Friday, March 25, 2011

Tuning in to Opportunity: How Companies can use online videos as the new TV

Tuning in to Opportunity: How Companies can use online videos as the new TV

Think about the amount of time each day you spend listening to a radio. Next, think of the time each day you spend watching TV. Finally, think about the time you spend in front of your computer each day. In each of these scenarios, the time growth is exponential. You may not have noticed, companies and organizations have been carefully watching the technology trends and have made a point of incorporating online videos into their efforts to reach you, the audience. In fact, predicts that in five years, B2B firms alone will spend 20 percent of their annual budgets on social media, which includes communication through online videos.

Far beyond simply being engines for online ads, companies, nonprofits, even politicians and celebrities are posting online videos as public relations tools to reach a people who are quickly trading in their television remotes for iPads.

Does this mean that television is fading and going the way of hard copy newspapers or those radio broadcasts you used to tune into on the weekends? Not at all. It simply means that television, as well as those same newspapers and radio programs, are learning to utilize new methods for reaching patrons.

According to a recent study by Nielsen, online video usage in the U.S. is up considerably from the same time last year. Results showed that time spent viewing video on personal computers, Macs, and laptops from home and work locations increased by 45 percent in January 2011. The study showed that this year, viewers streamed 28 percent more video and spent 45 percent more time watching.

Among favorite sites to tune in were MSN, Windows Live and Bing, which were the fastest-growing video brand month-over-month, increasing 26.1 percent. Furthermore, top online video brands used by unique viewers in February 2011, included AOL Media Network, YouTube and Facebook.

If the audience is allocating more time to online video, then, logically, they are spending less time utilizing other media. So, how can companies incorporate online videos into public relations campaigns? Look at BP after last year’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill or Toyota after the massive recall. The companies not only ran spots for television, radio, and newspaper, but also invested a great deal of time, money, and effort in posting their public relations message all over the internet via online videos that were crafted to patch up their reputations and sell the repaired image to the online viewer.

This year, look for even more companies and organizations to tap into online viewership in even more creative ways. In this society of instant access, these online videos will be tweeted, texted, instant messaged, and so on. The message will be accessible from anywhere and will penetrate everywhere.