Video and Social Media – A Recipe For Success

If you’re a business owner marketing your product or service via the Internet then you might already know two things: video and social networking tools are two increasingly popular types of media to use. According to recent research, using these types of media together will increase your return on investment by driving traffic to your website and increasing your websites’ conversion rate. With the average website conversion rate at only 2%, there’s lots of room for improvement. Using video and social media to market online is fast becoming a marketing staple for savvy professionals who understand that the Internet is now the #1 “go-to” place for those in need of a service or product. Better online marketing techniques equals more business or revenue.

Recent reports from the research firm The Nielsen Company offer some compelling statistics to support integrating online video and social media for a more robust web marketing strategy. For example, Nielson reports that 72 percent of Internet users viewed videos online in 2009, amounting to about 144 million people.

“To marketers, this presents a huge – and largely untapped – audience to reach,” according to a Nielsen report.

Of course, viewing videos has never been easier now that most homes are connected to broadband or other types of high-speed Internet. And, the access to online videos is now easier in part to social networking sites.

Also according to Nielsen’s research, time spent viewing video on social networking sites increased 98 percent from Oct. 2008 to Oct. 2009.

The number of online video streams viewed on social networking sites, such as Facebook and Myspace, also increased year-over-year from 240.8 million streams in Oct. 2008 to 349.5 million in Oct. 2009, according to Nielsen.

Facebook, the most preferred social networking site to view online videos, saw 217.8 million total video streams viewed during Oct. 2009. The site also had a tremendous growth from 34.9 million minutes that consumers spent viewing videos on Facebook in Oct. 2008 to 677 million minutes in Oct. 2009, according to the Nielsen report.

“During the past year, online video viewing has become central to the Web experience,” said Jon Gibs, vice president of media analytics for Nielsen. “In conjunction with this increase, we are seeing remarkable growth in video viewing on social networking sites, and it is only natural that these two trends would converge in consumers’ minds, making sites like Facebook and increasingly important distribution points for both consumer and professionally generated video.”

Gibs’ thoughts are in line with what many marketers area already thinking. According to a survey by the Association of National Advertisers, 66 percent of marketing professionals used social media last year, compared to 20 percent in 2007. Following the trend, 50 percent of marketers used viral videos to showcase products and businesses, up from just 25 percent in 2007.

The surveys present various numbers and percentages, but each of those figures is a testimony to the rising trend in online video and social media – a trend on which savvy marketers and business professionals are capitalizing.

Diana D’Itri is co-owner of IDR, LLC, a video production, broadcasting, and Internet marketing company since 2002. Diana has helped professional service providers all over the U.S. to improve their web marketing sales results through strategic video promotions. []

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