Americans are watching more video today than ever before. There were 135.9 million unique viewers in May 2010, per Nielsen. According to a Pew Internet Research study, online video viewing has nearly doubled since 2006 and is up 46% over last year alone. More people watch video on sites like YouTube than are active on social media sites or use Twitter.
And don’t feel sorry for your local cable TV provider, because television viewing increased 1.5% over the last year. It seems that no matter what size the screen, we are all becoming even more avid consumers of video.
For those marketing to Baby Boomers and 65+ seniors, here’s a quick overview of the types of online video and how they can help you meet your goals.
Types of Online Video
Daniel Sevitt, video expert and regular blogger on the EyeView Digital Blog breaks down online videos for businesses into three types: Viral Video, Conversion Video, and Educational Video. Each has a distinct place and purpose.
1. Viral Video is hosted off-site and shared as widely as possible (think YouTube). Multiple goals: Brand awareness. Hopefully bring traffic to your website.
This is a local commercial gone viral, and one of Advertising Age’s top picks for YouTube commercials of all time. The humor and honesty are great.
Keep in mind that no business can say “I’m making a viral video.” You can make a video and hope it goes viral. Also, there is a growing trend away from viral videos towards more practical applications in the business world. Eloqua’s Joe Chernov recently called this a “smarter and more sensible use of video.”
2. Conversion Video is on the homepage or landing page. Goal: Delivers a call to action that is focused on increasing conversion.
When the Complete Monty Python Collectors Edition was released on Amazon, free videos of entire sketches from the show were posted on the landing page, with the statement “We’re letting you see absolutely everything for free. So there! But we want something in return. None of your driveling, mindless comments. Instead, we want you to click on the links, buy our movies & TV shows and soften our pain and disgust at being ripped off all these years.”
Visitors spent more time on the page, ‘clicked through’ to more related products, and the video collection shot to #2 on Amazon’s best seller list.
3. Educational Video is not usually on your homepage. Multiple goals: establish trust and thought leadership; FAQ support; provide tutorials and walk-throughs for processes; increase brand loyalty.
One of our clients, HunterLab, uses educational video for “how to” content. But an educational video on your web site doesn’t have to be about what your company does for your clients, it can offer other resources that are helpful and relevant. For example, tips on how to properly tie a tie are found on a variety of websites – Brooks Brothers, Jobseekers Advice and more. While Brooks Brothers’ slide show is nice, the content might be more effective as a video like this one.
Growing Numbers of Older Online Video Viewers = A Marketing Tool for Today
41% of users age 50-64 are online video viewers; 27% of Internet users age 65+ watch video online. Both percentages are lower than younger market segments, but both show significant increases over 2008, when the 50-64 year old segment was at 34% and the 65+ segment was at just 19%.
When it is used well, video can tell a story, grab attention, and bring ideas to life in an emotionally powerful way, more fully engaging the web visitor. An engaged online visitor will spend more time on your website, giving you more chances to connect and ‘convert’ them to customers. eCommerce group Invodo lists some statistics on how video on web sites increases sales and decreases returns.
Whether your site features video will increasingly give visitors an idea of how modern and helpful it is. The early adopters of online video have already blazed the trail and taken the brunt of the upfront development costs. What do you think? Have they proven the marketing value of online video? Do you plan to incorporate video into your Boomer or senior marketing efforts?