Time for Irish businesses to capitalise on the new trend – Helen Curtin, communications director, Clip Gurus.
Only a small percentage of Irish businesses have realised the current scale of opportunity open to them through video marketing. This article explains how and why video is becoming the most powerful tool in marketing and how Irish businesses can really benefit from the medium. Check out our video.
Online commercial video is growing at a phenomenal rate. In 2008, only 18pc of the 50 top US retailers used videos on their websites. In 2009, that figure has risen to 68pc. (Forrester). In 2010, the figure will probably get close to 100pc. There are strong reasons for this:
- 5.5 billion videos were viewed in the UK in 2009, up 37pc on the previous year. (Google)
- 2 billion videos are viewed on YouTube every day. (Google 2010)
- By 2014, selected traffic will be six times larger than in 2009 – Cisco
Watching video online has become a normal pursuit for internet users. And it is becoming more normal by the day.
Online commercial video is being compared to TV advertising and there are obvious similarities but we believe that it has its own personality and is suited to a whole new range of professions and business. It allows potential clients to quickly get a deeper insight into the business and the quality of their offerings. It is the closest one will get to a potential client except for meeting in person. If it is done right then trust, respect and most of all a personal connection is made that a client will act on.
The figures speak for themselves:
- Visitors who view product videos are 85pc more likely to buy. (Internet Retailer 2009)
- Online video adverts are nine times more effective than static Adverts (Google/AOL 2009).
- Conversion rates increase 30pc or more – (Practical e-Commerce 2009).
- Decrease returns 25pc or more – (Internet Retailer, Videocommerce.org 2009).
Properly marketed video has another very profitable and interesting side effect. It has to do with the way search engines respond to uploaded videos. Essentially, if it finds a video under the keyword search of the user it will bypass the regular sites to feature it. Forrester Research recently found that video increases search engine optimisation results by up to 53 times.
Social networking sites and free video platforms like YouTube and VideoEgg play a vital role in this whole phenomenon. Their existence means that businesses can distribute videos throughout the internet for free. It also means they can target their message to groups, organisations and individuals that are freely accessible through sites like LinkedIn and Facebook.
And if you think that the online video audiences are just kids, then think again.
- 33pc of executives under the age of 50 said they view work-related web video daily on business-related sites. (Forbes Insights in association with Google 2009).
- 67pc of online adults ages 30-49 used video-sharing sites in 2009. (Pew Internet Report).
- Among internet users ages 50-64, 41pc watched video on sites like YouTube in 2009. (Pew International Report).
Local businesses will benefit substantially
Online video is not just for international business. There are more than 1,700 groups related to Irish business on LinkedIn, Facebook has more than 500. With just a few clicks, any video can be posted directly onto their pages, for no cost.
There are currently 1.6 million Facebook users in Ireland. In April 2010, a study of 40 Irish Facebook users found that 71pc of them looked at ads on their profile pages and a further 31pc looked at their homepage ads. It also found that users paid more attention (53pc versus 31pc) to page updates in their newsfeed wall, rather than ads to the right-hand side of the wall.
Think about it. If you search for a service or product online, say a local solicitor, and you find 20 competing options. And on one of those sites you find a video featuring a well-informed, articulate solicitor. If you like what you see, who are you going to give the business to?
YouTube is a hidden goldmine for many types of businesses
With video, the right tactics will pay off handsomely. Let’s take YouTube as an example. Most people think of YouTube as a flimsy and amateur option to market goods, but there is definitely money to be made.
The Monty Python team set up their own channel on YouTube. Under each clip they created an Amazon link to buy the full version of each performance. Within a month, sales of Monty Python DVDs had risen an astonishing 1,600pc
YouTube campaigns are particularly suited to any venture centred on selling publications and downloadable products. The campaigner does not require a website to capitalise on this. A link to a place of sale such as Amazon or eBay is all that is needed.
Here are some other numbers to look at if you still need convincing. They come from a 2009 survey carried out by Google and AOL. The responses came from 2,394 online users between 18 and 54 years old: 64pc of respondents have taken action after seeing an online video, with 44pc going to the advertiser’s website, 33pc searching for a product or service, 22pc visiting an actual off-line store, and 21pc discussing the advertised product with friends or family. So not only does online video bring in new business, it gets the ball rolling on that elusive buzz marketing campaign.
The study also found that online video ads result in 32pc of viewers describing the featured brand as innovative, 32pc as creative, and 30pc as fun.
The key is to put high value to the production style, script and marketing. Embedding video onto homepages will increase conversion rates and will substantially reduce bounce rates but effective video marketing will multiply the number of visits. Video should be working for a business in multiple ways. Even those who don’t have a website can look at doing video e-mail campaigns, which can have great results with the right mailing list. Video campaigns for selling books and DVDs can be carried out with as little as a product link to Amazon.
And the cream on the pudding with all this is that all these activities are completely measurable. Analytics will tell how many people watch the video, how long they watched it for and if they took further action.
Monday 6th December 2010, 11:44 am
By Helen Curtin