How You Can Improve Your Video Content Strategy


Joe joined the Chartteam in 2013 after several impressive years as ESPN’s Senior Director of Product Development. At ESPN, Joe led teams that created a variety of innovative apps and video platforms that vastly expanded the scope of ESPN’s digital presence. His experiences bring a progressive, industry insider’s perspective to his responsibilities as Principal Product Owner of Chartbeat Publishing.

Strategy, monetization, metrics… all concepts usually talked about around digital content in general. When it comes to digital video, however, it’s still a very confusing and ambiguous discussion. Strategy doesn’t really exist and the level of experimentation is hard to justify given the high cost of creating videos – but the opportunity is huge.

When asking publishers what their strategy is you will typically hear comments like “We are simply trying to understand what is working when where and why, we are far from a real strategy but doubling down this year.” While it’s a common situation these days, it’s far from ideal, right?

Know what your audience wants

What’s often missing from the discussion is a true understanding around what the user actually wants to consume. Many times what a user wants to read or skim is very different than what they are willing to commit to watching, especially on a mobile platform. It’s all about the content, integration of that content, and building the loyal audience who know they can return to find more of that quality content easily day after day.

Asking questions around what particular need you are satisfying will help you determine what video content will truly resonate with your visitors.

Content adjacency, at the page level or the digital video level, is a key factor in building a user-focused digital video strategy. This can be as simple as embedding video within the story based on that topic, or as complex as developing a recommendation system to provide continuous playback from one video to the next, all around a user’s specific persona. Digging deeper to understand what digital video content can be resurfaced to provide context or can offer a fresh angle on a newly written story, is one of the fastest ways to increase the quality of the user experience without the additional investment of creating new digital video content.

Get cozy with your digital video team

In order to achieve the deep content integration it’s important to think of how your teams will communicate and interact as one. Digital video creators need to be an integral part of the content creation teams within the newsroom. This means using tools like instant messaging or email groups to communicate, or ensuring, when possible, teams sit near each other to facilitate the content integration. All are important aspects to think about when creating and restructuring the new digital newsroom. When the topics or stories of the day/week are discussed, you should always be determining how to integrate video to help tell the story in context of the topic.

Get actionable insights from your video data

So how do you know what is actually working? Many content creation teams are flying blind when it comes to understanding the success of their digital video due to the lack of integration and missing insights. Others focus solely on things like video starts. The missing insights are all around context. For example, people rarely know if the video started automatically, the length the user watched, how the ad impacted their experience, or what caused them to abandon the video or worse, the site overall.

video dahs

The Chartbeat Publishing Video Dashboard brings clarity to a lot of these unknowns. It focuses on the context of the video, the engaged audience, and the impact of ads on that audience. Like all of Chartbeat Publishing products, the Video Dashboard has a set real-time insights to provide a clear understanding around what’s resonating with your users. We’re also introducing a new signature measurement we call “Engagement Score” that blends several critical metrics to provide an overall quality benchmark against which you can measure all of your video content. And take note: these metrics can be used by all of your internal teams – editorial, video production, digital, etc. – so regardless of whether they’re creating written or video content, everyone is aligned through measuring with the same metrics.

I hope what I shared today was helpful – feel free post your follow-up questions and thoughts in the Comments section. Later this week, Chartcorps member Doug will introduce you to our brand new Video Dashboard.


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