Video Content Syndication: A Primer

It is estimated that 65% of global online traffic is made up of video.

Yes, online video content continues to rise, and the competition for eyeballs is fierce.

That’s why you need content syndication.

What is Content Syndication?

Content syndication is the practice of selecting content that was originally produced for one platform or website, and distributing that content to multiple third-party platforms or websites. 

Producing video content for a website can be time-consuming and costly. Even if you are able to produce great videos quickly and at low cost, you still want to ensure that each video reaches the maximum possible viewers. By syndicating their videos, content creators and owners can get their videos seen by more people on more channels and platforms.

Benefits of Video Content Syndication for Content Owners

Imagine that you run a website with 100,000 monthly visitors, and your site is all about health and fitness. You create and publish a video on your website about how to do a ‘couch to 5K’. Given the traffic stats, the maximum audience you can possibly reach is 100,000 people. 

However, it is unlikely that all, or even most, of your total audience will watch every video you publish. A more realistic forecast for views of this video on your own website is probably around 1,000.

The primary way of generating revenue from that video is by placing relevant ads before the video. Advertisers pay according to CPM (Cost per 1000 impressions) of their video ads, so if they are willing to pay $20 (ie. $20 per 1000 video ad impressions), and the video is watched only 1000 times on your website, then the ROI on your ‘Couch to 5k’ video is just $20.

The reality is that the total potential audience for your video globally is far larger than just the users of your site.

That is why as a content owner you would work with a video platform to license your video content for distribution so that it could be displayed not only on your own site but also within contextually relevant articles on hundreds of third-party websites across the internet.

A Google search at the time of writing this article returned over 42 million results for the term ‘couch to 5k’. That is a lot of web pages that could be carrying your video.

As a video content owner, content syndication allows you to expand the global audience that sees your video, potentially driving new users back to your own site, while also increasing the revenue that each of your videos achieves from video advertising.

Benefits of Video Content Syndication for Publishers  

Video is the most immersive type of content on the web. It combines the power of sight, sound and motion, and is able to create an emotional connection with audiences like no other medium can.

Many web publishers rely heavily on advertising to generate revenue, and video advertising is growing faster than any other ad type. The CPM rate that advertisers are willing to pay for video advertising is higher than they would pay for standard display ads, so it makes sense that websites that have traditionally been text-based now want to integrate more video into their offering.

The best way for a text-based website to generate more video views is to place contextually relevant videos inside articles. However, many large sites have thousands of article pages, and the cost of creating enough video content to satisfy a large number of articles, and then manually placing that video content into every article is not cost-efficient.

Today, publishers solve this challenge by working with external video platforms to integrate quality, third-party video content. AI technology can automate the process of reading every video and understanding content and context, whilst also reading every article page for the same, and then matching the best video to the best article automatically.

The benefits of video content syndication for publishers is that they can display thousands of contextually relevant videos to their audience without the significant production costs, and then generate additional revenue by selling those video audiences to advertisers, who want to reach consumers in a contextually relevant, engaging environment.

There are also SEO benefits for publishers which we will explore in more detail below.

Benefits of Video Content Syndication for Brands and Advertisers

Syndicated content provides new opportunities for brands and advertisers to run their video ads. Video inventory is in high demand, so creating new inventory with video content is well received.

If a video ad is served on a piece of video content that is contextually relevant, and that video content is in turn placed within a contextually relevant article, then consumer attention and recall increase.

Working with a technology partner who syndicates video content enables advertisers to reach audiences at scale, and with one centralized buying point. 

How Does Video Content Syndication Work?

Video syndication can be a manual or automated process. When automated, the content owner agrees to license their video content to another publisher or multiple publishers. 

Manual content syndication could see a content owner approach a single publisher, and look to sign a distribution deal that would allow their video content to be displayed on that publisher’s web pages. The deal would typically involve a revenue share on advertising that is served against the content owner’s videos while on the third-party site.

Video content can also be manually syndicated onto social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Linkedin, and Snapchat. Or video platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube.

Contextual Video Content Syndication

Consumers won’t watch a video simply because it is placed in front of them. On a site that has traditionally been word-based, people are used to visiting in order to read. So in order to drive video views, the video content has to be contextually relevant to the words on the page.

Reach without relevance won’t work.

For example, imagine that you own hours of beautifully shot videos showing viewers how to make recipes at home.

You are considering approaching two large news sites. Website #1 has 1 billion page views per month, and Website #2 has 200 million page impressions per month.

At first glance, site #1 appears to be your best bet, because it is five times larger site #2.

However, what if site #1 only had 100,000 page views that featured food-related articles, and site #2 had 300,000 dedicated to food content?

Reach alone will not get you views, because the video has to be matched to the content for best results. In the above example, despite having lower reach, site #2 might be a better partnership for your food-themed videos.

The challenge with matching the right video with the right article is that new articles are published all the time, and manually tracking new videos to new articles is extremely time-consuming. That is where video distribution platforms become helpful. 

Video Distribution Platforms 

The manual process of content syndication is time-consuming because each deal takes time to come through, and it only connects one content owner with one publisher at a time. 

Growth in audience reach and views can take a lot longer to achieve if the content owner and publisher are approaching deals on a one-by-one basis. 

Video distribution platforms automate the process for content owners and publishers. A content owner can broker one deal with a platform, such as Outbrain, which makes their content immediately available to thousands of publishers globally.

For a publisher, one deal could give them immediate access to a huge inventory of high-quality video ads, produced by a large number of advertisers and brands. 

AI technology scans both the video content from content partners and also the textual content on the publishers’ web pages, to understand the content and context. The process of matching the right video to the right article can then be automated.

For advertisers, video platforms enable targeting towards desirable content, so that brands can reach the right audience, at the right time, and with the right message.

What is the impact on SEO?

We mentioned above that there is an SEO benefit to video content for publishers.

One of the key metrics that decide how well a page ranks on Google is dwell time. Dwell time is how long somebody stays on a webpage, and video can often add valuable minutes to page-view duration.

According to the SEO experts at Semrush, “If a user visits your website but immediately leaves, this will hurt your site performance (if many people do this to your website, you have a high ‘bounce rate’). Creating engaging content is the key to luring people in and keeping them there.”

Video is one of the most engaging content types on the internet, so giving users a reason to watch a video, and spend longer on your webpages offers real SEO advantages.

Syndicate Video Content with Outbrain

The importance of video content syndication will continue to grow as consumers continue to watch more, and advertisers leverage the power of video to engage with their audiences. 

By working with Outbrain, content owners, publishers, and advertisers can offset some of the costs and work together to create an ecosystem that benefits all parties.

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