Why A Balanced Text & Video Relationship is Essential for Digital Publishers

Posted by Sarah Hughes on Jun 2, 2016 5:05:15 PM

Topics: Editorial Resources, Video Trends


Following the recent explosion of digital video in the news industry, many legacy publishers are just now starting to rebuild their newsrooms around the trend that has already become the norm. And for good reason - digital video is instantly gratifying in nature, creating a massive consumer demand. Video-focused newsrooms are overshadowing their competitors by bringing in big traffic and revenue numbers and appealing to audiences. But as more and more publishers jump on the digital video train, news sites that maintain their legacy roots may actually be the ones that rise above the competition. The key is an editorial content strategy that places an equal emphasis on visually dynamic video and well written text. 

We’ve broken down the ways that short-form video (<2 minutes) and long-form text (>1,000 words) work together on a news site to attract and maintain a loyal audience. By establishing a well-balanced content strategy, newsrooms will find a smoother transition into the current media landscape while still producing the same quality of journalism their reputation was built on.

Peak Interest & Make Them Feel: VIDEO

The brain processes video 60,000 times faster than text, making it the most effective at capturing attention. Audiences are also more likely to become emotionally attached to a video - visuals can easily evoke feelings, which significantly drive content engagement. A recent study by Newswhip revealed that Facebook videos were shared 7 times more than article links across 14 of the top performing publishers’ Facebook pages, even when links were posted twice as often.

This is why videos are so popular on social media platforms. Social audiences usually scan their newsfeeds in a browsing state of mind, and videos give them a way to quickly digest information without using too much cognitive muscle - which makes it easy to drive video traffic to your site from a social platform. But even once they’re on the site, videos are essential for holding (and keeping) your audience’s attention. That’s why short-form video is the perfect solution for attracting an unintended, passive, and general interest audience. They may not know exactly what they’re looking for, but if they connect with a news video on an emotional level, they’ll have more of a reason to stick around and interact with your site.

Want to carry your digital video strategy to victory? Download our publisher report!

Build Brand Loyalty & Make Them Think: TEXT

When audiences find articles that genuinely interest them, they’ll invest more time consuming that content and feel more invested in the publisher’s brand. Long-form content can create a meaningful experience for a visitor, increasing the chance that they’ll not only remember the site but also return in the future. 30% of Pew Research survey respondents claimed to have abandoned a news source that stopped bringing the same quality and depth of news as it had in the past. When a consumer seeks out information or chooses a story because a headline speaks to them, an in-depth article is the most effective way publishers can establish their value and credibility.

This type of editorial content will cater more to the goal-oriented, active, and specific interest audience. According to Web Psychologist Liraz Margalit, Ph.D., these types of readers are more active on the page, willing to use up cognitive resources, and likely to choose text over video. Because this audience tends to find their news directly from the source, they usually remain loyal to a few tried and true publishers, and will spend more time following links within their favorite site - and spend more time reading thought-provoking, long-form articles.


That perfect balance of text and video on your site provides audiences with a pathway into your brand’s offerings and builds a solid relationship that will keep them coming back. Our publisher partners are using text-to-video automation to produce high volumes of bite-sized videos that maintain their brand and editorial caliber, allowing them to allocate more time and resources to write long-form articles on investigative, opinion, and in-depth reporting. Without quality editorial writing, a news site becomes a traffic rest stop and will be instantly forgotten once news-hungry audiences are done snacking. Without video, audiences may not even notice your site at all.

Check out how our partner 10Best is using video to drive traffic to their site: