How To Make News Videos Using Rocketium

There are several types of videos that you can make if you are a digital journalist or an online publisher. In this article, I will explain how you can make news videos using Rocketium.

How To Make News Videos – STORIES

STEP 1: Login to your Rocketium account

If you don’t have an account, you can create one by signing up via email, Facebook or Google. Once you are logged in, head over to the Editor.

STEP 2: Add Content

Click on “Notes” to open up the Notes panel. You can use this to jot down the points you are planning to include in the video. You can also use this to prepare a video script. This is quite handy if you want to refer multiple sources when you make news videos.

add notes when you make news videos

The Notes panel can also be used to import text and media from any URL. After you import the URL, you can select the desired text and add them to different scenes easily.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

STEP 3: Add Media

Once your video script is ready, you can start adding media files. You can either upload your own images or video clips, or you can look for relevant files from Rocketium’s collection of over 1M royalty free media. This collection can be very useful, especially when you make news videos.

add media files when you make news videos

Pro tip: Uploading/selecting multiple media files, automatically adds them to different scenes.

You can optionally add a voice over to each scene by clicking on the voiceover icon. You can either upload a mp3 file or record using the microphone of your device.

add voiceover when you make videos

STEP 4: Style your video

After you have finalised the content of your video, hit Continue in the top right to move to the Preview screen of the Editor.

Protip: Let the last scene of your video be an outro with a CTA. For example, if you wish to show this video to your social media audience, you can add a CTA along the lines of “Subscribe for more” or “Like and Share this video”

In the Preview screen of the Editor, you will find lots of styling options on the left panel. The first option is to select a built-in theme. Before you select a theme, make sure you preview it to see if it goes well with the content of the video.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

You have the freedom to customise some elements of the theme like background music, caption color, caption position, font, borders, animations, etc. You can also preview your video at any time by clicking play in the Preview pane.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

More customising options can be unlocked by subscribing to one of the plans. You can check them out here.

STEP 5: Finish

Once you have finalised the video, click on Finish and this window will pop up. Set a title, add some tags to categorise your videos better and hit Done.

finalising the news video

Note: If you wish to save the settings you have selected for this current video, you can check Save as Theme, and you will find this as a user created theme in the Theme panel, the next time you open the Editor.

STEP 6: Share

You can share your videos on different social media channels like Facebook (personal profile, pages you admin and the Ad Library), Twitter, YouTube and Brightcove directly. Make sure to link your social media handles with Rocketium.

share your news videos directly


BONUS READ: Using the Translate feature.

You can instantly translate your videos into 100+ languages with one click. This is especially helpful if you are planning to target a specific audience by showing them video ads in their language.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

In the example above, I translated the existing video from English to Arabic. Now I can use both the videos to target audience from different locations and run experiments to see which location ads give me the best metrics.

If you haven’t created a Rocketium account yet, visit here!

How to Get More Views on Your Breaking News Video

After setting up a news videos platform, the next challenge for digital journalists and online publishers is getting more traffic and views to their breaking news video.

Off-site news videos consumption is growing faster by the day.Many publishers’ news videos had 75–100 million views on social media, far more than they could ever have expected using their own websites!

Here are some noteworthy points that will help you boost your video metrics on social media:

SOCIAL MEDIA

A report compiled by Hootsuite and We Are Social showed that there are 3.028 billion active social media users around the world as of August, 2017. That means ~40 % of the global population is using social media.

If you want to look for an audience for your breaking news video, it is out there on social media.

About 67% of American adults rely on social media platforms for news. In the United Kingdom this number has gone up from 16% in 2014 to 22% in 2017. In Spain it has increased slightly faster, from 17% to 27%.

Across countries, large demographic divides in how often people use the internet and social media for news

What topics work well on Social Media?

