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Has video become king?

Despite the vast range of marketing opportunities on offer to 21st-century businesses, it seems that online video is fast becoming the must-have tool. Kirsten Morel examines exactly what makes it so effective


VERY MINUTE of every day, 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Every 60 days, the site distributes more content

than the three largest US TV networks created in 60 years. It’s pretty breathtaking when you stop to think about it. Since the arrival of broadband, YouTube

has undeniably become a dominant force on the web – but perhaps more significantly, online video has changed what we expect from internet content. No longer satisfied with web pages of images and text, users are searching for video, not just to see amusing shorts of people falling off walls or the latest Lady Gaga video, but also to learn and to be informed. Consider this – 26.9 million people

across the UK viewed internet video from home and work in April 2011, and that’s a million more than in January. From a business perspective, 40 per cent of videos were watched in the workplace, which may mean that managers need to pay closer attention to staff performance, but also suggests that many people are watching videos for work purposes. It’s not surprising then, that businesses

are getting in on the act. You only need to look at the ways in which companies are using video to see how important it can be as a business tool. From straightforward marketing of products to demonstrating innovative technology, the potential for video to be more than mere entertainment means that businesses across the world now take it very seriously. Visit the website or

50 August/September 2011

Facebook page of any global brand and you’d be surprised if video wasn’t there. “If you don’t have video on your site,

you’ll be seen as old hat,” says Peter Lainé, Director at The Digital Works. “While you don’t need to make extensive use of it, there will be a time when most companies will have at least a simple promotional video on their homepage. Also, from a search engine point of view, companies not using video will be left behind.” This view is echoed by Alex Mallinson,

Head of PR at Image Group, “At some point, businesses will realise that if they’re missing video, they’re missing a key marketing element and will look outdated.” However, he also sees a reluctance to commit in the Channel Islands marketplace. “There is a growing awareness among the business community that they should use video, but currently they feel that they can carry on without it.” Mallinson attributes much of this reluctance to the perceived cost of producing videos compared to standard static web content but, like Lainé, he believes that good quality video need not cost the earth.

Roll VT The reality is that video has a number of big advantages over static content – not least when it comes to emotional engagement. “Video content can create an emotional connection with clients,” says Matthew Robins, Chief Executive of Webreality. “Law firms and financial services providers tend to have lots of words on their websites

but buyers are looking to see whether these are the kinds of people they can do business with. Video enables this.” With the professional and financial

services industries dominating the Channel Islands, the fact that video is able to convey personality makes it an essential marketing tool for these types of firms. Adam Riddell, Senior Account Manager

at Crystal PR has already seen financial services firms exploring new tools. “In the Channel Islands, we are seeing a greater appetite for utilising video for making events more accessible to a wider audience,” he explains. “For example, the Channel Islands Stock Exchange has used video to cover its annual International Business Summits, making coverage of the event available via its website. In another example, Jersey Finance has established a dedicated video website,, intended as an up-to-date information resource.” And video is effective for simpler reasons

too. According to recent studies, 83 per cent of human learning occurs visually, and retention of information three days after a meeting is six times greater when information is presented by visual and oral means than by spoken word alone. The increased retention through video is backed up by UKOM, which has found that brand awareness is considerably stronger when exposed to video than other mediums. Another advantage of video is that it

is a creative medium, and even the most cautious of businesses can find new ways of using it. Indeed, many companies are pushing the boundaries of what works

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