Commentary

Targeted Distribution Of Online Video Pays Off

Last month I spoke to the efficacy of targeting quad-force of right-person, right-place, right-time and right-content. This sparked some debate (and some confusion) with colleagues who saw my allusion to the effective targeting of video content as a form of distribution heresy.

"If you don't plant your content somewhere, how are users going to return to it, push it out to friends and family and find it via search?" a friend questioned me.

My position is that, in today's world of multichannel media consumption, you have to play to the habits of the empowered user and find the user through targeted, decentralized video distribution versus pushing them to view site-locked content.

Capturing your audience's attention is an art and a science, and with new technologies popping up all the time which further give users the ability to customize their Web experience, marketers are at battle with constantly evolving user habits. These things are understood in the context of a cluttered and fragmented marketplace, so why employ old strategies of promoting content with content, and pushing people to a headquartered destination?

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Rather than hoping users will return to a destination, you can retarget them once they've shown an interest in the content.

Rather than require new users to grab content from one place, distributed content can be shared right from the players they're being distributed in.

Rather than rely on search alone and click action to bring the audience to the mount, the mount is brought to the audience.

I'm not saying anyone should exclude having an anchor site for their content, only that content itself is a powerful and deliverable tool, and should be dispersed to as many places as possible where the target audiences visits.

Where many seem to frame this as an argument of "marketers finding the audiences vs. the audience finding the marketer," I see it as more of a new paradigm where "the marketer has to make it as easy and strategically sound for their users and their content to meet."

This approach, of distributing content to a growing number of sites and targeting/retargeting relevant users, ensures a marketer's relevant content is being viewed by the right people, at the right time, in the right places.

6 comments about "Targeted Distribution Of Online Video Pays Off".
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  1. Vincent Vandeputte from You View.tv, March 25, 2009 at 12:49 p.m.

    All well but lets not forget that 96% of the internet users still goes through search* to find what they need. That's quite a handful...If marketeers can get their relevant message to already half of those 96%, they deserve a place in the Internet Hall of Fame!
    *not saying that search in itself will not evolve obviously. Online Video Search will evolve and You Tube will become a more powerfull Search engine than Google. That is why Larry Page and Sergey Brin are such visionaries, they saw this coming well ahead of all of us, it's the real reason they bought You Tube.

  2. Jeff Bach from Quietwater Media, March 25, 2009 at 2:11 p.m.

    In our increasingly fragmented society, I think a good argument could be had over the "fact" that the "empowered user" is so small in number as to not really even be significant in terms of revenue. If you restrict yourself too much, you simply miss too much of a still relevant audience. So chasing a narrow defined "empowered user" is not going to make much. "Who is the targeted user?" is a huge question and one that many creatives should spend more time on.

    Your other point of putting content in many places is well taken though and certainly seem to be easily done with tools like Tubemogul.
    Jeff Bach
    Quietwater Films

  3. Pinaki Saha from Me!Box Media Inc., March 25, 2009 at 3:53 p.m.

    Good point Vincent. However, even though Google guys got Youtube with the hope of creating a footprint across human story telling and then letting others search through that knowledge labyrinth, they (and rest as well) are far from real contextual search. My question to all... are you interested in finding any scene where Bush appeared or are you interested in finding a scene where Bush was thrown a shoe in a press conference in Baghdad? So, it's all about the context. And present day technology is far from identifying human actions automatically. In fact, Google is falling behind even on semantic search within text.. let go video!

    However, context is a human driven awareness and human driven experience. If I know what you want, then I can craft the message for you that way.. so that part of targeted context will still stay in the domain of human intelligence and identification.

  4. Stacey Kaser from Bluestone Productions, March 25, 2009 at 6:07 p.m.

    I couldn't agree more. Targeted distribution made a big difference for us: we -- a group of professional film makers -- created a site called ww.rantingparent.com to distribute some comedy videos we'd made. Then we also "broadcast" the videos to a number of online sites. You can't even compare the numbers: only a fraction of our viewers come from the site, even with some marketing work and good google rankings.

  5. Kurt Johansen from Johansen International, March 25, 2009 at 6:40 p.m.

    How important will video searching become. Well VERY important. Take this scenario. A friend called yesterday and asked how to a task inside of Photoshop. My answer: Go to YouTube and search - there's bound to be heaps of videos on it. It's going to be the new way to solve a problem. Not necessarily YouTube but and search engine which can 'claim the space' to be the go to site for problems to be solved visually.
    Kurt - Australia's Email Marketing Guru
    hyyp://www.kurtjohansen.com

  6. Bruce May from Bizperity, March 27, 2009 at 2:43 p.m.

    Those who have to monetize their content are all too conscious of how content is spread virally, from one person to another… mostly through email, without any way to manage their ownership rights (or monetize it). Since marketers don’t care about monetizing their content (or even who “owns” it), why not embrace viral distribution? That is essentially what happens when you push video content out to sites like YouTube. More to the point, if your video ad finds places to live all over cyber space that is even better if it dramatically multiples your reach. The only challenge is measuring the results in those cases where you have no idea where your content is living but that is ultimately going to be measured by some kind of conversion when the consumer comes home to the advertiser. Search is not the ultimate answer. In a cyber world where we are all living in clouds we need to learn how to fly.

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