Judith Argila, a Journalism Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, conducted content analysis of the 134 most successful social media breaking news videos in February 2017. Here are her findings:

  • Politics (24%) and Lifestyle & Celebrities (22%) were the topics that featured most highly
  • Health and Education were at 17% followed by,
  • Business (11%),
  • Art & Culture (7%),
  • Environment, Crime & Security, Science & Tech, and Sport at the bottom of the table at 2%

Texted short videos, i.e. less than 2 minutes where text narration is used over a sequence of images/video clips, without a voice narration, is the most successful type of video in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Are there any good practices for posting videos on Social Media?

A few factors that influence a user to watch videos are:

  • Video title,
  • Thumbnail of the video,
  • Duration,
  • Brand name

Select your video title wisely, because it should relate to the content of your video. Putting up click-bait video titles and thumbnails may result in users reporting your videos for misinformation. Make short videos (upto 2 minutes). This is a study on how long your videos should be by Wistisa:

video length small for breaking news video
Wistia’s report on the optimum video length

Every video on social media has dedicated space for a description. You should use this space to put up links of detailed news pieces from your own news platform, related to the video.

link your breaking news video to your social media posts like bbc
See how BBC links an article from their own website in the description
  • The average number of mobile YouTube video views per day is 1,000,000,000.
  • 73.7% of Facebook users worldwide accessed Facebook via mobile in 2017.

You cannot ignore the fact that in the coming years, the number of users who access social media on their phones is going to increase. Your videos need to be in an orientation which looks the best on mobile phones and on a desktop. You can make videos in 3 different orientations: landscape, square and portrait.

[Tweet “Square videos tend to do the best on mobile screens and desktop. “]

Here is a guide that’ll help you make square videos better

Also, if you are going to link your news platform to the breaking news video you’re uploading, then you need to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile phones. If not, the precious clicks you have received will not yield any results because the next button they’re clicking is BACK.

How do I know things are going well?

The most common metric you can use to measure the success of a video is video views. But a serious problem arises when you compare audiences across different social media platforms, because every platform has their own definition of a “viewed video”.

The definition of a viewed video involves factors such as how many seconds of the video have been watched, whether the user clicked play or the video autoplayed, or what percentage of the video player was visible in the user’s screen at the moment of watching.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your news platform, then the number of views or the amount of minutes your video has been viewed goes to the backseat. The number of clicks on the links is the primary metric you need to track.

What Social Media Platforms Are Good to Promote Your Breaking News Video?

Facebook

Facebook gets over 8 billion average daily video views with 500 million people watching 100 million hours of Facebook videos every day.

Videos on FB receive 135% more organic reach on average than an image. Videos earn the highest engagement rate, despite making up only 3% of content. This means your breaking news video will have a higher chance of reaching to a larger audience in lesser time when you compare other video platforms.

YouTube

YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users from over 90 countries who watch 1 billion hours of video content everyday (Source: Expanded Ramblings)

It is the world’s second largest search engine. Among millennials, YouTube accounts for two-thirds of the premium online video views across devices. If you are publishing a breaking news video that appeals to the 18+ age group, YouTube is a wonderful platform to experiment with.

Here is a wonderful infographic created by our friends over at Vlogging Guides. It has a lot of statistics that highlight the importance of YouTube as as a platform to get more views for your videos. Do check it out!

Snapchat

178 million daily active users watch 10 billion videos daily on Snapchat. Between Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, Snapchat was the most preferred social network among teenagers in the United States.

Snapchat video ads capture over 2X visual attention than Facebook video ads, over 1.5X than Instagram, and 1.3X than YouTube. Snapchat video ads receive 5X more swipe up rate than average CTR on comparable platforms.

Instagram

Instagram has 800 million monthly active users, and 500 million daily active users. Search interest is 3X higher for Instagram stories than for Snapchat stories, and brands post 2X as many Instagram Stories than Snapchat stories.

Sponsored Instagram videos garner 3X as many comments than sponsored Instagram photos.

90 percent of Instagram users are younger than 35. Once again, this is a great platform if your breaking news video targets a younger audience.

Twitter

With more than 40 languages supported, Twitter has 330 million monthly active users (MAUs).

