Creating “Thumb-Stopping Moments” in Video

Oct 2, 2017


Insights from JW Player’s “How to Become a Video First Business” Panel at New York Advertising Week

When the digital landscape is saturated with click-or-swipe videos, how do you create the “thumb-stopping moment” that keeps your audience tapped into your content?

JW Player CEO, Dave Otten, explored this question as moderator of the “How to Become a Video First Business” panel at New York Advertising Week on Thursday, September 28, 2017. By interviewing executives from Business Insider, LittleThings, and Index Exchange, he uncovered tips and takeaways on successfully transitioning from a traditional, “article-first” publisher to one that embraces video’s central role in content and marketing strategy.

For panelists, becoming a video first business was all about building a superior user experience combined with a robust ad strategy. Among their insights:

Figure out what truly resonates with your audience. “It’s an iterative process,” said Jana Meron, VP of Programmatic & Data Strategy at Business Insider, on curating “reader-first” stories that are most relevant to her company’s segments.

Bring your videos in-house. Justin Festa, Chief Digital Officer at LittleThings, said his company took control of their own videos with JW Player rather than third-parties that took significant cuts in revenue for ad delivery and playback. They were able to combine this in-house strategy with social media giants like Facebook to drive traffic to videos.

Tell the story ahead of the video. Thumbnail optimization and closed captioning can seed interest before users click ‘play.’

Repurpose. Clip existing content and fit them to various platforms, e.g. 35 minutes on OTT, 2- to 3-minute native videos on Facebook, or 10-15 seconds on Instagram.

Champion transparency in the ad ecosystem. Trust is going to be a major theme in the ad landscape, said Jourdain-Alexander Casale, VP of Strategy at Index Exchange. If you are unsure whether your impressions are authentic or why your pricing rates don’t match ad inventory, invest in tools like ads.txt, which is helping to improve transparency in digital advertising.

When it comes to ads, less is more. In-stream pre-rolls are key, but don’t over do it. As Festa said, “When you create a better user experience, the dollars will follow.”

For more on how you can integrate ads seamlessly in your video strategy, visit JW Monetize.

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