Leading Australian Publisher Cirrus Media Doubles Online Audience Engagement With Video
Cirrus Media is an Australian business-to-business (B2B) publisher and events company, focusing on the healthcare sector. It has four main publications under its masthead, including Pharmacy News, Australian Doctor, and Medical Observer, as well as a range of specialist microsites. Since splitting from Reed Business Information (RBI) in 2013, Cirrus Media has established itself as one of the leading B2B content, education, and events company in Australia, now boasting more than 680,000 engaged subscribers across its online and print channels.
Finding New Ways to Engage Online Audiences
Video is an integral part of Cirrus Media’s content strategy, and is leveraged across all of its publications as a way to drive audience engagement. Videos vary from interviews with industry experts to breaking news, advice, and learnings, complementing its editorial content. Realising the success of the video content featured on its online publications, Cirrus Media looked to replicate this type of content for one of its biggest event partners.
In 2016, Cirrus Media’s publication Pharmacy News was named media partner for the third year for The Pharmacy Guild of Australia’s annual Australian Pharmacy Professional Conference (APP), Australia’s largest pharmacy event. As media partner, Cirrus Media creates videos for the event such as interviews with attendees and keynote sessions. In 2016, Cirrus Media’s goal was to improve the video production and publishing workflow. In previous years, the process to produce, edit, and upload video content to the online hub was tedious and time-intensive. The production team would spend hours editing and uploading content that would not be ready for publishing until days after the event. This delay often meant the excitement for the event had already passed and it severely impacted audience online engagement and event ROI.
Cirrus Media recognised the importance of publishing video content in extending audience engagement. Thus, they looked to improve existing workflows and backend processes to produce and upload video content more quickly for the APP event.
- Simplify backend processes, including uploading and transcoding, as well as video content management
- Deliver more content, more quickly to online audiences
- Increase audience engagement with the content and event
Streamlining Backend Processes to Create More Engaging Online Experiences
To overhaul its online video workflow during the APP event, Cirrus Media selected Brightcove’s Video Cloud solution, simplifying the way videos were ingested, transcoded, tagged, shared, and uploaded. Together with StreamZ, a streaming solutions company for the broadcast industry, Cirrus Media is now able to deliver content to its audience almost instantaneously after the footage is recorded.
The partnerships with Brightcove and StreamZ also meant Cirrus Media could produce more video content faster, while still being cost effective.
Jon Simmons, then Creative Director at Cirrus Media, commented: “Our partnership with Brightcove and StreamZ meant we could now deliver more video content to more viewers, quicker and easier. We could capture huge amounts of content, and publish it in as little as 10 minutes. This type of turnaround time is almost unheard of in the publishing world and gives us a significant advantage over our competitors.”
“We no longer needed to send an entire production crew to the actual event to record, produce, and upload the video content. All we needed on the ground was the camera crew. Everything else could be done remotely, and this really helped to ensure we didn’t blow a huge hole in our budget and weren’t compromising the speed of delivery.”
Brightcove’s online platform allowed all video content to be uploaded into a single hub, accessible by everyone on the team. Often content is passed through numerous touch points for editing and approvals before being published. Cirrus Media leveraged Brightcove to funnel all content to the relevant people, providing a seamless way to edit, approve, and upload content and improving delivery time.
The ability to tag videos with a few letters or words — for example, tagging a video of a particular speaker by simply naming the person as a tag — also made it easy to share content with the social media team, removing the need to re-embed content multiple times as the team could just type in the associated tags instead. This significantly reduced upload time and overall effort.
On-Demand Video Key to Engagement
With Brightcove and the partnership with StreamZ, Cirrus Media was able to reduce their video uploading and publishing time from days to minutes. The immediacy of the event videos increased audience engagement and viewership.
“The ability to produce and push out content within minutes of it being captured really helped us generate hype and significantly improved audience engagement and retention, not just during the event but post event, as well. In today’s fast-paced environment, consumers want content as it happens. Posting a video from a day ago simply isn’t good enough; they’ve already moved onto something else. To ensure we capture our audience's attention, content needed to be posted as soon as possible. We simply couldn’t do this without Brightcove,” Simmons commented.
Compared to last year, video views across the three full days of the conference increased by 250 percent and a whopping 3,200 percent on the first day of the event. Over the following four weeks after the event, video views also increased by 225 percent.
“The quick turnaround powered by Brightcove’s platform, in tandem with some groundwork laid going into the conference, is directly attributable to the increase in audience engagement,” Simmons said. “Brightcove is the spine of our online video offering. There is no other solution that allows us to turn around such a mass quantity of content, in such a short time.”
Pushing Online Video Content Even Further
Cirrus Media continues to partner with Brightcove to power its online video platform across all its online publications. The publisher is also looking at solutions to make the online experience for viewers more engaging, and aims to capitalise on Brightcove’s social media capabilities to help the company push video content directly to its social media channels.
Cirrus Media, which already uses Brightcove analytics across its online publications, plans to roll out analytics for event videos as well, so as to gain in-depth insights into viewer engagement and demonstrate return on investment to its partners for sponsored content.
In addition, Cirrus Media is looking at Brightcove’s autoplay feature.
“Brightcove’s ability to autoplay a series of videos once an audience finishes viewing one is really powerful,” Simmons said. “We already do this with the online video content we produce for our publications, and it’s changing the way our viewers consume our content. We’re giving them more and more content to watch, and it’s resulting in really strong engagement and retention rates. We look to do this with all our video content.”