With the likes of YouTube and Vimeo giving the opportunity to everyone from small businesses, low-budget filmmakers, animators, large corporations to pranksters to reach a huge worldwide audience, it is no surprise that video has become the largest area of investment for business marketing.

Online video is huge. You only have to see how quickly the highly annoying Gangnam Style craze spread last year – 1.7 billion hits and counting – to see the power that video has. There is no way that video goes viral without social media sharing and the buzz that a YouTube audience can create. The visual element can also be huge for business, as it gives them the opportunity to reach a wide audience that they might not have reached with traditional marketing and advertising.

If you can create a piece of video content that goes viral, it can have a huge effect on your business. Back in the day, only large corporations had the budgets to make an advert for their business. These days, you can create something that is simple in concept, quick and cheap to create, and get it up online in a matter of hours.

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What a difference a year makes. Online video usage had risen by 12% amongst B2B content marketers between 2011 and 2012, according to research by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) back in October 2012. At the same time, they reported that 85% of internet users in the US viewed online video content in September 2012 alone.

Smartphones, laptops and tablets are now the weapons of choice for everyone from kids, business owners, online shoppers, students and everyone in between. With technology rapidly improving and become readily accessible and affordable to consumers, the number of online users is only going to increase worldwide. For this reason, businesses have now made video content a high priority in their marketing strategies.

How Can Your Business Use Online Video?

There are a variety of ways you can use online video for your marketing, and it ranges from the staunchly corporate, to the more laid back, fun and engaging style. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you run, either. The key is to get to the essence of what your audience wants and deliver it. This can be all manner of video content, from:

  • An introduction to the business (and your team)

  • An advertisement or commercial

  • To-camera interviews

  • Funny videos that highlight your products and services

  • Tutorials and Infomercials

The online audience is growing all the time, and expectations are changing as a result. In the last few years, Amazon have introduced more video content to accompany their products, with video demonstrations alongside the traditional product specifications and descriptions. Not only does video give consumers a better idea of what they are buying because of the visual element, but it vastly improves the probability of them purchasing the goods, particularly if it is something expensive. According to a survey by MediaPost this year, 57% of consumers said that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.

It is safe to say that there will be a steady rise in the number of businesses who invest in corporate marketing videos over the next few years. Online habits change, and now that everything is sharable, video content works hand-in-hand with social media and your website. If you see something you like, there is a good chance it is going to be shared on Facebook, Twitter and other channels, and this provides an opportunity for your video content to be seen by a huge number of people who might not have found your business otherwise.

Below are a few great examples of video content that you can use to get an idea of what works for a business, and is likely to draw in a substantial online audience to your online business:

Red Lobster restaurants – Telling a story through video content

Innocent Drinks – Highlighting the fun and vibrancy of the brand

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