Why is online video such a popular marketing tool? It’s effective for businesses, and consumers love it too. If those two reasons aren’t enough to get your business on the video marketing bandwagon, a new survey has plenty more.

The State of Video Marketing in 2018 polled two groups--marketers and consumers—to find out what they think of video marketing.

Here’s a closer look at the results, and what they mean for small businesses.

Every business is doing it

Over eight in 10 (81 percent) businesses surveyed use online video for marketing purposes, up from 63 percent last year. What’s more, a whopping 99 percent of businesses that use video marketing plan to keep it up in 2018—and almost two-thirds of those that don't market with video say they will start this year.

Marketing with video works

Marketers in the survey say they use online video marketing for a wide variety of purposes. Attracting more visitors to their websites, and increasing their time spent on site are key reasons; however, marketers also hope to educate prospects about their products or services.

Online video marketing seems to be doing a good job achieving all of these goals—and more:

  • 97 percent of businesses in the survey say online video helps users understand their products or services better.
  • 76 percent say it helps them increase traffic to their websites.
  • 80 percent say video gets visitors to stay longer on their websites.
  • 76 percent say online video helps increase sales.
  • 47 percent say it reduces the number of customer support queries the company gets.

Consumers can vouch for online video’s effectiveness: Over eight in 10 consumers surveyed have made a purchase because of a video. While video is often a starting point for consumers researching purchase options, it also works as a “tipping point” that helps them decide to pull the trigger.

Consumers can’t get enough online video

When it comes to online video marketing, consumers just can’t get enough. Fully 95 percent of consumers in the survey have watched an “explainer video” to learn more about a product or service. And 72 percent would rather watch a video about a product or service than read about it.

You might think videos posted by businesses for marketing purposes wouldn’t get the same kind of interest as videos shared by friends and family. Not true: Some 85 percent of consumers in the study say they’d like to see more video from businesses in 2018, and 83 percent share businesses’ videos with their friends and other connections.

Where online videos get the most views

Not surprisingly, YouTube ranks as the most popular channel for online video marketing among businesses in the survey and also the most effective. Some 87 percent of respondents market on YouTube, and 90 percent of those say it’s effective.

But maybe you don’t have to worry about Snapchat just now. Only 11 percent of companies in the survey ever use Snapchat for video marketing, and just 27 percent say it was effective. No wonder that only 9 percent of businesses plan to use Snapchat for video marketing in 2018.

New marketing opportunities for online video

If you’re already sharing online videos on YouTube, where else should you go? Here are three areas offering opportunity for online video marketing:

  • LinkedIn: Fewer than 40 percent of marketers currently share video content on LinkedIn, but three-quarters of them say it’s effective. With 55 percent of respondents planning to continue or start using LinkedIn for video in 2018, there’s still room to make your mark.
  • Facebook Live: About one-third (34 percent) of businesses in the survey use Facebook Live for marketing, and 81 percent of those say it works for them. An easy way to get started is by sharing Facebook Live videos from a conference you’re attending or an event at your business.
  • Webinars: Less than half (44 percent) of businesses polled have hosted or participated in a webinar, but among those who have, 87 percent say webinars are an effective marketing tool. Developing a webinar might sound complex, but you can make it easier by teaming up with another business to put one together.

The average consumer in the survey spends over an hour and a half each day watching online video. Clearly, the market is far from saturated—making 2018 a great year to make your mark with video.