Marketing Cruncher

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Power of Online Video

First, a few numbers for you to wrap your head around:
  • 1 hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second
  • Over 3 billion hours of video are watched on YouTube each month
  • Canadians are among the most active viewers in the world, watching an average of 303 videos per month
  • Canadians aged 25-34 watch 44 hours of video per month
Sources: (YouTube Statistics, comScore Data Mine, comScore 2012 Canada Digital Future in Focus)

Online video allows us to reach and engage with audiences like never before.

That's a lot of video, to say the least.

Online videos are proving to be an impactful way to deliver a message to a wide audience. How wide? In theory, they have the potential to reach the world's entire online population. Indeed, online video has propelled the likes of Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black into unprecedented levels of global fame (or notoriety).

The rise of online video destinations, primarily YouTube, has empowered individuals to broadcast themselves to a previously inaccessible audience. The accessibility of today's video production technologies coupled with some ingenuity and talent has led to the proliferation of YouTube "celebrities" who have amassed sizable followings online. All of a sudden,
 "viral video" became the holy grail of brand marketers seeking to emulate the far-reaching success of these online video stars.

Surely all these viral videos and YouTube celebrities have achieved some measure of success. But videos don't necessarily need to go viral to be deemed a success. The growth in online video has also allowed for the formation of communities around niche interests. For instance, the
Movement Lifestyle channel on YouTube may not have the most number of subscribers and not all their videos have reached a million views, but the channel has managed to build a vibrant community of people passionate about hip-hop dance culture who actively engage with their content.

In reality, the average YouTube video can only dream of having the reach of a Super Bowl broadcast. But that doesn't really matter much. I believe online video offers a much more compelling value proposition: greater accessibility to your audience with higher levels of engagement. A quick search on YouTube opens up worlds of possibilities for people to find and engage with content that they're interested in. Your audience is already out there actively looking for you. The question is, are you ready for your audience?

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