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Peri Elmokadem

Written By

Peri Elmokadem

Peri is the content marketing manager at Uscreen. She writes to teach the world about the ways of video monetization. She’s also a visual artist, traveller and dog lover (although she’s starting to warm up to cats).

How to Structure and Organize Your Online Video Content for Success

There are a few reasons why people will pay for content when they can get it online for free – a big one of those reasons is convenience. In other words, people will pay you for content they can get for free in exchange for being able to access it immediately and in an organized fashion.

That’s what we already do with Netflix and Hulu. There are multiple free streaming and torrent websites online that’ll allow you to filter through thousands of links to find a working one of the latest episode of “This is Us”, but if you could pay to avoid that process all together you will. And over 2 million people worldwide do.

Same goes to educational resources as it does for entertainment content. You can learn pretty much everything on YouTube for free – but the information is scattered, contradicting, not easy to find and doesn’t really add up to much at all. So when people decide to pay for educational content online, what they’re really paying for is a specifically promised end-goal, rather than a mishmash of random information.

So what does this all mean? It means that …

The way you present your content on your VOD is as important as your content itself, because content organization is one of the main differentiators between free and paid content.

And this why this section is so important.

There are two main aspects to doing this correctly:

  1. Structure – the order in which people are going to consume your content on your website.
  2. Organization – how people are going to navigate your VOD library to find what they’re looking for.

We’ve analyzed all of our customer’s libraries, narrowed down their content structuring and organizing trends, and gave you the how-to right here:

How to structure your video content  

Based on what your value proposition is, you’ll need to figure out the best way to structure your content so your viewers can benefit from it the way you intend them to.  

There are three main ways you can structure your content

1. Individual videos

This is when your library offers lists of single videos that can be watched individually.

You can also think of them as blog posts, where each video can fully provide value on its own, but also plays a role in a larger niche topic and goal.

A Uscreen customer that does a good job at this is RIVNow. Check out their library to grasp their structure. 

2. Series

The second most popular way to structure content is in series – where you combine a few short videos under one title and have multiple series in your library. These videos often need to be watched in a specific order to either get a specific message across or deliver a specific goal, and that’s why having them in a series makes sense.

These clusters of videos organized into series then play a role in your VOD’s overall niche.

Wanderlust TV is an example of a VOD that only structures its video content in series – visit their library and play around with their videos to better understand how they structure their videos.

Hint: Another cool way to structure series is in the form of a challenge like Wanderlust does.

Suggested reading: The Go-To Guide to Growing Your Audience with Online Community Challenges

Before we move on to option #3, we need to point out the obvious and harmonic hybrid of both individual videos and videos in series. Your library can be a mix of both series and individual videos however your audience would like them.

How to organize your video content library

OK.

You’ve structured the videos in a way that makes sense to you and your VOD viewers. On to the next and just as important step – organizing your content the optimum way so your viewers have a smooth experience browsing through your library and finding what they want.

Your content needs to be organized for those who know what they want and those who don’t alike. From the information we’ve gathered from Uscreen customers, here are the four important tips on how to organize your video content in the most optimal way:

1. By Categories

This is the most common way to organize video content in a library because it’s so incredibly simple and effective. It’s honestly very basic stuff.

Come up with a list of categories you think your content would most effectively fall under, and that would be intriguing for your viewers. Categories are somewhat broad in nature, so don’t try to be too specific with them.  

Think of categories as genres. For instance, imagine if Netflix categorizes its shows and movies in subgenres rather than general genres. Finding a movie to watch would be the most frustrating thing ever.

RIV Now does a great job with categories and its content.

Can also include GIF of scrolling through Magic Stream or Ballet blast by sassy

Some videos or series could potentially overlap in categories, but only do that when they truly do fall under two categories. If you have a handful of videos and series that all fall under the same two categories, then a hybrid category is needed.

There are only a few things more annoying than two separate categories yielding the exact same list. This won’t help your audience, and would ultimately lead to frustration.

2. New or Trending

For those browsing your VOD for the first time, not sure where to start, the trending category is so important and incredibly useful. Pick the videos or series that your customers are loving the most.

What if you’re just launching and have no previous audience? Does this mean you shouldn’t have a trending section?

Absolutely not.

The whole purpose of the trending section is to:

  • Give brand-new subscribers a starting point
  • Alleviate customer indecisiveness.
  • Feature your “winning content” at the very top – by winning content we mean the content you know they would love.

With that in mind, you can pick the few videos you think would have ended up in your trending category anyway. The important thing is that you pick those videos wisely and have flexibility in the future to change them as your viewer grow and they start to truly tell you which of your content is actually trending.

Here’s how Magic Stream does it (they also do a great job categorizing their videos):

3. Chronologically

Sometimes, depending on the nature of your content, the videos you offer will have to be consumed in a specific order. If that’s the case, make sure your videos are clearly organized in the exact chronological order they’re meant to be consumed in.

Once again, the chronological organization of your videos is one of the main reasons someone would subscribe to your VOD. So even though this might sound obvious, make sure viewers will be able to get this full journey with your content from start to finish in a very specific order without having to organize it themselves.

If they have to think about it, you’re doing it wrong.

4. Free content category

If you have any free content that you offer to non-subscribers, make sure you make it very obvious for them. These free videos could really be the thing that makes them give you their credit card information.

The way you present your content doesn’t have to follow one specific structure or organization method. Combinations of those happen all the time. It all comes down to your target audience’s behavior.  

Lesson 2:

How much content do you need

Go to Lesson 2
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