Playbook: Anatomy of a Video

Attracting more viewers starts with knowing how your videos are really doing

Over the past few months, we rolled out a five-part blog series on the key metrics of how and why viewers engage. If you followed the posts, you’re awesome. If you haven’t, it’s time to undo the tragedy. Our Video Analytics playbook is a quick and easy way to catch up. Download the guide today and discover how to use data to improve your video strategy.

 

Think you know everything about embeds, plays, ad impressions, completes, and time watched? “Anatomy of a Video” gets past the surface definitions and digs deeper into how each supports the full story of audience engagement. You’ll walk away with practical tips on how to measure and use these metrics to deliver greater content, more effective ads, and an overall better user experience.

 

 

 

To read all the posts in the blog series, click here:

What Is an Embed?
What Are Ad Impressions?
What Is a Play?
What Is a Complete?
What Is Time Watched?

 

For more information about using data to enhance viewer engagement, schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

Contact Us

The post Playbook: Anatomy of a Video appeared first on JW Player.

It’s All in the Execution: 5 Tips For Building a Sustainable Video Strategy

JW Player cofounder Brian Rifkin shares advice for becoming a video-first publisher

Digital video was a $13 billion business in 2017 and is forecasted to grow at a double-digit growth rate for the foreseeable future. And given the rise of next generation digital video platforms like mobile, OTT, and even connected home devices, the growth has no end in sight over the long term.

Video simply can’t be ignored by any publisher. However, success in video is not easy. Most websites/publishers built their original business without video, relying on text and images. These publishers are facing the challenges of integrating video into their strategy. Some of the newer breed of publishers launched as video-first and optimized for social platform distribution. With the fallout of Facebook’s recent algorithm change, they are also facing challenges.

The good news is that both of these challenges are surmountable and when implemented correctly, will create a video website experience that is engaging for consumers and lays the foundation of a sustainable advertising business.

Here are  five key recommendations that websites/publishers should focus on for a successful video strategy.

Match your site experience to the user’s expectations.

Experienced and new publishers alike frequently forget that not everyone who arrives on their page will be expecting video content. If you’ve ever x’ed out of a window to avoid an unexpected autoplay video, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

This is why it is crucial to tee up your content in a way that prepares people for video, creating an “intent to watch” experience. Whether the user is arriving from a newsletter, social media, search, or your homepage, you can set this expectation by including a thumbnail image of your video alongside copy with phrases like “watch what happens” or “click here to watch our video review.”

 

Put money into an effective user acquisition strategy.

When it comes to user acquisition, there’s no such thing as a free lunch anymore. Whether you’re using SEO or social media sites like Facebook, generating organic visits has become an intense competition over a shrinking pool of traffic. If you want to bring high-value video viewers to your site, you’ll need to invest in a paid media budget.  Be sure to promote video in these campaigns to ensure you’re driving users to your site with intent to watch.

Regardless of where you spend your money, it’s important to optimize every post for the highest possible ROI. With the right technology, you’ll be able to run multivariate testing on every piece of video content, as well as the copy and thumbnail image you use to promote it.

 

Master the science of online video.

Video can be a major source of digital ad revenues, but it only works when media brands take the time to master the unique challenges of the format.

Unlike display, it’s unwise to simply load up on as many demand partners as you can find, as doing so will lead to VAST errors that poison the user experience and decrease your overall yields. Instead, it’s best to be disciplined about who you bring in, whittling down your prospective buyers to the ones who deliver the highest CPMs and fill rates.

And while publishers make most of their automated display revenues from the open auction, the programmatic video money is in guaranteed deals and private marketplaces. Since both of these arrangements require publishers to connect with individual demand partners, you’ll need your in-house sales team to build relationships with buyers. If you don’t have an in-house sales team, ask your exchange partners to help you connect.

Last, but not least, it’s crucial to hire skilled ad-tech professionals who can recognize and troubleshoot any technical problems that arise.

 

Make it fast, really fast.

In video, the easiest way to uncover hidden revenues is to speed up your website. After all, 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes three seconds or more to load.

Whereas display advertising rewards publishers for loading their page with additional banner ads and content recommendations, video publishers must be careful not to distract the user — in essence, less is more. Since video advertising delivers such high yields, the right page configuration will be one that encourages people to go into the video player and watch multiple pieces of content.

 

Take things one video at a time.

While all of this may sound daunting, it’s important to remember two things: a) there are already publishers who have followed this roadmap to success and b) there’s no reason you can’t take your time finding what works for you and build another page if you need to.

Instead of trying to execute a total pivot to video overnight, it’s best to take things one video at a time, testing and learning as you go. The key is to remain focused on building a video-first content strategy, a speedy, intuitive user experience and an intelligent programmatic stack. If you can do these things, you’ll be well on your way to finding a path that works for you.

 

Ready to become a video-first publisher? Schedule time to talk with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

 

The post It’s All in the Execution: 5 Tips For Building a Sustainable Video Strategy appeared first on JW Player.

Market Smarter with Video Intelligence

In a B2B Growth podcast, JW Player CEO Dave Otten shares how marketers can tap into viewer insights that drive the bottom line

What lies at the heart of a good marketing plan? It boils down to one thing: understanding what makes your audience tick. But truly getting to this point can be a royal pain. Sometimes there’s limited data. Sometimes there’s only a partial story of who the target audience really is.

The good news is that market research is growing more sophisticated every day thanks to video intelligence. Using data and insights gleaned from viewer behavior and consumption, marketers can connect the dots on how audiences engage with media online and reach the right people at the right time. Our CEO Dave Otten explains how on B2B Growth, a daily podcast for B2B marketers.

