Webinar Recap: Digital Video – Best Practices and Monetization

In the last few years, our consumption of online video has risen dramatically in every form. A full 34 percent of adults spend five and a half hours watching digital content every day, according to eMarketer.  More importantly, the ad dollars follow the viewers. The firm’s Q2 2015 State of Video report found that ad spend allocated for digital video jumped from 2.4 percent in 2013 to 4.4 percent in 2015, while 68 percent of U.S. marketers plan to increase their budgets for digital video in 2016.

Online video is everywhere – on news sites, in emails, embedded in social feeds – and it has become a successful, engaging medium for news organizations. NAA recently hosted a webinar with Patrick West, senior director of CNN Newsource Sales & Affiliate Relations, to discuss this growing platform for media. The webinar, “Digital Video: Best Practices and Monetization,” focused on key considerations for news outlets, such as:

  • Think bigger than the news – combine news video content with original, feel-good, and evergreen content. While breaking news should certainly be published in video form, if appropriate, news organizations can create long-lasting content with feature pieces on community milestones, local heroes and other positive topics.
  • Don’t just post videos. Track their performance. Evaluate what content is doing well and utilize it through a larger thumbnail or more prominent placement on your website.
  • Broaden your sources of content to provide a more dynamic collection. For example, a news organization could leverage popular YouTube videos that reflect its views and tone in addition to original content.
  • Maximize your advertising opportunities. Ads should be relevant to the specific video and news organizations must be aware of the location, size and type of ads that are served alongside video content.
  • Market your content. Social media and search engine optimization are key to reach a broader audience. To drive engagement and social sharing, make sure each video features a good thumbnail image and a strong “teaser” description.

While impactful videos can and should be monetized through advertising, it must be done with caution. A strategic best practice is to limit the number of ads shown to a user in a given session and only use ads on longer videos. If necessary, the ads on a short video should be very brief. As a news organization, it is especially important to be conscious of the advertising content and ensure staffers are equipped to pull ads from sensitive stories and breaking news features when appropriate.

The consumption and value of online video – and accompanying ads – will only continue to grow, creating new opportunities for news publishers in 2016. In West’s experience, news organizations can leverage these trends to expand overall reach, associate with other high-value brands and engage new audiences without spending marketing dollars.

NAA members may view the recorded presentation here.


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