Online Video Surges, But It’s Not TV

, Thursday, July 26th, 2007

“Fifty-seven percent of online adults have used the internet to watch or download video, and 19% do so on a typical day,” according to the Pew Internet and American Life project, which published its first major report on the subject this week.

You read numbers like that and it’s no wonder why so many nonprofit organizations are venturing into the wild world of YouTube. Here at Beaconfire we’ve helped a number of clients create new video for the web, or adapt their TV-oriented videos to display on the web.

Here are three quick tips for understanding the difference between TV and web video.

YouTube videos should be short. Producers should aim for about three minutes. One minute is even better. If you have a longer piece that was originally prepared for TV, give serious thought to having a videographer edit it down into short, self-contained pieces.

YouTube videos have a long shelf life. Some of the videos we’ve helped clients post continue to rack up impressive numbers of views and build the brand long after the campaign in question has wound down. Check back on your YouTube video every few weeks and make sure you update your reports on views.

YouTube offers a tradeoff. If you host the video yourself, you may be able to insert clickable links into the video, so viewers can move straight from the video to your donation form, petition, etc… That’s good. But if you host the video yourself, you won’t be able to tap into YouTube’s huge built-in audience. That’s bad.

2 Responses to “Online Video Surges, But It’s Not TV”

  1. William Prescott Says:

    Thanks for alerting me to the Pew report.

    One viable solution to the tradeoff YouTube offers is to post a teaser on YouTube with a website address in the video (not clickable) and a voice over requesting that viewers see the rest of the video at the targeted site. Keep it short. Drive traffic to the self hosted video on your site that allows clickable links or a redirect at the end of the video.

    Another tactic is to upload your teaser as a reply to relevant videos. Make sure that you put your website URL first in the description box.

  2. Glen Barnhardt Says:

    I agree Video has become the hot thing. Since the majority of the Internet Community are now on High Speed Internet this has opend the door for Video to come into it’s own.

    I’m very interested in adding video to my marketing skills.

    It would be really nice to see some reviews for good video editing software and video techniques.

    Sincerely,
    Glen Barnhardt