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Video is Evolving -- Don't Get Left Behind
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 | MediaPost's Online Video Insider - Craig Wax   
Consumer usage of video is increasing at an astonishing rate. Cisco has estimated that video will increase from 30% of Internet traffic in 2010 to 90% by 2013. Online retailers are already using video, and service companies, manufacturing, and many others are also hopping on board. The scope of businesses that employ video and the different uses for video are expanding.

The message is clear: Consumers expect online video as a central element of a company’s communications strategy. No matter what sector of business you are in, incorporating video is an essential step in preparing yourself for the future of marketing.

73% of online retailers use video on product pages, which means that if you’re a retailer and you don’t have video on your site, you are officially in the minority, according to eMarketer. Other sectors of business are beginning to follow suit. A recent survey by Industrial Marketing Today found that 50% of B2B manufacturers use YouTube as a channel to connect with their customers. Even service companies such as Charles Schwab are starting to include videos on their websites.

Video can be used in various ways, which explains why more companies are using video to achieve business objectives. It is clearly beneficial for online retailers to demonstrate a product to their consumers. But what about answering potential questions about your company through video on a FAQ page? This way, you can efficiently inform your customer with a personal touch. Dell credits video with reducing service call volumes by 5%, and Virgin Mobile expects video to reduce call volumes by 14% in 2011(The Australian, December 2010).

Promotional videos can be placed on a landing page to endorse new products and services. Background video on a Web site can make the page feel interactive and exciting. The list of possibilities goes on. Companies are using video on more platforms as well. YouTube is a common channel that companies use, and it is the second most popular web site with 790 million unique monthly visitors, per ReelSEO. Other social media tools, such as Facebook and Twitter, integrate video into their systems and make it easier than ever for users to share videos with each other.

The use of video in emails is gaining in popularity and has been shown to increase click-through rates by over 96%, in an Implix survey. Newsletters or other subscriber-based system could benefit from video, too. Video is even extending beyond the computer, to mobile phone apps or at on-site locations. Imagine going to a restaurant, using your phone to scan a QR code next to a menu item, and watching a clip on what the dish looks like and how it is made. This is just one example on how video can be employed inthe hospitality industry.

Read the full story here