Everything you wanted to know about Content Recommendation Slideshows (but were afraid to ask)
It moves, it’s colorful, and it can increase engagement dramatically – what is it? Naturally, we are talking about content recommendation slideshows (CRS). For publishers of high-traffic websites, content recommendation slideshows mean yet another tool to raise revenue while ensuring a quality experience for all visitors.
But let’s take a step back and go through the basics before we delve into our suggested best practices.
What are content recommendation slideshows?
CRSs are video widgets filled with images or short videos recommending in-site content. This reel, linked to content items within the publisher’s website, is occasionally interrupted by relevant video ads.
How do I set up my slideshow?
In most cases, your vendor will set up your slideshow using an RSS feed of your original content from your website. While the setup is done by the vendor – publishers specify how frequently they want ads to be shown in the widget.
What about the money?
Beyond the value delivered by the uniquely effective content recirculation too, CPMs of video ads shown in your CRS are generally much higher than for regular content recommendations.
So what are the best practices for CRS?
Glad you asked. Let me drop a list here for you.
- Images are good. Video is better.
Video is the most engaging format out there. Period. That of course means that your website content needs to have relevant videos connected to them. The vendor operating your widget will crawl in these videos (or snippets of them) to put together a video slideshow. Your widget will show short videos recommending each content item, occasionally interrupted by paid video ads.
- Up, up, up.
A well-placed CRS can increase time on site significantly, enabling visitors to engage with your original content, (and ads, of course). While content recommendation widgets are usually placed at the bottom of the article – recommendation slideshows can get a more elegant placement, in the middle or even above the copy.
- Quality first.
Users stay longer on sites that offer quality content that’s relevant to their interests. A slideshow leading them to pieces similar to the ones they checked out originally means a far better user experience.And if we are already talking about quality – let us just mention that video ads are usually significantly higher quality than their display cousins, with a higher production value, usually promoting known brands.
For publishers, video is not an if – but a when. Using a video widget to promote one’s own content is an additional and significant perk that will show up in engagement stats and on the revenue sheets. But there is yet another way to increase video ad CPMs dramatically – by working with multiple video vendors to ensure competitive bidding and high fill rates.