Social video content has become more popular in 2012, growing 78 percent compared to the final three months of 2011.

Companies using video ads are garnering more clicks especially on social networks with a report from Visible Measures indicating viewership in the first quarter of 2012 rising 78 percent compared to the final three months of 2011. The analysis found that more than 1.3 billion spots were watched between January and March, whereas users saw just 747 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Visible Measures identified a trend in growth of social video content during the first quarter as more consumers turn to sites, such as YouTube, to see popular advertisements created for the major sporting events that take place in the time period. However, this year’s massive traffic increase suggests that video is becoming more of an opt-in experience as opposed to a necessity for those forced to watch ad content on different social networks.

In different verticals, such as automotive, apparel and food, social video content is especially popular. More than 266 million total views were dedicated to the automotive industry and an additional 129.7 million went to the apparel and accessories sector.

Companies using social media marketing to complement their custom content campaigns can leverage this trend by making video marketing a part of their strategy. Engaging video content is expected to become more valuable moving forward, with prospects viewing content from several different devices, especially smartphones and tablets.

Brafton recently reported that Google, which owns YouTube, has established a paid video ad platform to serve content on the website.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.