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Not All Video is Created Equal

Have you ever approached a friend who's a programmer and asked them to help you hook up your blackberry to your Yahoo! Mail? 

Have you ever asked your friend the heart surgeon to check out your ailing shoulder (after you were playing Wii baseball?)

Have you ever asked your Structured Finance Investment Banker friend for a good blue chip stock tip? 

We all have done this at some point in our lives (even if not these examples) by bucketing specialists into their generalist categories.  Every securites lawyer, litigator, and general counsel is an attorney.  Every cardiologist, dermatologist, and podiatrist is a doctor.  Every Hulu, YouTube, and Blip series of moving pictures is television. 

See what the problem here is?  We are all trying to solve how to monetize online video, yet the inherent problem is that not all video is created equally.  What does that mean?  Well video is simply a medium for delivery of information.  However, information comes in different shapes and sizes, and most importantly comes with user intent. 

If we look at keyword bids for some sample keywords on Google, we notice that words that imply purchases are more expensive than informational words.  For example, New York Knicks statistics is a much less expensive set of keywords than New York basketball tickets.   The first implies that you'd like more information and the second implies that you'd like to purchase something.

Now let's take that analogy and move that toward video content.  Everyone inquires about how are klick thru rates are on video.  Again that's like asking how many DOCTORS (not cardiologists) are successful at heart surgery.  Each type of video is different and each type of video comes with a different type of intention.  When you watch news content, you are basically asking the reporter to tell you what is going on in the world (or sports, or weather, etc).  You're not typically in buying mode but rather in discovery mode.  Linking out to Amazon will probably not yield as good of a user experience as linking out to Wikipedia, a blog, or another more detailed article.  When you watch entertainment content, you are asking the piece's director to show you something funny, sad, action packed, etc.  Linking out to Amazon might be successful in a show like Sex in the City, less so for My Name is Earl.  Finally, when you watch Home Shopping Network, or QVC, you are asking the channel to show you something interesting, useful, pretty that you can buy.  Klick thru rates here are very high. 

Remember when you are creating klickable content to align your users intentions with the underlying video content.  You don't want to be fitting the square peg (the C++ programmer) into the round hole (fixing your friend's POP server for their blackberry.)

Photo courtesy of danstorey14


Posted: April 21, 2009

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