So far in our Video Publishing Best Practices Series we've covered the role that user experience and viewability play in video monetization — but none of that can exist without content. How you source and present your videos, and the placement of your clients' ads within them, influences metrics ranging from views and return visits to audience retention and subscription rates.
What follows is a set of guidelines designed to help you make the most of the video content on your site in the interest of creating the optimal experience for the user and advertiser.
1. "Videofy" Your Evergreen Content
If you're like most publishers, you have a huge repository of evergreen content on your site. Articles that are generally useful and relevant to ongoing issues are likely to entice your audience for years to come. So why not leverage their popularity for the benefit of your advertisers?
By identifying high-traffic stories and pages and then adding related videos to that content, you can offer desirable new advertising opportunities where there were none. Between providing your visitors with an enhanced content experience and giving your advertisers access to high-performing pages, it's a win-win.
2. License Content to Bulk Up Your Video Library
On the subject of maximizing video ad revenue, we have to ask: Can you create enough video content? Video is a new endeavor for many media companies and scaling up a video takes time.
Consider a partnership with a company that can provide professional or user-generated videos to supplement your existing content. VideoElephant — a JW Player preferred vendor — offers 750,000 premium videos and promises to deliver "both increased ad revenue and a great user experience."
3. Partner With a Video Production Company to Create More Content of Your Own
While quality licensed content will attract viewers, there's no understating the value of in-house content. With that in mind, some companies are creating more original videos of their own.
This is an increasingly popular solution as publishers look to satisfy both advertiser and audience cravings for video. As The New York Times reported last year, publishers like Hearst, Time Inc., Gannett, and The Huffington Post "have turned to technology that promises to streamline video production, sometimes to the point of near-full automation." Offering your site visitors a combination of in-house and licensed content gives them more videos to choose from and will keep them coming back, thus maintaining and potentially expanding your user base.
4. Use Data-Driven Video Recommendations for Deeper Engagement
Once your audience is actively watching your expertly blended mix of original and third-party content, you'll want to keep them engaged. Similar to Amazon's Product Recommendations, video recommendations can deepen engagement by encouraging multi-video viewing sessions while also creating a more personalized site experience.
By using data on cumulative site activity and identifying content traits, our recommendations engine can deliver video suggestions that are contextually relevant as well as those that are curated for viewers. Because the process is automated you can provide this benefit without complicating your publishing workflow.
To make best use of the technology, place your data-driven feeds widget in a visible location on your page and set it to ON for all players. In high traffic areas of your site, like your home page, we recommend using a trending playlist of your property's most popular videos, while similar videos works best in individual site sections and on article pages. The engine will ensure your valuable library of video content keeps generating views, regardless of where your visitors spend time on your site.
5. Consider Length, Ad Placement, Frequency, Format
Successful video advertising is built on balance, combining editorial content and advertising in a way that pleases and appeases your viewers. To strike this equilibrium, start by assessing the length of your content. A recent study from AOL found that 42 percent of global consumers are watching videos 5 minutes or shorter daily. Your audience and the unique nature of your content factor in too, however, so it's important to test video length, ad placement, and frequency.
If your video is shorter than a minute and a half, opt for a 15 second pre-roll. Remember that click-to-play is better than autoplay (see number 5 here).
Also check out our next post, Part 4 in our "Video Publishing Best Practices" series for five more tips for improved video engagement.
Contact JW Player today to talk about how we can help you improve your site's viewer experience in order to achieve higher video CPMs.