Building Video Products that Endure with VidOps

By Laura Balboni on March 28, 2019

Today we conclude our series on the core tenets for VidOps success — the approach that breaks down silos and provides a framework of shared responsibilities, visibility, collaboration and workflows to uncover the value from premium video.

The VidOps Framework outlines ways that teams can build better video products by aligning business stakeholders and objectives and practicing collaborative workflows.

During our series, we’ve covered a lot of ground, and we hope you are well on your way to adopting new best practices for delivering awesome video products.

Here is a quick review of what we’ve already covered:

Designate a VidOps Manager.

Asses Current Video Delivery Processes, Teams, Tools and Infrastructure

Create a unified and measurable matrix of requests, requirements, and goals around video initiatives

Collaboratively Build Target Audience Personas

Map short and long-term objectives and audience personas to the video distribution landscape

Establish a system-of-record for content, video subscriber and audience-data management

Establish streamlined workflows based on collaboration and visibility

Think security, reliability, scalability, and governance — build from a solid foundation

This brings us to the ninth and final tenet of the VidOps framework:

Tenet 9: Test early, launch, measure performance, and iterate

Defining success for your video product is relatively simple. Irrespective of genre or target audience, all content providers want to drive strong viewer engagement, audience growth, and penetration and to maximize the lifetime value (LTV) of your customers. However, with so much control provided to customers and the rapid rate of change in video technology, keeping pace with this evolving landscape of customer needs and technology is a far more vexing challenge.  In addition, it is almost impossible to nail your video offering and experience at the outset with the optimal mix of monetization models, platform reach and UX design and feature set.

Hence, speed and agility are now the coins of the realm. VidOps teams must be empowered to execute a lean, agile approach. This requires a combination of processes, collaboration, and technology stack, and tools to enable responsive iteration and experimentation. In addition, capturing data and surfacing the right insights is crucial to guide your iterations and tuning of your service.

Perfect is the enemy of possible.

It is increasingly rare for video teams to nail their strategy and experience out of the gate.   Hence, teams should focus on fast time for market for their initial experience, putting themselves in a position to quickly assess end-user feedback and analytics to hone and optimize their suite of apps over time.   To accomplish this, there are a number of foundational capabilities and approaches video teams should pursue.

Target the platforms “that matter” at the outset - Building, deploying and maintaining apps can be complex and costly.  Consequently, teams should target platforms that can provide the greatest reach - namely Apple, Android and perhaps Roku, and then gradually deploy to second and third tier platforms such as Smart TVs and gaming platforms.

Leverage UX templates; ensure they are customizable - Building customized apps from the ground-up are typically the most cost, time and resource intensive aspect of launching a video service.   Consequently, teams should seek to leverage out-of-the-box templates for their initial launch and after gathering experience and insights determine whether the investment for fully custom apps is prudent.  Ideally, these templates are highly customizable and teams have the ability to own and modify the underlying app code.

Ensure monetization flexibility - In addition to having the ability to layer in additional interactive features, a modern video platform should provide an easy ability to tweak or make wholesale changes to your monetization model including building hybrid monetization plans (e.g. subscriptions plus rentals plus ad-based monetization.).

This agile approach must also extend beyond tools and into teams. Empower your developers with platforms that have all the necessary tools built in, so they can focus on innovation and speed-to-market. Make sure your content management tools enable your creative teams to experiment and test with minimal time required for development.

Leverage data to inform your iterations and optimizations.

Once a product has been launched, gathering metrics and measuring performance will help your team make data-driven decisions moving forward. Diane Strutner, CEO of Datazoom, recently shared a post on the Zype blog discussing methods for obtaining and leveraging data within the VidOps lifecycle.

While testing and measurement is a discipline, art, and science all unto its own, some good ideas that have worked for successful products include:

Sending out customer surveys - particularly NPS - to gather feedback and create conversations with early adopters and later stage product champions

Understanding your customer segmentation and behavior - using tools like Google Analytics and your video analytics platform

Paying careful attention to high-level engagement trends on each endpoint or platform that you distribute to. Give your team the tools to answer questions like: How are we performing on Roku App vs our website?  Facebook vs. Apple TV App?

Create interactive tutorials to guide users towards features and journeys proven to drive high levels of engagement (based on analytics) or to avoid identified pitfalls of your end-user experience.

When launching, testing, measurement, and iteration come together through VidOps, not only will time-to-market speed up, but you’ll continuously learn what is working and you’ll know how to iterate for continued success.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this series as we’ve dug into each of the core tenets that drive VidOps success.

If you want to download the entire VidOps framework, you can find it here.

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