Are you using video to market your products or services? If not, you should seriously consider adding this tool to your marketing arsenal in 2010.
Twitter’s phenomenal growth may have been the big story of 2009, but the bigger story involves the continued surge in online video usage.
Online video viewing jumped 26 percent in the U.S. during October, compared to the same period a year ago, according to data from Nielsen.
The giants of the industry, YouTube and Hulu, continued to dominate in terms of individual views. But Facebook took the number two spot in terms of reach, with more than 31 million unique users compared with Hulu’s 13 million. However, Hulu streamed about 3 times as many videos during the month, at over 632 million.
As big as Hulu’s numbers seem, they are dwarfed in comparison to YouTube, which racked up a staggering 6.6 billion views by 106 million unique users. That’s three times the reach of Facebook.
So, how do you incorporate video into your business? One way is to add video to the e-newsletters you send out to your customers. This can be tricky, since not all e-mail marketing solutions providers allow video.
Constant Contact, for instance, doesn’t allow you to embed videos in your e-mail, although they do allow you to include a graphic shot of the video with a hotlink to your actual video. (In the interests of full disclosure, in 2011, I became a Constant Contact partner, and generate revenue through an affiliate link.)
On the other hand, Benchmark Email does allow you to incorporate video in your e-mails, and will send them to a mirror page that allows the video to play even if the recipient’s e-mail service blocks the feature.
I recently received an email from the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, touting their first-ever video newsletter.
The e-mail included a screen shot of the video, which linked to a landing page on their website, where the newsletter video lived. As a result, the e-mail not only attracted attention to the video, it helped increase overall traffic to their website. Pretty good strategy!
Another way to incorporate video into your marketing efforts is to post videos on social networking sites, such as Facebook. A new report from eMarketer.com suggests marketers worldwide will spend $605 million on Facebook versus $385 million on MySpace.
Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Social Network Ad Spending: 2010 Outlook, says “When companies budget for social media marketing in 2010 and beyond, a substantial portion of their expenses will go toward creating and maintaining a fan page, managing promotions or public relations outreach within a social network, and measuring the impact of a social network presence on brand health and sales.”
What are your plans for video next year? If anyone has any unusual ideas, I’d love to hear about it and share it with my readers.