Back in 2011, only 6% of YouTube views came from mobile devices. But, things have changed dramatically since then. YouTube views coming from mobile devices jumped to 25% in 2012, rose to 40% in 2013, and increased to 50% in 2014. Today, more than half of YouTube views and 65% of Facebook video views occur on mobile devices.
So, where and when can you reach Millennials? Well, as we learned a couple of weeks ago, you should probably try to be in the right place at the right during one of the micro-moments when they check their smartphones 150 times a day. Yep, whether you start with mobile or your start with Millennials, you end up in the same place.
In October 2014, Google and Ipsos asked 1,519 smartphone owners aged 18- to 34-years-old to keep detailed accounts of all of their online and offline video activity over 24 hours. Respondents had to access video via an app, so the study was limited to Millennials who owned a smartphone in 2014, But that still covered 81% of individuals age 18 to 34. The research found that smartphones were the top device to reach 98% of those Millennials, higher than tablets or desktops. The research also revealed that watching video on a smartphones was less distracting and disruptive for respondents, compared to watching video on a TV. Watching videos was the sole activity for 53% of the mobile video sessions.
Now, home wasn’t the only place Millennials were watching mobile video last year. 34% of mobile video minutes were watched while people were out and about. People watching digital video outside the home were also 1.8x more likely than average to be meaningfully engaged because they were likely to be watching video for active purposes, such as looking for information or exploring a passion. While marketers traditionally sought Baby Boomers’ attention in their living rooms, sitting in front of a television, mobile video consumption by Millennials has changed that dramatically.
Since the research was conducted a year ago, YouTube reports that users are spending more time per session watching videos. On mobile, the average viewing session is now more than 40 minutes, up more than 50% year-over-year. The number of hours people spent watching videos on mobile is up 100% year-over-year. And YouTube’s mobile revenue from advertising is up 2x year-over-year.
So, why did advertisers finally jump on YouTube’s bandwagon? Well, they were probably jumping on the mobile video bandwagon – and YouTube as well as Facebook have both benefited from this trend in the digital video marketing business. Advertisers realize that Millennials are twice as likely to be focused on the content while watching a mobile video as they are while viewing it via a television screen. Mobile truly is the first screen when it comes to this demographic.
This was validated by more research conducted by Google and Ipsos in February 2015. They wanted to see how this enthusiasm for mobile video translated for brands. So, they surveyed U.S. consumers who watch video on various devices. And this year’s research found that people who view videos on their smartphones are 1.4X as likely to watch ads as those who view videos on TVs or desktop computers.
Video Marketing Provides Great ROI
There’s no question: online video marketing helps businesses increase their brand awareness, generate genuine buzz, and increase sales.
What’s becoming more evident is just how much of a difference it makes, which is reflected in the results of the latest industry studies. One of the latest, released this year by Animoto, which surveyed 1,000 U.S. consumers, highlights the impact of video:
- 73% are more likely to make a purchase after watching a video.
- 96% say online videos are helpful when making purchasing decisions.
- 71% say watching online video content leaves them with a positive impression of the brand, service or company.
According to eMarketer, online video marketing is a strategic marketing approach that promises the greatest return on investment.
One key business-to-consumer sector is retail, where we are seeing video marketing used to assist a customer’s journey through the sales funnel. Video marketing offers a better view of products, they can be used to promote trends, express brand culture, and video marketing makes a statement that’s much bolder than most marketing and advertising methods. From longer-form videos on YouTube to bite-sized content on Vine and Instagram, the smart brands are getting on board, and they’re seeing results.
Zappos was one of the first and it continues to be one of the most mentioned retail brands leveraging online video marketing. Tens of thousands of videos are embedded on its website at any given time and its YouTube channel is full of products, how-tos, and company culture videos. Zappos also encourages its customers to play a role by allowing them to upload their Zappos Experience videos. While the online shoes and clothing shop is a huge video-hustle example, smaller retailers can start to emulate its success with a few small pieces.
French Connection is another example of a brand that regularly pushes video content to its network on YouTube and other social media. It creates and releases seasonal fashion updates, fashion tips, campaign teasers and series of short “films” that celebrate the “power of clothing.”
Most of them are short and sweet with creative fair – the company puts some of its fashions on a 360-degree moving display, which offers a more engaging experience that is trusted by consumers more than, say, digitally manipulated photos. Other top retail YouTube channels include Home Depot – with a variety of cool DIY project tutorials – Bed Bath and Beyond “product of the week” segments, and Best Buy how-to videos and “latest technology” news.
With mobile traffic set to increase 13X by 2017, retail brands have been quick to experiment with short-form video platforms such as Vine and Instagram. From Ford to H&M, Reebok, GoPro, Ralph Lauren and Tide, there’s even a mashup of the top branded short-form videos of February, 2014. From informative content to entertainment to shock value, there’s no shortage of creativity and unique approaches.
Strategically, it’s about honing in on content a retailer’s target demographic would find intriguing, engaging, informative and helpful, all of which contributes to brand awareness and increased sales. Most brands take a similar strategic approach to video marketing, though the content, of course, is quite different and tailored specifically to their audience.
Not convinced yet? Here are a few more stats from the initial study mentioned:
Video plays an impressive role in consumers’ lives with 94% watching it at least once a week from their desktop.
76% of smartphone owners watch videos at least once a week on their devices.
89% are likely to share a video if they consider it educational.
86% are likely to share a video if there is an incentive, such as a promotion or discount.
Roll and record, retailers. This is your year to make an impact with video marketing.
Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV.