If You Build Your Online Video Presence, They Will Come… Just Be Sure To Do This

As a former print media executive, I remember watching the rise of digital content, and the fascinating level of resistance that it brought up with so many of my industry colleagues.

We had a business model built on time-honored traditions, and the idea of moving content online without necessarily knowing how profit centers such as advertising and subscriptions would translate was for many downright frightening.

Perhaps the hardest part was learning how to give up some control and forget the aforementioned time-honored traditions to realize the full benefits and potential of the new online world order.

In the print business, it took a long time for many publishers to stop taking the easy way out — repurposing content to live on a website without making the experience any different for readers from the print version — and start understanding that a different medium could offer new opportunities to reach customers in a fresh, meaningful ways.

Once this lesson was learned, the next obstacle was to recognize that trying to force people to consume all content on a publisher’s website or other proprietary media channel was a non-starter.

A recent Wall Street Journal article talks about this scenario and the “stumbles” that tripped up Condé Nast and other legacy magazines in leveraging video, which is today’s most engaging form of online content. Condé Nast’s initial foray into putting out videos solely on its branded online channels proved less than lucrative, and its video strategy floundered. It took switching up tactics to reach a core target audience (young women) on Facebook before Condé Nast found its footing with video content.

Cut to today, where giant media companies like Condé Nast are now doubling down on creating the right type of digital content for the right online destinations, which by in large are social platforms and other popular digital channels. And while there are pitfalls (such as algorithm updates) that can give online publishers some trouble, the benefits outweigh the costs. Many companies are investing large sums into in-house production studios to keep up with the evolving demand for certain types of video content — from live streaming to original programming — and being equally strategic about where and to whom they deliver it.

Lesson learned: when you go to where the attention is, you’ll experience measurable, positive marketing results.

So go ahead and build your video content, but make sure to learn from the big guys and take it to where you know your people will come.

Go to where the online love is.