Think back – if you can – to election time 2004. Hailed as the first truly digital election, the internet gave greater accessibility to the information that really mattered to voters. Howard Dean used the net to his advantage, stirring up bloggers, securing donations and gaining notoriety. But, the vital ingredient was missing. Online video had yet to really take off in any big way – but it was definitely about to.

Now, what about 2008? Online video was establishing itself as the go-to channel for political news, with 5 times the traffic as it had in 2004. The result? An interesting piece of research from Cisco reports a deeper level of engagement for those watching online compared to using other channels.

Fast forward to the present day. Type “presidential debates” into any search engine and you’ll get a plethora of news websites, all with online video players allowing you to watch the debate for yourself – a front row seat from the comfort of your couch or office chair.

Election season is always a big deal, but the difference this time round is that online video is connecting us with the action like never before – and that’s a pretty good summary of how online video can work for business too. It connects us with a larger audience, but not only that it engages that audience and ultimately makes them care more. Giving your company a voice, helping to establish a relationship between you and your consumer, and generating interest and traffic that wouldn’t have been possible in the dimly lit corridors of the past.