ABM panel: Video looks good, but be aware of costs

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Chicago—Although online video can be an effective tool for business publishers, they must be cautious about the associated costs and, perhaps more important, the issue of who controls the content, according to a panel that kicked off American Business Media’s Top Management Meeting Monday in Chicago.

“When someone in your organization says, ‘Hey, we can put video on Google,’ stop and think twice,” said Guy Nouri, CEO of Dragonfly, which creates custom video networks for b-to-b media companies and whose clients include Nielsen Business Media. “These are real costs, and this is not a bargain here.”

Nouri added: “When you start adding video it’s not a [Web] site but a network that you have to manage. And I promise that most of you will be running one this time in a year.”

The session, titled “Smaller Publishers Seminar: Enhancing Your Integrated Product Offerings,” tackled how online video enables business publishers to expand their audience and provide advertisers with another vehicle for getting out their messages.

“You own that relationship with advertisers and you have the content that marketers need,” Nouri said.

Scott Roulet, VP-business development at Cygnus Business Media, said that in order for online video to work for b-to-b media companies it must be relevant.

Roulet said there are three ways that Cygnus currently classifies online video: product demonstrations, instructional videos and user-generated video. He also touched upon metrics for online video, which are just starting to emerge. “Advertisers want to know the number of unique users and how long they’re watching video,” he said.

Jason Breed, senior director of sales operations for Neighborhood America, which creates enterprise social networks, said the biggest challenge of integrating online video into b-to-b media Web sites is figuring out if the content is appropriate. “It’s a fine line between letting the crowd take over versus keeping it moderated for the rest of your users,” he said.

—Matthew Schwartz

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