Just in case you’ve missed all of the ongoing coverage, we thought we’d let you know: online video is here in a big way, and it’s not going away. In fact, the number of videos being published and viewed online is growing every day, with newer services like Periscope and Meerkat seeing millions of daily unique views—and with online video giant YouTube hitting more than 8 billion views per day!
All that video watching adds up to a whole lot of opportunity for you, whether you’re producing your own videos to grow your brand or thinking about expanding your advertising efforts on various online video platforms. And on the off chance you’re still not convinced of video’s power in 2016, here are seven more things you should know about the Year of Online Video.
- Video is the Fastest Growing Online/Social Media
Online video isn’t just growing, it’s growing fast. At the current rate of growth, 80% of ALL web traffic will be related to video—primarily viewing and streaming videos, and uploading new video content as well. Text and image sharing is growing, too, but video is growing many times faster, with thousands of hours of video uploaded and millions of hours of video watched every day.
This a clear sign that video is the medium most people prefer, and as it gets easier to produce as well as view it’s the medium people have come to expect, whether it’s for entertainment, information, or advertising. And major advertisers are taking note, with many moving their advertising budgets from TV and cable networks to online video platforms. Which leads us to the second thing you need to know…
- You Can Take Advantage of Greater Brand Presence in Online Video
If you’re an influencer or influence marketer, the shift in advertising dollars means there’s a tidal wave of opportunity coming for you in terms of monetizing your video content and your video audience. From reviews to product placement to interviews with prominent authors and experts looking to promote their own brand, the time of the independent online video creator is upon us, and if you’re producing quality content you need to take advantage of it.
If you’re a brand looking to get your name out there, there’s going to be some tough competition for advertising and promotional space, but with the big push still around the corner, now is the perfect time to start building relationships with influencers and online video channels—get in on the ground floor for advertising and outreach that’s both affordable and incredibly effective.
- People are Learning More Online, Especially With Video
Online video isn’t just about entertainment. Education is a huge driver of online video growth, too, in both formal and informal learning settings. More than two-thirds of higher education institutions use some form of online video as part of their curricula and coursework, and the number of tutorials, how-to guides, YouTube channels devoted to explaining tough concepts, and other educational videos is growing exponentially. Online education is already a $100 billion industry—and it’s barely scratched the surface.
Again, this gives you opportunities whether you’re an influencer or a brand. Whether you’re selling educational material like webinars, ebooks, and consulting, are trying to build up your own personal relevance and authority in a given subject area, or are looking for a new way to market retail products, educational videos provide media that audiences are eager to gobble up.
- YouTube Isn’t the Only Online Video Platform
Yes, it’s the second most popular search engine in the world; yes, it has billions of worldwide users; yes, it’s the biggest repository of video media the world has ever seen, but just because YouTube is the online video king doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town—and there’s nothing stopping you from using multiple platforms.
Facebook video is getting ever-more sophisticated, and the social media giant is finally about to start letting video creators directly monetize their content via ad revenue. Even if you’re looking for other benefits of online video, such as driving your own influence, authority, and sales, Facebook is a great platform to upload to for better reach.
You should also start looking at Periscope, Snapchat, and other platforms that enable live video streaming, because…
- Real-Time Storytelling Will Be All the Rage in 2016
Technology has caught up to consumer demands, and live streaming is finally working the way we want it to. Mobile video streaming is supported by a strong infrastructure, Internet service providers (ISPs) are capable of handling the data flow at reasonable rates for most consumers, and devices—from smartwatches to desktop computers—are capable of the data connections and video playback needed to make live streaming a smooth and enjoyable video experience.
This ability to achieve “real-time storytelling” at any time, to people everywhere, is going to start radically changing interactions with brands, influencers, content creators, and media in general. Start getting used to the idea so you can hit the right notes while you’re winging it with live video as the year goes on.
- Mobile Video is Key
Improved mobile infrastructure doesn’t just make live streaming more popular, it means ALL of your video efforts should keep mobile in mind. YouTube has introduced “Cards” for making videos on their platform more interactive, and this type of annotation—which can point to URLs, show custom images and calls to action, and help keep your videos fresh and effective—is supported on mobile as well as desktop devices.
Most of the places you want your videos to be, like YouTube and Facebook, are already mobile-ready, and make sure your own website can deliver responsive video to mobile devices without clunky interfaces or unwanted delays.
- Be a Citizen of the World
According to the latest data, 80% of YouTube views come from outside the United States. Unless there’s a really good reason for you to focus on a US-based audience, you should be making or attaching yourself to video content that has a strong international audience. Businesses large and small are focusing their growth efforts on global markets, and online video is following suit—shouldn’t you?