Thursday, May 13, 2010

Older video just as good as new when it comes to driving traffic

Someone told me the other day that her team's mantra for social media postings is "frequent and fresh."  She wanted to remind them that they needed to be posting new content, to combat short attention spans and competition from other organizations.  Turns out she may be right only half the time--and that "new" may just mean "new to you."   Video is still the king of web content, attracting more viewers than any other options--and it turns out that older video is just as effective at driving traffic as new video. 

That's true on YouTube, where an executive this week shared that fully half of its more than one billion daily views come from six-month-old or older videos.  When you're plotting a YouTube strategy, he recommends coming up with an "anchor video" that can get you past 5,000 views, which will help you land in its search index and listed near related videos.  And don't forget the value of drawing attention to your video archive gems when you're posting on Facebook, Twitter and other update sites. 

No one does it better than TED.com, which regularly releases archived video--like this one on why math class needs a makeover--with the note, "Watch Dan Meyer's talk on TED.com, where you can download this TEDTalk, rate it, comment on it and find other talks and performances from our archive of 600+ TEDTalks."  The subtle tagline suggests "there's more where this came from," suggests how you can participate, and leaves the door to the archive open with a link.

The beauty of archival video--just as with any other archived content--is that it's ready-made, and in a time when you can't seem to create enough content, it's a true goldmine.  You'll need to curate it to add perspective, but don't neglect older offerings in your hunt for "frequent and fresh" things to post.  Sure, post the older footage when an anniversary or special occasion rolls around, but count on our perennial yen for nostalgia, our hunt for detail, and the fact that we might have missed it the first time around.'

If you've got good examples to share of how you've used archival video, on YouTube or elsewhere, share it in the comments or on the don't get caught page on Facebook.

Related posts:  Museums move ahead with social-media engagement

Archives as part of a reboot: Making the most of online newspaper archives

A parade of new online photo sources

New media adapters: From archive to blog

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