Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Pursuing Online Video Strategy (TV model vs Category model)

We have been experimenting with video content for the past 2 years and it seems like we are finding new ways to achieve audience growth.  Content is typically “king” but success also comes down to how easy it is to find content on the web. In that regard, the importance of tagging was far greater than we ever anticipated.

Recently one of our video websites, 4flagtv.com, changed it’s approach to video. Originally 4flagtv.com shared content with it’s sister site, 4cornerstv.com, based in Durango, Co. Our hope from a production and business perspective was that sharing video content between the sites would increase our inventory and give our audience more content than one production team could produce.

However, analytics showed us that videos produced in the Durango area scored poorly when compared to the page views and time spent on videos produced in Flagstaff, about Flagstaff. To support this notion we wanted to pull all the non-Flagstaff content off the site and focus on local coverage. As we prototyped what the site would look like we had very few ‘shows’ left on the site. Up to that point our programming was similar to a broadcast model.

The Broadcast model

Originally, there were shows on our Flagstaff site with particular topics and a specific host, and they were published on a regular schedule. But we were hearing from the production team that the broadcast model was actually confining what they would cover because they were always trying to find a story that would fit into the shows’ format. One such example was Escape the Grind, a show about fitness. Our shows were simply too constrictive to allow us to adequately cover topics outside their scope.

In another show, #Flag, we had far fewer parameters on what we were doing. It’s open-ended content allowed us much more free range in coverage, letting us bring together disparate topics in its two-minute-plus running time that was far more of a YouTube model than what we had been doing.

#Flag taught us that it was the content, not the brand (especially at the show level), that was important to the younger readers we wanted to court. These millennials were far more accustomed to the YouTube model of programming, not the broadcast model. And if you’re true to your audience, you need to follow what they’re familiar and comfortable with, not what you want to impose on them. Our audience didn’t care about “shows,” so we needed to move away from slavishly producing them. We also needed to acknowledge that our audience cares about specific content, and they search it out by categories.

 

The Youtube model

We decided to break the broadcast model of branded shows and move to a system that utilizes topics and tags to associate content for the user. It also allows the production team to cover a much broader range of content.

What’s different for our users? Now when they come to the site, instead of seeing videos categorized by show name and episodes, they are greeted with the latest content published in reverse chronological order. Each video has collection of tags connected to it. A user may start with a video on bicycle products, but be exposed to links to other topics such as “industrial design, bicycles, business profile, sports, downtown, Flag and Dapper Dre (a local celebrity).

The idea is to get the user to follow a click trail to videos about their favorite things. To make it easier for them, we went back through over 2,000 videos and retagged them with additional information. Navigationally, our site is now structured to make it easy to find content based on categories of content, trending content and newest releases.

We spent much time and energy promoting our show names and branded websites when in reality our viewers only really cared about content categories and the pure entertainment value we could offer. Our road map now follows a major and important detour that emphasizes tags over titles.

Below are 3 examples of our current format.

 

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Mobile Ads Are The Future But We Need a Reboot

It’s obvious that mobile advertising can perform much better for media companies than it is now. Publisher Doug Bennett has been working on the problem of maximizing mobile ROI, and he shares some of the evolving functions he has been able to build out in-house that point to incremental improvements.

If Elon Musk built cars the way they’re “supposed” to be built, we wouldn’t have an electric car that goes 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. When Steve Jobs decided that portable phones were really computers needing Apple’s attention, it changed our world. The lesson? If you’re willing to rethink everything you know and start from scratch with no sacred cows, you can do great things. That’s exactly where we are in mobile advertising today. We need a do-over with a laser focus on maximizing ROI.

The long-held belief of digital marketing is that display advertising is a powerful and cost-effective tool, while mobile advertising is unpredictable and unreliable. The question is whether or not mobile advertising can do better. It can.

Mobile devices are an incredible enabler for consumers and businesses, but they have been hamstrung by an ad model based on desktop ad thinking (which itself is based on traditional print ad thinking). When you combine this with the constant influx of new devices, features and software and then add ever-evolving user behavior and mindsets, you have massive missed potential and an ROI nightmare.

So what do we do? Do we throw out everything that’s known about mobile advertising and start from scratch? We could, but we’d be throwing out massive amounts of priceless data. Instead, let’s reinvent the entire process of mobile advertising. Let’s stop making ads with the hope that they work and maybe give us some useful data. Instead, let’s use pre-analytics (the data we have) to drive creative decisions, and drastically improve our odds for real success. And while we’re at it, let’s make creating ads a lot easier, too. There are many companies pursuing an answer to this problem. Celtra, PaperG, Flite and our own product called Adsperity are among them. All of these products are pursuing strategies that try to make mobile ads work, and we will all likely find success in increments.

Easy Way to Create Mobile Ads

Easy Way to Create Mobile Ads

We wanted to make mobile ads easy to create, publish and track, but we changed our focus to the analytics that tell us what is happening with a mobile ad. As the ad is being designed, the tool we developed automatically codes it in HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. It also does quality assurance on the ad, confirming that it meets all mobile ad standards like file weight, size specs and more so it’s guaranteed to work on any device, browser and operating system in an easy to understand environment. You no longer need to be a code wonk to use it.

We’ve also tried to take on mobile advertising’s Achilles heel—cookies. First and third party desktop cookies break down for a number of reasons in the mobile space, from incompatibility across devices and operating systems to automatic and frequent browser cache clearing. To solve this problem, we created custom tagging technology. The instant an ad that we’ve created runs, we know the device type, the OS, browser, connectivity, location, time, interaction rate, time spent and more. A custom dashboard helps users dig into this data, parse it any way one wants and get actionable insights one can use to optimize the ad or create new ones from scratch.

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Adsperity Measures ROI Effectiveness of Mobile Ad


The world of mobile is always evolving: new devices, new capabilities, new operating systems, new browsers and whatever else is next. That means we must evolve, too, so we can accomplish the one thing that will never change – our singular goal of maximizing mobile ROI.