There are countless ways to distribute video, but they can’t all connect to the audience you’re trying to reach. So, how do you pick the best video distribution platform for your business?
No matter how much video content you have, to unlock its true value you need to get it in front of the right audiences. And it needs to be in the right formats and at the right times too. Whether you’re a broadcaster, a production house or a video marketer, your video distribution strategy is critical to your success.
But video distribution is evolving in line with the way audiences consume media. In recent years, IP delivery and Over-The-Top (OTT) distribution have almost displaced tape and satellite fulfilment. Today’s audiences are streaming sports and news events as they happen, sharing campaigns on social media, and binge-watching box sets on demand.
As a content owner or provider, you need to know exactly where your audience is and how they’re consuming video. And you must ensure that your content is on the platforms, channels and devices they use. Just as importantly, you need the analytics that confirm you’re getting it right. This provides the insight to understand how you could be giving people more of what they want.
Managing video content
The first step is to ensure you know your audience. This is a fundamental part of your video strategy, informing every aspect of the content you produce.
Depending on what you’re providing and who you’re targeting, chances are you already produce a wide range of content. This could be live sporting feeds, edited highlights packages, shorts, trailers and other supporting clips. Typically, you’ll be packaging your content into different cuts and formats to support the demands of multiple platforms and channels. That’s already a lot of content to manage.
A key consideration when choosing a video distribution method is discovery. It's important to use a platform that helps you categorise, store and stay on top of your content library. For businesses that are publishing lots of content quickly, a media asset management (MAM) platform will deliver time and cost savings. Why? Because a MAM helps maintain coherence when dealing with multiple contributors, audiences and content channels.
Where do I publish my video?
Again, your understanding of your audience is key to knowing where to publish. But it’s easy to lose sight of more complex audience behaviour.
Sports fans, for example, hoover up short highlight clips published to social channels like Twitter or Facebook. But the same audience probably want their live games or highlights packages on the big screen. Your distribution strategy needs to cater for both forms of consumption. And your analytics needs the intelligence to understand that they may be linked.
For many video producers, rights and branding are important. You need to understand when content belongs on your website or a branded portal, or when it’s best distributed via third-party sites like YouTube or Vimeo.
Unfortunately, there’s no definite answer. Third-party services typically give you greater reach at the cost of control over your content. On the other hand, publishing on your own portal may be a more effective way to build your own brand.
Analytics are a key tool for businesses struggling with the question of where to publish. Using a video distribution platform that tracks activity across platforms lets you rapidly zero in on the most effective channels and formats for reaching your audience. More than that, you’ll be able to gauge directly how the audience responds to different content. Good analytics provides valuable insight to shape the content you commission and the way you edit it for each channel.
Agile video distribution
The freshest video is often worth the most, so it pays to be able to distribute it before it's old news Having said that, archive content can leap in value if something happens to the people or locations it contains.
From a production point of view, a large and easily searched archive helps you make the most of your existing library. This can save money on unnecessary re-shoots and it also allows you to capitalize on a time-critical moment, and strike when the social media activity is hottest.
Ideally, your video distribution platform needs to move as quickly as events do. This ensures you can immediately ingest and categorise new content, provide live video on demand, and call up old content while it’s still useful and relevant.
In truth, video content is even more varied than the audiences it’s aimed at. Content producers can’t just settle on a single distribution method and relax. That’s yet another reason why for many businesses the best solution is to opt for a video distribution platform or a MAM. This provides the flexibility to distribute individual videos to the most appropriate channels and platforms.
MAM - pulling it all together
Using a MAM lets you manage, monetise and distribute broadcast quality video anywhere to customers around the world.
Critically, the most capable systems package this with advanced analytics. As a business this gives you crucial insight into how audiences consume, share and rate your content. In short, a MAM helps you to focus on delivering more of what your customers want.