Thursday, October 26, 2006
Web video: More than regurgitated cockroaches
Back in June 2005, more than 94 million people in the U.S., or 56 percent of the domestic Internet population, viewed a streaming video online according to Comscore Networks.1 Web video has come a long way in the year since: in July of this year Comscore data confirmed reports of 100 million worldwide daily video streams viewed from YouTube.com alone.2 With growth like that it's no wonder Yahoo! and Google were interested in JumpCut and YouTube. Don't be thrown off by the public's interest in "Man Eats Regurgitated Cockroach" videos — the growth trend extends to serious content with news video downloads outpacing other subjects at 72%.3
With this in mind, a web video component should be built into every company's demand creation strategy. Admittedly video production requires a more expensive investment than podcasting, but as the interest in popular (and low-budget) consumer-generated media demonstrates, it doesn't have to be Hollywood production-quality either.
Even a conservative web video release schedule can drive large month-to-month viewing increases on a company's web site. This traffic spills over naturally to other areas of the site (or can be directed there by careful linking).
The chart showing analysis of one client's video usage data demonstrates that even increasing the number of clips on a web site by only 2-3 per month results in a strong viewing increase curve. In fact, data indicated that for each 1 video clip added, views/downloads of the video clips on the site increased by about 8% and page views on the site increased an average 36% each month. Of course, results will vary from company to company but it is clear that making web video a part of the opportunity pipeline web site and the overall demand creation strategy positively impacts interest in the company. Why is this the case? Most people have a basic desire for immersion and interactivity. While I don't think clicking the play button on a video clip truly qualifies as 'interactive,' when leveraged properly the medium does make a company seem more approachable. Combined with other channels, including face-to-face, this helps make a customer's entire experience with a company interactive and immersive. Creating that kind of connection can only help drive demand.
1 CMO Magazine. "June Statistics Reveal Online Video Popularity." Oct 26, 2005. Data from Comscore Networks. June 2005.
2 Comscore Networks Data. Oct 11, 2006.
3 Booker, Ellis. "Do you see video in your future? I do." BtoB Magazine. Oct 9, 2006. Data from Associated Press and America Online report released in September 2006