Why Newsrooms Need to Rock the Vote with Social Video… and Our New Election Theme

Posted by Sarah Hughes on Aug 3, 2016 4:41:49 AM

Topics: Product Updates, Video Trends


The presidential election season has always been an important time for U.S. newsrooms. But this year, and particularly these next few months, it's never been more important. Journalists must find ways to reach the entire U.S. voting population with ongoing, up-to-date campaign coverage so that citizens are as informed as possible come November. In order to help publishers fulfill this responsibility, a new Wibbitz Theme has been added to our automated video creation platform.

Created to enhance any of our video types including List and Caption, the new U.S. Election Theme is the quickest way to package breaking election coverage into ready-made, attention-grabbing videos that automatically fit in with a publisher’s brand. Its starry graphics and transitions will give audiences a clear indication of what to expect, so they can quickly find out the latest election-specific news - wherever they are.

Regardless of how a publisher prefers to package it, video coverage optimized for social platforms is critical to the 2016 U.S. election. Without it, journalists risk falling short of the following important responsibilities, and in turn may be risking an uninformed public.

Go where the conversation is...

According to our Q1 report, 23% of millennial-aged respondents prefered to seek out news on social media more than any other news source. A recent Pew Report has seen this number spike in the last few months, with 35% of millennials naming social media as the most useful source for 2016 election coverage specifically. On social feeds, the conversation surrounding each story is the story - and as November gets closer, the conversation will become increasingly political. It’s critical that publishers can both lead and respond to trending election topics so that political junkies and their followers are given adequate context. The best way to join the conversation in the first place? Follow the likes of Facebook with a video-first strategy, and adhere to the native video types that work best on each platform.

...As soon as it happens.

Political editors from major political news sites like Bloomberg and Mashable can attest to the efficiency of social video for turning around “newsworthy, mic-drop live TV moments as fast as humanly possible.” Juana Summers at Mashable points out that “debates are soundbite-driven events” - and Bloomberg’s John Geddes has found that by capturing these soundbites into a visually appealing video summary and “dividing and conquering on social,” publishers can better “illustrate the larger story” to readers.

Want to learn more about developing an engaging social media strategy? Download our guide! 

Wibbitz's partnership with Reuters gives publishers access to its entire media library, and allows for an even quicker turnaround of breaking news coverage. As soon as a topic is debated or a speech is said, there’s a video clip in the Control Room waiting to be packaged into a caption-ready video. Check out how Alternet packaged our platform’s ready-made video using the Caption Video and Election Theme. This video is perfect for reaching millennial users on social platforms and mobile screens - those that will ultimately have the greatest impact on election results.

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Repackage existing content your audience may have missed...

Now that everyone’s paying attention, it’s a good time to bring back any relevant stories that can help voters form and finalize their decision. The digital and politics departments at New Hampshire Public Radio repackages and redistributes existing assets on their social account to highlight “prior reporting we may have done explaining issues and talking points… or even lighter content that shows a different side of a candidate’s pitch... to provide context during live events.” With the help of Caption Video, publishers can ensure that their audiences never miss a beat. And by packaging videos with the U.S. Election Theme, publishers can give new context to existing stories from their archives (or those created by our in-house Newsroom).

… But don’t let them miss it this time.

Video gives publishers a way to communicate drier, heavier, and more serious topics in a way that still appeals to audiences. By using a similar type for each video that is specific to the election, like AZ Central’s Election Theme video below, these stories will stand out amongst the crowded news space. Those that would not usually be reading into a presidential candidate’s platform will have more incentive to learn about it, and those seeking out election coverage will know how to find it. Whether or not they want to pay attention, the upcoming presidential election will have a massive impact on citizens of the U.S. and abroad. It’s up to journalists and editorial teams to make sure everyone is as informed as possible. And in the current digital landscape, Caption Video is the best way to reach, well, everyone.

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