The growth of video and the ease which it can now be accessed over broadband connections means that video content should begin to feature more highly for all businesses marketing online. In addition, it is now time for Internet TV to begin to reach mass market adoption – Apple TV launched in 2006, and 2010 saw the launch of a £99 Apple TV box that will undoubtedly find its way into more homes and businesses this year. In addition, smart phone and iPad adoption will force the telecom operators to increase the network infrastructure to cope with the demands of video.

What this means is that more people, both in homes, businesses and organisations, will begin to use their TV and mobile devices as a mechanism of accessing online content, rather than seeing the computer and TV/phone as two entirely separate entities. It is now a simple matter to ‘beam’ content from your laptop directly onto a TV screen, and this may finally break the technofear that seems to have gripped many digitally reluctant people to date!

Video is an ideal method for sharing ideas, disseminating information, and interacting. In fact,  users like video so much that it was stated at the 2010 Search Engine Strategies Conference that:

  • Americans watch more videos a month on YouTube than they conduct searches on Google
  • A video is 50 times more likely to get a first-page Google ranking than a text page

Internet TV does not mean that people will just sit and watch downloaded films on their TV. Oh no! Internet TV has thousands of potential uses, many of which are already being explored in countries such as Korea, and innovation will likely abound once more of the Western world has access to it. All this requires is the introduction of more ‘plug and play’ devices such as Apple TV, increased mobile internet with sufficient bandwidth, and the adoption of Fibre To The Home for unlimited bandwidth.

Whether you are creating YouTube video manuals for your products, running online video webinars, offering video product catalogues (with FF, RWD and hyperlinks for easy navigation), or staffing a real-time video helpline/video conferencing, we all know that it is much easier to get a message into people’s heads in pictures rather than words.

Apple Facetime is a personalised version of Internet TV. The user is making their own content for their own personal audience. This is unicasting rather than multicasting, so begin by thinking how you could use an app such as Facetime within your business on a one-to-one basis (help desk, showing a customer how a product works with a personal demonstration, demonstrating to a supplier exactly what it is your competitors are offering and how you want it to differ, etc etc). Then, consider how you can use multi-casting ie one to many. See?

All of a sudden, video becomes a very exciting concept for your marketing, running your business, public relations, customer service, and product promotion. Especially when your viewers have chosen to be present for your ‘cast’ – this is ‘on demand’ rather than the old push model that TV has traditionally deployed.

Want to run a conference but can’t afford the time to organise it or get people to your venue? Internet TV could be your answer, bringing together a large number of people online, recording the content, and making it available through your website or online for anyone, any time, to access it.

Whilst the traditional media thinks Internet TV is about getting Hollywood films to an “at home” audience, the truth is that Internet TV is far broader than that. Everyone can now create content, including you, and reach a much more diverse audience than has previously been available through standard internet marketing. Words are great, but pictures are so much more effective!

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About the author:

A practising internet marketing consultant since 1996, Lindsey Annison helps companies improve their website marketing, online PR and information architecture. Lindsey is also a qualified adult education lecturer and author. As co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, she has been instrumental in the provision of high-speed internet access to rural areas in the UK. Lindsey is also a past winner of Silicon.com's Outstanding Contribution to UK Technology