How Online Video Can Reach the Business Audience

Even busy executives want to do more than just read on the web

Executives with no time for fun and games do have time for the sound and motion of video, according to findings from Forbes Insights. In some cases, they may actually prefer it to text for learning about products and services.

A majority of businesspeople surveyed by Forbes in October 2010 said they watched more online video than a year earlier. Nearly 60% of all respondents said they would watch video before reading text on the same webpage, and 22% said they generally liked watching video more than reading text for reviewing business information. Three-quarters of all executives said they watched work-related videos on business websites at least once a week, and more than half did the same on YouTube.
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Video can be highly effective for merchants. The executives surveyed reported taking a wide variety of actions after watching online videos, with about two-thirds visiting vendor websites subsequent to viewing and more than half searching for more information. Especially among younger executives, likelihood of making a purchase was high.
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Generational differences ran throughout the Forbes research, with a split in behavior at age 50. While the youngest executives were most interested in video across the board, baby boomers in their 40s had comparable participation levels. It was older executives who had not yet gotten on board with video, and business-to-business marketers must continue to reach them through other means.

But video has only become more important for the younger set, and marketers can depend on them to watch, pass along, recommend—and often, enter the purchase funnel.

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