The video industry’s “dirty secrets”

According to Dave, there are two main problems or “dirty secrets” facing marketers and publishers in the video industry:

 

  • A shortfall of quality video content: There’s an imbalance between the demand from advertisers and the supply of quality inventory from publishers. Creating engaging, compelling videos remains a key challenge for a lot of publishers trying to monetize successfully.

 

  • Limited data that informs monetization: Many video advertising strategies could be improved with better insights into video content, how it’s consumed, who it’s reaching, etc.

 

Video intelligence as a marketing tool

“For marketers looking to reach audiences, JW Player helps those folks get access to data sets that they can then use to enrich their existing data around who their customers are today,” says Dave.

(These “data sets” are among the video world’s largest—each month 1 billion people, or one seventh of the global population, will watch at least one JW Player video.)

Dave gives the example of a person who buys Tide detergent and regularly visits a handful of sites and watches specific videos. Video intelligence would help a Tide marketer see how these viewing patterns are interconnected, understand better who this person is, and what s/he might do next to inform a next purchase of Tide.

Another example is the consumer who watches a video on VICE.com and then visits Cosmopolitan.com to watch a fashion video. Pre-video intelligence, a marketer might primarily define the audience in terms of VICE’s demographics, but now there’s an added layer of nuance—an interest in fashion—that could impact the marketing message.

“We provide granular insights” that allow marketers to “make connections at an individual and content level of how people engage and where their interests might lie,” says Dave. Marketers might discover, for instance, that seemingly unrelated sites actually share the same users.

“If you can make those connections and make it more efficient for marketers to be successful in reaching their audiences,” he continues, “then that’s a big win for everyone in the ecosystem.”

 

Improving user experience with video intelligence

A quality video advertising experience would not be possible without excellent playback, and video intelligence enhances the speed and performance of video plays.

Dave explains that time to first frame is lightning-fast because “we use video intelligence to make sure we load the proper components of a video player given your bandwidth connection.”

If players are set to autoplay, video intelligence helps determine that the video only runs if the player is visible on the screen—for advertisers, a guarantee that their ads are being seen.

****

As we’ve shown in our JW Recommendations blog series, publishers have much to gain by capitalizing on video intelligence to engage audiences. But for advertisers, the possibilities are only just beginning—and could be quite endless. Video intelligence is increasingly essential to understanding audiences, delivering riveting messages, and growing profitable businesses.

 

To all the advertisers out there, welcome to the new world of marketing.

 

Click here to listen to the full podcast (episode #664).

 

Learn more about strengthening your marketing strategy with video intelligence. Schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

 

The post Market Smarter with Video Intelligence appeared first on JW Player.

“Where’s the ROI?”

Walking your C-Suite boss through video advertising’s biggest misconception

If you’re in charge of a publisher’s video content program, few events can cause more anxiety than a meeting with the C-Suite when you’re first getting your initiative off the ground.

You’ve assembled a great team, produced dozens of quality videos, and worked late into the night on your carefully crafted distribution strategy. The only problem? Your new video program hasn’t quite delivered the ROI your company was expecting yet. And now it’s up to you to explain why your company should continue devoting resources to it.

Debunking the greatest myth about video

While some executives have the misconception that video doesn’t produce a strong enough ROI, the truth is video can be very lucrative.

As any publisher knows, quality video content costs much more to produce than a written article or slideshow. But the long-term payoffs can be substantial. The Interactive Advertising Bureau predicts that U.S. advertisers will spend $14.5 billion on digital video in 2018, with this number climbing to more than $23 billion by 2021. Publishers who are able to break into the over-the-top (OTT) television market will have an opportunity to reap even greater rewards, with ad revenues in this space expected to top $30 billion in 2018.

In addition to highlighting these facts in your C-Suite meeting, consider bringing success stories of how media giants have integrated video into their businesses. Hearst, which generated 15 billion video views last year, just recently opened a new, 26,000 square-foot production studio dedicated to video. Firms like Vice Media have built multi-billion dollar companies on the back of a strong digital video operation. Though Vice began as a niche punk-rock print magazine in 1994, the publisher’s early bet on original video and branded content have helped it grow into the household name it is today.

For more examples, our resources page features case studies that can support your conversations with the C-Suite.

Why does this misconception about video exist?

New video publishers frequently struggle not because they lack quality content with high ROI potential, but because they aren’t showcasing or monetizing their work the right way.

For instance, if not enough people are engaging with videos on your site, your problem might be that you’re not A/B testing your headlines and thumbnails. If your visitors are leaving quickly after they arrive on the page, you might want to speed up your site load times. If people aren’t interacting with ads, a more strategic approach that invests in the lifetime value of the customer may be in order.

Monetization can further be hindered by the fact that, until recently, a great deal of video viewing has taken place on outside platforms like Facebook and YouTube, which generate lower CPMs for publishers and force them to split their revenues with another company.

Facebook’s latest algorithm changes have dramatically reduced social traffic to branded videos, meaning publishers can make an even greater case to their C-Suite boss: The time has never been better to use their owned and operated site as the main source of video monetization.

How JW Player can help

Here at JW Player, video monetization is what we do. Our ad technology is compatible with all major ad servers, networks, and exchanges, and our latest partnership with SpotX further allows publishers to simultaneously access multiple demand sources via video player bidding. We also offer consultative services on optimizing your ad yield. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about a revenue split diluting your ROI, as our customers keep 100% of their ad revenues.

So relax, take a deep breath, and know that help is on the way. We’ve proven time and again that video advertising can deliver major ROI for a wide range of video publishers. There’s no reason for your
C-Suite boss to believe your firm will be any different.

 

Ready to boost your video ad revenue? Schedule time to speak with a video expert.

 

Contact Us

 

The post “Where’s the ROI?” appeared first on JW Player.