Content, Context, and Curation: Why Focus Matters

The Internet is a fantastic resource for hobbyists. No matter what the interest, pastime, or topic, there’s certainly a website and community forum dedicated to it.

The same can be said for mobile apps, although on a smaller scale. So brands with hobby-centric content online had best get their mobile strategy figured out sooner rather than later if they want to avoid having their lunch eaten by mobile-first startups. This is particularly true for video content, which as I’ll explain below has several benefits when developed for the mobile environment.

For starters, it’s both cheap and easy to convert web-based video content into a strong, engaging mobile video app. You’ve already created the content, so why not make sure it’s accessible on every screen your niche audience prefers?

Secondly, there’s the financial benefits. Ads placed against video apps overall are more valuable than for other apps. But targeted ads placed against a particular content niche focused on a very specific audience are even more valuable. That’s because when executed properly, they’re not seen as ads at all, but rather as value-added content…a service, if you will, delivering useful information and opportunities.

Advertisers typically place ads against the likely demographic a piece of content can draw – such as the highly desirable 18-34-year-old group. Incidentally, this age group is considered highly receptive to mobile ads, according to a report issued by RadiumOne last year. In that report, however, it’s noted that brands and agencies struggle on how to best leverage their mobile reach.

“Many brands and agencies are at a loss for the best way to leverage mobile to reach consumers especially in the 18-34 demographic,” said Kamal Kaur, the company’s VP of mobile and display. His proposed solution is for brands to find a personal connection with viewers, and allow them to share that connection with each other. “Marketers can leverage this propensity to share content – from coupons and promotions to pictures and videos.”

Content aggregated around a specific hobby or interest is a natural point of personal connection, so careful and targeted advertising against that specific content is a logical move. Think ads for restaurants or kitchen gadgets on food-related verticals, or team jerseys and sports equipment on sports channels.

Look, for instance, at YouTube. The top 200 YouTube channels (i.e., those created around a specific content vertical) garnered 144 billion views from just under 200,000 videos. That’s the power of context. And it’s why many of those same channel owners are looking for distribution channels in addition to (or in place of) YouTube as they revisit their monetization strategy.

This is hardly a new concept, as anyone watching the Food Channel can tell you. But in the mobile space it’s far less common. That’s primarily because you see fewer content-focused apps on mobile than you see online or on TV. Mobile video apps historically have been of the all-things/all-people ilk. But that’s beginning to change.

Some examples of apps focused on highly vertical content tiers include Family Cook (cooking videos) and Forefront (urban videos).

In other words, it’s about context and relevancy. The mobile phone is the most personal of devices people own, and they will fill it with apps that have the most meaning to them. The apps they choose reflect their interests, and shed light on what they intend to buy or otherwise engage with. Creating video apps that focus on specific areas is a way of meeting this need, and placing the right advertising against it is the best way to capitalize and monetize on the resulting usage.

Image on home page via Shutterstock.

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