74% of Twitter users say they use the network to get their news. Tweets with videos are 6 times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with photos, and 3 times more likely to be retweeted than tweets with GIFs.

Reddit

Reddit has 8 billion monthly page views with 542 million monthly users browsing more than 850,000 subreddits from 217 countries.

58% of Reddit users are between the ages of 18-29.


Rocketium makes it extremely easy to create a breaking news video within a few minutes. Do check it out.

What is a Successful Video Strategy For My News Platform?

Whether you are setting up a News Platform or running an existing one, you cannot NOT include videos. Quite often digital journalists and online publishers get side tracked while constructing a successful video strategy. Here are a few that you can experiment with.

1. WOO YOUR AUDIENCE WITH INTRO VIDEOS

Consider adding short videos (upto 1 minute) in the first fold of your news articles. This way the first thing a user will do as soon as he opens your article link on your news platform, is clicking the play button.

What should be the content of the video?

The video content can vary with the news articles. For lengthy pieces, you can make a short video summary of the article. If your article contains lists (like, Here are 7 new breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence from 2017) then your video can contain the topics of these list items. Once the user sees the video, he can scroll down and read the list items in detail.

Fox News has a similar strategy. Most of the videos they use in their articles are news clippings from their own live segments.

How do videos actually help my news platform?


A detailed explanation of these points can be found here.

How do I evaluate if this strategy works?

You can start with linking your platform with Google Analytics or an alternate analysis tool. If you have an internal system set up that tracks these metrics, then it becomes even easier.

The metrics you can keep an eye on:

  1. Average Session Time: This tells you how much time a user spends on your website on an average. Including videos boosts this metric directly. This is because your audience spends more time watching the video you’ve put up than they would in a non-video article.
  2. Bounce Rate: This tell you the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.

Pro-tip: To improve this metric, include elements like “Recommended Articles” or “Similar Articles” or “You may also like” which contain 2-3 relevant news pieces, at the end or in between the current article a user is reading.

2. SHARE VIDEOS ON SOCIAL MEDIA

[Tweet “Off-site news videos consumption is growing faster by the day. “]

Many publishers’ videos had 75–100 million views on social media, far more than they could ever have expected using their own websites!

When you share the video, make sure to include the link of your article in the description of the video. This is a good way to direct more traffic to your own website from social media. This way only viewers who are interested in the video and want to know more will click on the link. This guarantees that they will spend more time on your website, read more relevant articles and the chances of them signing up for your newsletter will be higher.

What should be the content of these videos?

You can repurpose the articles you are including in your articles. This way you will save time on video production and the visitors who have come to your news platform after watching a particular video will relate better to the article if they see the same video as the intro.

Experimenting with a set of videos is also a bold choice. You can then experiment with which video to be included in the article and which video to be shared on social media. Since this has not been explored more, it can prove to be a dark horse and you can be the first one to share a success story!

To whom do I show these videos?

the right audience for your news platform
Choosing the right audience is very important!

Just posting on your official social media handles is not enough, especially if you have only a handful of followers. Create a list of groups, forums, discussion channels, communities and platforms. Keep updating the list as and when you come across places where there is a discussion on the topics relevant to the articles you write about on your platform.

For example, if you have a category of Tech News where you frequently put up latest trends, you can find a slack community that discusses latest tech trends and choose to share your videos with the members.

What tools can help me here?

Buffer is an amazing service that lets you schedule posts on various social media channels. It also gives you analytics of your published posts.

buffer

Rocketium is an online platform that enables journalists to make text based, Buzzfeed style videos for social media. It comes loaded with features. Here is an example of a video you can make using Rocketium:

3. INCLUDE VIDEO LINKS IN NEWSLETTERS

Newsletters are the best way to keep your subscribers engaged and maintain a stable source of traffic for your news platform. Due to spam and security reasons, video is not supported in email across some major email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo. The last thing you want is your emails ending up in your subscribers’ spam folders.

