It used to be we’d gather at a roundtable and spitball ideas for print campaigns and direct mail concepts. Then websites became our bread and butter — and email campaigns were considered cutting edge. Now it’s become abundantly clear that the new king of content is online video.
Why the shift? It’s no secret. It’s because of the mass adoption of broadband/mobile. Over the next year, U.S. internet users will expand by 3.1% to 239 million, representing 75.6% of the U.S. population. In other words, more than three-fourths of the U.S. population will be online in 2012. Add this to the growing popularity of smartphones and tablets — and the fact that YouTube is the third most trafficked site in the world — and it’s little wonder online video viewers will reach 169.3 million by the end of 2012.
So how does this impact us as marketers?
We can share with more people.
Consider the fact that video isn’t just an impression on a page – it’s a highly immersive brand experience. Now consider that there are more than 400 tweets containing a YouTube link every minute. Meanwhile, over on Facebook, more than 150 years’ worth of YouTube videos are watched every single day. So, not only do people want to watch video — they want to share it even more.
We can create and convert more leads.
Visual content helps engage prospects and keeps them on websites longer. And the longer visitors stay on a site, the higher the probability of getting them to subscribe to a feed, purchase products or pick up the phone to make contact.
We can power SEO.
A basic, fundamental feature of video is that it actually improves your search performance. The Google search algorithm favors links with video content. So does Facebook. Plus, sites like Vimeo and YouTube allow you to optimize metadata for even more search optimization.
OK, so how do I start marketing with online video?
There’s no limit to the number of ways you can integrate video into your content marketing strategy. Tell a compelling story. Entertain. Educate consumers about your product or service. Ask and answer questions, perform a demonstration, unveil a promotion.