316 Million Online Video Viewers Ignored by B2B Marketers?
Almost every marketer agrees that online video can be a highly effective marketing tool. However, it appears the marketers at some of the most respected brands in the high tech industry have forgotten that the key to any marketing program is deliverability.
Adobe’s Flash had been the standard for delivering video over the web for a decade. Technology standards are a good thing for marketers, web developers and end users alike. Standards ensure technology (like online video) seamlessly works across multiple browsers, operating systems and devices.
In April of 2010, Apple’s Steve Jobs laid out the reasons why the iPhone, iPod and iPad would not support Flash and why Apple would instead embrace HTML5 for online video. Google quickly joined Apple to support HTML5.
Suddenly, there was no longer one standard for delivering online video. The implications of competing online video standards for marketers and web technologists are significant. Online video is a great marketing tool, but video is only effective when it plays for the end viewer or customer.
HTML5 Isn’t Standardized (Yet)
As a report on the State of HMTL5 from Longtail Video details, there are competing opinions within the HTML5 community over the most viable video and audio formats. There are currently 3 different formats for video (MP4, WebM and Ogg) and 3 different formats for audio (MP3, ACC, Vorbis) that must be supported to seamlessly playback HTML5 video across the major browsers and mobile devices. Since Internet Explorer versions 6/7/8 (28% of the browser market) only support Flash it’s important to still support Flash video as well.
Clearly, supporting online video playback across both Flash and all the various HTML5 formats is a messy and complex technology challenge.
Mobile Marketing Matters
Apple has sold more than 316 Million mobile devices that simply will not play flash video. Over 700,000 Android mobile devices are activated on a daily basis. Chances are many of your company’s customers are now using a mobile device as their primary way to access the web. In fact, mobile video is now 50% of all wireless Internet traffic and growing.
Your company must be able to seamlessly deliver online video to Apple and Android mobile devices (and Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari and Firefox browsers).
What’s The Solution?
Of course, your company can go out and hire the engineering talent needed to build a multi-platform video streaming solution to host your marketing videos. Alternatively, your company can pay a relatively low monthly fee to use a commercially available online video platform. Online video platforms can seamlessly deliver video across a variety of mobile devices and browsers plus capture highly valuable analytics data on video viewership.
Online video platforms can solve the complex challenge of video deliverability for marketers.
An iPad Audit of the B2B Tech Industry
We recently armed an intern with an iPad and asked him to visit the websites of the leading brands in the B2B technology industry and search for any Flash based videos.
The results were disappointing. Many of the top brands in B2B tech are still streaming Flash based videos on their websites, effectively ignoring millions of Apple mobile device users (and potential customers).
Below are a few iPad screenshots we took while doing our research:
Online video is a highly effective marketing tool. However, it’s only effective when the video actually plays for the viewer (potential customer) across a wide array of browsers and mobile devices. Don’t let video deliverability issues limit the effectiveness of your company’s online video marketing initiatives!