Media industry has changed drastically over the years. The moment you “digest” new trends and digital marketing strategies something new pops up. What is remarkable however is that video has been the only part of the media industry that remained untouched.

The time has come though that even video is beginning to change. Or at least its impact is finally felt – numbers don’t lie.

So, why is video taking off? People spend hours every day watching videos and at the same time traditional TV numbers are in free fall (broadcasting ratings, subscribers etc). There is a shift of the audience to online video. And again numbers don’t lie, as according to Nielsen, traditional TV viewing by 18-24-year-olds dropped by roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes per day in the last 5 years.

Especially, during 2015 viewing time in this particular age group fell from 18.07 hours/week in Q1 to 15.50 hours/week in Q3 while in 2016 it fell from 16.30 hours per week in Q1 to 14.25 hour per week in Q3. (marketingcharts.com)

What is more, Cisco forecasts that IP video traffic (globally) will be 82% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2020, up from 70% in 2015. Global IP video traffic will grow threefold from 2015 to 2020. Internet video traffic will grow fourfold from 2015 to 2020. (cisco). Although these numbers are based on US data it is expected that the same will happen to global figures as well.

Comparing online video advertising to TV ads

It is obvious from the above figures that online video is getting viewers’ attention. This ultimately means that advertising will also experiment and discover optimal ways to reach this audience.

According to a study by the IAB sponsored by Yahoo and Microsoft, showed that ads served in online video are more effective than those served in TV. For example, video ads message recall was double than that of TV – 40% to 20% respectively.

Furthermore, brand recall is 50% compared to 27% while ad likeability is 28% compared to 17% on TV. One of the obvious reasons that video ads are so effective is because online video consumers seem to like them better. Hence, the likeability percentages above. Moreover, video ads outperform TV ads even when they are later duplicated on TV or even as standalone online ads.

Ad receptivity

– On average people streaming video watch ads for 20 seconds and average completion rate of 87%.

– Regardless of content, mid roll ads enjoy the highest completion rates.

So, what do we make out of these figures? Firstly, it is clear that online video ROI for ads is winning over TV. And it will continue to dominate if we take into consideration consumer trends and viewing habits. Secondly, by 2020 online video traffic will be 82% of all consumer internet traffic compared to 70% in 2015, which means that the video era is just beginning. Thirdly and most importantly, advertisers and marketers have to ride the wave and invest in studying ways to effectively reach the viewers. Online video ad spending will continue to grow and at the same time digital marketers will try and find their footsteps in maximizing ROI.

However, the biggest challenge for the years to come for digital video marketing is to be able to meet the unique demands of the field and at the same time establish best practices that are definitely different than those in other media.

Apart from the audience shift there will also be a shift in the means used as well as professionals. Digital marketing has to embrace new tools namely for producing videos and measuring their success.

Finally, although online video is the right strategy to follow, we don’t know yet the right way to make it happen, “sustain it and make the success”. If I am to begin walking this path I would start by trying to know my audience. This is the key to begin forming your digital video strategy.