Congratulations to Dezeen who are the winners of Best Use of Video 2017
The Elevator Pitch
In 2016 Dezeen transformed its approach to online video, organically increasing video plays by an incredible 500%. This was a crucial factor in achieving record-breaking traffic, revenue and social media growth, with Dezeen becoming the world’s most popular design site (source: Alexa).
We developed highly shareable new video formats for social media and embraced live streaming, becoming the dominant design media brand for video on Facebook and achieving over 33 million videos views on that platform alone.
We developed social video into a lucrative new revenue stream, delivering cross-platform video projects for prestigious brands including MINI, Nike and Autodesk.
Set The Scene
Dezeen is a small, independent publisher with limited resources. Our video content is produced in-house by a small team without any external investment.
At the start of 2016 we faced falling referrals from Facebook, our biggest referring site, direct traffic was declining and page views and video plays were flatlining. In the summer, Brexit threw our business model up in the air, causing a sharp downturn in UK recruitment revenue from our jobs website.
Our video content strategy was crucial to overcoming these challenges, enabling us to achieve a tenth consecutive year of double-digit audience and revenue growth.
Tell Us The Story
We identified video as key to growing our social media audiences, increasing referrals and boosting revenue, making it a cornerstone of our 2016 strategy.
We developed a formula for creating highly sharable movies, repurposing all our previous video content as short-form, captioned movies and publishing one per day on average on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We took advantage of this format to react quicker to breaking news and create compelling content faster than our rivals. Examples include publishing a movie about the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2016 by Bjarke Ingels the same morning it was unveiled, and publishing a video about Zaha Hadid within hours of the announcement of her death.
We also embraced live streaming on Facebook, collaborating with prominent institutions including London’s Royal Academy and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to broadcast talks with leading architects and designers around the world.
This innovative approach to video opened up completely new revenue streams. We created industry-leading social video for a host of top brands including Nike, Autodesk and Harrods. Social video was also a key component in sixfigure cross-platform content partnerships with MINI (dezeen.com/mostloved) and Bolon (dezeen.com/bolonatheart).
We also used social video to increase the reach of key editorial initiatives such as Dezeen Hot List (dezeen.com/hotlist) – a unique guide to the most newsworthy players in the design world, based entirely on audience data – and launching our Brexit Design Manifesto (dezeen.com/manifesto), which pressurised the UK government into issuing an unprecedented statement of intent to support the design sector.
In 2016 we smashed all our records for video, growing plays across our channels by over 500%.
We achieved over 33 million plays on Facebook alone, driving 31% follower growth and increasing referrals by 12%. This was achieved organically, without paying to promote content. This helped Dezeen become the most popular design website in the world according to web data firm Alexa. Unique visitors grew 11% to over 20 million and visits increased 8.5% to almost 50 million.
Video was instrumental in breaking one of our biggest stories of the year, when architect Patrik Schumacher called for social housing to be scrapped in our live stream. The video and our subsequent reporting was picked up by numerous national news media.
Revenues from branded social media content grew by a staggering 443% (more than making up for the recruitment revenue downturn noted above), enabling Dezeen to increase total turnover by 31%.
Best Use of Video 2017 sponsored by Celtra