Online Video 2014
Can You Afford To Ignore It?
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Online Video 2014 –
Trends & Predictions
In 2014, Multimedia will continue to be king everywhere – in public and private, for corporations and government agencies, for small businesses and charities, for groups of whatever persuasion and for individuals.
Video is one of the most important driving parts of this multimedia experience. Although pictures are more easily accessible by viewers, video is more directly engaging and immediately persuasive. Its use will continue to grow explosively.
What does this mean for promoters and video creators – be they businesses, charities, artists, voluntary organisations, whoever you can think of who wants to promote something to the public at large, to a small, targeted section of the public, or even to a closed group?
Predictions and Trends
Most online video predictions and trend analyses address the Big Issues, where the big money is: What does 2014 hold for providers of infrastructure, services and content?
In between the lines of these reports, however, we can make out a very clear picture of What’s In It For The Little Guy.
In this report, I will show you this picture, that is the picture that emerges from the Big Issues reports for us, the little guys, for 2014 and beyond.
This picture has implications for how we have approach videos.
- What video format will we have to produce or license?
- Will videos have to go mainstream and glossy or will simple do?
- Do they have to be professionally produced or will home made carry the day?
These questions and more will be answered in this report. We’ll start with a look at the general framework for online video – Social Media and Internet Marketing – then look at more specific trends and predictions for online video for 2014.
Social Media And Internet Marketing
30 Social Media experts were asked for their predictions for 2012 by the Social Media Examiner. Four of the thirty experts went straight to video as THE central feature of social media in 2012 and beyond. This made video the single most important factor in the development of social media.
Here are a few pertinent quotes:
“Given that the camera on your smartphone is now your main camera, the multimedia-driven social networks are here to stay and will be an emerging force for brands in 2014, too.”
“My prediction for social media in 2014 can be boiled down into one word: “video” …as in, more of it!”
“In 2012, video quality (picture and sound) and entertainment quality will rapidly increase across the board. This will inevitably result in higher standards and expectations from the average viewer and leave those who are resistant to using video in their marketing scrambling to catch up.”
“If your business is not there yet, make haste and set up your channel and start reaping the benefits of the second-largest search engine on the Internet.”
Moving from Social Media to Internet Marketing, Video, directly and indirectly, entered 4 of the Top 10 Internet Marketing Trends for 2012.
“Video is more important as the web moves mobile and becomes more interactive. Videos are now a bigger part of Google’s search results as Google learns to index video content. Videos account for 63% of all online traffic as of January 2014. Not only do videos boost your company’s visibility, but they promote engagement. Customers exposed to videos are 437% more likely to engage your brand.”
Another top trend, Google’s Rich Snippets, will also raise the value of videos. With Rich Snippets, Google aims to enhance the user’s search experience by providing more information in the search results and thus reducing the need to click through to the webpage. However, you can counter this trend and entice viewers to click through to your website by offering videos on your site. Videos and their thumbnails are known hotspots for search results.
Two further top trends, Mobile Marketing and Local Search Marketing, are not only intimately connected to each other but also to video. You’ll see shortly how important mobile video will be. Here are a couple of interesting quotes that highlight these close connections:
“Mobile marketing will continue to grow at an amazing rate. Customers are now using mobile search to do their shopping, especially for local products and services. As a result, mobile optimized websites are going to be a necessity for your success. 71% of users search after seeing a mobile ad, 53% purchase due to mobile search and 90% of mobile search results in action.”
“Local search and Google Local in particular will be more important than ever. … As a result of so many mobile users looking for local products and services, mobile and local are intertwined. …There are 4 Billion local searches on Google per month, 61% of all local searches result in a purchase, and 55% of consumers use their mobile device to buy local products/services.”
Focusing now more specifically on Online Video trends and predictions for 2014, the scenario set out for the big players in the market, the telcos and syndicated content providers, reveals a clear and pretty amazing picture for our perspective, that of the “small” content provider.
In their report, 7 Online Video Trends to Watch in 2014, Skytide, an online video analytics provider, predicted that online video traffic would grow more than 50% annually.
This will put a strain on networks. A lot is currently happening in the background as telecoms companies and cable companies are reorienting towards the implication of this growth in demand for bandwidth that is largely driven by video.
Network providers have already started to invest in and implement technologies and strategies that will help them benefit from this incredible growth in demand.
The flip side for the users of this improved infrastructure, that is the viewers and “small” content providers, will be a much improved quality of service. This means faster connection and smoother, continuous viewing of videos especially on mobile devices. And as the viewing experience improves, this, in turn, will create even more demand for videos and video services, and consequently will significantly increase the competitive pressure on those who do not use video.
In the words of the report:
“Unabated growth of online video traffic pushes telcos to develop their own CDNs (Content Delivery Networks).”
“For those who watch a lot of video on mobile devices, it is even better news. Currently, with progressive download technology, mobile data plans are dinged not just for the video that subscribers actually watch, but also for all the time that it takes to load. A subscriber might wait five minutes for a two-minute video to load and get charged for seven minutes of consumed data. Adaptive bitrate streaming [that is, the new technologies implemented by the infrastructure providers] can rectify this discrepancy and lower charges for data plans.”
Improved quality will lead to consumer expectations of at least the same level of quality in the future. Combine this with projected sales of smart phones, which, according to Nielsen, are expected to outstrip those of standard feature phones in 2014, and with the explosive growth of tablet sales, and you arrive at the following scenario:
- “Two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic will be video by 2015, doubling every year between 2010 and 2015.
