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If it were five years in the future, would you be reading this article or would you be watching it? As online video continues its inimitable rise, it’s an interesting question to ponder.

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. Video-on-demand traffic alone will have almost trebled. Leafing through a swathe of statistics on the subject, I’m hard pressed to find any indicator that doesn’t suggest rapid growth.

With online video quickly becoming a key means for people to satisfy their information and entertainment needs, small businesses that fail to include it in their internet marketing strategies will do so at their peril.

Video is the future of content marketing. That is, if it’s not the here and now. Various studies show more than half of companies are already making use of the medium – a figure that’s predicted to rise as more and more realise the possibilities. Nielsen claims 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future. It’s not difficult to see why.

When it comes to potential reach, video is peerless. YouTube receives more than one billion unique visitors every month – that’s more than any other channel, apart from Facebook. One in three Britons view at least one online video a week – that’s a weekly audience of more than 20 million people in the UK alone.

Video can give you access to all this. Video done well can give you a slice of it. What other form of content can do the same?

It is naturally engaging and, in an age of information overload, it’s vital for small businesses to offer content that is easy to digest; if not, consumers will simply move on. Video does this very well. If a picture paints 1,000 words then one minute of video is worth 1.8 million, so say Forrester’s researchers. Little wonder then that Axonn Research found seven in 10 people view brands in a more positive light after watching interesting video content from them.

  • Here’s a few other compelling figures
  • Websites with video are 50 times more likely to feature on the first page of google
  • Video dramatically decreases your bounce rate and improves your google ranking
  • People who watch a video on your website are 60 times more likely to make a purchase
  • Video trebles the time that customers spend on your site

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