Ten years ago, if you didn’t own a TV, then you really just didn’t see much television. (And, hey, that’s probably not a bad thing, right?) These days, however, more people are going without TVs, choosing to catch all of their favorite shows online instead.

Last month I introduced a new column about unconventional Internet usage. Today, I’d like to address the growing number of consumers who choose to live without television and a cable subscription, opting to use their computers and a few online TV and movie services instead. We’ll discuss this growing trend, and how you as a small business owner can adjust your content marketing strategy to effectively reach this consumer base and get conversions.

The 2012 Shift

Cable TV subscriptions are dropping with each passing quarter. A chart from Business Insider shows that cable TV subscriptions have dropped by about 5.2% from the first quarter of 2010 to the first quarter of 2012. Nielsen reported that cable providers lost 2.9 million subscribers in 2011. However, general interest in television programming is not subsiding.

More TV viewers are choosing to seek out their favorite programs online instead. There are a number of free and paid services that consumers are turning to: Netflix, Hulu, Vudu, Amazon Instant Video, YouTube, and others. How can you get in on the action?

Get Conversions From Content With Advertising

We’ll start with the easier and more affordable promotional tools… One of the best ways that you can push your content on the web these days is by creating video content. Of course, you can promote this video content through your blog, Twitter, and other platforms that you control. However, if you want to get serious about driving conversions from content, it’s time to look into promoting your videos where viewers will see them.

Getting your videos out there means linking up with other videos that your audience is already watching. Once you obtain that coveted “suggested video” status on a few popular YouTube videos, you’ll be well on your way! So, how do you get there? SEO. You’ve got to know the search terms that can hook you up with other videos on YouTube.

SocialTimes has some great tips on how to get the ball rolling with SEO and other strategies. Blogger Megan O’Neill recommends implementing tags to ensure your video attracts the appropriate attention. She also includes other helpful tips for would-be YouTube video stars like creating playlists to encourage multiple viewings at a time. Check out the post!

The Big Leagues

YouTube is a great way to start with video content marketing because the experience is free and you have nothing to lose. But, if you feel confident about the conversions you’ve been able to get through YouTube, you might want to consider paid advertising on some of the high quality video streaming sites.

Advertising on Hulu, for example, can be an extremely effective way to reach customers. While Hulu doesn’t publicly release the cost of their advertisements, it’s been estimated that Hulu charges upwards of $25 for showing an ad 1,000 times. Not bad, right? Or, if you think that’s pricey, take into consideration Hulu’s recent promise not to charge advertisers unless 100% of the ad is viewed. Considering Hulu has a 96% completion rate, your video ad has a great chance of being viewed anyways! However, it is nice to have that guarantee.

New: Google Fiber

Of course, with the recent announcement of Google Fiber, the way everyone watches TV is about to change yet again. Google Fiber will bring crystal clear HD into TV viewers’ homes, leaving traditional cable providers in the dust. Furthermore, Google Fiber is integrated with YouTube and Netflix, and offers all of the amenities that traditional providers like Comcast and AT&T provide: recording, rewinding, on-demand playback, etc.

It remains to be seen what advertising options might be available with Google Fiber, but there’s no question that Google holds the key to the future with their innovative new service. Small businesses that are able to promote their content marketing efforts with Google Fiber early on in the game could be onto a great business opportunity!

For more information on how you can use video to get conversions, be sure to check out this post from fellow CEM blogger, Andrew.

How do you plan to get your content marketing out to web users who open up the computer for all of their TV and movie viewing?