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Why you should add video to 2011 content

December 22, 2010

The second most used search engine is YouTube.

When relevant, a Google search will return a video. Why, see below for some numbers, but first a little background on storytelling.

There are three ways to tell a story:

1. Words. This blog post is an example. Better ones are novels, or radio shows. Words on the page make a point, but don’t convey emotion.

does this make me look silly
Image by Autumn via Flickr

2. Pictures. Sometimes called 1000 words, this picture tells a story about my daughter. This story is open to interpretation, which is sometimes a good thing, but sometimes not a good thing.

3. Moving pictures (with words). Moving pictures, ie video is the best one for telling a story that leads to an emotional response. Yes, This American Life episodes paint wonderful pictures, as do the best novels, but if someone needs to tell a quick story and pack it with emotion, video is the best solution.

Especially in marketing. We’ve known for a long time that the 30-second spot is the best way to build a brand. It’s not the only way, but clearly moving video works to build brands.

Why aren’t brands using more video?

Before we dive into that question, here are some startling stats from YouTube:

“During the last 12 months you all watched more than 700 billion YouTube videos, and uploaded more than 13 million hours of content to the site.”

That’s 700 Billion. With a B. It would take almost 37 years to watch 1 billion videos if one watched a video every second. 700 Billion is such a profoundly huge number that the mind can’t even grasp it.

13 million hours of content is also a staggering number, and one that is worth digesting for a minute. It means that everything from professionally produced 30-second spots to videos of kids laughing for the first time, shot right from a smartphone and uploaded straight to YouTube is part of the mix.

Quality be damned, 13 million hours is quantity. So, maybe brands are engaged in video.

In another report on online video viewing, the video site TubeMogul in partnership with Brightcove reported the following:

  1. Newspapers saw growth in the number of titles uploaded (51% growth)
    and surpassed broadcasters in total minutes streamed for the first time this quarter.
  2. Completion rates for brand marketers (47%), broadcasters (44%), and online media   properties (45.9%) continued to rise quarter to quarter, reaching new highs in Q3. (Insight: video doesn’t get watched all the way through, we’re happy with people watching half of a video).
  3. Gaming consoles lead in average viewing time, suggesting that lean-back
    environments are the most engaged of the three screens.
  4. The most active days of the week by total video views for all media companies were weekdays, in particular peaking on Wednesdays.

(Emphasis mine, first time I’ve ever seen the term ‘lean-back environment’)

The first point is interesting: newspapers are increasingly using video to tell stories because people are consuming newspapers differently. Also, video is one of the most complete ways to tell a news story.

Video and search

What is most intriguing to me though, is search. From the data listed here, I think we can all agree that more brands will use video in 2011. We have smart phones and gaming consoles to view video online, and when TVs resemble smart phones and have YouTube apps on them, viewership will go through the roof.

But people will need to search through millions of hours of video to find the one they want. Here’s why that matters in 2011:

  1. Google search (and other search engines) care a lot about URLs. If a Google search terms appears in a URL, Google gives it organic juice, placing it high on the list.
  2. YouTube URLs are gibberish. A typical one is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrrYDQB1Si4. Utter meaninglessness.

The implication is simple: when uploading that video your company will surely create in 2011, think really hard about the title, the keywords, and the location of your video (if applicable). Those are the things that will impact search because those are the only things that can impact search.

SEO for video will matter.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 3, 2011 3:35 pm

    I have found myself on Youtube like never before. I think besides Google it is my second stop. It is almost a no-brainer that companies and individuals should be implementing videos online… well said.

    • January 3, 2011 4:17 pm

      Thanks for the comment Lance, I think more people are like you, or will be like you.

      I think more people will use video in 2011 and beyond. We’re actually putting together a white paper at EMA on video in the coming years. I’ll post about it.

  2. January 7, 2011 1:58 am

    i like it

  3. January 16, 2011 7:25 am

    sign me up

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