Building Loyal Audiences in the Attention Economy

JW Insights experts share tips about sustaining engagement when attention spans are shorter than this sent…

Remember that study about humans having a shorter attention span than a goldfish? It’s now more urban legend than science, but for publishers looking to build loyal audiences in the attention economy, it isn’t entirely a myth. Keeping eyeballs on videos and ensuring return visits are no easy tasks under the deluge of digital distractions that compete for viewer attention every day. If you’re looking to combat “Goldfish Syndrome,” take a look at these tips from JW Insights experts.

 

1) Define what loyalty means to you – it’s different for every publisher.

Understand what’s important to your company before you attach your company to particular metrics. Is loyalty measured by the conversion rate from short-form to long-form? Is it the percentage of time viewers watch another video? Or how often they return to your video site each month?

 

Bottom line: Everyone’s got a different metric, and you have to decide what’s right for you.

 

According to Jake McGraw, EVP of Strategy and CTO of attn:, it’s okay to step away from massive numbers and tracking viewership alone. His company, for example, also looks at how much people tell their friends about videos, share videos on social media, or wait for the next episode.

 

2) Support intent to watch.

Viewers are much more likely to complete and engage with a video if they expect to watch it. As Paul Bannister, EVP of CaféMedia, says, “It matters how the user gets to the video.” Consider a viewer’s state of mind: Am I looking to watch this video right now? Am I clicking to play? Or is this video autoplaying in my news feed?

 

3) Appeal to viewers where they are.

For many publishers, this means balancing social media with owned and operated (O&O) sites. According to Paul, “You have to appeal to them where they are.” If the content is good, “that person likes the content wherever it is.” The ultimate goal, over time, is to bring all viewers back to your O&O.

 

4) Produce good content and understand the value of each piece.

It may go without saying that good content is key to attracting a loyal audience, but make sure to keep that process iterative and laser-focused. Said Jared Lansky, CCO of Keywee: “Look at each piece of content as an individual item and look at the return of that item to assess whether you should keep investing. Know that on a story by story level.”

 

5) What works for one platform may not work for another.

“Every platform is different,” said Jake. “What works on Facebook, you can’t just ship to YouTube,” which is a more intent-based platform with people searching for answers. In addition, the YouTube player is often embedded on other sites, a factor that publishers should keep in mind when measuring loyalty.

 

6) Drive traffic to your O&O video site—don’t put your business in somebody else’s hands.

If you’re using social media platforms, don’t rely on them exclusively. Revenue share on Facebook and Google cuts significantly into publisher ad yield. “You’ve got this absurdity of billions of views generating thousands of dollars in revenue,” said moderator Andrew Wallenstein of Variety.

 

To build loyal audiences, drive viewership back to your O&O and diversify your business. In this way, attn: finds that “whatever happens to CPMs on videos published natively on Facebook doesn’t impact us,” said Jake.

 

7) Create a video-centric experience on your O&O site.

Once you’ve driven people to your O&O, make sure their experience is user-friendly. “People can be willing and eager to leave the social platforms,” said Jared, but the video should be the focal point of your site once they arrive. Paul believes emerging tools will help build video-centric user experiences. “You can carve out your loyal audience if you build a video-focused experience on the site.”

 

8) Invest in your long tail audience.

Retention hinges on identifying your most engaged audience. Jake advises that, when plotting viewer retention against video duration, “Cut the first 10 seconds off. Then that’s your audience. Your loyal audience should be based on the long tail – the folks who actually stayed long enough to watch your great content.”

 

To watch the full session:

 

 

Learn more about how JW Player can help you sustain viewer attention. Schedule time to speak with a video expert.

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How to Write Video Titles that Attract Viewers

The most effective copy supports intent to watch and boosts play rates

The key to delivering engaging videos starts with enticing media titles. To support an intent-to-watch experience with viewers who choose to click play, you’ll want to draw them in with captivating and hard-to-refuse headlines. We share tips and examples for creating successful titles that pull in the views.

Make Titles Consistent, Vibrant, Intriguing, Helpful

 

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  • Align titles with the page itself. Consistency matters. Encourage intent to watch by making sure that your headline fits with the article or page where the video resides. Your video should complement the reading experience, not disrupt it.

 

  • Put titles on thumbnails. Make your titles vibrant by including them on prominent thumbnails. Some of the best thumbnails combine a large meme-like title with strong colors and a clear focal point (a person/face can work particularly well).

 

  • Build intrigue an­­d mystery. Provide just enough information to make viewers want to find out more. Our favorite titles frequently tease the content. This could take the form of a cliffhanger, an unexpected premise, a half-finished micro story, and more.

 

  • Answer your viewer’s question. On the flip side of intrigue is offering the direct user benefit. Put yourself in the shoes of viewers looking to learn more about a topic that your video covers. A title that reflects what they’re searching for and captures critical keywords not only makes them click but is good for SEO.

 

Successful Video Titles

Let’s take a look at some examples from popular videos on the Web.

 

Mystery / Intrigue

Glam Girlfriend Thinks Her Beau Is Just Getting a Makeover but Then He Did This

One Mom’s Beehive Hairdo Gets a 21st-Century Update

Caught on The Ellen Shop’s Hidden Camera

 

Answer the Question

How to Make Barbecued Ribs in Your Oven at Home

How Luke Skywalker Became “The Last Jedi”

How to Find the Perfect Foundation and Apply It Like a Pro

 

Numbers

6 NBA Teams Who Could Make a Surge in the Second Half of the Season

42,000 Matches Lit at the Same Time

 

Meme

Crocodile Attacks Elephant

 

We recommend A/B testing to compare which methods work best and then adjust your copywriting strategy. For help with producing copy, consider Fiverr.com, the world’s largest market for freelance services, with jobs starting at $5.

