It isn’t a big secret that more and more organizations are turning up their video content production. MTV News, Fox Sports, and Mic are only a few of the numerousorganizations worldwide that have laid off employees to enhance their video teams and focus on “visual journalism.” But why have these companies—including Mashable and Fox’s rival in sports, ESPN—started shifting their production from written articles to video content?
Even as consumers show their displeasure for video-first strategies, video continues to prove its mettle as one of the best ways to become more competitive in a world dominated by Google (and YouTube) and Facebook. Compared to written articles, videos spread more quickly and are easier to consume, especially with the help of subtitles. In short, videos mean that viewers tend to bemore engaged—and high engagement is a statistic that advertisers and other business partners very much value.
Websites Can’t Live on Ads Alone
However, due to the spammy nature of ads during the early days of the Internet, people have become mistrustful of them, especially those that disrupt an otherwise peaceful browsing experience. Not to mention those nasty popups that come with even nastier viruses and malware. As a result, users turned to ad blockers to deal with this saturation of ads.
If you’re a regular consumer, ad blockers are awesome; not so much if you are a news network who has advertisers to please. The thing is, many of these websites that are only newly turning to the video-first strategy tend to rely heavily on ad revenues, which may not be sustainable due to consumer displeasure over ads. Thankfully, these sites have great alternatives that they can try instead: the freemium and subscription business models.
Using these two models, you can offer personalized experiences, and more importantly, more diverse content. This is where videos come in. Paying customers may be given access to a wider, more premium range of content, including full-length documentaries, exclusive video interviews, and more. If you’ve been constantly developing material that’s highly relevant and engaging to your user base, you will have an easier time convincing them to pay for a subscription.
Investing on a subscription billing software solution is ideal for these business models. This ensures that you are billing the correct amount on time and preventing failed payments, one of the primary causes of customer churn. These two factors, in turn, provide an overall smoother experience for both subscriber and business.
Video IsMore Snackable, More Shareable
If a picture is worth a thousand words, just imagine the value of one minute (or longer) of moving pictures. While Pew Research Center’s study indicates a higher preference for reading rather than watching news online, the fact remains that most people don’t have the time to read long-form articles.
Videos, on the other hand, can encapsulate a news story in one or two minutes. Because more adults also prefer to get their news via mobile devices, a video may be more palatable to view on a smaller screen compared to a written news article.
There are also several visual techniques you can use to make your videos more engaging. And if your audience is engaged, so are your potential advertisers. In fact, the videos themselves can become premium advertising spaces.
Finally, more people find it easier to share videos due to their highly visual nature. And if your subscribers are sharing paid content, this can also be an opportunity to entice potential subscribers by providing a high-quality snippet of the full content.
One thing about this generation is that it is a highly visual one. While it is true that the written word can also paint vivid pictures, a well-crafted video can bring a story to life instantly, and with more impact, too. A video grabs your attention from the beginning; a good video makes you watch until the end.
Another thing that video content solves is the fear of missing out or FOMO. With a video, your audience can receive all the latest updates as they happen. Features like Facebook Live has seen a lot of use from the media, since it also allows the audience to become more engaged — to become a part of the story rather than mere spectators.
Videos can also help spur people into action. Imagine the difference of reading about the destruction caused by a hurricane and seeing an on-the-ground video of a rescue team working tirelessly to aid the affected citizens. The video will have more impact, especially when shared by established credible sources.
As more and more people gain access to the Internet, through more affordable devices and faster connection speeds, online video news consumption will only continue to grow. It’s up to the various media outlets to adapt and use this trend to become more effective messengers.