By 2018, nearly a million minutes of video content will cross the internet every second. Additional insights from the Cisco VNI Benchmark Report indicate IP video traffic will be 79 percent of all consumer internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013. According to a recent study by AOL Platforms, YouTube converts more customers than any other social platform. For more insights on content strategies for the sales funnel, read my recent blog post, "What a 9-year-old taught me about marketing with digital video." While the statistics are intriguing and exhaustive, the back story is even more compelling.
There are a variety of reasons web-based video is such an important media vehicle, and marketers that understand the nuances will be more successful than the laggards. For starters, video is one of the most efficient and highest life form of media. A 30-second HD video offers four powerful media form factors to marketers: video, audio (podcast), text (transcript), and still images. Each of these form factors can be edited, optimized, syndicated, and promoted across a variety of platforms, including YouTube, iTunes, websites, blogs, Pinterest, and Flickr.
Another compelling reason for marketers to pay attention to video: YouTube is the second most popular search engine by volume. That means your customers are using YouTube to for research in addition to or in lieu of Google, Bing, or Yahoo, This change in behavior provides a new opportunity for marketers: To create a dedicated TV channel on YouTube, complete with original programming and advertising. To be truly effective, a YouTube channel should contain videos for all four stages of the sales cycle: awareness, interest, intent, and purchase. I'll go deeper into this in a moment.
Video provides the ultimate storytelling medium: If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then how many words is a 30-second video worth at 30 frames a second? Consumers and new organizations alike are catching onto this trend. According to recent research, for the 14 months between January 2011 to March 2012, the most searched-for terms on YouTube were related to news events. For example, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami was the most popular news event on the video network: In the week following the disaster (March 11 to 18), the 20 most-viewed videos related to the tragedy were viewed more than 96 million times.
As an advertising vehicle, video is equally powerful: Online video ads outperform other online ad formats. According to eMarketer, U.S. online video advertising spending will grow 52.1 percent to $2.16 billion in 2011, before reaching $7.11 billion in 2015. Online video's ad spending growth will far outstrip TV's growth through 2016. The charts below paint a clear picture for the future of online video advertising: