You’ll see us doing more and more video content than we’ve ever done before because if you’re talking about reaching a younger, diverse audience, you’ve got to be talking about video.
As the world’s largest LGBTQ-owned and run media network, Q.Digital operates four digital brands covering news & politics at LGBTQNation.com, culture & entertainment at Queerty. com, travel & adventure at GayCities.com, and queer culture & identity at IntoMore.com. Across their network of sites and social media, the LGBTQ publisher reaches 9.5 million people each month. With that kind of unique range reaching a highly valued audience, Q.Digital is at the forefront of new media strategies. With an estimated $3.7 trillion purchasing power among the LGBTQ+ community, Q.Digital works with major brands and partners to create sponsored content, including unique video programming to actively engage with the audience.
“We’ve been using video for 6 or 7 years in one way or another,” Scott Gatz, Founder & CEO of Q.Digital said. Queerty TV serves as the dedicated landing page and umbrella brand for Q.Digital’s self-published video content. With their owned-and-operated websites driving traffic to their original video programming, Q.Digital is able to reach millions of video views per month. A travel video series features road trips, sponsored content, and interviews, while their newest video series, That’s Our Sally, features drag superstar Trixi Mattel playing different characters in crazy-but-insightful scenarios each episode.
While publishing videos for several years on both their owned properties and also social media, Q.Digital has continually looked for ways to optimize and improve ad revenue. “As a smaller publisher, we’re a lot more thoughtful and careful with our video production; we’re not just spitting out lots of videos. We want to make sure the videos we do create have a return on their investment,” Gatz said.
Like other industry-specific, niche publishers, it’s important to generate audience attention year-round beyond the seasonality. Luckily, for Q.Digital, their brand partners and sponsors show up beyond the typical LGBTQ pride month festivals and marketing season (typically in June).
“The reality of the ad market for LGBTQ consumers,” Gatz says, is that “ there is much more demand in June so rates go up, your fill goes up, all that great stuff. Luckily, we have advertisers that’ve been in the market with us non-stop and while they’ll be a big part of Pride season too, they’ve been in the market so long, they have the chance for their brand to be recognized, to build a relationship with consumers—as opposed to advertisers that pop in and pop out.”
To extend the life of their video content beyond pride month, Q.Digital focuses on long-term partnerships and a video strategy that optimizes video views and ad impressions. By enabling autoplay and a highly visible sidebar location for their video playlists, Q.Digital has increased their views by nearly 11,000%—getting over 2 million video views/month compared to their previous video strategy. While a dedicated video landing page serves as a useful repository for all their content, putting video widgets across all their pages has allowed them to increase views and ad impressions even more.
“The biggest thing we did to improve viewability was to embed a player on every single page of our sites using JW Player. Now that it’s in the sidebar and sticks to the bottom right, that’s been immensely popular with advertisers,” Gatz said.
From April to May 2021, Q.Digital has already doubled their number of video plays & ad impressions, and with new video content forthcoming during Pride month, the LGBTQ publisher is on a growth trajectory—a dramatic increase compared to their 2020 averages.
“We’re doing more to make sure the video we already have is more discoverable. Because the more the people that consume our video content, the more pre-roll and mid-roll ads can happen. And that’s where the advertisers want to be,” Gatz said.
As a small publisher, being able to reuse and repurpose video content from their social media live streams (via Instagram) and celebrity interviews, they’ve been able to build up a collection of new video content. With an increased content library, they’re able to also use a recommendations engine to build new playlists automatically.
By optimizing their video placement across their web properties and using features such as autoplay and a recommendations playlist, Q.Digital has increased their video viewership and ad impressions. Since enabling a sidebar widget in early 2021, Q.Digital saw a 10,976.47% increase in plays per month compared to their 2020 average, as well as a 25,791.26% increase in ad impressions. From April to May 2021, Q.Digital has already doubled their number of plays & impressions, and with new original video content coming up, the LGBTQ publisher is prepared to grow their video success beyond the seasonal attention received typically during Pride month.