Each month, Mammal Milk aims to offer you a little nutrition in the form of news, advice, tips, interesting links and whatever else we think you’ll find useful or enlightening. To kick things off, the subject is online video. We’ll look at why it’s growing so fast, why it’s becoming a ’must have’ selling tool, and how you can use it to your advantage. In the old days, i.e. not very long ago, your audience might see your ‘brand’ on TV or on a poster, then maybe read a bit more about it in newspaper ad, then perhaps read a product review, test or comparison in a magazine they’d bought specifically for that purpose. In many respects, little has changed. But while the customer’s buying process remains much the same, thanks to the internet the customer’s ability to research products and justify purchase before buying has increased dramatically. Think about it. These days you might see ‘brand awareness’ ads on TV or outdoor, but it’s also just as likely to be a pre-roll spot somewhere online, on your laptop, tablet or phone screen, for instance. Assuming the message is relevant and your interest is peaked, you’ll then probably go looking for more information online. And that’s where video is playing an increasingly vital marketing role. When it comes to informing people about a product, video is the ‘go to’ medium. It’s the way we inform, educate and much more. Jump onto any website or YouTube, and you’ll find everything from the equivalent of video brochures, to educational product videos, endorsements and customer-made video reviews and much more. And there’s a good reason there is now so much video content like this. Unlike print or online copy, videos ‘show’ rather than ‘tell’. No trawling through pages of information, just click Play and watch. Put simply, it’s easy. From a customer perspective it’s effortless. And from a marketer’s point of view, there’s often zero media budget involved. So no wonder it’s a media seeing massive growth. Recent figures (which will probably be out of date by the end of this sentence) show around 61% of internet users research products online before buying. And around 52% say watching product videos makes them more confident about purchase decisions. Four out of ten shoppers visited a store online or in-person as a direct result of watching a video. And online video now accounts for 50% of all mobile traffic. On top of that, as a marketer, online video offers you other direct benefits, For instance, your chances of getting a page one listing on Google increases 53 times with video. So you have a better chance of being found by your customers in the first place. So, in part two of this series, we’ll look at how you can put online video to use for your business, and show you a few great examples.