Multimedia content is the key to reeling people into your site and ensuring that they keep coming back, and video is central to this. According to Cisco, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic by 2017, while Cloudwave claims that 75 million people in the US watch videos online everyday.
For marketers, publishers, online magazine editors - basically anyone looking to build a web presence - this popularity would be reckless to ignore, and a Nielsen survey showed that 64% of marketers expect video to dominate their strategies in the near future. But with all of this new filmed content, competition for eyes on screen will also become even more intense, and it is important to have a good strategy in place, and to have it as soon as possible.
One example of a company doing it right is Bleacher Report. Bleacher Report has a 100-person team dedicated to video which pumps out up to 800 videos a month across its London and New York City offices, which get 100 million video views across all platforms.
Dorth Raphaely, Bleacher Report general manager, who we interviewed recently, said: ‘We’ve gotten really good at figuring out the story angles that fans are interested in seeing. We know exactly when people will start caring less about what’s going on on the field and more about what’s in store for next year, and we use that kind of data to drive how we create video. Going zero and four means something different to an Eagles fan than a Raiders fan.’
Central to Bleacher Report’s strategy is relentlessly pursuing its target audience of 16-24 year olds, with experimental teams putting out videos such a its animated NBA-themed series ‘Game of Zones’, a Game of Thrones parody. Its unvarnished fan driven videos have proven hugely successful, and the company has built on this with a social strategy which has seen it ranked by Shareablee as the number 8 publisher in social media, and number 1 in sports.
The Washington Post is also gaining traction with its video content strategy. The Amazon-owned publisher recently announced that it was changing the name of its in-house unit from ‘PostTV’ to ‘Washington Post Video’, as it moves away from television-style and long-form narrative content toward more digitally native video formats and structures. Instead, they will look to the sort of shorter-form original videos, aggregated pieces, and news explainers that have been shown to be so successful.
The move follows the decision by The Post to introduce its own custom video player earlier this year, which now lives in a new video vertical. According to Micah Gelman, director of video, this was done with the aim of producing the ‘right stories for the right platform at the right time,’ and facilitates posting to Snapchat, among other functions.
It is not only large-scale operations like Bleacher Report and The Washington Post that can successfully use video content though. The low cost of production makes it affordable to nearly everyone, including small businesses.
The lessons of Bleacher Report and The Washington Post are there to be seen. Always consider the audience you are trying to reach and ensure the video is relevant to them. To gauge how successful videos are, video completion rates are an important metric, and if they are unsuccessful, look at first changing the style of videos, and then whether the format is the best way of getting your message across in the first place.
Also important is ensuring that you promote your videos across multiple channels, but don’t try and crowbar one in that works for Facebook onto, say, Snapchat, where people’s expectations of what they are consuming are different - as is the way people consume content on mobile, which is where nearly 40% of all video is watched now. And finally, make sure the video is both visible, and good. The low cost of production means anyone and everyone can put out a video now, and just because you’ve gone to the trouble of making it doesn’t mean that people owe it to you find and watch it.