Guest blog by Lisa Whitman of Digital Stories Productions

True confession:  On the afternoon of the Academy Awards, I spent nearly 2 hours on my computer watching trailers for all of the nominations. I know. Don’t judge me.

I didn’t set out to waste so much time.  I had unanswered emails and phone calls to make.  Deadlines and Dinner.  And yet, because of an innocent looking tweet that linked me to the official Oscar website, I spent the afternoon at the ‘movies’.

When you go to a website that has a video button, what do you do?
Most of us, obviously, click ‘play’.
If it’s an interesting video, we watch it.
If it’s REALLY interesting, we share it.

Why do we do that?  Most websites have an ‘About Us’ page, a ‘Learn More’ page…other ways to get to know a company or product.  And yet, predictably, Pavlovianly (I made that up), the first place we go…is to the video.

Why? Because video does what few things can:
  • It shows us.  
  • It teaches us.  
  • Entertains and engages us.  
  • All in a matter of minutes.

Want some stats?

  • Online video habits are increasing at a staggering rate.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • 24 hours of video uploaded every minute. Yes. Minute.
  • 500,000,000 unique visitors that generate 92,000,000,000,000 (that’s billion) page views each month.
  • (Digital Buzz Blog, November 2011)
  • Interestingly, 80% of online video viewers say that they use the Internet while they are ALSO watching television. (Burst Media November 2011)
We, as a society, are media and video watchers.

The question is:  Are we also ‘doers’? Do we ACT on what we see?
Answer: Yep.

Compared to seeing standard media displayed on the web (photos, graphics, etc.) a viewer is much more likely to engage and take action after watching an online video ad.  (Burst Media November 2011)

What does this mean for your business?

  • Consumer usage of video is increasing rapidly.
  • In 2010, 30% of Internet Traffic was video related.
  • By 2013, that rate will climb to 90%. (Cisco 2011)
Which means, if you don’t have video on your site, you are quickly going to be in the minority.

Okay. Enough Analytics. You get the idea.

Bottom line?

Consumers are a savvy bunch of media hungry connoisseurs.
They expect online video as a central element of a company’s communication strategy.
No matter what your business, incorporating video is essential.
Video is how consumers prefer to take in information.

(In fact, if I practiced what I preach, this entire blog should have been a video.)

Video will encourage your visitors and clients to engage, dwell, click through and use your business. And if you throw a couple of movie trailers on your site, they just might pop some popcorn and hang out with you for the entire afternoon.

Lisa Whitman
About the Guest Author, Lisa Whitman
Prior to starting Digital Stories Productions in 2007, Lisa Whitman (along with Travis Hartman) had careers that were a launchpad for sharing stories through video.

Lisa has been in advertising, marketing and has traveled extensively through the former Soviet Union where she served as a correspondent and video journalist. She has spent the past 20 years exploring and telling the stories of people, businesses and organizations. Lisa has spent the last thirty years of her life exploring the stories of others. It is her passion.