Online Video Grabs Marketing Foothold by Steven Vonder Haar

In a world seemingly saturated with video, are there any growth segments left for companies that sell video production services and gear?


Evolving online technologies are making it easier than ever before for organizations of all sizes to develop and distribute video content designed to communicate with outbound audiences.

And, we’re not just talking about developing television commercials for the Web. Rather, expanded use of video hinges on the integration of online multimedia into a range of Web-based communications applications.

Some companies, for instance, may find value in publishing videos addressing questions that commonly roll into their customer support centers. An elegant, well-produced customer support video could answer questions that keep customers from calling into customer support lines, cutting the expense of dealing with customers after the sale while retaining an image for providing superior customer support.

Companies selling high-priced gear also could make a wider array of product information and demonstrations that can help prospects make their purchase decision more rapidly and with more confidence.

Really, the potential uses for online video in outbound communications applications are limited only by the imagination of corporate marketers.

And – if you happen to be a video laggard who is not thinking about integrating online video into your outbound marketing campaign – it may be time to put on your creativity caps. Chances are that your rivals are already leapfrogging you on the video front.

In a survey of more than 1,000 corporate executives conducted by Interactive Media Strategies in the fourth quarter of 2009, 49% of organizations represented in the survey reported plans to expand their use of online video on their public corporate Web sites in 2010 over 2009 levels. Almost 20% of overall respondents characterized their plans as adding “significantly more” online video to their corporate Web sites this year.

The rise in online video adoption for outbound business communications is fostering a sea-change in the perceived role of this technology for corporate use. Once seen exclusively as a medium for delivering branded messages and advertising, outbound online video is increasingly recognized as a viable vehicle for communications-oriented applications ranging from partner training to customer support.

Importantly, the changes impact more than just the Fortune 500. Indeed, the trends open the door more than ever before for small- and mid-sized businesses to embrace video production. The Web now serves as a viable venue for even smaller organizations to distribute video in a way that they can reach their target audiences in a video format – the most engaging form of far-flung corporate communications.

The confluence of factors signals new opportunity for vendors of video services and gear. While demand for video communications fueled by the Web is likely to grow for the foreseeable future, many small- and mid-sized businesses will be looking for the help and the technology needed to make themselves look good online.

In short, the market for corporate video is poised to expand in a big way. Is your organization ready?

Steven Vonder Haar is Research Director of Interactive Media Strategies, a market research firm focusing on the use of online video and other Web technologies in business communications. He can be reached at

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