Working closely our publishing partners, our VP of Sales Ido Niv-Ron discovered an important trend that every publisher should follow to maximize engagement and ROI. You can find the original version of his article on Digiday here.
It’s a tumultuous time to work in publishing. Running a successful brand not only requires the ability to quickly adapt to new technologies and platforms, but to quickly identify which has the most impact and prioritize it accordingly. Knowing what “works” is the first step, but knowing how to get the most value out of what works, and making it work as well as possible, is the key to strong ROI for every business decision. Especially when it comes to my area of focus – video.
Everybody knows that video is absolutely necessary in today’s digital publishing world, but most have yet to figure out how to do it in the most impactful way. There are costs and skillsets required for doing video right, so a results-driven strategy is necessary to find yourself in the black for every video created. It all comes back to prioritization.
It’s important that when you do create video content, you’re creating it for the content that will both resonate with your audience and generate the highest returns. I work closely with publishers on their video strategies, and I’ve noticed a common trend in all of our conversations – We like to call it the 80/20 rule.
Get the most out of your content
We have found that on average 80 percent of a publisher’s website traffic is generated by 20 percent of its content. That means 80 percent of your revenue and engagement opportunities live on 20 percent of your site. So how do you maximize the value of this prime real estate? As the preferred type of content for both audiences and advertisers, video is clearly the answer. Chances are that you don’t have the bandwidth to create videos for every article on your site – but creating for just that top 20 percent is certainly doable.
We identify these top trending articles using an algorithm for URL velocity, which looks at how much traffic a page is getting within a defined timeframe (typically an hour), traffic sources, and bounce rate. From there, it’s go time – your team should have a ‘get it while it’s hot’ mentality when it comes to video. Videos about or related to those articles should be published on their respective pages as quickly as possible, during the time that traffic is at its peak.
We’ve been testing this theory with our own publishing partners, and have already noticed an uptick in video performance. Bossip, the premium destination for African American and Black entertainment news, is consistently publishing videos to at least 20 percent of their articles on a weekly basis. This year, their average video views have increased by 52 percent month over month to reach 32 million in March. Leading entertainment and media business news site TheWrap is also pushing out video to over 20 percent of their high-traffic pages. These videos have led to a steep incline in revenue – a 92 percent increase since the beginning of this year.
Give them what they want, when they want it
The 80/20 rule reflects the way audiences are now accessing news sites – sideways. Rather than finding articles directly from a homepage, users are being pushed content from a variety of platforms. Most consume that particular piece of content then move on to another destination. We have the data to understand exactly what our audiences are responding to – what they want and when they want it. It’s no longer enough to just push out content and hope for the best. You need to be proactive and take action to capitalize on opportunities the moment they present themselves. In this day and age, video is the best way to do so.
In a survey we conducted with our publishing partners we found that over 50 percent named video as the top priority for both their monetization and editorial strategies in 2017. But video prioritization doesn’t end there, targets must be set to produce enough videos, for the right content, in order to make an impact. If you’re publishing around 100 articles each day, then set the expectation to produce video for at least the top 20 and prioritize accordingly. Because your audience wants video, and your advertisers want to be where your audience is. Add video to that top 20 percent, and you’ll produce a positive impact for all parties involved.