Note:  This post also appears on Waggener Edstrom’s Thinkers & Doers blog.

A recent report from the Pew Internet Project and an announcement on Mashable reinforce an online trend over the past few years — video is hot. As stated on Mashable:

52% of the American population is watching videos online — that’s 69% of all Internet-connected American adults

In addition, a few other key findings stand out in the study (benchmarked from 2007):

  • Increased popularity of online video consumption outside of the 18-29 year-old age range
  • Comedy or humor videos have risen in viewership from 31% to 50% among adult Internet users (now trumping news video consumption)
  • Increase in educational video viewership from 22% to 38% among adult Internet users

On the video creation front, men and women are also now posting videos at a similar rate (used to be more popular among men) and video sharing is most popular on social networks:

Pew Research - Online Video

As PR/marketing pros continually look to integrate video into contests, digital storytelling efforts and general communications campaigns, the primary challenge is to move people from a “spectator” status to “creator” status. Active participation on the creator front can ramp up the amount of authentic content to engage target audiences — a key asset when budgets are tight or geographic restrictions are in place.

Here are a few steps that can be taken to move your spectator group into action:

  • To start, if video does not already play a significant role within your overall communications plans for clients, it’s time to go back and rethink those plans.
  • Common Craft has demonstrated great success in the ”how-to” space but given the upswing in educational video popularity, don’t shy away from generating a creative “how-to” video. In other words, make the technical process as simple as possible for your audience to get involved.
  • Yes, YouTube and Vimeo are primary video hubs, but don’t forget about pulling people in through social networks and niche communities.
  • Keep your ask simple. Visa’s FIFA “Goooal!” campaign is a great example. Clear ask, easy to participate and affords a world of creativity.

As a general takeaway, it’s important to note that as technology advances, video creation will undoubtedly increase. More video creation will result in a general rise in familiarity with video as as a communication medium and eventually drive quality content. All-in-one devices and faster upload times will help prompt this process as we continue to push past the first wave of mainstream adoption.

What role do you see video playing in the next 5-10 years?


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Thinkers & Doers, Video


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