You’re reading ReelSEO where we talk about how important search engine optimization is for online video marketing and advertising. Sometimes we wonder if anyone ever listens. Sometimes we know you are. Today we present you with evidence as to why you should have been paying attention all along (not saying that you weren’t, just offering proof).

Knowledge Networks just put out a report How People Use Video Navigation. The report looks at how US video viewers chose videos to watch and what platforms to watch them on. The number one way they found video? We’ll get to that in a minute.

video-discoveryFirst we want to talk about the number two way that people found streaming video content, search engines. A full one-third (32%) of respondents said they use search engines to find streaming video online. Yes, THIRTY-TWO PERCENTAGE of video viewers use search engines. Now do you see why ReelSEO is so important?

The number one way? Real-world word-of-mouth, which means perhaps that a large portion of those telling others about videos online are actually finding them on Search Engines themselves. 41% of respondents found out about videos online from someone else, another 27% found them by stories or reviews of those videos online.

Those stories and reviews would contain backlinks, one of the major ways that ReelSEO often tells video content publishers to generate traffic. So now in the top three ways people are finding videos online, two major ways are often the top of the tip lists for Video SEO here at ReelSEO (ahhh yes, basking in the glow of affirmation that our work is valuable).

Just behind those three ways are stories and reviews on TV (broadcast might not be dead yet), TV advertisements and social media. Actually, if you compile the two social media stats together – friends/family and others – they would total up 36% making it second only to the watercooler (verbal word-of-mouth). So Social networks, search engines and backlinks all form a strong campaign to get your video in front of people. If the video is good then they’ll tell their friends face-to-face and TV still plays a major portion as well with 24% citing ads and 24% citing stories (where I bet they show URLs or mention where the videos are).

In regards to television watching choices, TV ads were the top of the heap at 46% with verbal word-of-mouth second at 38% and stories and reviews on TV. So obviously TV viewers are looking for information on TV or from other television viewers while online viewers are certainly looking online.

More than 50% of online full-length TV program viewers go looking specifically for the content they watch (56%) while only 44% of TV viewers do and 22% who watch ‘amateur’ content online find it on purpose.

What does that mean? It means that when people want to watch something, they go find it. On occasion they get sidetracked by something else. OK, maybe that’s not exactly what it means. It means that certainly a lot of content that is perceived as being professional is being found on purpose while a lot of content that is not seen as professional is found on accident. That’s odd considering the popularity of YouTube where the majority of content is traditionally considered amateur.

So that puts one of the final pieces of the puzzle into place. Professional video content that is search engine optimized, has a lot of backlinks to it and can be found via the social networks is what people are watching online. Now we’re not the types to say we told you so but, no wait, yes we are.

We told you so.