How small firms can benefit from online video

By: Marketing Donut contributor

Date: 10 December 2014

How small firms can benefit from online video{{}}Online video on mobile is fast becoming one of the most influential marketing channels.

Recent research from eMarketer reveals that consumers in the United States spend almost an hour, on average, watching digital video every day – that’s up from just six minutes in 2010. In the UK, advertisers are spending £316 million this year on digital video ads – a figure which is expected to double within four years.

But it’s not just the big firms that are benefiting from this surge in mobile video advertising. Thanks to more affordable technology, small businesses can also take advantage of the opportunities that mobile video offers.

The growth of mobile video

Surfing on mobile is increasing and it’s clear that mobile is driving consumer behaviour. BuzzCity’s study of mobile video consumption shows that 84% of mobile surfers watch videos on their handsets.

Better telecoms infrastructure is driving the growth. In the UK, between 2013 and 2014, the number of active 4G mobile subscribers jumped nearly 19-fold to over six million.

In addition, carriers are offering better rates, independent video sharing sites are expanding and smartphones now have bigger screens and faster processors. So it’s no surprise that social media sites like Instagram, Facebook and Flickr, which started with photos, have expanded to include video.

What opportunities are out there?

The empowering tool is the power of sound and moving pictures; these appeal to our senses and create an emotional quality that is highly engaging. What’s key for small firms is that this relies more on creativity than on budgets; creating powerful videos has never been easier.

The opportunity is not new, of course, and many brands, such as the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, have created powerful viral video strategies. In addition, Honda has used music videos as a promotional tool and Harley Davidson has encouraged user-generated video to build its brand presence online.

In many ways though, these brands follow the traditional “branding on TV” route. Digital video, on the other hand, promises the same emotional response with the practicality of direct response. Advertisers can inspire engagement with mobile surfers and then track their spending. This is an added bonus for small businesses, enabling them to budget more effectively in line with results.

More art than science

Data and analytics are vital. But advertisers also need to be mindful that the user experience of video is subjective. The only way to get engagement is to create content that people really care about or are interested in. This is more of an art than a science and it’s not something that can always be quantified.

This is what makes mobile video accessible to businesses of all sizes – it’s not the size of the budget which counts but the combination of strategy, measurement and creativity.

Copyright © 2014 Dr K F Lai, ceo of BuzzCity.