- Mobile-connected tablets will generate as much traffic in 2015 as the entire global mobile network in 2010.”
Another set of Five Predictions For Online Video In 2012, published by Techcrunch, makes the implications of this trend even more explicit.
The enormous growth in online video that was to a large extent driven by mobile platforms – smart phones and tablets – in 2011 was merely the beginning.
Smart phones are high definition (HD) video enabled for viewing as well as recording. So are devices like the iPod Touch 4 and iPad 2. This will explode personal video production. Given that Apple and Android devices enable up to full HD (1080p) video recording, this format will start to dominate.
Another exciting trend emerges for the “small” content producer: the rapid expansion of video being viewed and created on mobile devices will see service providers include more features such as conversion and delivery to mobile. From a user point of view, this is very exciting because it means that complex technical issues will melt away.
In a nutshell, these trends mean one thing:
Barriers to entry for the “little guys” who want to post videos on their websites or Facebook pages are drastically reduced
and will continue to fall. The trend is towards more, better and cheaper services because that is where competition among the big players drives the market. With barriers to entry all but disappearing, the cost of promoting whatever you wish to promote is approaching zero at a pretty fast rate. No more expensive video production budgets. DIY or low cost services will abound. Easy to follow How-to information will be easily and inexpensively to come by, thereby slashing budgets to a barest minimum.
Let’s now relate these trends to the latest survey results of online viewing behaviour.
Mobile (tablet and smart phone) users are “better” viewers:
- Mobile viewers watch more of any video than desktop (including laptop) viewers.
- On average, mobile viewers watch videos 28 percent longer than desktop viewers.
- Desktop viewers just about beat mobile viewers for videos of under 3 minutes length.
- For videos of over 3 minutes, viewers definitely prefer to use mobile devices (tablets and smart phones).
For your online video strategy in 2014 and beyond, this means:
- Create or License HD videos.
- To achieve maximum exposure for your marketing videos, keep them short.
- If you create videos that are longer than 3 minutes, you must optimise them for mobile viewing.
The Myth of Viral Videos
“Viral” videos are not a deliberate, planned creation. They are a phenomenon, and like any phenomenon you cannot set out to create it to order. Whatever you may have been told, it simply does not work that way.
“Viral” videos happen when videos are found by the right audience in the right mood at the right time. They are not created and sent viral on purpose by the video owner or creator. If it were possible, you’d never see a Hollywood flop.
Yet people still persist. To get clarity, let’s look at viral numbers for a moment.
Videos go viral when they accumulate large number of views in a very short period of time. 100,000 in a few days, a million in a month or so is definitely viral. Hundreds of millions? Check out this example:
The Star Wars Kid
Here is the story of the video:
“On November 3, 2002 a Canadian student made a video of himself swinging a golf ball retriever around as a weapon. The video was filmed at his high school studio, and the tape left in a basement. It was taped over a portion of a basketball game (as seen extremely briefly at the end of the clip). The video was discovered and eventually became a viral meme. An edited version of the video was created, adding Star Wars music, texts, and lightsaber lights and sounds to his golf ball retriever. As of November 27, 2006 it was estimated by The Viral Factory that the video had been viewed over 900 million times.”
For good measure, check out The Viral Factory Youtube channel (as they are referenced in the story). How many of their 45 uploaded videos have gone viral on Youtube (and which ones)? If they really owned the secret to creating viral videos, why didn’t all their videos go viral?
The Key To Video Success:
Know your target audience and give them what they want. Successful businesses and promoters understand that they don’t need to connect with the whole of the Internet audience. They just need to engage with the right audience. Go for those who want what you have to offer.
The Myth of Funny Videos
Funny videos are not suitable for every purpose. Fact is, you don’t have to make funny videos to be successful on Youtube.
Say, you are looking for information (Youtube is, after all, the second largest search engine on the internet). How would you react if a how-to video that you were looking for turned out to be full of jokes and hilariously funny? Would you take this video seriously? Of course, not. You’d go elsewhere for the information, and the video, and probably also the brand would bomb. This type of video would be a mismatch between customer expectation and video content.
This does not mean that your information or how-to videos have to be dry, dull and boring. Not at all, they just have to be on target and relevant, so that they can create the desired impact.
The online video trend in user behaviour that became discernible over the last few years and the resulting market pressure and opportunities forced infrastructure and service providers not just to accommodate online video, they also offered them an unprecedented bonanza. Fortunately for us, they were able to capitalise on these trends.
The flip side of these market opportunities and competitive pressures created very exciting trends for the “little guys”: they virtually removed barriers to entry for video creators.
This, in turn, will give video users the competitive edge, and it will magnify competitive pressure on all those who fail to take advantage of this development. For 2014 and beyond, you need video. Period.
The main guidelines for online video creators for 2014 and beyond are:
- Optimise your visibility and Click Through Rate by focusing on the Mobile-Local-Video (MLV) combination.
- To achieve maximum exposure for your marketing videos, keep them short (under 3 minutes).
- Videos longer than 3 minutes must be optimised for mobile viewing.
- Just creating videos is not enough. You must stand out from the crowd.
Taken together, these guidelines provide solid foundations for anyone’s video platform.
(in order of appearance in the report)
30 Social Media Predictions for 2012 From the Pros
Top 10 Internet Marketing Trends of 2012
Five Predictions For Online Video In 2012
Online Video Predictions For 2012
How to become a Youtube Partner
YouTube, Your Business, and 5 Myths of Viral Video
The Star Wars Kid
The Orabrush Story
The Orabrush Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/user/curebadbreath?feature=watch