Want to differentiate? Use video

drew linkedinSeen any good online video ads lately? Chances are, you’re seeing a lot more video content of all varieties, no matter how much time you’re spending on the Internet. Video has quickly become the most popular format for delivering content, and that is unlikely to stop anytime soon – a significant opportunity for enterprise marketers.  

One of the most astute observers of Internet activity is Mary Meeker at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers. Every year, she publishes statistics on the State of the Internet. When I look at those trends, I’m struck by a few things:

    • Global growth is slowing. So is the number of new Internet and smartphone users. The trend is still positive; it’s just not as steep an increase as it has been. What does this mean for marketers? It means that marketers have to get better at working with whatever market conditions are prevailing. Enterprises have to continue to engage consumers using all the relevant channels available.
    • Video ads aren’t as effective as they could be. Mary Meeker cites data from Unruly that show online video ads aren’t working, because 81% have no sound, 62% of customers are annoyed or put off by being forced to watch pre-roll, and 93% of customers consider using ad blocker software. How are marketers supposed to get their video messages seen? Unruly advises that video ads that work are: authentic, entertaining, they evoke emotion and are personal and relatable.
  • Video is both an equalizer and differentiator. The ability to produce high-quality video content is within reach of virtually every business today. For marketers, video can create the perception that their organization is much larger than it really is. At the same time, compelling video content can help enterprises stand out from their competition.

I’ve been an entrepreneur long enough to have run businesses well before the public Internet existed. What I’ve seen over the years has been nothing short of amazing. The explosion of the World Wide Web in the 1990s and Web 1.0 was all about building an online presence. The Web was like a small city with people flocking to it. It was the place where businesses wanted to be seen. With the right design tools, anybody could put up a site that looked pretty good at the time. In that sense, even a very small business could look much larger and more sophisticated if you gauged it by its Web pages.

Fast forward to 2016 and the Internet is a megacity. If you’re in business and you’re not present online, you are at a serious disadvantage. The volume of traffic online is staggering, and one of the most requested types of online content today is video. Excelacom, a consulting firm, has compiled a fascinating graphic on what happens in every Internet minute. In 2016, every 60 seconds: YouTube gets 2.78 million views; Netflix consumers download 69,444 hours of content; Vine plays 1.04 million video loops; Instagram gets 38,194 new posts; and Google conducts 2.4 million search queries. Who could have imagined these volumes even five years ago?

Video is highly consumable and shareable. It’s perhaps the perfect medium for reaching and engaging audiences when you can’t be present in person. Video can offer marketers a competitive advantage that is hard to get through other media. For enterprises that are looking for effective marketing tools, it’s really hard to beat video for its ability to engage viewers and its overall value.

To learn more about the power of live events powered by video, and the opportunities for engaging internal and external audiences, follow me on LinkedIn or visit www.inxpo.com.