Innovative Ways Publishers are Increasing Video Engagement
As competition for audience attention becomes more challenging due to the rapid rise in online video consumption and the onslaught of new producers, publishers, and creators, every digital publisher is looking for ways to maximize reach and revenue. With every company creating video content nowadays, it’s become essential for digital publishers to find solutions for increasing engagement in scalable, sustainable ways.
Publishers are in the unique position to be able to control the design, format, and strategy for their content online. Digital publishers and content editors generally have to account for both reaching new and existing audiences, while working alongside advertising teams.
The best content works for both a publisher’s audience and its advertisers, and increasing engagement is the way to win both. JW Player helps publishers connect, engage, and monetize their audiences on every screen. Download an industry report with more actionable tips for increasing video engagement here.
Read below for 7 innovative ways publishers are increasing video engagement.
7 Tips to Increase Video Views & Engagement
How Publishers Increase Engagement with Creative Video Solutions
1. Use Live Streams to Attract New Audiences
Download the case study: How DER SPIEGEL uses Live Streams to grow their brand and audience
Publishers have been using live streams to increase both viewership and engagement. “Live streaming can be a way to produce exclusive content and together with some other measures, it’s a way to convince users to leave a login or even a subscription to the digital area of DER SPIEGEL,” Sven Christian (Video Product Team, Editorial) said in a case study with JW Player.
JW Player’s live player enabled DER SPIEGEL’s newsdesk to not only use live streaming for standard live events, but with a reliable tech partner, they’ve also managed to set up regular live channels to stream from other news partners, press conferences, and special planned events without commentary.
As part of DER SPIEGEL’s ongoing strategy to offer more engaging content, DER SPIEGEL has also begun hosting live talk shows with prominent guests and hosts. During the U.S. election, DER SPIEGEL ran live shows during the presidential inauguration and other high-volume events, generating 2 million live streamed minutes of President Biden’s Inauguration on January 20, 2021!
PRO TIP: Live events on JW Player are automatically recorded and available immediately after the event is completed as video-on-demand content. Make your content last longer by getting multiple uses out of it—almost immediately!
2. Match Content with Relevant Videos at Scale
Download the case study: How Apartment Therapy and Kitchn Increased Their Video Engagement With JW Player’s Article Matching
Across the JW Player network of publishers, approximately 60%+ of published articles do not have video content—a missed opportunity to monetize. Article Matching from JW Player automatically inserts a relevant video from an existing content library into any post from the moment it goes live.
The lifestyle publishers Apartment Therapy and Kitchn used Article Matching to deliver more contextually relevant videos in a more engaging user experience. In the three months after these sites began using Article Matching, Apartment Therapy and Kitchn saw a combined 36% increase in overall video plays, a 19% jump in completion rates, and a 27% uptick in the percentage of play that reached the 10-second mark across their sites.
3. Create Content for a Mobile-First Environment
Download the case study: How SNY increased their online video viewership & engagement with a video-first strategy
With more audiences on more mobile devices, publishers have found the importance of creating mobile-first content. One broadcaster, SNY.tv increased their average daily video views by 81% with a video-first content strategy utilizing short, snappy social video posts in a mobile-first environment. Creating platform-specific content that then serves as a lead generation tool to get viewers back to their primary outlet, the SNY.tv website, they’re able to monetize a highly engaged audience.
Content created for its optimal use on the platform it’s hosted on, makes the user experience more seamless. Using social media posts to tease full-length video content, like SNY.tv does on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, allows the network to get more plays and more views on their website where better targeted ads can be served.
4. Use Recommendations to Increase Follow-on Views
Download the case study: How Insider Inc. transformed its video performance with JW Player’s Recommendations and Article Matching
Through maintaining a strong playlist strategy for your content, publishers can yield higher revenue per session. More importantly, playlists strengthen viewers’ experience with content as it guides the content that they see next. With manual and dynamic playlists, publishers can create a viewing flow based on a specific series or type of content. For example, a sports publisher might want to have a playlist of March Madness highlights during the NCAA tournament.
Additionally, certain playlists can anticipate what viewers might want to see next, extending the time they spend with a site while also giving viewers the ability to easily discover the content that they’re likely interested in already.
When using JW Player Recommendations, a content editor only needs to select the initial video that a viewer sees. Then, JW Player's algorithm creates a playlist of recommended videos based on viewing patterns and semantic similarity. The ability to match recommended content to the interests of the viewer helps to increase engagement and follow-on views. Insider Inc. saw a 61% CTR increase, a 114% lift in completed video views, and a 97% jump in ad impressions vs. its internal solution when using JW Player engagement products.
5. Use Analytics to Optimize Content Production
Download the case study: How HELLO! Magazine Generates Revenue with a Video-First content strategy
British magazine HELLO! managed to grow their video viewership by over 123% since 2020 by utilizing a video-first content strategy with in-depth reporting and analytics. This data-first strategy enabled them to grow viewership and revenue rapidly, even during the pandemic. When researching their audience data with JW Player’s dashboard analytics, HELLO!’s editorial team discovered the best type of content that worked for their monetization strategy.
Christian Anderson-Ramshall, HELLO!’s Head of Channels, said in a case study report, “We used to have a hero video slot, but then discovered by looking at the data that it didn’t actually work. The scrolling users had to do was just too much and the drop-off rate was massive.” By utilizing the JW Player analytics dashboard and looking up stats daily with custom reports as well as real-time reporting, HELLO! optimized their video placement for increased revenue.
A strong understanding of video analytics can vastly improve video engagement.
6. Publish Videos with Motion Thumbnails
Video thumbnails drive 15% more views over static thumbnails while also improving the site experience for users. These 5-second thumbnails automatically play in a loop silently when the player is viewable, offering an interactive preview of the video itself.
Websites such as TMZ.com use motion thumbnails to generate more intentional clicks for their content. Publishers can also use video preview assets outside of the video player to build interactive sites and applications to further engage audiences.
Publishers within the JW Player network have also found success including the play icon on video thumbnails that appear on the home page, in text articles, and on sidebars to indicate content format. A simple play icon overlay on the cover image for a video can generate more clicks to play. Click-to-Play videos start upon user click, a strong signal for the user’s intent to consume that specific content. Typically, publishers in the U.S. generate close to 90% ad fill rates with CPMs in the $15-20 range with click-to-play videos.
7. Showcase Videos in a Dedicated Video Website Section
Publishers should consider building a section on their site for showcasing the best video content. Making video content accessible to viewers via main navigation channels or specific call-outs makes it easier for viewers to find, watch, and continue watching content. While hiding video players below the fold or embedded within articles does generate plays, the most successful publishers make sure their video content is easy to find in dedicated sections.
How to track video engagement
Tracking and understanding your video engagement can help you better understand your audience wants and needs, which can then help you better monetize. For publishers looking to better understand video engagement, how to measure video engagement, and what other actionable tips can be taking, JW Player offers a free, downloadable report.