watching online video every day—according to Internet analytics firm comScore—a more appropriate question than “Why use video marketing?” might be “Why not?”
Of course, there may be valid reasons why video marketing is not a good fit for you. But when properly utilized, video is the fastest, most popular, most cost-effective means of reaching most audiences and making an impact.
For a fraction of the cost of purchasing TV airtime, companies can create video ads for specific viewers, distribute them via email, social media and other online venues, and integrate them seamlessly and effectively into their overall marketing campaigns. Which is why we believe video marketing is here to stay.
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