Marketers are spending more on digital video marketing as they recognize that custom content is the most effective way to reach prospects.

Most marketers agree – online video content is becoming the next big thing. A recent survey from AOL’s Be On branch revealed 58 percent of surveyed professionals say they believe digital video marketing has an edge over TV ads – and they give three reasons why (outside of obvious signals like YouTube’s skyrocketing viewership data and Vine’s virality).

1. Audience targeting

When marketers were asked why they increased budgets for video marketing in the past year, 73 percent said the ‘net provided them with better audience targeting opportunities.

2. Reach

Brands might have also been enticed by the internet’s reach, which 80 percent of surveyed marketers said was a priority in video campaigns. Earlier this year, YouTube announced it has more than 1 billion unique user visits every month, while Vine already had 13 million users before Twitter launched the Android-friendly app this week.

3. Engagement and scale

Online video campaigns help brands achieve better engagement and scale, according to 58 percent of global marketers. Respondents in Europe were further convinced – 78 percent of participants said streaming video was more fitting for their strategies, while TV is still a great channel for driving awareness.

“We know that content drives engagement and conversation online.”

AOL Be On isn’t the first source to report a surge in video ad budgets. Brafton recently noted that digital video advertising spend is projected to reach $4.14 billion by the end of the year. This is part of a larger trend toward online content creation to garner prospects’ attention and purchases.

“We know that content drives engagement and conversation online and, more than ever, we are seeing that brands want to tell their story through content,” said Rene Rechtman, AOL Networks International’s Senior Vice President.

Video marketing is an effective storytelling strategy. Of course, streaming digital media is more likely to generate results when it’s backed by search visibility, social media participation and well-rounded websites with ample customer resources.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.