Random Acts of Progress

Reading Websites Online? That’s so 2007: The Rise of Online Video


Who has time to read anymore now that Online Video is so pervasive? According to Forbes Insights, not many people do have time to read. A recent survey showed that the majority of business people in America:

Online Video

  1. Watched more Online Video in 2010 than 2009
  2. Prefer to watch Online Video on a web page before reading the text
  3. Are trending toward preferring Online Video over text even for reviewing business information

In addition, the survey also showed that roughly 75% watch work-related Online Video once per week or more on business websites, while more than 50% of business people watched work-related Online Video at least once per week on YouTube. A surprising 26% of American executives watch Online Video content for work purposes every single day on business websites, and 18% of executives watch similar content on YouTube every day.

Why Online Video is becoming more important for businesses and products

Here’s a pop quiz for you: do you remember the original Oregon Trail computer game? Millions of men and women in their late twenties and early thirties – men and women whose careers are just beginning to take off – do. They remember watching their oxen plod along on the green-and-black Apple IIe monitors in their school’s brand new computer lab, while trying to save little Jimmy from cholera, and hunting that 987 pound buffalo with arrow keys and a space bar.

If all of this sounds very strange to you, you probably didn’t grow up in the 1980s, when Oregon Trail was one of the only decent educational computer games that kids could play.

The kids who were ten years old in 1986 are 34 now, and they are natives to the digital landscape, hardly able to remember a time without computers. They’ve owned cell phones since they were in college, and “Amazon” is a “look-for-it-there-first” store, not a river or a jungle. They do their Christmas shopping online, and now that they have their own office at work and their own work-provided Blackberry, they navigate through the digital world for professional purposes as easily as they once navigated rivers on Oregon Trail.

Oregon Trail Game

The same Forbes Insights survey found that online video is effective in encouraging all executives to visit a vendor’s website, contact a vendor for more information, or make a business-related purchase, but among young executives, the numbers are even higher. Consider these statistics:

  1. 45% of executives 40 and under reported calling a vendor after watching an Online Video, but only 22% of executives 50 and older made such a call after seeing a video
  2. 43% of execs 40 and under called a vendor after seeing a B2B Online Video ad; only 17% of execs 50 and older did
  3. 46% of execs 40 and under called a vendor after seeing a B2B Online Video ad on YouTube; only 11% of execs did

The reasons why B2B Online Video is important and getting more important is obvious

Many of those kids who used to play Oregon Trail are now iPhone-wielding decision makers who are far more likely to find new information online than in a trade journal. In six more years, that original batch of Oregon Trail-playing ten year-olds will be forty, just reaching the peak of their business careers and their family lives. The thirty-four year olds below them – those who are twenty-six today – will be even less likely to remember a time when work included clunky things like Rolodexes and the Yellow Pages. They will have been more likely to have used Wikipedia to research a college paper, and YouTube was around when they were still in high school.

In other words, if the 34 year-olds of today are already using B2B Online Video to make purchasing decisions for their companies, by the time those in their mid-twenties reach the upper echelons of their respective companies, using Online Video to make a purchase decision will simply be standard practice.

Online Video – An Essential Part of a Social Media Campaign

Normally, when people talk about “social media” and “social media marketing”, their thoughts turn towards Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and perhaps Digg or Technocrati. However, YouTube is one of the largest social media outlets there is, and smart B2B businesses know it. In fact, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine, right behind its parent company, Google. Neither Yahoo! nor Bing come even close to the number of searches performed each day, and over 90% of Online Video is watched on YouTube (Source: SocialMediaB2B.com).

Smart B2B marketers are starting their own YouTube channels and incorporating Online Vdeo onto their websites and Facebook pages. They’re learning how to get better organic search results for their Online Videos, and they’re drawing customers into their products not with words, but with images and Online Vdeo. Just as websites became a standard part of reaching new business customers in the last decade, online video is sure to become another standard addition to every business’ overall marketing strategy.

Reading Websites Online? That’s so 2007: The Rise of Online Video – Another article on Online Video from 4thWeb.

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