educational

Expert Content Tips

Joanne Cachapero
Unless you're able to produce vast amounts of quality exclusive content in your basement rumpus room, licensed content is a mainstay on your member site.

In order to keep converting and retaining today's savvy surfers, webmasters are under constant pressure to update with fresh offerings and deliver with the newest technologies. Jonathan Silverstein, owner of TheContentStore.com and ContentBlowout.com, and Raffi Vartanian, owner of WorldWideContent.com, offer some simple tips on how to maximize your content dollar:

If you want to have content that sets you apart, budget accordingly.

"I have clients that specifically come to me and say, 'I want to buy the best content that I can buy and I'm willing to pay top dollar for it because it separates me in the marketplace,'" Silverstein says. "So at the ContentStore.com, I work with some top-name studios where the content features all well-known stars, because it's the type of content that retains."

Vartanian believes that as long as content is fresh, it should be offered as exclusive. "Always upload new content to the members areas to make it seem like it's exclusive, because not everybody has seen the content out there and there are a lot of videos that have hardly been on the Internet," he says. "I have a lot of producers that come on board with us; they have videos from 2001, but they've never done business on the Internet. To me, that's new, fresh content even though it was produced in 2002 and 2001."

Even if the models on your website are skinny, make sure the site itself is fat.

Aside from exclusive product, webmasters need to round out their offerings with something for everyone.

"Some like photos because they like to keep them as screen savers, they like to print them out and put them on the wall," Vartanian says. "Some people like to just watch video; especially if you have great technology and a great delivery mechanism, video is the way to go. You have to provide streaming feeds, channels, because every consumer has different likes and dislikes."

Other features that encourage retention are live monthly events, member bonuses, live chats and a variety of content.

"Just because they're coming for an anal site doesn't mean that they still don't want blowjob content or big tit content or teen content," Silverstein explains. "So giving them other reasons to stay is a wise way to operate your business."

Provide content with the newest formatting technologies.

With broadband becoming more and more globally accessible and improvements in PC capabilities, technologies for delivering content are developing to give the adult consumers what they want — easier and faster. Flash formatting is the latest on the list of bells and whistles.

"Flash is one of the most prevalent formats that can be viewed by the most amount of surfers online, in my opinion," Silverstein says. "And it's also one of those formats that you can use to best protect your content. Some surfers come into sites and they just download everything and then cancel. But if you display your content in Flash, that's not going to happen."

Deal with a reputable content provider that offers comprehensive customer service.

"Customer service is a big thing because even though they're webmasters and they're the owners of websites, sometimes they're not too familiar with the content business," Vartanian says. "They might be knowledgeable about traffic but not as knowledgeable with content. We provide free consulting for our clients and help meet their needs with the budget they have to put a package together."

Silverstein suggests doing a little research before choosing where to spend content dollars. "One of the best ways to do that is to ask for references," he says. "Another way to do that is to watch the boards and take advantage of other media outlets, like XBIZ World, and see who's getting press and who's well known in the industry. That doesn't always ensure that it's going to be smooth sailing, but it hedges your bet that you're going to be dealing with a reputable company."

Start looking ahead toward mobile technologies.

"I work with various mobile companies, and it's a rapidly growing market," Silverstein says. "At this stage in the game, the mobile opportunities are where the web was in 1998-99. But it's a tough market to crack, because it's mostly an international market right now and domestically, the carriers aren't allowing for billing through cellphones. However, as it starts growing within the U.S., I think webmasters should certainly entertain the idea of getting involved."

DVD vs. streaming, or both?

While streaming content can be costly, it has mass appeal in terms of always having something new to offer. DVD licenses are another option, over costs and content.

"A lot of webmasters don't want to spend the thousands of dollars a month they spend on feeds," Silverstein says, referring specifically to TheContentStore.com, which specializes in DVD licenses. "With DVD licenses, either we can encode them in the formats they prefer, at the speeds they desire to show their members, or we can ship those DVDs and the webmasters do the encoding themselves, retaining even tighter control. They can do the screen grabs on their own and do it in multiple formats, on their time."

Vartanian's WorldWideContent.com offers a variety of streaming content enhanced with new IPTV technology.

"Instead of cutting up content into scenes and clips and having multiple links, webmasters should look into newer ways of delivering content, which includes streaming and IPTV technology," Vartanian says. "The entire full video can instantly play without having to click on the next clip and the next link."

Vartanian adds that every webmaster should make content access convenient and guard the level of quality with their lives.

"Sometimes quantity is not as important as quality," he says.

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