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6 important elements for your media company’s digital video playbook

By Philippe Guay


New York City, USA


Digital video advertising spend is expected to reach almost US$13 billion in the United States alone by 2018, and companies need to have a solid plan to give audience members what they want with efficient monetisation.

Do you truly understand what video content will engage your audience members? How about what content will make them come back again and again — and stay on your site once they arrive?

Companies need to understand the video content that truly resonates with audiences.
Companies need to understand the video content that truly resonates with audiences.

Are you also making sure that your video delivery is meeting advertisers’ expectations regarding key metrics like viewability or completion rate?

At SendtoNews, delivering a plan that addresses these questions is what we call our Digital Video Playbook. For each of our publishing partners, we try to understand six key elements to maximise their digital video execution and potential:

1. What are the key macro and micro industry trends that we should recognise and account for when designing and executing on a digital video monetisation strategy?

For example, what emerging trends are key in terms of video player performance that we need to be mindful of — as most publishers see site performance as a key metric? What insights do we need to help support improved site performance, and ensure we meet/exceed our publishers’ expectations? How can we get ahead of advertisers’ needs to ensure we increase our combined share of ad dollars?

2. What video content is key for the audience? What are the video content gaps in the marketplace that we can fill? What video content can complement the publishers unique strengths in written content? What is the strategy to fulfill national, regional/state, and local interests?

Understanding digital video gaps and putting a strong content plan against it sets the foundation for a strong Digital Video Playbook.

3. How do we maximise newsroom engagement? At the end of the day, the cornerstone of a successful digital video strategy hinges on how well the publisher’s staff and digital editors ensure that the videos are properly used and leveraged across the site and its content.

Are the editors incentivised and/or rewarded to push this content across the board, and maybe even go above and beyond to maximise video usage?

Are the proper training and processes in place to ensure that this new video content is part of the daily workflow of the editor? What resources and technology applications are being used to enable a true on-boarding process that maximises video usages and, ultimately, viewership?

4. Are we tracking performance correctly and comprehensively? What metrics are most important, and how are they shared to ensure that the newsroom, sales organisation, and senior leadership are aligned?

What KPIs are key by department to objectively measure success? What metrics enable us to optimise — doubling up on certain content while allowing other content to fall off? Finally, how do we measure the performance of our videos in terms of our advertisers’ needs (viewability, completion rate, etc.) to ensure we maximise revenues and return business?

5. What are the key elements to maximise viewership? Do we have the right mobile strategy? How do we better leverage social media and viral videos? Is there a strategy to leverage more videos across a particular subject?

For example, if we embed a video about last nights game between the Warriors and the Lakers in our article, why not create a simple video post about Stephen Currys 40+ point night? Capturing and keeping viewer interest through a “wider net” of video offerings will ensure viewership explodes.

6. Where can we automate? These days, human resources are often the constraint to advancing a new strategy. Many publishers have experienced resource reductions in the past decade and are having to do more with less.

Can elements of video content ingestion and workflow be automated to reduce the workload, increase the speed of deployment, and maximise returns? What involvement from the IT team is required to make this happen?

The elements above must be addressed for an effective Digital Video Playbook from both an audience and monetisation standpoint. My goal is to go into more detail on each of these elements over the next couple of blog posts. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

About Philippe Guay

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