With reports indicating that internet viewership of humorous videos has dramatically risen, the potential value of online videos to drive traffic to a site is no laughing matter. A recent report for the Pew Internet & American Life Project reveals that seven in 10 adult internet users watch or download videos on the web, indicating video may be invaluable in generating those all-important inbound links.

The study shows that most consumers watch comedic videos on the web, with online viewership of this genre rising to include 50 percent of all adult internet users last year. Posting funny clips may be a good way to attract an audience, but the laughter won’t last forever – it’s important to be wary of generating spikes in traffic with quickly dated posts.

Instead, using videos to make a site a valued information resource could be better use of the platform. The Pew study indicates that 38 percent of internet users look for educational videos on the web. Make a brand a thought leader with insightful video posts that educate viewers about an industry – this may both generate inbound links and make a site credible in the long term.

When creating videos with quality content for a site, marketers should be advised that mid-length videos seem to hit the sweet spot for online viewers. Data from TubeMogul shows that web videos between 60 second and 90 seconds have the highest viewer completion rates.