Wibbitz's in-house editorial team creates daily Top Story news videos using our text-to-video Control Room platform. In her guest post, Wibbitz Editor Tamara guides us through her process of choosing the best type of video for each news story.
When creating videos for a multi-platform news audience, sticking to one standard format is no longer a viable option. The video type you choose will determine how to treat the rest of your news story, and how it will perform on your intended platform - so it should always be your first decision made in the video creation process. The Wibbitz Control Room offers three different video types to choose from: Voiceover, Caption, and List. Each video type has its own distinctive features that work best for different types of stories. If you are not quite sure which to choose, the following insights will help you understand which option works best for each story - according to which audiences you want to reach, and how you want your story to be told.
Before choosing between video types, there are a few questions that need to be answered:
1) Who is going to watch my video?
2) How many details should be included for viewers to fully understand the story?
Our team has developed a great way to quickly answer these two questions - and choose between the three video types - by associating each story with an audience persona: “Passive”, “Curious” or “Involved”. Of course, for many news stories, you will want to reach more than one of these three audience personas. If that’s the case, you can and should approach the story from a few different angles by creating two or three different video versions. But once you determine which of these audiences your news story caters to, it's much easier to decide which type(s) will work best for your video.
The “passive” viewer is not necessarily seeking out news - so when they do decide to check out a story, they want it to be conveyed in the most concise, direct, and simple way possible. A List video is a great way to summarize news stories into the most essential takeaways, so these types of audiences can quickly digest the information as they browse the web.
The List type is the best way to approach a news story when when the media is more important than the text. If there is raw footage available from a natural disaster, awards show, or any major event, the “passive” viewer is more interested in watching the actual footage than reading about it - so a List video is a great option for more media exposure. The best List Videos use as little text and are as short as possible - so try to keep the number of list items between 5-10.
Here's an example of a great Top 5 List video:
And here's an example of how a List video can be used to display raw footage:
The “curious” viewer is typically found on social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While they may not be browsing their feed for the sole purpose of news consumption, they will watch a video when it piques their interest. This audience tends to prefer softer news stories that can be presented without a need for analysis or too many details. For this audience, Captions Videos are the way to go.
Captions Videos are great for packaging social-friendly news categories like Entertainment, Sports, and Technology. When creating a video for “curious” social audiences, keep in mind that many will be scrolling through their phones. The best way to capture their attention? Take advantage of our Control Room’s dynamic text overlay and highlighting options available for Captions Videos - especially in the first few seconds - like in this Top Story example:
The “involved” viewer can be compared to (and may very well be) someone that subscribes to the New York Times. This type of audience is willing to spend more time learning about the news, and will gravitate toward more in-depth and complex stories with which they can become emotionally involved. Voiceover Videos are perfect for this type of audience, because they allow for more detail-heavy stories without losing the attention of the viewer.
Voiceover Videos are usually not found on social feeds, since those audiences rarely have their sound turned on. These types of videos fit in much better on a publisher's site, especially when they're covering more hard-hitting Politics, Business, or World News stories. Packaging these types of stories into a Voiceover Video is a great way to make otherwise dull or complex stories more interesting. Just make sure that your voice over's tone matches the story (you can specify preferred tone when you request a human voice over in our Control Room), and that you populate your video with as many video clips as possible to create the perfect Voiceover Video package. Check out this Top Story Voiceover Video I created with these tips in mind: