Over the past month I’ve read a great deal of trend forecasts and predictions for 2012.

They range from a renewed interest in advertising on mobiles to connected TVs, more creative thinking from marketers to the resurgence of email marketing.

But overall it seems the industry is in agreement over one key trend: online video.

Online video is one of the fastest growing mediums today. Various statistics from Ofcom and YouGov reiterate the growing consumption of video content on various connected devices with 27% of internet users in the UK accessing TV content over the web every week.

There are 785m visits to online video websites every month and if this growth continues, it’s been predicted that by 2015 over 1m minutes of content will pass the web every second.

In 2011 many brands successfully used online video to not only increase their product sales but their brand awareness. While the T-Mobile spoof Royal wedding viral was beaten to the finish line by a YouTube video of a “talking” dog as the number one most viewed video of 2011, it has still garnered over 25m views.

It’s been shown that video can play a crucial role in brand engagement, customer retention and sales (the Old Spice campaign doubled sales of the product). It builds an ongoing and trusted communication with customers, demonstrating the latest products, innovations and valued services the brand offers.

So with customers consuming more and more video across various devices, brands should be looking to use video as an integral component of their digital strategy in 2012.

No longer can brands create one-off films, video competitions or the latest “viral”. That ongoing and trusted communication begins with a lasting video strategy, one that encompasses the entire spectrum of video, not just the viral.

Whether it’s on a mobile, in-store, at home on a connected TV, or out and about, from social video to a branded content channel, the brand must be ever present in some form.

Consumers are no longer interested in traditional advertising being ‘pushed’ at them and are increasingly switching to online channels that provide them a service.

The challenge for brands is to understand how best to deliver this service in a way that is relevant to the customer, drives engagement across multiple platforms and captures a response in order to deliver sales.

There are two key components to creating and managing branded content. The numerous connected devices now available mean that brands must provide their digital services across as many platforms as possible and secondly, create a meaningful content layer that promotes brand loyalty.

While 2012 should hopefully be the year that brands really take advantage of online video, there is still a steep learning curve that many brands must overcome in order to create that ongoing and successful video strategy.

Chris Gorell Barnes

Published 11 January, 2012 by Chris Gorell Barnes

Chris Gorell Barnes is CEO of Adjust Your Set and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can also follow him on Twitter

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