Online video in emerging markets: the possibilities are endless

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Video marketing is on the rise globally and emerging markets are no exception. While some countries’ internet landscape is still years behind that of the US and Europe, they’re slowly catching up, and trends that have developed over there will eventually make their way to them. But we still need trend setters (for want of a better word) to decide when the best time is for these trends to surface. And for video, I’d say the time is now.

Some global stats about online video:

  • Video views on YouTube have increased by 25% in the past eight months, to an astounding 4 billion per day (Reuters, 2012)
  • Q4 2011 saw video views on retail and brand sites increase by more than 3x over Q3 (Invodo research, January 2012)
  • According to Cisco, video will increase from 30% of Internet traffic to 90% of Internet traffic by 2013 (Cisco, 2010); YouTube’s Robert Kyncl (CES 2012)
  • Video results appear in about 70% of the top 100 listings, the type of content most often displayed in universal or blended search results (Marketingweek, 2011)

What’s happening in the emerging markets video space?

In countries like South Africa, YouTube has an approximate online reach of 50% and, to date, year-on-year growth in views has increased by around 190%. This is huge. So ask yourself why you are not tapping into this flourishing space, especially if you are active on Facebook and Twitter.

There is some great work being done in online video campaigns: Savanna’s Dead Funny, Woolworths’ current MasterChef campaign, and their YouTube channel in general, come to mind.

Dead Funny embraces the interactivity that the online space enables, by asking viewers to interact and to define the outcome of the respective video, while the Woolworths MasterChef campaign is actively pushing an eCommerce function directly within the video. With a little creative thinking anybody can push the envelope of what’s possible.

More importantly though, these campaigns are seeing engagement and interactions in the thousands, meaning they are working.

Video and data

Taking all the positives of video into the online space enables us to add another dimension: data. Because all interactions can be accurately measured, online video reporting is a science. This science can then be applied to the creative, to be more engaging for its intended audience.

The scientific method can be applied to give advertisers far more accurate and specific information, which in turn is worth far more than TV’s guesswork. We know what people are watching, how long they’re watching for, and we can measure conversions from these views.

The cost of marketing through video

A further benefit of video marketing is cost. It’s (comparatively) cheap to advertise with video at this point in time. If you manage pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns via AdWords then you should undoubtedly give the new video interface a try. It recently moved out of beta and while there are still a few niggles, it’s going to be very simple for you to adapt.

It’s also quick and easy to set up a cool YouTube channel. Branding is made incredibly easy and what’s more, you can plug in your AdWords data to complement what you see in YouTube Analytics. As with AdWords for Video, YouTube’s backend is still somewhat simplified, but there’s more than enough right now to get you rocking in the online video space.

Image: Bigstock Photo.

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