NEW YORK: Online video is becoming an increasingly popular part of the digital marketing repertoire, as advertisers reprioritise budgets in the hope of scoring a viral hit.

A report from eMarketer, using data from BrightRoll, suggests that US ad agencies are attracted by the reach and capacity for targeting ads provided by online video ads and branded entertainment.

Budgets for other types of online ads could be reduced as a result of the trend, with 57% of agencies questioned for the survey saying they see online video ads as "more effective" than display ads.

But just 31% said that online video was more effective than social media marketing.

Search ads are still less likely to see their budgets suffer as a result of the trend towards video, with just 13% of agencies preferring the channel.

According to eMarketer forecasts, online video adspend should rise by 38.6% in the US in 2011. By way of comparison, Warc predicts that overall US online adspend should increase by 12.4%.

Meanwhile, a separate report from Ad Age highlights the increased priority advertisers are putting on video.

"The traditional model was, 'he who had the most money bought the most air time and could get in front of the most consumers,'" Brian Shin, ceo of Visible Measures, an online video advertising specialist, said.

"Now, consumers are doing the distributing - it's a realization that consumers are driving everything."

Social media has attained an increasingly important status in campaign strategies - with firms hoping to have their videos passed on within networks to gain impressions and build awareness.

Dan Greenberg, ceo of Sharethrough, a social video seeding platform, added: "What's shifted now is we're seeing requests that are purely for social video, which means content distribution as opposed to traditional ad placements."

Data sourced from eMarketer/Ad Age; additional content by Warc staff