Young voters and video

So this is the week of the young voter and video.  CNN and YouTube are congratulating themselves for getting the usually uninvolved 18-24 year old demographic for paying attention to the Presidential debates.  There is no doubt, this is an accomplishment and has traditionally been a hard nut to crack.

Also this week, the Pew Internet and American Life project released their report on how American Internet users consume video online.  It’s not a surprise that young people said they watched comedy and news as the top two items online.  What’s fascinating is that they acknowledge that people who watched clips of the Jon Stewart show might have answered that question as either "news" or "comedy"!

The real value of the report is in the ubiquity of video consumption: 19% of daily Internet users watch a video online every day.  You read that right: every day.  1 in 5 members of the audience for your website expects to see something in video form daily.  The implication of this?  If you aren’t providing content in video form, someone else will. 

A big surprise is that respondents to the Pew survey said they appreciated professionally-produced videos.  62% of respondents said their favorites were videos that were "professionally produced".  This is a new development and suggests that you’re going to have to ensure that lighting, sound quality, and professional editing are going to be a big part of your video effort.

If your organization doesn’t have a strategy for reaching out with video to your audience, it’s time to get religion.  If you don’t talk to your audience with video today, somebody else will.  And then they won’t be your audience anymore.