How publishers are using these types of web video to jack up sales, traffic and community
Have you embraced new technologies and trends within the online publishing environment?
National Geographic launched a microsite last October for a line of products and partnerships that act as a magazine series on the future of food. Video was one of its main features, and when it launched it had no sponsors. Right after launch, it had eight.
Elle Canada partnered with retailer Hudson’s Bay last August to allow its readers to shop by way of video on their mobile devices.
Medium launched Foreword, an original series, featuring the videos on a dedicated page in addition to establishing outposts on YouTube and Facebook.
Condé Nast brands Vogue, Teen Vogue, GQ, Glamour, Allure, and Wired have already launched digital video channels, while CNE (Conde Nast Entertainment) has produced shows for such channels as Investigation Discovery, Ovation, the CW, and SyFy.
Hearst and Revlon co-produced a 10-episode web video series called #GoBold after striking a deal worth a “healthy seven figures.” The partnership also included print ads, digital displays, and social media placement.
And these types of video are working. In fact, according to eMarketer, video produced by publishers is one reason why the magazine industry is seeing growth. Year over year, “Video and mobile web visitors—those viewing the website on a mobile device using a browser, not an electronic reproduction – were the huge drivers of magazine audience growth, with respective increases of 41.8% and 76.8%.”
Whether you’re launching a web series, native ads, information products, or are just trying your hand at viral videos, one thing is clear – they can do big things, and you can do them on any budget.
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Ten types of web video for publishers
As we’ve seen in the industry, mini series are all the rage. They allow you to create a big budget marketing campaign under the label of content creation. That way if it doesn’t stick, then it’s a marketing flop, which is OK because that sort of thing happens. And if it succeeds, then you might be adding a whole new arm of content production to your publishing business.
Create your own video ads, or hire an agency to create the ads for you, but there are some great ideas out there. I love this video, “A Conference Call in Real Life,” which keeps your attention and makes you chuckle all the way through, and then has a personal promotion for the Leadercast Live event at the end:
Digital magazine videos
Since digital magazines allow you to add so much interactivity to their pages, some publishers are including them. For example, an article from Cosmo about how to tie a fishtail braid works better with a video from their style editor actually doing it.
Product demo videos
More often than not, a publisher has more products than they know how to explain. If you are an online publisher with an arsenal of products, video demos might be a great solution in generating more revenue. Most potential buyers want to see how something works before they purchase it. Video is the savior in this process, as it is otherwise very difficult to provide demonstrations online without video. For example, you may be able to increase online magazine library sales by creating a demo of what your archive looks like once they submit their credit card information.
Go for it. Sales letters and pictures can help in selling a product, but they can only present so much. Videos aid in the sales process by showcasing a product or service and then turning into a story. Promotional videos are especially great for events, but they can also be great for teaching how-to advice in bite-sized ways. Get your smiley-est employee in front of the camera too, to build a more one-to-one feeling.
Training videos (external & internal)
Training videos can be used internally or externally, to train employees or clients. If your business deals with strategies or processes that have a visual component, video can greatly help in the teaching process.
Quick, fun viral videos
This type of web video shows a different side to your organization. Plus, you never know when something will actually go viral – which leads to a lot of brand visibility.
As another way to build relationships and show transparency, staff videos help show the public who your company is from the inside out.
Podcasts or video blogs
Online publishers are accustomed to presenting content through the written word. To change the pace and reach additional readers on another level, video podcasts or video blogs can be used as a premium content format.
Video testimonials are great to shoot at live events. We do it at least twice a year at our events, which is why we have such a bunch of great attendees talking about our quarterly Digital Publishing & Marketing event on its event page. Start by finding someone willing to speak in front of the camera, and then capture their first-hand account of the event as it’s completely fresh in their mind. These testimonials can be used as promotional materials for future events with similar topics. And it helps if you offer them a token of appreciation or enter them into a drawing.
For a little more detail on each of these types of video, take a look at this webinar we produced with our New Media Producer Patrick Hughes, a few years ago:
This article was originally published in 2011 and has been updated.