3 Rules For Publishers Embracing The Video Revolution

 

The power of video to inform, educate, entertain and engage is now well established.

 Some recent statistics highlight this:

1. Video equals higher viewer retention. The information retained in one minute of online video is equal to about 1.8 million written words. (Source: Brainshark)
2. Video attracts two to three times as many monthly visitors to a site and doubles their time spent on the site and has a157% increase in organic traffic from search engines. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
3. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (Source: SEOmoz
4. Of the 80% of internet users who watched a video ad, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad. (Source: Video Brewery)

The availability of video is now almost universal: YouTube alone has over 1 billion users uploading over 300 hours of video every minute. The number of hours per month that people are consuming on their platform is up 50% in 2015 compared to last year. By 2019 90% of all online activity will be related to video consumption – this is truly the video age.

Consumers have led the video revolution - the fact is people want to consume information via video more and more. Publishers need to develop a video content strategy which provides insights into how video can positively impact both their existing print and digital content platform and enhance their audience experience whilst also providing additional opportunities for their commercial partners to associate with the wealth of content available.
Advertisers will follow consumers and their behavior has definitely shifted towards video viewing, participation and sharing.

Recent changes by FacebookInstagramSnapchat and Twitter have introduced new video based viewing and social sharing features bringing social video into the mainstream and into our hands via mobile.

With access to numerous platforms offering video content solutions and the ability to create their own branded video content destination on the web, advertisers and agencies have more options than ever to connect with audiences through video.

This change will only continue at an even faster pace, as technology becomes an enabler and consumer habits change.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR PUBLISHERS?

Whilst video is not the be-all-and-end-all for publishers, they must now have a plan for how to integrate and use video for the benefit of their subscribers, audiences and commercial partners.
Creating video content to support and enhance a publishers' core assets and capabilities is now seen as essential in a world where the digital social web and technology have made access to video content ubiquitous. 
Combining in-house publishing capabilities with a specialist video agency partner to provide new skills, expertise and on-going support is one way that publishers can utilize existing resources to quickly establish meaningful video content. For others, new working environments, management and compensation structures may be needed to attract and retain this new kind of talent. Here are 3 things publishers embarking on integrating video content as part of their overall strategy need to get right:

1. VIDEO CONTENT STRATEGY

First define how, when and why you are creating content. What are the KPI’s and how will success be measured. The video content strategy is a plan to provide a clear understanding of your current situation, revealing your goals, monitoring your progress, measuring your success and outlining the rewards.

It is also very important that the strategy informs the creative approach to video production values to ensure consistency with the publisher’s brand, tone of voice, positioning and values. This seems like a given but there are numerous examples of videos being incompatible with a corresponding publisher assets, magazine and/or digital publication. This relies on publishers, editors, writers, marketers and external partners working as a team to ensure the video produced integrates seamlessly with the written word and visuals of the publication.


Assessing how the video content strategy aligns with overall business objectives is key to success. Is the objective to build brand awareness or affinity? To increase readership or get subscribers? What media types and channels are most appropriate to achieve the prescribed goals?  All subsequent decisions—about tools, partners, and technologies—will flow subsequently from this essential content strategy.


For traditional publishers to effectively incorporate video content publishing as part of their brand ecosytem, measurement also needs to be considered. Traditional metrics such as impressions and click through rates matter less, while publishing metrics such as views, unique visitors, repeat visitors, video completions and time spent begin to matter more. Social metrics, such as likes, shares, comments, volume of traffic from social media channels, and share of voice also take on increased importance.

2. VIDEO CONTENT PILLARS

The are opportunities to produce video around the existing publisher content genres and ‘tent-pole’ articles or initiatives that are generating interest, online traffic, comments or views. Magazine and print publishers are in the enviable position that they have a wealth of written and visual content and an existing and connected audience. The key is to produce regularly and consistently.

Within existing content pillars for publishers, say food or motoring or finance, it is possible to develop a consistent approach to a video content calendar – providing consumer based video of a regular tactical nature based on relevant ‘news-worthy’ events or stories – this can include content such as filming regular seasonal recipes, new car reviews or journalistic video that reports and/or highlights relevant topical stories, seasonal recipes.

This can be interwoven with or used to supplement and support pre-defined content themes or arcs in-line with published articles. This content is likely to be longer form with more in-depth story led, informative or entertaining content and more thoroughly planned and produced. This is where audiences engage and connect with the brand and it’s values at a deeper level.

3. OPTIMIZATION – NEW WORKFLOWS

Video content can add tangible value to an organization but it needs regular maintenance and care. Flexibility in this environment is as important as streamlining production and approval workflows. Online video content creation, like other digital endeavors, requires optimization. Rapid testing, learning and publishing on a continuous basis are all signs of success. Creating an infrastructure that supports and produces video content on an ongoing basis means that publishers need to strive for a flexible, adaptable content culture which embraces new ways to entice audiences to interact with content.