According to NASDAQ listed company Cisco, by 2013 90% of web traffic will be video based.
This change has come about as a result of the growth of online video sharing sites such as YouTube. Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has grown from a popular US dominated site, to a global phenomenon with over 2 billion views per day. It has been joined in the online space by a number of competitors including; Metacafe, Break, Google Video and Dailymotion, all of which are among the world’s top 500 sites.
This growth has been driven by demand, but it begs the question; why is online video so popular and, more importantly, how can one integrate it into a company’s communication strategy?
1. Personal interaction: Video creates a relationship between the person watching and the product or brand in question. From a business perspective this is almost impossible to recreate.
2. Face to Face communication: Video makes it possible to show something instead of describing it, whilst also communicating emotions and feelings like passion, desire, concern and even remorse. This would have been an ideal platform for BP to communicate a strategic message to the general public during the recent oil spill crisis.
3. Credibility: The success of most products or brands is built around credibility; it is one thing reading an article about the new iPad, but an altogether different one seeing it being used.
4. High search rankings: Video is indexed on all major search engines and is increasingly featured among key business terms.
5. Visual Stimulus/Standout from the noise: As a business your written copy is potentially competing with thousands of other similar releases, for this reason video can be used as a differentiator. By having video embedded into a general release, the likelihood of your article being viewed will increase substantially.
Index your release
Search engines can’t index video effectively, if it is not labelled it won’t show up under the relevant search terms. To ensure that it is easy to find, always include a title and short description to accompany the video.
Video in PR
Successful PR is all about integration; video plays a key role in this and should be used across all available online communication channels to help build brand awareness.
Due to an abundance of written content, internet users are becoming increasingly sceptical about what they read, making video an important alternative. Reading a release about the latest Ferrari might sound interesting, but accompany that with a video showcasing its speed and handling and you will immediately have a captive audience.
Video doesn’t only have to be used for consumer products. If you operate in the satellite or internet cables business, it would make sense to post a short 2/3 minute video on the relevant platform explaining the technology and its benefits to the target market. It can also be used for internal communication. A video message from the company CEO wishing the staff a happy festive season will be far more meaningful than a ten word email.
Mobile to drive video
The number of mobile devices able to capture and upload video content will continue to increase in the future, resulting in more video content than ever being posted directly to the web.
Online video is here to stay and as a business you need to ensure that it forms a key part of both your internal and external communication strategy going forward.