Converting Article Readers Into Highly Engaged Video Viewers

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Although online video watching is reaching a major trending peak these days, the overall marketplace for generating ad revenue from video is relatively small when compared with traditional online textually based webpages.

Online Video Content vs. Textual Content

Traditionally, there has been a school of thought that considers text pages and video pages as completely separate beasts. The reality is that video and text have a symbiotic relationship that can allow for both to benefit from each others’ user base. Much like how search is critical for creating the first anchor page view on many sites, a text page could do the same for videos by pushing users through related and recommended video content.

It is fairly common for online publishers who offer both text and video to have 20-100 times more text page views than video views. And, it is believed that 90 percent of site visitors read articles but do not watch videos. The reality is that if online publishers could convert even a small percentage of these users into video viewers, it would create an incremental spike in video viewers – allowing for premium video content to be further maximized and monetized.

Unlocking the key to getting more video views has always been a challenge for online publishers. Human behavior on the web is very complex – especially when it comes to viewing web videos. Today, users have a sense of empowerment and ownership of content. And, if they are being provided with content that is not relevant to their needs and preferences, they will quickly move on.

Providing compelling text, in the form of articles and blog posts, is certainly commonplace in today’s Internet arena. The next step is to provide actual linkages between the content that users are reading and relevant video content. In addition, it is common for sites to have more granularity in text content than in video content. As such, trying to match text with video often yields many cases of “nothing to recommend” – so it is very important to offer up video content that is not only relevant to the textual content, but that is also relevant to the patterns of the specific user.

Bridging the Gap between Text and Video Content

Fortunately, there are emerging methodologies that use mathematical algorithms to better analyze video viewing patterns – to truly understand human interaction with video – as well as to make the linkage between textual information, video content, and specific user behavior.  This new science extends beyond just the type of content to actually understanding video length preference, time spent on the site, day of week, Geo-location, how many videos viewed and multiple other metrics to determine user behavior and engagement. The intent of this approach is to gain a true snapshot of each user’s needs, preferences and desires in real time and to then provide them with additional, more personalized video recommendations.

The opportunity then is to leverage insights learned from studying the way people behave while watching videos, then offer related and personalized video recommendations on the actual article pages. This to help publishers convert article readers to become engaged video viewers.

Why is this valuable?

Two reasons:

  1. Video can be more engaging to users, creating reasons for them to stay longer on the site.
  2. Video can be better marketed to in-stream video advertisers.

A symbiotic relationship, often found in natural ecosystems, is one where both organisms stand to benefit. Flowering plants and pollinators (like bees) is a great example of this kind of relationship. It is clear that the relationship between text and video has the potential be as symbiotic as the relationship between the flower and bee. Although, rather than spreading pollen, text and video can share and enhance revenue-generating opportunities. Talk about the ideal relationship.


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