Canada closed out 2010 ahead of the US and UK as the most actively engaged with video content. This is important news for the political and public affairs community, particularly those who haven’t yet exploited video for communication and engagement.

eMarketer published summarized data from a few surveys just last week. They show Canadians lead the field as most likely to visit video sites, share links to videos and receive video links from others. More importantly for video creators, 41 per cent of Canadian Internet users claim to be watching more online video now than they did a year ago (only seven per cent watch less).

While the statistics suggest video should play a significant role in your online efforts, many people who use video in an official capacity miss the mark in their efforts. My experience is too many organizations either unwittingly script the personality out of their videos or aim too high believing they can create “viral” (there’s a word that needs to be dressed up in a leisure suit and set fire to).

To have a positive impact with video you must remember you’re addressing humans. Your content needs to resonate with your target audience. That means the video must be relevant, timely and relatable. Done badly, your video will become popular for the wrong reasons.

Photo: chocolate pie chart uploaded to Flickr by ltdan.