 

Video Titles Improve Recommendations

Beyond attracting viewers and boosting play rates, great titles support stronger video intelligence. The accuracy of JW Player’s recommendations engine depends on publishers titling, tagging, and describing videos correctly. Enticing titles help us assess what your video is about, surface more relevant content to heighten engagement, and ultimately lift viewership.

 

To learn more about increasing your views and play rates, schedule time to talk with a video expert.

 

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Video Will Make Up More than 80% of Online Traffic

Are videos on 80% of your webpages?

According to Cisco, by the year 2021, 82% of all internet traffic will come from video. Yes, 82%. If 2021 seems far off, consider that video already accounted for 73% of all consumer internet traffic in 2016.

 

At JW Player, we don’t take these trends lightly—we see them as game changers. Video isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore; it’s become essential to any publisher’s success. If video consumes about 80% of all internet traffic, then it’s a good idea to put it on 80% of your webpages too. As your video partner, we draw on our industry expertise and data to show you how.

 

What can you do to step up your video game? It starts with understanding the architecture of your site. Just as not all plays are created equal, not all pages are created equal either. Look at your sitemap and review the different pages you have—the sections, the subsections, the various ways you are categorizing content.

 

Then, decide which type of video experience would be best for each page. The most effective videos are tailored to the specific page they’re serving. Rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, think about all the different ways you can integrate video across distinct parts of your site, from desktop to mobile.

 

Let’s look at three common examples:

 

  • The dedicated video page – When it comes to attracting viewers, this is your site’s main draw. You’ll want to select a large player (at least 600×400 pixels), make it the main focus of the page, and support intent to watch.

 

  • The article page with recommended video content – These articles are complemented by videos or video thumbnails. You can use video to support the text or, conversely, use text to set up and comment on video. Recommended videos are related to content and support intent to watch.

 

  • The text-heavy page – This page might feature a much longer article, a dense how-to explanation, or any other piece with significant copy. Unrelated to content, an outstream video ad unit breaks up text-heavy pages and could have the greatest impact here.  

 

The speed of the digital world waits for no one. Don’t get left behind—or rather, stay one step ahead—by incorporating video throughout your website today.

 
To learn more about how to become a video-first publisher, schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

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What’s Next for Video in 2018?

JW Player Leaders Predict What’s in Store for Video Next Year

As 2017 winds down, we look ahead to the most important trends and opportunities in the future of video. From shorter mobile video ads to the rise of native apps and machine learning, the evolution of the industry is only just beginning.

Get a head start on navigating the landscape with 2018 predictions from our video experts.

 

Brian Rifkin, Cofounder, SVP Strategic Partnerships:

  •   2018 will be the year of less is more.

The most successful publishers will implement faster sites with fewer but more impactful ads.

  •   2018 will be the year of the shorter mobile video ad.

As the 30-second video ad continues its steady decline, the 6- to 15-second ads will dominate mobile.

  •   2018 will be the year of intent to watch.

By creating an “intent to watch” experience, publishers will be rewarded with more loyal viewership and greater monetization.

 

Jeroen Wijering, Cofounder, Chief Product Officer:

  •      2018 will be the year of actual machine learning products.

In 2017, all the big clouds launched audio, video, and language processing systems based on machine learning. However, those systems gave us very inaccurate metadata. That data can’t be scaled to grow audiences and automate workflows. It’s a problem we’ll crack in 2018.

  •      2018 will be the year mobile users will start deleting apps.

In 2017, the majority of mobile users (51%) installed exactly zero apps a month.  Moving forward, we may even see a decline in apps as more users “return to the web” with progressive web apps (PWAs) and HTML5 technologies.

Major indications of this trend came this week from Apple and Microsoft. Apple is enabling Service Workers (an essential API used in PWAs) by default in the next version of Safari, and Microsoft announced it would enable Service Workers and support full-featured PWA experiences in Microsoft Edge and the Microsoft Store.

 

Rob Gill, VP of Product:

  •      2018 will be the year when OTT platform winners emerge.

OTT revenues are climbing (and will reach $120 billion by 2020). Leading the way will be giants like Roku and Android TV.

  •      2018 will be the year when artificial intelligence (AI) improves editorial workflows.

We’ll see more AI automation of the production, editing, and management of video content.

 

John Luther, SVP Product Strategy:

  •      2018 will be the year of WebAssembly.

Everyone will be talking about (and implementing) WebAssembly. The ability to run low-level binary code alongside JavaScript will move the Web further toward a universal “native” app platform. Together with PWAs, WebAssembly will allow users to do more “app-like” things within a browser or embedded web view, while gaining better performance and battery conservation.

  •      2018 will be the year when AVOD (still) reigns.

Despite current anxieties about quality, brand safety, and ad blocking, AVOD (ad-based video on-demand) will continue to grow as the preferred business model over SVOD (subscription-based video on-demand).

The barriers against SVOD include:

  1. Consumer SVOD budgets that are already saturated
  2. Improved ad targeting and SSAI (server side ad insertion) technologies that support AVOD
  3. Clumsy signup and login flows in SVOD
  4. Exorbitant back-end vendor fees in SVOD
  5. High subscriber turnover

To succeed in SVOD, you must have enough cash to make premium long-form content (think giants like Netflix and Hulu) or a very strong niche (Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Shudder).

 

Ready to take advantage of the latest video innovations? Schedule time to talk with one of our video experts.

 

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