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Has video reached must-have status for marketing?

3 min read


This poll analysis was written by Jeremy Victor, editor-in-chief of For more of his writing, visit and follow him on Twitter and Google+.

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Social Media — tracks feedback from leading marketers about social media practices and issues.

This week, we asked: Do you incorporate video elements into your social media presence? The results:

  • Yes, and they have been very successful: 42.16%
  • We’d like to create videos, but we’re not sure how: 28.43%
  • No, we have no plans to produce videos: 17.65%
  • Yes, but the results have been disappointing: 11.76%

Video as a form of content for your social media and content-marketing efforts has reached must-have status.

According to a survey in May by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, “71% of online Americans use video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo, up from 66% a year earlier.” Further, in The State of Online Video presentation in January, comScore’s Dan Piech said “89 million people in the U.S. are going to watch 1.2 billion videos … today.” So, if I were to say that online video has grown in popularity, it would be such a ridiculous understatement.

The growth of broadband Internet access combined with increased computing power in smartphones and mobile devices makes watching online video possible just about anywhere — literally. You can watch video when standing in an aisle at Costco Wholesale, sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for a flu shot or lying on a couch during a commercial break while watching Revenge. (Did I just admit that?)

Those are three examples of me watching video in the past week, two of which were for purchasing decisions. And that doesn’t include the countless toy videos I watched with my children as they looked for ideas for their Christmas lists on the Toy R Us Apple iPad application. Simply put, online video has become omnipresent, only a click and a second or two away from our viewing pleasure.

Why? For some, such as busy executives, watching video is simply easier. Consider this finding from Forbes Insights study “Video in the C-Suite: Executives Embrace the Non-Text Web”: “Three-quarters (75%) of executives surveyed said they watch work-related videos on business-related websites at least weekly.” Also, “65% have visited a vendor’s website after watching a video.”

So not only are we seeing increased frequency of viewing but also that video is effectively influencing our online behavior. And, as SmartPulse results show, 42% of you are seeing that success. For the 28% that are not sure how to get started, there are tons of resources available; I suggest one: “The B2B Marketers Guide To A Brilliant Video Strategy.” If you need help designing into your content-marketing strategy, we help with that. For those not planning video, I hope the resources in this article convince you of your need to get started. If not, I’d love to hear your reasons in the comments.

What’s your take? Is video a must-have?