With more than 40 million Vine users100 million Vimeo users and a staggering 1 billion YouTube users around the world, the popularity of online video is evident. In the last year alone, video advertising has taken marketing by storm with the video industry expected to grow 107% to £672 million by the end of 2014.

In fact, YouTube is now the second most popular search engine in the world (after Google) and a third of all time spent online is watching video content.

Video has recently been termed the ‘future of content marketing’ with research revealing more than half of businesses use it as part of their marketing communications this figure is expected to grow at a steady rate over the next three years. And, why wouldn’t they? Research shows that 75% of users visit a marketer’s website after viewing a video, 80% are able to recall the information they’ve watched in a video advertisement, and videos are one of the most effective means of increasing consumers’ understanding of your product or service (enhancing it by some 75%).

Twitter joins the party

Videos are naturally engaging and in this day and age, as consumers are ‘always switched on’, the key is to provide content which is easy to digest. Twitter has recognised the benefits of video and in a bid to create a ‘richer, more engaging social network’, began beta testing promoted videos on the 13th of August 2014. As yet, this has only been made available to selected verified users however, with the benefits it offers, it is hoped it will be made available to small businesses in the near future.

In an official Twitter blog, it was stated; “video is an incredible storytelling medium and we’re thrilled to be giving brands, publishers and a subset of verified users the ability to share organic and Promoted Video on Twitter.

How will it work?

Firstly, this will operate on a cost per view (CPV) ad buying model whereby advertisers are charged only when the video is clicked on. Secondly, similar to running an ad campaign on the Google platform, advertisers will be granted access to Twitter Analytics where they can measure the performance of the video in line with desired metrics to compare both organic and paid efforts. It has been reported by AdWeek, American bicycle manufacturer Specialized, noticed their engagement levels doubled when using paid video advertising in comparison to standard tweets, which clearly illustrates its potential for success.

Additionally, Twitter’s Amplify service takes an advertiser’s video and embeds it into desktop and mobile sites, including a follow button. This has recently been used by Coke Zero and the NBA to create a second screen viewing experience. Twitter’s CEO claims that viewing a promoted video on a second screen may prompt a user to turn to the TV and view the programme being advertised. Naturally, this would increase TV viewership, but it would also increase the value and ROI of the ads.

Video advertising becomes mainstream

Recognising the potential of video advertising, Facebook launched their video advertising service in March of this year known as ‘premium video ads’. Shortly after (in April in fact), Instagram began trialling video ads and now Twitter has jumped on board too. It has also been announced that Flipboard will be next to roll out video advertising in September 2014, with Chanel confirmed as its initial partner.

As video advertising is now widely offered by the largest social networks, many businesses are turning to it as a way of promoting themselves. As such, the Internet Advertising Bureau is currently defining the metric, which will state the length of time a user has to view the video before it can qualify as an impression.

Taking into consideration the aforementioned benefits and that ecommerce website visitors are said to be 64% more likely to make a purchase after watching an online video, video advertising presents a lucrative digital marketing opportunity. We look forward to tracking the progress of Twitter’s promoted video service and seeing what other services are introduced to the market in the near future.