At the beginning of each year, we in the online video business take the time to carefully plan out what we want and need to accomplish in the next quarter, half and year. We, like many others at the beginning of the year, are 100% focused and have our minds set to full throttle.
Keeping momentum moving forward is critical. How do technology and business teams stay productive as the year progresses and challenges arise?
1 – Never stop testing: Testing is the crux of taking plans to the next level. Keep trying new ideas or methodologies, anything from different ad sizes and executions to changing up the amount of units that are present on various page types — you may be surprised what works. While constant testing can be overwhelming to keep on track, there is no better way to gain insights and grow the business. Formulate an organizational infrastructure that works for you to track results and make informed decisions.
2 – Be proactive, not reactive: Knowledge is the best tool you have to stay ahead of your competitors. Stay on top of industry trends. Don’t just delete those newsletters in your inbox; keep yourself informed on what’s going on with the industry. Take stock of what you learned and incorporate them into your plans quickly to stay ahead of the curve and the competition.
3 – Find ways to improve the experience to lead to greater engagement: Back to number 1. Testing. Keep in touch with your clients to get feedback on ad performance. Dial in on reader comments and social chatter to receive their vital feedback on the experience of visiting your site. Creating a great product doesn’t matter much if your audience is struggling to engage with it. You may find that users are engaging with an unexpected aspect of your offering, or even that you may need to make concrete determinations about the type of engagement you want to pursue.
4 – Study strategies from companies you admire: The phrase “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” comes to mind here. Take a look around and adopt relevant strategic initiatives in line with your efforts. But don’t just look to your competitors for their strategic wins; look beyond companies with similarities and you’ll find some gems you can incorporate into your plans. Leverage your network to make connections and have conversations with other publishers/companies — you might be surprised by the insights you can glean from asking direct questions in order to develop new perspectives on your business.
5 – Invest time in users and user communities: Users and the communities that support them are goldmines filled with unbiased, unfiltered information. From supportive fans to the ugly truth; a quick reminder of who you’re ultimately coming to work for every day can give you the motivation to power on. Find a great suggestion or notice a trend in comments? Use the information to improve your product or service.