We tend to talk a lot about our one-of-a-kind auto-magic video platform: how it builds audience engagement, increases monetization, and solves publishers’ evolving challenges as video demand continues to grow. But on the other side of our platform is an equally important aspect of Wibbitz that we’d like to introduce: the Wibbitz Editors.
Our in-house editorial team consists of 10 dedicated editors (and counting) that are spread between our NYC and Tel Aviv offices. Our editors work directly within our automated Control Room platform to create daily Top Story videos for our publishing partners. We sat down with chief editors Uri and Sarit to talk about their daily video creation process, and to find out which best practices our team of video experts follow to create the perfect video for any story.
Tell us a little bit about the Wibbitz editorial team.
Uri: Before the Wibbitz Control Room platform was officially open to publishers last year, we launched a proof of concept mobile app for news consumers to see how audiences reacted to our automatically created videos. We brought on a team of editors to create hundreds of news videos for the app. We did this to develop a strong understanding of how editorial teams would use Wibbitz and to provide feedback as the platform quickly evolved.
Since the success of our mobile news app, we’ve put our platform into the hands of top publishing partners. Our editorial team still creates daily Top Story videos that cover the world’s breaking and trending news, and their experience with the platform has lead them to become a valuable knowledge source for best Wibbitz video practices.
Sarit: I also work with our voice over narration artists and provide them with publisher feedback on a daily basis. Our network of voice over professionals are based all over the world, so with one click in the Control Room, Wibbitz users can produce video with a human voice over in almost 20 languages.
What are Top Stories and how are they helpful for publishers?
Uri: The primary focus of our editorial team is to create Top Story videos that cover the most interesting and important news happening each day. Any of our publishing partners can quickly rebrand these videos to feature their own logo and colors, and publish them directly to their site. Our partners like AOL, Alternet, and NextPlz are regularly taking advantage of our rebranding option, and we’ve seen the number of rebranded Top Stories double on a weekly basis since we launched the rebranding feature about a month ago.
Sarit: We see the most activity with rebranding Top Story videos whenever a major event occurs - recently, we’ve seen a lot of traction from breaking political coverage about the U.S. presidential race. It’s very helpful for our publishers to be able to publish a video to their site or social platforms as soon as news breaks, so now they can almost instantly by using one of the Top Story videos we create. It’s also been interesting to see that publishers of all different sizes find the Top Story rebranding option useful.
How does the team decide which stories to cover?
Uri: Our editors meet three times a day to discuss and plan our editorial agenda. Each of our Content Analysts bring 5-10 story suggestions to every meeting, and together we decide which stories are most important, and how they should be treated. We base our decision on a number of things: which will get the most views, which would be shared on social, which types of stories have worked best in the past, etc. We look at data from previous video performance, but a large part of our decision is intuitive. Journalism is not just dependent on data and numbers, it involves some type of global understanding of what is interesting and important to an audience.
"Journalism is not just dependent on data and numbers, it involves some type of global understanding of what is interesting and important to an audience."
How do you decide which Wibbitz video type to use for each story?
Sarit: We choose which video type would work best by evaluating the topic and complexity of the story. If it’s more complicated it needs narration, so we’ll use the Voiceover Video. If it’s a list, then it’s an easy choice for the List Video. We’ll use the Square Social Video for stories that are simpler and work well on social media newsfeeds. We try to create videos that cater to all types of audiences by using a variety of topics and formats so that each of our publishers are able to benefit from our platform’s Top Stories. By thinking of a new angle for each story and choosing the video format that fits best, we can provide Wibbitz partners with unique and fresh video content each day.
Do you have any advice for editorial teams looking to create the most value with video on their sites?
Uri: Make sure you understand your audience. When they come to your site, what are they looking for? If they’re curious about a specific topic or looking to learn something new, your video content should be more detailed and use narration. If they want to be entertained, use a social-friendly type with lots of visuals and soundbites. If they expect your site to deliver more hard-hitting news, then give them the news right away using simple text overlays and raw footage.
Sarit: Also think about what will attract the user. The headline and cover image you choose is just as important as the rest of your video. And for those already on board the Wibbitz platform, the best way to discover how to make top-performing videos is to just keep creating them. Our Control Room features a big selection of media and formatting capabilities, and there are lots of options to choose from within each video type. Make sure to experiment with all of the options so you can truly understand how to treat each video topic.
Favorite part about using the Wibbitz platform?
Uri: We have a very unique platform that provides media, sound and graphics options similar to the capabilities of advanced video editing tools, but is still very easy for anyone to use.
Sarit: It takes about 10 minutes to create a single video with visuals, sound, and text overlays that would otherwise take hours - with a massive collection of media and raw footage at your fingertips. We can take the time to investigate stories and be creative, but still create many videos each day. It’s auto-magic!