The publisher considered “thousands” of data points before creating a single video, Rowley said, including search patterns, onsite traffic and most-pinned Pinterest items and shared slideshows. Meredith works with Krux Digital as its data-management platform to turn first-party audience insights into new media assets.
“Those analytics tell the story of what our audience perceives as important and that creates the springboard for our video creation, which will ultimately be rolled into our connected TV programming,” Rowley said. “It’s nice to base creative on what women really want and have authority come from the brands that have this loyalty. It’s a great way to ensure the growth of your content and platform.”
Although the publisher operates an outfit dubbed Meredith Video Studios for branded video content on behalf of clients like Kraft and Barilla, it is a separate entity from Rowley’s video production team, which consists of a group of ex-TV execs who collaborate directly with editorial on original content production.
“We didn’t want this video team to just descend on Meredith and start producing video,” she said. “It had to be a collaborative effort with the editors, who know the audience.”
Additionally, the publisher needed a scalable strategy to ensure video content could be distributed across devices.
“We knew we couldn’t do this device by device,” Rowley said, drawing on her production days at CNN. “To create an app for every single connected device out there is expensive and you have to maintain it and update it all the time. We wanted to be able to test a multiplatform product immediately.”
This fall, Meredith plans to experiment with more long-form content and to extend beyond the “how-to” formula its onsite videos traditionally use. Among its other considerations is investment in viewability metrics; Meredith works with Nielsen and “other” partners.
To help agencies and advertisers measure the success of connected TV advertising programs (and to license owned-and-operated content out for syndication), independent viewability auditing is imperative, Rowley said. “This area is changing so fast, that you have to be flexible in adopting partners who measure the quality, effectiveness of your ads, but we feel it’s important to do as a premium brand,” she noted. “You want to make sure you have a real audience for your content at all times.”