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The year 2013 was an exciting one in the land of digital advertising, especially when it comes to the increasing popularity of online video and the potential it continues to have for businesses and brands of all sizes. So what's next as we fast-forwarded into 2014?

1. More small- to medium-sized businesses will press play

While there's been an increase in businesses jumping into online video over the past few years, there are still many that have left this opportunity completely untouched. This year will see more small – medium businesses dip even a baby toe into the digital waters to test out the benefits for their brand.

As the visual internet continues to explode in popularity, businesses need to keep up. Key to success, is consistency. Businesses can't expect to throw just one video up on YouTube and leave it to do all of their marketing and advertising work for them. From video content marketing to video advertising campaigns, there are a number of ways to leverage such a powerful medium. Some additional tips to leverage the most out of your online video investments in 2014, in one of my earlier online video series here.

2. Larger ad budgets will continue to shift from traditional to digital.

It's a trend that can't be ignored, and it's why you are seeing more and more 'traditional' mediums try to meet the needs of their clients by adding additional digital products to their lineups where possible. It works for some, but not all. Businesses of all sizes need to make sure that their ad buys are meeting their needs – even if that means splitting up the buys on a number of levels to discover the best mix that works for their brand. Sure, it's going to mean a bit more work initially for marketing and advertising managers and ad agencies – but the bottom line is, businesses can't continue doing what they have always done.

3. Different professional expertise required for different mediums

It's something a number of platforms and agencies have attempted for a few years now. They'll encourage clients to use their 'made for TV' ads online, use radio scripts in their online videos, and create banner ads that try to function as video ads, but none of these strategies will transfer for great ROI, nor should they be.

Different platforms require different approaches. (More on how traditional ads don't convert online, here.)

The creative work, process and intentions behind a display banner and a video ad, for example, are entirely different and need to be treated as such. You'll be putting your business at risk by relying on traditional advertising execs to advise you what to do online -- much like going to a doctor when what you really need is a dentist. Completely different background, professional expertise, strategies and results.

Brands and agencies alike need to realize different advertising mediums and methods shouldn't be tossed into the same media buy.

4. Bite-sized storytelling picks up speed

There's no question: attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. With the rise of social platforms forcing limited-length content whether it be text (Twitter) or video lengths (Instagram/Vine), we will continue to see this approach increase in importance in 2014.

Vine's Dom Hofmann says, "posts on Vine are about abbreviation – the shortened form of something larger." Video clips on Vine can run six seconds, while Instagram video allows for 15.

Businesses will be challenged to tell more engaging stories in a shorter amount of time, putting a huge focus on extremely concise messaging, branding and content. More tips on discovering the best online video length for your business can be found here.

There are huge marketing and advertising advantages for businesses who not just understand what's happening in the world of online video in 2014, but for those who act on it. If you've been procrastinating about exploring what online video can do for your small, medium or large business, now is the time to make your move and fast forward into the now.

Lisa Ostrikoff is a TV journalist and anchor-turned-creator of BizBOXTV, a Canadian online video production, advertising and social media marketing agency. You can find her on Twitter and Facebook .

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