By: Oliver Tan
The table is set for publishers to derive new revenue from popular content formats and now it’s time to sit down and eat. What’s for dinner? Video. Why now? What has changed? Three trends are converging that make video content a potent opportunity: One, video content is quickly growing in popularity with consumers; two, consumers are buying more products online than ever before; and three, consumers are ready to buy on whatever platform or site that is accessible to them. This represents an immensely profitable new revenue stream for the video publishers and their affiliate networks, and here are three key ways it can happen.
Set The Table And Incorporate More Video
If publishers want to get ahead, they need to understand what a video is worth and ultimately, use more of it. According to Cisco, 69% of all IP traffic will be video in 2017, growing to 80 percent by 2019. Another study from Aberdeen research says that sites with video garner an average 4.8 percent conversion rate versus 2.9 percent for sites that do not. It’s clear that consumers like the “snackable” content that’s easy to consume, because it’s simply more engaging than static content. Look at BuzzFeed’s Tasty videos that recently hit 1 billion views this year, as an example. Simply giving people a visual walkthrough of how to make a recipe has inspired even the most basic cookers to create a delicious dinner.
Video has become invaluable, and particularly interactive and shoppable videos, because they provide a more immediate and real-world experience for shoppers. Videos have a storytelling aspect to them that make its content more desirable, so when you connect the story that these videos create with sophisticated search tools that are now available- like visual recognition search — products that are featured within videos are easily found, and therefore more easily purchased. This is where artificial intelligence has played a huge role in the video industry, because it’s allowed retailers to become more searchable, and publishers to monetize content that users would prefer to consume. Merging these machine learning capabilities with the browsing experience is bringing a whole new world of opportunity for publishers and retailers, and it’s still only the beginning.
Understand New Buying Habits and Ways To Reach Consumers
Not only are more Americans shopping online today, but they are buying a greater range of products across a wide range of channels. So in order to get the right products in front of the right sets of eyes, publishers and retailers need to understand audiences and work together to deliver a great browsing experience with relevant, interesting, and entertaining videos.
The opportunity is bigger than simply selling pre, mid, and post-roll ads against videos, because they can be monetized in myriad ways across these various platforms from social to onsite. Business Insider is one of the more recent publishers using video to drive commerce by leveraging Facebook video to increase reach and ultimately, sales. These video strategies generate a LOT of data that can help publishers better understand their audience and can be made available as a value-add to retailers. They can also provide incremental revenue for publishers that can offer formats like in-video advertising and in-video purchasing to their advertisers.
Capture Moments of Inspiration and Make Them Shoppable
Publishers like Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and Vogue are experts in generating “moments of inspiration” with their content. They also understand that sales are lost when there are too many clicks between inspiration and purchase, and that when consumers see something they want, they are looking to buy it right there and then. This is where shoppable videos come into play because these types of videos offer both an engaging experience and instant gratification during those moments. Imagine, for example, that the publishers of Vogue online enabled women to buy the clothing or furniture seen in a recent feature about Selena Gomez that was shot at her home.
Even the largest media giants are considering new ways to monetize the attraction of popular events. For example, Google made the hot new looks that were debuted at last year’s New York Fashion week event shoppable instantly. The company realized the high demand for items that are seen on the notorious New York runway and wanted to be the one-stop shop that delivered on those desires, opposed to Pinterest.
The beauty of these videos and sites (in addition to the clothes!) is that they have inspired shoppers with an exciting narrative, strong visuals, music, and more. They create a perfect moment of inspiration and then deliver a simple and seamless experience for immediate gratification. With only a click or two, without leaving the site or even the video, shoppers can get the look they just saw and loved.
What’s to come?
Looking ahead, the future for interactive video content across all devices is bright, and it won’t be long until we see online shopping experiences that are as interactive as the real world. And it is starting now with video content that is more accessible, interactive, and shoppable on publishers’ sites.
Publishers are uniquely well positioned to capitalize on this video boom, because for one, they win a new revenue stream. Secondly, they have the resources and experience to produce video at scale, so this is a win for retailers because it means these videos can elevate their products and capture moments of inspiration. The opportunities for brand exposure and sales lift from video content are only going to continue to grow. Publishers, are you hungry?
Oliver Tan is the Co-Founder and CEO of artificial intelligence company, ViSenze. As an ardent advocate of innovation, Oliver drives the vision and strategy for ViSenze. Prior to this role, Oliver spent five years at Quann, an award-winning cyber-security startup, where he led all aspects of its corporate, business development, and group ops management across three countries. Earlier in his career, Oliver held various key roles in digital media, OTT, advertising operations, venture capital, and corporate development.