Continuing our recent theme on the power of video to engage consumers, Comscore noted this week that more than 200 billion online videos were watched around the world in October. The only question is, were any created by you?
It’s not news that online video is fun, engaging and popular amongst consumers. From educational to advertorials, nothing captures people’s attention like the moving screen. Certainly, people found something compelling in the Old Spice Guy commercial to watch it more than 37 million times. Maybe it’s the towel?
It’s not all just sex, cats and rock-and-roll that makes online video so popular. According to Comscore, YouTube accounted for only 88.3 billion of the 200+ billion videos. The next biggest video websites were China-based Youku, the site VEVO, and of course, Facebook, which served nearly 3 billion videos to 750 million members (not a lot per person). Canadians watched the most videos by minute-volume, while people in Turkey watched the most videos per-person. So video consumption is far, wide and deep.
By industry, video usage varies widely; less than 60% of real estate websites feature video tours of their properties; and few feature them on every single property. Zappos, by comparison, has a far higher proportion of videos for its inventory, which includes hundreds of thousands of shoes, shorts and shirts. Automobile companies have been using video since the introduction of broadband, because nothing sells cars like a top-down roadster racing down the ocean highway. Audi’s A7 website features 11 videos of just a single model. Even our specialized Learning Network features almost 300 training videos on sales, marketing, technology and management.
But when faucet manufacturer Kohler features 54 videos demonstrating – um – kitchen and bathroom faucets, the game is on.
How do you join the video revolution, and do it fast? Amazingly, it takes a little less than $500 in hardware. A typical flip-style camera such as the Kodak Playtouch costs about $120. A quality wireless microphone set will probably cost more. Tripods are cheaper than a weeks’ worth of cappuccinos. Your YouTube account is free.
Some salespeople, however, resist adding video to their marketing repertoire for fear of making the video. Certainly, writing a script, planning the storyboard, lighting and staging, then rehearsing and shooting the takes some training and practice. There’s plenty of great help out there, though. Martha Webb’s online Certified Home Marketing Specialist course has excellent training on how to write better copy and prep the home for the video. YouTube has a specialty site for content creators, packed with tips, techniques and how-tos from some of their most popular contributors. Even – ahem – our Learning Network has a few dozen videos on how to shoot, produce and promote with video in real estate.
Of course, there’s always outsourcing, too. As Martha Webb recently reminded me, there are thousands of wedding videographers who are doing nothing on a Tuesday or Wednesday; they’d certainly love to pick up an easy shoot like a house, a personal promotional video or even a couple of hours in which you can shoot a half-dozen 2-minute video blog posts. It will likely cost far less than the time and money wasted in postcard and refrigerator magnet mailers. It most certainly will be more effective in grabbing people’s attention.
Last year, Wired magazine noted that more than 50% of all internet bandwidth is video content. Comscore’s 200 billion number simply confirms that trend. All that remains is to decide whether or not you’ll apply the power of video to your own business. You watch videos yourself. Now you must start serving them as well.