In June of last year, Forbes Insights partnered with Google to conduct a study on how C-Level Executives were using video for business purposes. The results, which we wrote about at the time, showed that their use of video was on the rise, particularly with executives under 50 years of age. Now Forbes is back with a follow-up study—again in association with Google—and the results are every bit as interesting.
The report is titled Video In The C-Suite: Executives Embrace The Non-Text Web, and comes in the form of an 11-page PDF (you'll have to fill out a brief form on the Insights page in order to see the PDF). The findings suggest that video, as a business tool, is continuing to gain ground in corporate America.
Though I'd encourage you all to read the full report on your own, I'll do my best to break down the key findings:
Senior Executives Are Turning To Video More Frequently
Study participants, all senior-level executives, are almost unanimous in saying they're watching more video online today than they were last year. A whopping 83% of them either agreed or strongly agreed, and only 13% disagreed. Check it out:
Of course, they all still prefer text to video in most situations, though there are some differences in those opinions based on age. Younger executives are more receptive to video than older executives, which I guess makes a whole lot of sense:
Work-Related Video Can Drive Senior Executives To Take Action
Video content that is related to work can be a powerful motivator for executives and can spur action on their part. Since these are generally the top decision makers in any corporation, this should come as great news to video marketers and creators of business-related video. It's interesting—though not surprising—that the executives tend to watch work-related video on business-related websites (75%) far more often than they watch such content on YouTube (51%)—which is a fine argument for not making YouTube your only posting location.
There's also some great data on what actions executives are likely to take after watching a work-related video—everything from visiting the vendor's site, calling the vendor, or making a purchase. Check out the Forbes Insights graph:
Executives Are Receptive To Video Advertising
It will surely be great news to advertisers to learn that senior executives are pretty open to video ads, with 68% of them saying they're comfortable watching in-stream ads, and 48% saying they're not bothered by "must-watch" in-stream ads that play before or after a particular video.
Social Elements Of Online Video Are Strong With Executives
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there is clear social behavior being performed by these executives around the videos they watch, with 54% saying they share videos with colleagues on at least a weekly basis. They watch video on Facebook and post links to video on business networking sites.
That's huge, primarily because social behavior is really the only way anything ever spreads online. Regardless of what audience your video content targets, you want them to share it with friends. And this study suggests business-related videos are just as likely to be shared by viewers as any other variety.
Here's the full graph:
As video continues to gain prominence online, it will continue to grow in importance in the eyes of the country's top executives. Forbes says that last year's study showed that 41% of executives 50 and older watched videos at least weekly, and this year's study sees that number jump to 66%.
I'm more interested in the participants' receptiveness to video advertising, which I think will surprise a lot of folks. Are senior executives more receptive to ads than the general public or less receptive? Does their position as a leader in a corporation help increase that receptiveness because most of them see the importance of advertising from their own company's perspective?
What's most exciting to me is the social interaction. If you tell me that executives watch online video, I might not be that surprised. But when you start talking about how often they share it, link it, or Facebook it… that's when you have my attention. That's when they've moved from simply watching video to interacting with it, which is where video flexes its real muscle.