Nowadays the importance of video online can’t be overstated, especially when you consider how quickly watching video is becoming the internet’s primary usage. YouTube is the third most visited website online despite the fact the video sharing giant was only launched in 2005. In a report by Cisco released in 2010 the online networking company reported that a sizable 30% of internet traffic revolved around watching videos. This number is significant in and of itself but pales in comparison to their predictions for the future. Cisco estimates by 2014 an incredible 90% of the internet’s traffic will revolve around streaming video.
These statistics and educated projections make it clear video is quickly becoming the primary face of the internet. As internet users grow accustomed to the web being a video medium they will not only expect every website to feature video they will prefer receiving information and entertainment through video over any other mode of transmission. It’s not difficult to imagine a few years in the future when internet users aren’t willing to give a website even a second of their time unless it incorporates a large number of high quality videos.
Any marketer who wants to compete online will need to respond to these shifts in user preference immediately. One of the key tenets of successful marketing is speaking to your audience using the medium and language they understand and prefer, and for the majority of online audiences that language is quickly transforming into video.
For many years text (with some image accompaniment) has been the default mode of transmitting information on the net. Text downloads very quickly, it can be accessed anywhere at any time (including at work when multimedia doesn’t seem like a viable option) and it closely mirrored already established popular means of getting information and learning about products and services (such as magazine articles, newspapers, books, etc).
Despite the seemingly iron-clad dominance of text as the preferred mode of information transfer online we’re already seeing audience preferences shift in very concrete, measurable ways. A survey conducted by emarketer.com found that over half of all respondents watched video before reading text on a website which provided both options and around 65% of respondents visit the website promoted by these videos every time, and at least half of respondents searched for more information on that website independently after watching their video.
It’s clear video has already reached a level of importance and popularity with users where marketers cannot ignore it, and if future trends develop as they’re expected to high quality marketing videos will become a necessity and not a luxury for any company seeking business success.
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