Why publishers need to personalize their video content to better engage with their readers

11 Jul 2017 | By Tom Wilde
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The sky’s the limit for turning video into healthy revenues if publishers can take a personalized approach.

Video is taking a starring role in the unfolding story of the Internet. People are flocking to YouTube, Facebook and a host of other sites to watch long hours of online video.

From pop promos to news reports, from ‘how to’ tutorials to unboxing videos, from walkthroughs of video games to in-depth product reviews, video has captured the imagination of everyone online.

Digital video viewing in the US leapt from 39 minutes a day per user in 2011 to one hour 55 minutes a day in 2015, according to eMarketer. News brands and publishers are in the sweet spot to serve this growing demand and are tempting visitors to their sites with exclusive interviews, viral clips and films about current events.

Publishers must harness the power of video to increase engagement

As a publisher, you need to lure video-hungry visitors away from Facebook and YouTube and convert eager eyeballs into revenue. Your video content offers potentially rich pickings for advertisers, giving them the inventory they need to run engaging and creative brand films, ad campaigns and infomercials.

People arrive at your video content through a number of channels. They’ll click on social media links to watch a cat video, a politician’s antics or a pop star doing something they shouldn’t. They might search a specific story on Google News or visit your website in search of video content.

The important thing is that once visitors are on your site, you need to give them a good reason to spend more time there and explore more videos. If you don’t, they’ll bounce right back to the social media platform they came from.

Publishers need a powerful personalization strategy for video

By collecting data about users and matching it with metadata about the your library of video content, you can offer visitors – whether flybys or regular customers – more videos that appeal to their individual interests, encouraging them to spend longer on the site.

You need to use data collection methods to find out what to offer each visitor. It’s crucial to understand that most people access digital content on a variety of devices depending on the time of day. They’ll use their mobiles when out and about commuting to and from work, their laptops and desktops at work and perhaps tablets or connected TVs at home on the couch in the evening.

Stay relevant in real-time

You need to be sensitive to these different contexts. That means building a cross-channel approach into your personalization strategy and offering video content that attracts people on different devices throughout the day.

This involves using cookies to track the user’s behavior across the site’s pages and on different devices. It will mean using a data management platform (DMP) to slice and dice a variety of first and third party data about users. This will give you the tools to create insights into your audience so they can be offered content, advertising and experiences that appeal to them.

Software can transcribe your videos to deliver the right section at the right time

On top of this, you need to create metadata to describe your library of videos. There is some amazing new technology available that helps with this. It can be hard to collect detailed information about what goes on in video clips, short of actually watching each one and transcribing it.

To solve this, you can use software to automatically transcribe the video and highlight its contents, relevance and areas of interest. This metadata can be matched with data about individual users to offer them another video of interest once they’re done watching the first one (and the second one, and the third one…).

The latest software also allows users to search videos. For example, to find that unbelievable goal scored halfway through a highlights reel. And the software offers a running commentary on what’s happening on the video so the user can skim through it to find the best parts.

The sky’s the limit with the right technology

These steps are at the heart of the publisher’s strategy to monetize video audiences. People are much more engaged with video than with static content and are willing to sit through pre-roll and mid-roll ads if they expect the film to offer them a powerful experience.

You need to use versatile technology to make sure you stay relevant and engaging for each individual user. The internet is going visual in a big way and in the long term, some predict that video and rich media will largely replace written text as the main form of online communication.


  • The great challenge for publishers over the next five years will be to win over regular and loyal visitors to their websites and to build up their fan numbers. Video and rich media will play a crucial part in this.
  • Video’s monetization is between 10 and 20 times higher than that of display ads within an article, so there is a strong financial incentive for publishers to create video content.

  • This is a golden opportunity for online publishers to create videos and recommendations that attract audiences and translate personalized content into bottom line profits.
  • Personalized video recommendations will encourage users to spend more time on the publisher’s website, boosting engagement and profitability.

Publishers can make far greater revenues from advertising and marketing offers through video than other forms of content such as written articles. Discover more by downloading our playbook: Personalize your videos like a pro.

Download eGuide: Personalize your videos like a pro