Video Killed the Radio Star

We Can’t Rewind, We’ve Gone Too Far

I don’t know why, but most blog post concepts that pop into my mind start with a silly song. This one is no exception. Online video – it’s where it’s at. What is your business doing about it?

Online video viewing is on the rise and it’s going nowhere but up. Sure, I’ve been in a business that for years looked down its pretty little nose at video – much the same way that we eschewed template based websites and other nouveau creative-o (yes, I just coined that term) creative ideas. It used to be all about film, dahlink, and high production values and all that fancy schmancy stuff. Today, we’re a generation of documenters of our every move, amateur filmmakers and veritable content generating machines. And, in addition to generating our own content, consumers are viewing it online in record numbers.

For marketers and small business owners to ignore the prevalence of video in today’s world is, quite simply, a major misstep. Still don’t believe me?

Pictures Came and Broke Your Heart

According to ComScore in October of 2009, there were 27.94 billion (that’s billion with a “B”) videos viewed – in the month of October alone. YouTube captured a lion’s share of that audience, or about 10.52 billion views, but Hulu and Facebook are growing like wildfire. In fact, YouTube is the #2 Search Engine in the World. Yup, you heard me. These days, when people want to know about something, find something, see what others are doing, saying, where they are buying, etc., they head right on over to YouTube, which has about 1 million views a day. Oh wait, there’s more. Mashable reported in the late fall of 2009 that Facebook and Hulu are shattering online video records and those numbers just continue to climb.

According to eMarketer, a paltry 66.7% percent of all US Internet users (only 147.5 million folks) are watching online video on a monthly basis. And oh, wait, it’s predicted that by 2014, that number will rise to 77%. Hmmmm.

Think online video viewing is just for kids? Let’s ignore the young’uns and go straight to the numbers of “mature” online video viewers in 2010 alone:

Ages 25-34: 84.1%
Ages 35-44: 77%
Ages 45-54: 58%
Ages 55-64: 43.8%

Will you look at that? Even the “oldies” have caught on to the convenience and immediacy that online video viewing adds to their lives. And if you think those numbers are going anywhere but up, you’re fooling yourself. I’ll bet you’re listening now.

Blame It On The VCR

Errr. Scratch that. Blame it on the Internet. Consumers are no longer content to wait for content to be delivered to them via television, newspaper, radio, email newsletters and other content delivery platforms. They want what they want and they want it now.

Rob Garner said it brilliantly in a post for today’s MediaPost: “With the world buzzing 24/7, the surfacing reality is that a brand that is not interacting fluidly, or lacks in-the-moment presence, might as well not exist.” My point is this: interacting includes giving customers what they want where they want it. When your customers or prospective customers are online, viewing video, will they find you? Or will you still be relying on those direct mail postcards that they immediately put into the recycling bin. Or buying print ads in newspapers that they no longer read?

So indulge me, if you will – what are you doing about it? Is video content production and distribution in YOUR marketing game plan? And, if not, why not? And, if you’re in the marketing biz, I’d love to hear innovative things that you and your clients are doing with video and how you feel about the importance of this medium.

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  • http://ConsultBigPicture.com Dawn Lennon

    Shelly, Funny how a silly song sparks a serious message. Small and solo business owners have been slow to adopt social media, so it's no wonder that video isn't in their line of sight. To some extent adopting it is akin to the fear of public speaking. It's puts them so “out there” and makes them feel vulnerable about themselves and their businesses. It just seems less safe. So making the shift from those old slippers to stilettos is part to the challenge. It can be hard on the feet! Thanks for a terrfic post.

  • ShellyKramer

    What a great comment, Dawn. you are right – video does seem like “out there” … for many of us. I am much more comfortable writing than I am vlogging, but I don't believe in talking the talk and not walking the walk, so it is definitely in my game plan, too. It's kind of like going to the gym – seems like a big inconvenience as well as daunting, but once you get started, it's not all that bad!

    Thanks for stopping by – and for sharing!

  • http://twitter.com/CherryWoodburn Cherry Woodburn

    I don't mind putting myself out there, in fact I always liked wearing lampshades on my head.
    I need ideas on how to do my vlogging message in different ways or maybe it's more about setting aside Tuesdays to do it because as your data shows it's becoming a more important part of marketing.

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