Over 70 percent of the online audience watches video on the Internet, according to a report by Forrester Research. By 2013, Forrester predicts 81 percent will be watching videos.
Here’s the irony: most of the professional content now is accompanied by or driven by advertising even though most online viewers dislike or distrust online advertising. In fact, of 16 advertising tactics and media tracked in the April 2009 Nielsen Online survey, online video ads ranked near the bottom for trust, even among teens who are most accustomed to online media.
On the positive side, the Nielsen study determined that younger viewers particularly found online video advertising funny, emotionally touching and informative, which are keys for successful brand marketing. The survey also found that when advertising was less intrusive, resistance was also reduced.
Marketers that can integrate product placement into entertaining or inspiring videos will capture the growing online audience. Forrester identified five ways to break through the increasing video clutter and increase your web traffic and, perhaps, score big should your video go viral:
- Just like your text content, optimize your video. Search engines have blended specialty searches for video, images and blogs for several years and nearly 40 percent of online users use search engines to find videos compared to 19 percent who use portals and 11 percent who go to video destination sites.
- Create wide distribution. Don’t just post a video on your website. Widen your audience by partnering with video portals and vertical sites catering to your audience. In fact, when reaching a targeted audience on vertical sites, your click-through rate should increase dramatically.
- Complement video with text. Create a full experience by adding text on your video page with an article, viewer comments and reviews. Putting the video in context will help achieve a higher click-through rate.
- Reduce video load time. You’ll have to find the right balance between load time and production quality. Fast loading video is an important selecting criteria for 53 percent of broadband consumers.
- Encourage sharing. Make the most of your investment by making it easy for viewers to share your video. Viral distribution happens when viewers send to friends via email (23 percent), recommend via IM (14 percent) or directly embed on a blog or social network page (11 percent). Create a video worth sharing to take advantage of the viral effect.
Have you developed a strategy for using video to drive traffic to your website? Before you get excited, take time to set realistic goals, identify your target audience and create a distribution plan.