The consumption of online video continues to grow at an accelerated rate fueled by increased penetration of smartphones, lower costs for video editing solutions, increased adoption of social media and streaming technologies by consumers and proliferation of video advertising formats.

According to the new Cisco Visual Networking Index, online video adoption will grow the fastest among all formats between 2012- 2017 and see what is predicted re online video consumption vs visitation to Facebook and Twitter by 2017!

Cisco Online Video Growth


Naturally, online video viewership varies by age tremendously, with Millennials heavily favoring it for TV, movies and user generated content:

video consumption by age


In fact, currently online TV is running neck and neck with live broadcast TV among Millennials:

online tv vs broadcast tv viewing


So how can you as a business owner harness the increasing popularity of online video to your advantage?

Here are our 5 best tips for leveraging video for marketing purposes:

  1. Plan Carefully:  While professionally produced videos are no longer the standard, you need to storyboard and script your video to ensure that it incorporates the messages, visual backgrounds, audio elements and features (e.g. testimonials) which will resonate with your audience.  Get to the point fast and change shots every 5 to 10 seconds to keep your viewers engaged. Shoot at odd angles to keep their interest up. Keep it SHORT (30-120 seconds) and don’t forget your call to action when you close. Use what works in terms of capturing attention and creating a clear focus…”How to…”, “Celebrity X’s perspective on…”, “Customers Speak Out about…”.
  2. Become A Cameraman:  There’s nothing worse than an iphone video filmed vertically vs horizontally. And most videos are best shot at close range as digital zooms don’t work well in video modes on most cameras. Use a tripod if at all possible to avoid video “shake” and make sure you shoot in HD if at all possible.
  3. Edit. Edit. Edit: You should always overshoot whenever possible. I remember an ad I shot at where the director overshot by a 5:1 ratio. Thank god for that! After editing, we barely had enough material for our 15 and 30 second clips! No longer do you have to pay $$ for video editing software either. With the YouTube Capture app and Vimeo apps, iMovie (Apple), and Moviemaker (PC’s), anyone can create clips and edit them, merge them together, overlay audio tracts and add embellishments. And if you decide to host your own video on your site (check out Wistia or VidCaster), you can use WeVideo to easily edit your video material.
  4. Optimize It:  If you aren’t hosting your video on Vimeo or YouTube but on your own website, make sure your video is optimized for mobile (which is now 40% of the viewership on YouTube by the way). Search optimize your videos and channel on YouTube. And make sure to use the YouTube Video Manager (a tool within Creator Studio) to enhance and autofix  and stabilize your creative once you have added it to your YouTube channel.
  5. Promote Your Video: This is probably THE most important tip regarding how to leverage online video for marketing purposes. Online video advertising is a low cost vehicle for getting eyeballs to your videos, FAST. Not only that but once produced, paying to advertise this carefully produced content across channels just magnifies the ROI from your investment in this vehicle.

YouTube has a number of TrueView ad formats for you to choose from:

  • In Display: Appear with thumbnail image in right column next to videos you have selected. Can be targeted based on topic, demographics, audience interests, keyword and via remarketing tags (cookies placed on your channel’s viewers).
  • In Search: Appear in center of page with thumbnail image. Keyword triggered. You pay if someone selects your video and clicks on it.
  • In Stream: Short video ad trailers which play in front of a selected video. You pay if the viewer watches the entire promo video if it is less than 30 seconds or when it plays for at least 30 seconds if it is longer.

Estimates are that many videos receive at least one earned (social shared) view for every 2 paid views and the prevailing cost per click is only about 6 cents a click!

So what’s holding you back? Grab your camera or smartphone and get video cracking!