Why Leading Online Publishers Are Investing In Video

Question: If you wanted to reach an online audience, would you ignore half of its online behavior?

That would be ludicrous.

Now consider this: Today, watching online video accounts for more than one third of audience time; by 2017, that number is expected to double!

The play button is arguably the most compelling content on the web. Consider that last year:

  • The amount of B2C video content from people and brands in Facebook’s news feeds increased by 3.6x.
  • The use of video for B2B marketing grew from 8% of marketers in 2013 to 58% last year – more than 7x YTY growth.

Want to bet against that trend?

Savvy online publishers understand these statistics — and see the trend — and that’s precisely why they are investing in video.


Video is the BEST way to drive audience engagement.

Unlike articles, which tend to be scanned, videos have a 75%+ view completion rate; plus, research shows people are 64%-80% more likely to buy a product after watching a video about it.

Video is the closest thing we have to actually being there, in person, live, to experience content. Video lets us sample experiences we’ll never have, in places we’ll never go, with people we’ll never meet. It’s the ultimate “all-access pass.”

Text content tells you.  Video content shows you.  Text may appeal to the logical parts of our brains; video appeals to our emotions.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, has noted that from caveman times until 2003, the world produced 5 Exabytes of data – while today, five Exabytes of data are produced every two days.

There’s just a lot more stuff out there today that we can get to… that we can Google… to access, and to distract us!  So how can any brand, enterprise publisher or blogger best hold audience attention?  With text?  With images?  Or with video?

Video is a wonderful weapon to get and hold audience attention- and human biology explains why.  Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., is known in media circles as the “Brain Lady” — she’s a leading consultant for brands and advertisers on how human brains process data and information.  She says people automatically are drawn to video because:

  1. They are hard-wired to pay attention to faces — our brains see human faces as “gathering points for information”
  2. We understand human voices better than other means of sharing information
  3. Emotions are contagious among people — when we see them in video, we are hard-wired to react to them
  4. Movement draws attention — human brains can’t help but notice movement, and moving pictures
    (For more on her findings, see this Forbes article).

Now consider: Audiences are increasingly mobile. According to Pew Research, over two-thirds of  Americans now own a smartphone (and over 90% own a cellphone).

On mobile, it’s undeniably true: Video is a better, more engaging user experience than text or images.  Over 50% of all online videos are now viewed via smart phones — and that number is increasing.  Savvy publishers see the trend — and are getting in the game by investing in video.



Email marketers love video, because it increases open click through and conversion rates:

  • Open Rates: Research from Experian found that open rates rose from 7% to 13% when marketers used the word “video” in the email’s subject line.
  • Click Through Rates:  According to a study from Marketo and Clearfit, using video for email messages increases click through rates substantially. Email copy with a video call to action drives 53% more click throughs than copy without a video call to action (i.e.: “watch this video.”)
  • Conversion Rates: On top of that, MediaPost research shows emails with videos convert 12-21% better than emails without videos.

According to the Online Publishers Association, 80% of Internet users recall watching a video within the last 30 days. But even more:

  • 26% looked for more information about the subject of the video
  • 22% visited the website named in the ad
  • 15% visited the company represented in the video ad
  • 12% purchased the specific product featured in the ad

Video messaging boosts sales — and savvy publishers and businesses are already prospering because of it.



The way people buy things has changed dramatically in recent years.

Why?  Because the cost of doing research is now essentially zero – save the time it takes to Google something.

And that’s why for the first time ever, more buying decisions are made at the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) – the precise moment when a consumer has a need or question he/she wants answered online.

So.. what influences those decisions?  What are they really buying?

Trust.   And what do consumers trust?  Turns out, they trust own eyes, most of all!  Consumers trust video more than images, more than text, more than audio, more than anything except face-to-face communication. “Seeing there” isn’t “being there” — but it’s close.

People don’t want to read that a product works — they want to see it work, and hear directly from people who use it.  Don’t you?

People want to see video of an event and draw their own conclusions — then share those conclusions (and possibly the video itself).  Because seeing IS believing.

People buy on emotion – and then try to justify their actions with logic.

Video accesses emotions more strongly than text or single images do.  In the hands of a master communicator, it’s a far more effective and powerful weapon.



Audiences are spending more time watching videos — especially on cell phones — and savvy publishers are investing in video to meet this market demand.  Publishers who try to compete against the video wave with images and text alone are going to face an increasingly difficult challenge to hold audience attention.

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