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Ramp Explains How to Give New Life to Older Videos

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Ramp is in the business of driving search engine traffic to videos, a challenge since search engines are text-based and videos aren't. At the recent Streaming Media East conference in New York City, Streaming Media sat down with Ramp CEO Tom Wilde to get tips on making videos discoverable.

"if you think about the way the Internet was constructed and does work today, it's really fueled by text, right? So if you think about Google, Facebook, Twitter, they're all based on text as a communication medium, and video's at a bit of a disadvantage because it's this binary file format, so it requires something else to make it plug into that sort of text-based sort of jet stream of content discovery and consumption," Wilde explained. "Great titles, great tags, transcripts, permalink URLs, all the things that you would do with an article or a blog post you need to be conscious of doing with video."

While many sites are using SEO best practices, they might not be aware that older videos can become traffic magnets again when something happens to make their story relevant.

"The key with any online content really is its context, and that context shifts from time to time," Wilde said. "A clip that may have had relevance two years ago could suddenly become relevant again given the news stream or what's happening. And so your ability to sort of understand what that video was about at the time using this sort of metadata strategy and dynamically associate other pieces of content with it or place it in the right context is really vital and extends the life of those assets."

To view the full interview, watch the video below.

 

Eric:  I'm Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen, editor of Streaming Media magazine, coming to you from Streaming Media East in New York, and I'm here with Tom Wilde, who's the CEO of Ramp. We're going to talk a little bit about video search and discovery. Tom, tell us a little bit about Ramp and what you do there.

Tom:  Great. Well, great to be here. Thanks. So Ramp's mission is to make video valuable, and we feel strongly that over the last five years the industry's moved from sort of the commodity-level challenges of CDN and streaming and video players, where just getting a video to play on a Web site was the challenge, to now how do you take all this video that's now available online and TV Everywhere and mobile and really make it valuable.

Eric:  Right. We ran an article yesterday on Streaming Media that focused on a study that suggested that friend and social network recommendations are now the leading impetus for people to seek out content. What's your take on that?

Tom:  Yeah. I think video has the same opportunities that any content does in a digital world, where you need a multifaceted approach for making sure your content gets found, so that includes SEO, certainly social and recommendations, search. So all of those things have to be combined, and social has become a huge part of content discovery and consumption across all formats, but certainly video is one of those as well.

Eric:  I don't know if you're able to come up with two or three tips, the top tips that you would give to video publishers to make their video discoverable, searchable, findable. What would those tips be?

Tom:  Yeah. I mean, if you think about the way the Internet was constructed and does work today, it's really fueled by text, right? So if you think about Google, Facebook, Twitter, they're all based on text as a communication medium, and video's at a bit of a disadvantage because it's this binary file format, so it requires something else to make it plug into that sort of text-based sort of jet stream of content discovery and consumption. And so certainly great titles, great tags, transcripts, permalink URLs, all the things that you would do with an article or a blog post you need to be conscious of doing with video, and doing it at scale sometimes can be challenging, especially if you produce a lot of video in a given...

Eric:  Are there any other challenges that video presents as opposed to other content or opportunities that video presents in terms of making it discoverable?

Tom:  Yeah, I think once you're past the "How do you figure out at scale how to make a video sort of behave like a document on the Web?" the rest is all opportunity. So what's unique about a video as opposed to almost any other content type is the fact that it has this timeline, right? A video has a timeline of data that progresses in the case of watching the video, and so you have many, many opportunities to sort of contextualize that video and relate it to other content assets you might have. So how do you relate a video to other articles you have? How do you relate it to slideshows and galleries and vice-versa?

Eric:  Is it an ongoing process, or is it sort of post it and forget about it? Can you take video content that's been out there for two or three years and freshen it up in terms of its ability to be discovered?

Tom:  You need sort of a dual approach. The first is to make sure that when that piece of video is born and published you give it as much chance for success as possible with title, tag, transcript and a metadata approach. The second piece of it, though, is to use a more sort of dynamic engine to match current content to what that video might have been about. So the key with any online content really is its context, and that context shifts from time to time. So a clip that may have had relevance two years ago could suddenly become relevant again given the news stream or what's happening. And so your ability to sort of understand what that video was about at the time using this sort of metadata strategy and dynamically associate other pieces of content with it or place it in the right context is really vital and extends the life of those assets. I mean, video is more expensive to create. It's kind of a sunk-cost exercise. Once you've created it you've spent most of what you're going to spend on it, so any consumption and ad revenue you can generate into the future is very high-margin.

Eric:  Great. Those are great tips for people who are publishing video, and thank you so much for sharing them. Tom Wilde from Ramp, and I'm Eric Schumacher-Rasmussen from Streaming Media East.

Tom:  Thanks, Eric.

Eric:  Thanks. 

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