Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thoughts about Online Videos and Web Analytics Wednesday in Helsinki

This week we had the very first Web Analytics Wednesday in 2009 at Sokos Hotel Presidentti in Helsinki. Topic of the event was quite challenging, but obviously interesting: Online videos. We collected 139 sign ups and we broke the national record of WAW attendees by having 92 people on site! Check out the slideshow from the event below.

I'm writing down here my thoughts about online videos and Web Analytics Wednesday after the event. You can find these individual parts in this article:

How online videos are being used?
Why to use online videos or online video advertising?
How to measure online videos?
Feedback and actions from Web Analytics Wednesday

How online videos are being used?

Consumption of online videos is growing fast. You can find TNS Gallup's short press release of their online video research from here (pdf, in Finnish). But what kind of videos are available? There are entertaining videos and of course, editorial videos from media companies. Broadcasting corporates are offering more and more online streams and downloadable videos to extend their delivery channels to Internet and mobile devices. Some radio stations (e.g. Radio Rock) and newspapers (e.g. Uusi Suomi) in Finland are offering video content to support audio, text and static pictures.
"Other than media companies are not getting at the moment how to use online videos to support their business."
Especially newspapers and magazines could use more online videos instead of static text and pictures. I guess they wouldn't get too heavy extra cost with current technology, when they have reporter already on site?
"Content is more important than the quality of the video."
First videos in the Internet were user generated content, videos taken by mobile phones, when airbus crashed to Hudson river in New York. You can see a huge peak in search by "Hudson river" keyword.

Check out this animation video of the crash. It's third in video search results, with over half of million views and pretty good advertising also for SceneSystems.

Why to use online videos or online video advertising?

Every company should atleast consider online videos. I think that in many cases it would be a lot cheaper than writing an article with photos to produce medium quality video to represent company and its products, services and people.
"You simply have to test in order to decide whether online videos are usefull for you or not."
That brings measuring and analytics back in picture. Are online videos saving costs by decreasing work of support team or are they boosting your sales by providing new prospect leads or direct online sales?
"You have to measure online videos and online video advertising!"
In my opinion, if we are talking about online video advertising, you should measure that too. Not too many of Finnish media companies are offering online video advertising at the moment. We had Sorosh Tavakoli, CEO and founder of Videoplaza, speaking at WAW. His presentation was about how to make online videos profitable from media company point of view. According to Sorosh online video advertising is used mainly for getting attention and final conversion rates from the ad haven't been measured yet. By the way, I'm finishing my TV commercial observation study and results of that will be published here soon.

How to measure online videos?

I believe that online videos increase visitor engagement. Whether you want to use online videos and online video advertising for getting attention or some intention, you also have to define key performance indicators. You can read this very good article by Judah Phillips at Web Analytics Demystified to find out KPI suggestions and links to web analytics tools. Seppo Roponen from TNS Gallup reresented their StreamMetrix software which is integrated to TNS Metrix web analytics system. He was very fair and honest by saying that they have plenty to do with development. But he also offered a free trial for media companies.

Feedback and actions from Web Analytics Wednesday

The feedback we have already received is quite positive. We will have a board meeting soon so we can evaluate the whole event and developing ideas. We are planning the next WAW and web analytics training + WAA membership bundle based on attendees' feedback. All WAW presentations will be availabe through our website for member companies. Contact me or visit WAA Finland website if you want more information about membership. You can also join our groups at Facebook or Linkedin. Feel free to comment online video topic or WAW we had.

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