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Okay, so lets qualify ... I've been doing online development for over 10 years, since the late nineties. Now, I'm not telling you that to brag, it's to give perspective. When I first got involved with developing websites, there was very little internet access in the home, much less high speed access. When trending began and the internet was making it into the household, most connections were dialup. This greatly affected how we built websites and the type of content we developed for these slow connections. We can call this time period the stone age of the internet.
Fast forward to the present and not only does the average household have high-speed Internet access, the average cell phone does, as well. (That's progress, right?) Now, online content does not have the same restrictions that we had in the stone age. With the removal of these restrictions, viewing video content has become commonplace.
If you are a person that likes numbers and stats, then I'll humor you: (2010 Internet Stats)
* 266.2 million – Internet users in North America
* 2 billion – The number of videos watched per day on YouTube.
* 35 – Hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute.
* 186 – The number of online videos the average Internet user watches in a month (USA).
* 84% – Share of Internet users that view videos online (USA).
* 14% – Share of Internet users that have uploaded videos online (USA).
* 2+ billion – The number of videos watched per month on Facebook.
* 20 million – Videos uploaded to Facebook per month.
What can we gather from these numbers? It's simple really ... people are watching video online and they are watching a lot of it.
The possibilities that have opened up for online video is staggering. It is my belief that 2011 will be the year where online video really hits it's stride. Even though the numbers for 2010 show heavy video consumption, the room for growth is amazing.
Let's look at some scenarios. Let's take the restaurant, Black Folk Hot Food. BFHF has:
Their own website, of course
Google Places Page
Facebook Places Page
BFHF is linked up and ready to go. People check in on their cell phones, when they eat at the restaurant. This is great for BFHF, because as people check in, using Facebook as an example, it shows up in their feed. What this translates to for BFHF is additional exposure as people wonder ... "Hey! What is BFHF?" A few people click on the check-in tag for BFHF and go to their Facebook Page. Pretty cool, right?
Now that consumers are finding their way to Black Folk Hot Food's Facebook presence, there is an opportunity here for BFHF to grab a new customer. What's the best way for BFHF to give consumers a look into their restaurant, their food, ambiance, etc?
Yep, you guessed it ... with an online commercial. Video showcasing the decor of the restaurant, mouth watering - enticing shots of the food, etc.
Are you seeing how online commercials will be the craze of 2011? No? Still working with BFHF let's spin it this way. Consumer Ryan Hodge LOVES Black Folk Hot Food, he loves telling people about his favorite restaurant. Well these days, Ryan doesn't just tell people about his favorite dine spot by word of mouth, he shares it on his Facebook.
Ryan is a proactive consumer, and he loves to share, when he finds a good thing. BFHF makes sure that when consumers like Ryan want to share, they give them something to work with by having an online commercial. So when Ryan shares his favorite spot, he shares BFHF's commercial. Now, Ryan isn't just telling you about BFHF, he is giving you an inside look at his favorite spot, increasing the chances that at some point his hidden gem won't be so hidden, for long.
Now, bear in mind this fact! We only discussed Facebook in this example, however, Ryan can check-in with 4 of the 7 online entities we mentioned, 5 if you include Twitter.
2010 was the year where Social Media was the buzz term. More people(businesses) are savvy about having their ties into the Social Media arena. 2011, will be the year where businesses use their social media presence to push consumers to their online commercials, video channels and content.
We'll deal more with this argument in Part 2.
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