By Atul Patel, CEO of OneScreen
The battle for audiences in the niche space is heating up. As large general content destination sites continue to expand their content offerings, niche publishers are in a pitched battle for recognition, additional page views, and advertising revenue. The answer for how to maintain audience levels and increase dwell time on your sites is staring them straight in the face: video.
The concept of the “niche” is the cornerstone of today’s content and publishing markets. Audiences are always engaged with their niche, whether it is by interest, opinion, language, locale, occupation, or life-stage. Separately, audiences have more control than ever before over when, how and where they watch content. These two things together create a new challenge and opportunity for you, the niche publisher. The challenge is that there isn’t enough content, yet the opportunity is that there isn’t enough content!
There is a common misconception among publishers that having a niche focus makes a publisher too inconsequential for a digital video strategy, but the reality is just the opposite. To be fair, it is not easy for niche publishers to foresee just how much impact digital video would have on their audiences, advertising customers and business partners, and most importantly, the bottom line. It takes people, money, and time, none of which publishers have lying around. With an understandably short-term mindset, it is hard for publishers to take the plunge. However, with a long-term strategy in place, you can benefit your audience and your bottom-line.
To build a successful digital video strategy, there are a few key themes for publishers to take into account.
- Know the numbers and trends, and take action:
- The number of views and the growth curve of video consumption are astounding. According to comScore, in February of 2012, 179 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 38 billion videos online. By failing to act on these new trends, your audience will no longer consider you a go-to source for the form of media they want.
- Advertisers are following this audience to video. According to eMarketer, the share of online advertising spending attributed to video will be 15.0% in 2016, up from 7.9% in 2012, growing faster than all other formats aside from social. Furthermore, spending growth in online video is set to grow over 40% each year for the next three years. This means advertisers need new video content from publishers, so that they have more opportunities to place their media and reach their audience.
- Think niche, not small:
- By design, a niche publisher appeals to a well-defined audience, something advertisers struggle to find. While you might only reach 10,000 people, your publication and properties might be covering 100% of those interested in a particular topic. That is an advantage often overlooked. It enables niche publishers to command a higher price for their advertising space. Niche targeting yields greater return, making advertisers willing to pay more for that value. Google is a prime example through their search business model, which targets users for higher-priced click advertising. By giving advertisers the option to incorporate video in their advertising campaigns, publishers are offering them a way to deliver their message with sight, sound and motion. Most advertisers are either experimenting with video ads already or are anxious to begin.
- Implement a video strategy
- Being a publisher of some form of media in your niche, even text and image content, already puts you at an advantage. Niche publishers know the subject matter and are a trusted source for their audience. With that in mind, adding video content to your business model will only better your user experience and monetization, but keep your video content true to your niche.
- Ask your audience! Survey them at least twice a year. Your audience is frequenting YouTube, Facebook, and other portals for a variety of reasons. Find out if video is one of those reasons, and identify what content they are interested in. Based on your their feedback, you may find that they are interested in videos directly related to the stories you publish, or something entirely different.
- You do not have to go at it alone. There is an explosion of people and companies able to provide video services to you. There are companies that provide a piece of the solution or even end-to-end solutions for digital video, including content, players, ad serving and more.
With these points in mind, publishers should immediately embrace the growing demand by taking even basic steps towards offering more video. Your audience is waiting, and the advertisers will follow.
This post is part of the March issue of Niched Out News.