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Long-tail Video Content and The Style With Which The Giants Play Baseball

by Jay Durgan

Fans of baseball are familiar with all of the traditional elements of the game they love: the crack of the bat, the smell of roasted peanuts in the stands, the windup delivery of pitchers attempting to fool the opposing batter, and so on.

One thing that baseball fans and marketers may not be so familiar with is what baseball has in common with video marketing, especially long tail video content. Long tail video content refers to a strategy of creating videos that may not be extraordinarily popular with the mainstream, but will be very effective at appealing to certain groups with particular interests.

Many business strategists believe that the combined share of the long tail market may be worth more than the traditional mainstream market, including Chris Anderson, who coined the term “long tail” and wrote a book about how long tail selling is the future of business.

The San Francisco Giants and Small Ball

What does any of this have to do with baseball? To answer this question, we have to look at one team in particular, the San Francisco Giants. The Giants have been one of the most successful teams in baseball recently, with two World Series championships and three NL pennants in the past five years. Much of their success is owed to an approach to the game known as small ball.

Small ball eschews the monster home run shots that marked the style of the most prominent hitters in the late 1990s. Instead, small ball is an attempt to chip away at the other team, scoring runs here and there with techniques like bunts, sacrifice fly balls, and stolen bases.

Writer Mark ONeill explains more about the Giants’ small ball approach, using the example of Game Four of this year’s National League Championship Series. After a double in the bottom of the first inning, the Giants hit nine straight singles and drew six walks. They ended up coming back to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, who had a 4-1 lead halfway through the third inning. ONeill also points out that the Giants have hit only two home runs in the entire postseason.

The Connection With Long Tail Video Content

The link between long tail video content and small ball is that neither style attempts to secure long-term success with one or two massive victories. Like batters who wait to draw walks from pitchers or go for blooper singles into the outfield, long tail video is not always glamorous or heroic. It is, however, effective. Prashant Kaw at HubSpot writes about how companies like Amazon have found tremendous success focusing on the long tail; Amazon sells smaller quantities of thousands of items, instead of focusing on just a few items and trying to sell as much as possible.

So the next time you are thinking about how you can make the perfect video that appeals to everyone, remember how the San Francisco Giants play baseball. Instead of trying to knock it out of the park with a single video, you can win in marketing through steady success with videos that are very attractive to people with interests in a variety of smaller fields.

 Image Credit SD Dirk via Flickr

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