Video is changing the face of business. Video itself isn't new, but its application for business is transforming in a big way, posing new opportunities for marketers like never before and affecting small and big companies alike. Consumer appetite for video is voracious. Within five years, video will account for over 80% of online traffic, a number that will only continue to grow in 2016. The following are some opportunities we see for marketers to take advantage of in 2016:

Affordable video content. Overall, video is less expensive to create than ever before with improved technology and growing number of platforms to effectively distribute content. Rather than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, smaller companies can spend a just few thousand dollars and get quality video content that reaches their customers.

As evidence of the attainability of video, companies supporting small business' video needs are growing in popularity. For example, Virect, a marketplace for video production, helps companies to find video professionals that match their budget and needs.

Unprecedented targeting. Gone are the days of blanket advertising to reach a single audience. With social channels like Facebook and Twitter offering video advertising, and Google now on board with in-SERP (search engine results pages) video ads, marketers have an unprecedented ability to specifically target consumers based on demographic, behavior, preference and more.

This ability to target is good news for marketers, as consumers are increasingly selective about what content they choose to watch (and have about an 8 second attention span). User demand, combined with ever-expanding avenues to reach potential customers in a meaningful way make targeted ads even more important in 2016. For example, Dannon was one of the first brands to run a campaign on Facebook's LiveRail platform and successfully reached 90% of its target audience. (AdWeek)

Short-form video content. Rather than spending money on one big-budget production, marketers can spend smaller amounts on short-form videos that speak specifically to a custom audience, meaning more frequent, more relevant video content. This bite-sized video trend also makes it possible for smaller to medium sized businesses to be noticed, empowering them to be seen in a similar way as Search initially did.

Increased automation. Automated systems for everything from posting content to tracking results are making it more possible for marketers to manage lean operations, potentially without needing to turn for an ad agency for support. Platforms like Ad Espresso, which automates Facebook campaigns and marketplaces for finding freelancer support (UpWork, Virect, etc) are tools now available to marketing pro's.
Mobile matters. No surprises here: mobile is increasingly important and accounts for about half of all online video consumption. Video marketers are not restricted to TV as a medium; mobile offers a way to intimately connect with customers anywhere, anytime, based on their individual criteria. While many of us won't notice, more video ads will be created for viewing in vertical format rather than just "landscape" as on a TV or horizontally-held phone.
While online video has been around for a while, its application for business is only just scratching the surface. Video will be king in 2016, and those that can leverage the content will have an edge on the competition.