March Madness & The Evolution Of Online Video

Online video is quickly becoming a dominant medium that is necessary for survival in the online world.

The 2009 NCAA Championship was a televised, “must-see” event that captured an enormous audience last March. It was a highly anticipated event that began with detailed and well-thought out brackets among friends and colleagues. This event was one that could not be missed, whether a person was at a viewing party, working overtime or awaiting a long commute home. Not only was it televised, but is was available for viewing from many web sites.

NCAA.com (powered by CBS Sports.com), dominated the search results for popular keywords such as “final four.” It lured visitors to its web site and presented them with an array of free, on-demand video options.

The site offered an on-demand player, high-quality on-demand player, on-demand from your web site and on-demand from your iPhone. Even better, visitors had the opportunity to personalize their video experiences. For example, they could launch their Facebook status bar within a video player and make comments throughout the games. Additionally, visitors could remix their own highlight video and share it among other remixers using a “highlight remixer” application. NCAA.com offered a one-stop, “on-demand” shop for every college basketball fan’s needs. This boded very well for the web site, since the number one term searched on Google prior to the first game of the tournament was “March madness on demand.” CBSSports.com stated that the NCAA March Madness on Demand video player had 7.52 million unique visitors this past March (4.76 million in 2008). This was a 58 percent increase in visitors from 2008.

For those who did miss North Carolina’s incredible triumph over Michigan State, they need not to worry. In the past, this would be a devastating experience for diehard fans; however, today’s online world relieves any feelings of anguish about missed sports coverage. Online video fills the void with a complete recap of highlights from any major event. People might even prefer to watch an event after it takes place, so that it saves them time (e.g. 5 minute highlights vs. 3 hours of coverage).

Online video continues to evolve in the digital space. It permeates throughout advertisers’ web sites, social networks and news/media sites, which eventually infiltrates the search engine results pages. Online video engages and attracts searchers, and as a result, there is more demand for it. The theory of “survival of the fittest” just might refer to advertisers who incorporate online video capabilities within their search marketing strategies.

Advertisers can learn from March Madness as another way to optimize their web sites in order to capture high demand. They should invest in online video capabilities that draw searchers to their web site, where they can find the video as well as details about the advertiser’s business and offerings.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Video | Video Search

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About The Author: specializes in increasing visibility and traffic to large retail, publisher, lead generation, and financial Web sites as the Vice President of Client Services for Performics.

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