Written by • Published 19th November 2013 • 3 minute read

 Online video certainly isn’t a new phenomenon. The world’s first ever live streamed concert didn’t involve the likes of Beyonce, One Direction or Britney Spears – and there wasn’t a ‘twerk’ insight. Back in 1993 a New York based rock band called Severe Tire Damage proved the concept worked and for the first time ever marketers began to realize the potential power of online video.

Since then there have been lots of ups and downs in the world of online video ranging from a frustrating period in the 90s, where watching a five-minute video invariably entailed hours of downloading across clunky 50k modems, up to modern times, where consumers can easily watch full-length films on their mobile phones.

Throughout this period online video can not just sit on the sidelines of mainstream culture, but has often generated huge global news stories –  ranging from headlines about mega YouTube hits such as  ‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ and Gangnam style to ethical campaigns against oppression and exploitation.

But while its’ potential is indisputable, many business owners and entrepreneurs may quite appropriately ask the question ‘how can online video benefit my business or brand?’ After all, while YouTube may well be the world’s second biggest search engine, the fact remains that of the ‘6 billion hours’ of video that is uploaded every month (YouTube) a large proportion of video content relates to funny looking cats or crazy dogs. If you are a CEO running a major PLC you’d be forgiven for pondering ‘how on earth does this relate to me?’.

To answer this question PHA Digital have pulled together some of our favourite video stats to highlight why online video isn’t just a niche fad, but is a vital marketing tool that offers every business a unique opportunity to engage their audiences across multiple channels.

Top Ten Online Video Stats

1. Video is 53x more likely to be picked up by Google than articles (Forrester)
2. Google gives priority listings to websites that contain video
3. People are 75% more likely to watch video than read print (Forrester)
4. Econsultancy estimates videos in universal search results have a 41% higher click-through rate than plain-text results
5. There is a 200% to 300% increase in click-through rate when businesses include video in an email (Forrester)
6. The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (Source: Mist Media)
7. Users who view video are 85% more likely to buy products than those who do not (kissmetrics.com)
8. Video is the most shared brand content on Facebook (Zuum)
9. 1 in 5 Twitter users discovering videos each day from tweeted links (Hubspot)
10 Forbes indicates, 65% of senior executives have visited a company’s website after watching a video

While these stats are impressive, for us there are really three things to think about when it comes to online video:

1. SEO – Having an online video strategy can help boost your SEO results and increase your audience.
2. Communication – having a video on your site (or a video podcast series) can help you convey your brand personality to your target audience and deliver your key messages in a way that really engages your audience
3. Conversion – as the stats above reveal, video is a hugely influential marketing tool when it comes to conversion rates and encouraging people to click through, contact or invest in your business. The following stat illustrates this:

With so many marketers claiming ‘the future is video’ (Cisco) and that 2014 is ‘the year of video’ (again!) there is no doubt the future of online video marketing is exciting. The challenge for PR and digital agencies like us is to help clients rise to the occasion constantly pushing for new, creative and ultimately engaging ways to produce video content to cut through the digital noise.