MoneyWeek is the UK’s best selling financial magazine. The weekly publication features thought-provoking articles and guidance from finance industry experts read by over 50,000 subscribers. Over the past year, MoneyWeek has been integrating video more and more into their sales and marketing efforts. The nature of their content presents some very unique legal challenges which vzaar helps them overcome.
The majority of videos MoneyWeek produces cannot be found anywhere on their website. They create video presentations on a biweekly basis that are sent out to a mailing list with the goal of signing up new subscribers to a number of specialized newsletters. The newsletters are published by MoneyWeek’s sister company, Fleet Street Publications and provide specific financial guidance, advice, and tips by regular contributors to the magazine.
These presentations typically run about 45 minutes long. “Most people say short and sweet is the way to go with online videos, but for us it’s the opposite,” AV Tech Assistant Mike South explains. “A long copy promo can’t be transferred to a 10, 20 or 30 minute video as it won’t be as engaging or effective. Our parent company’s highest converting video is over 90 minutes long.”
As Fleet Street Publications is authorized and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and the newsletters are regulated publications, there is a great deal of information that must be communicated before they can accept sign ups. It is their legal and regulatory responsibility to ensure subscribers are fully aware of any risks they take in following their financial advice. Mike chose to host Fleet Street Publication’s videos with vzaar because he needs greater control over how their message is delivered.
For one, there is always a good deal of text that must accompany the video. With vzaar, Mike disables the full-screen option in their vzaar player to ensure that text on the page is always visible. He also uses the vzaar API to disable fast forwarding, so viewers can’t skip through the required legal and regulatory information, which some viewers, particularly experienced, longtime subscribers, may be tempted to do.
Prior to Mike joining the team in 2011, MoneyWeek hosted videos on Amazon and used a freeware flash player that stretched out and degraded the quality of their video files. When Mike came onboard, he realized immediately that there was significant room for improvement in quality, and that was also another big motivation for the switch to vzaar. “vzaar was easier, simpler, and looked better than anything else we tried. What’s great is we can store our files on vzaar and make all the edits and customization tweaks we need from a single place.”
Perhaps more than anything, Mike was looking for a video hosting solution he could rely on to ensure their content was always available, without fail. Their campaigns had suffered from downtime in the past. “While trialing another competitor, their site crashed,” he recalls. “We send out thousands of emails a day, and each view has the potential to lead to a £500 subscription. If that video doesn’t play, it could be extremely costly for us.” This is never something Mike has had to worry about with vzaar. Lastly, they needed to make their videos as accessible as possible. “A huge benefit of vzaar is the fact it is compatible across all mobile devices, which is a must for our rapidly growing mobile audience.” Premium features like podcasts mean that busy clients can watch their content whenever is convenient to them.
In addition to their marketing efforts, Mike has also begun creating editorial video content for MoneyWeek.com. While MoneyWeek has previously used YouTube to host tutorials on their site, Mike is in the process of transferring that content over to vzaar for a better onsite presentation. Once all the video content on MoneyWeek.com is hosted on vzaar, they will likely continue to upload duplicate content on YouTube in order to tap into the large built-in audience found there. “We’ll continue to upload some content to YouTube, too, to reach a broader audience, but we host the videos on our site with vzaar. That way, when our videos are indexed in Google, they drive traffic back to our own site, not elsewhere.”
Most recently, the MoneyWeek team used vzaar to host their series of educational videos on spread betting. The series led to a live seminar on the topic, which Mike recorded and turned into a DVD box set. They will be selling the DVDs with bonus content available online and hosted by vzaar. Given the success of their video strategy so far, they’ll continue exploring new opportunities to integrate video into their site this year, secure in knowing they can rely on vzaar to deliver videos reliably with the tools necessary to meet any potential challenges.
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