Instead, you can include an image (which should be the thumbnail of your video) to the email and add a “play” icon on the image, and then hyperlink it to your news article. Once the user is redirected to your article, make sure the video you have included has the same image as the thumbnail, and it plays automatically. This creates a continuous flow for the user, without him having to click play.

videos in news letters
Ezra Fishman from Wistia, explains this wonderfully here.

What tools can I use?

You can use PopupMaker to prompt your visitors to sign up for your newsletters. Once you start getting a list of email ids, you can use Campaign Monitor to send scheduled newsletters to your subscribers.

Great! So, what’s my next step?

Select a strategy to implement (or all!), create a timeline and define the goals for each strategy, subscribe to the tools you need, and start making videos ASAP!

Why Digital Journalists Need to Make More News Videos

The development of the World Wide Web has completely transformed the publishing landscape for news videos online.

Increased Reach

As of August 2017, 18 news websites witnessed more than 32,000,000 unique monthly visitors. CNN topped the charts with 112,000,000 unique monthly visitors. (Source: Statista). 

It is no surprise that audiences are continuing to turn to digital sources for their news.

To understand the rate at which this shift is happening, you can compare the previous two US Presidential Elections. In 2016, about two-thirds of U.S. adults (65%) said they learned about the election from digital sources. Whereas in 2012, a mere 17% of U.S. adults said that they relied on digital platforms for campaign related news.

As a journalist, you need to make a presence in your audience’s social media feed, mobile apps, podcasts and even email newsletters. But this is not enough. You also need to make sure the news presented in a way that achieves 3 things:

  • Can be consumed quickly and with minimum effort
  • Create a lasting impression on your audience
  • Make the audience rely on you as their ultimate news source

News videos are the only media format that ticks these requirements. Off-site news videos consumption is growing faster by the day. Many publishers’ videos had 75–100 million views on social media, far more than they could ever have expected using their own websites!

Faster Production

Digital publishing has reduced the time it takes for journalists and newspapers to create and deliver the news.

With on-board cameras, apps and simple editing software available in abundance, the barriers to entry for content creation have lowered. At the same time, bandwidth has become cheaper with the cost of mobile data plans falling in many countries. This has enabled faster sharing of media among news production houses.

Today, eyewitnesses can pull out their phones, record news video clips, take pictures and share them on social media even before journalists make it to the scene. This is one of the reasons why crowdsource news platforms like Blasting News are gaining traction really quickly on social media.

BONUS READ: The ultimate video strategy guide for News/Media industry

New Sources

Due to easier access to news videos via social media and other platforms, digital journalists must also focus on delivering content faster than others.

In 2016, the internet was used by 73 percent of the U.S. population as a source of news. The emergence of self-publishing platforms like Wordpress has reduced the barrier and cost of publishing to virtually nothing. This has resulted in an increase in the number of news platforms, blogs, groups and pages on social media.

Pew Research Center studied the digital footprint of websites that were “born on the web” and figured out that they received a minimum of 10 million unique visitors on average during the fourth quarter of 2015.

How do your news videos stand out from the rest?

Once again, all fingers point to news videos. Consider making videos that tend to be short (< 90 seconds), have no sound but have textual content on them, focus on soft news, and have a strong emotional element.

Check out this video made by Fusion:

Text-based videos tend to work better than any other type of videos, on social media. These videos are also faster to make with tools like Rocketium. By reducing the time you spend to make one video, you can increase the number of videos you produce in a day.

news videos - text based
Source: Digital News Report

Video creation platforms also allow publishers to create custom content for each social platform, often delivering a better user experience for their audience.

You need to look for an emotional angle to drive the narrative of your video because on social media, sharing and liking means it is more likely to be picked up by the platform’s algorithm.

This raises questions about whether this trend of social videos with emotional slants may ultimately change the nature of news itself. 

One crucial thing to remember is that journalism is different from running a newspaper. Today, we consume news produced by the professional, the pro-am, or the random passer-by who happens to be at the right place at the right time with a smart phone. The format, delivery and ultimately, consumption of news has always changed (and will continue to do so) with technological changes and innovations.