So you and your company have decided to build your own video publishing platform. You’re deep into designing and building games, and suddenly you become convinced you can connect with your users better through video; extend your brand with a more proactive video strategy. And what’s even better than that? You know that your users love to create and share videos of their exploits, so you’ll also have a ready source of content.
Limelight’s research into online video The State Of Online Video and the experience of one of the top extreme sports sites, EpicTV, together provide some quick tips for building your platform and successfully leveraging video to engage with your users:
- Keep the bulk of your content short. Limelight’s research shows that Millennials in Limelight’s research average less than 40 seconds per video, unless they fall into the 35% or so who consistently put up with ads and multiple re-buffering in order to watch their videos all the way through.
- Aim for repeat viewing. Your most avid video consumers watch 4-7 hours of video a week, with 30% watching over 7 hours. Plan on refreshing your site multiple times during the week, and help viewers find content similar to what they’ve watched already.
- Make ads skippable and personalized. Your ad campaigns need to be as tailored as your video content. Deliver ads that have meaning to your users. If you don’t personalize the ad experience, you are sending the wrong signal to your viewers about having the same interests and passions as they do.
- Pay attention to titles. EpicTV puts extensive effort into titling new videos and then promoting them on social media. “When we decide to publish a video the first thing we do is sit down and knock out 20 different titles then pick the best couple based on the sport, the intended audience, and the timing of the release.” Q&A With EpicTV
- Offer something exclusive. Invest in content that is available nowhere else. It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as inviting an expert commentator to talk about what he/she does with your game, or a user testimonial showing a real life application. Better yet, invest in series of videos covering “snackable” topics related to your game or product.
- Share the wealth. Obviously you’re inviting users and fans to share their videos on your site, but how about offering prizes for best video in a certain category, or for best demonstration of a particular feature? Rewarding your video-creating fans is a great way to keep them engaged. If you have built a platform that grows in popularity, you can “share the wealth” by embedding videos people have posted elsewhere related to your area.
- Cross promote on social media. Promote your followers’ cool stuff! You may even need more than one Facebook page. In fact, EpicTV’s Ted Endo comments, “We are spread across so many sports that we realized we couldn’t do each community justice unless we created a separate Facebook page to cater to the interests of each community.”
- Plan for a quality viewing experience, regardless of platform. Multi device viewing is common now. 41% of online video viewers in the study expect videos to play as well on their phone as on a desktop device, so don’t allow for any major quality degradation between PC and phone viewing.
Building a video sharing platform is not easy, even if you are just doing it as a brand extension for your existing product line--but with the right broadcast infrastructure it can be easier than you think and can be an extremely valuable part of your customer engagement strategy. See also: Four Ways to Succeed in Online Video and Limelight Solution for Media & Broadcasters .
"The State of Online Video." (2015): 1-20. Limelight Networks. Limelight Networks, Inc., 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 24 Sept. 2015
"Q&A with EpicTV's Digital Content Manager, Ted Endo. EpicTV, 25 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.