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According to a study by Nielsen, the amount of time spent streaming videos online in the US has more than doubled since 2008, with unique viewers increasing by 26%.

The report puts this down to a higher quantity of video content available, particularly long-form content like films and TV shows.

But what does this mean for marketers?

Online video strategist Steffan Aquarone, who covered this issue back in September, said that these figures show us how fast online video consumption is rising - but what they don't show it that it's not just content originated for TV that people are watching.

Branded content - in the form of entertainment or well crafted information - is growing too.

Aquarone believes that brands are in as good a position as traditional broadcasters to create content that people want to watch.

But to achieve success they need to think strategically about every part of the process - content, distribution, technology and strategy.

Some of the biggest successes in online video this year have come through brands tuning in to what their customers will find useful, entertaining or interesting - and producing content people actually want to watch."

Yeo Valley boosted sales by 10% because they created in ‘The Churned’ something people found entertaining and were willing to share around. 

Jack Wallington, head of the IAB’s video council, said brands need to include video content as a key part of their marketing strategy.

Brands should be taking note and making sure they are producing engaging content and that people are watching it."

According to IAB statistics, online advertising is the fastest growing marketing platform in the UK, increasing 100% in the first six months of this year to £45m.

Brands increasingly want to run product awareness campaigns online and video content is a key component in these campaigns.

Wallington said there is a myth that TV adverts don’t work online, but in fact the same adverts can be used on both offline and online platforms.

We recommend that advertisers think about the online platform at the very beginning of the storyboard process so the whole campaign feels more natural and seamless."

So while on the face of it, Nielsen's statistics aren’t exactly surprising due to the proliferation of online video, this is just another reminder than marketers need to be aware of the importance of producing engaging video content when planning a campaign.

David Moth

Published 18 November, 2011 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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