Why Video and UGC are Marketing Wins

If you aren’t with the times already, where have you been? The way we communicate is becoming more visual. With so many distractions in life, it’s much easier to get the gist of something by watching a video.

According to Wyzowl, only 10 percent of people remember what they hear. Throw into the mix that 80 percent remember what they see and do, and you have a strong argument for the power of visual communication.

Let’s not forget that YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the web. As a company, if you’re not already communicating through video, you should be. And if you include user-generated content (UGC) into your marketing collateral, you’re well on your way to engaging moving pictures.  

So, join us as we look at why all brands should be creating video marketing campaigns with the help of UGC.

What is UGC?

UGC is one of the most popular marketing methods and utilises visuals taken by real people. Audiences are tired of seeing the same type of marketing campaigns with similar-looking people, set to the same backdrops.

Instead, they demand more authenticity and want to feel a stronger connection with brands. This is where UGC plays a vital role; it’s a way for consumers to see people just like themselves in marketing promotions.

93 percent of marketers see brand results improve after influencer engagement, and UGC is one of its biggest drivers. By applying UGC to video marketing, companies provide an even more immersive experience for audiences to enjoy.

Stronger connections

Just like UGC, conveying a message through video resonates more with viewers. There is something inherently more real about watching someone or something in motion. Emotions drive actions, and it’s easier to take them at face value when it’s in video form.

Being able to see someone’s tone of voice or moving facial expressions can completely change perception. The interactions feel like they’re two-way, as opposed to a picture, which doesn’t have the same effect.

UGC makes your content go viral

That’s not to say that a video campaign will make someone rush out to buy a product. What it does do, however, is play on your subconscious and have a greater lasting impact. Videos are more memorable, which is mainly down to their ability to create stronger connections.

Ease of use

There was a time where only the biggest brands could afford video marketing. To make a motion campaign was considerably more costly than regular photo campaigns. Getting hold of the equipment, hiring the director and the talent – it all added up.

Today, however, making a marketing video is significantly more cost friendly. Taking a video on your smartphone can be just as impressive as high-end cameras and has helped to create a new wave of creativity.

There are also now affordable companies who can help to optimise videos and drive engagement.

It’s now possible to create engaging video content in just five minutes. You can create your own campaigns fast and with efficiency. There is no excuse for businesses that leave video off their marketing checklist.

It’s the internet king

Video constitutes for 69 percent of all internet traffic, which reveals a huge shift in consumer mindset. Those numbers are staggering considering it’s still a fairly new concept in how it’s utilised and displayed.

As the tech for video marketing improves, making it more cost-effective and easy to use, a larger number of people are jumping on the bandwagon. While some still see video as a typical TV advert, new platforms have changed the way it’s used on a day-to-basis.

Social media has become a breeding ground for video. What started with short five-second shorts on vine has evolved to Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook stories. Smart companies are tapping into that audience and using video and UGC to strike a chord with their audience.

More chance of going viral

It’s every brand’s dream to create that one piece of content that goes viral. We’ve now got to the point where it’s almost exclusively videos that ‘break the internet’. Companies like Volkswagen, Dollar Shave Club, and Blendtec have all successfully viralized their video content. The range of different companies shows that anyone can go viral if done correctly.

UGC drives your marketing

Visuals are processed up to 60,000 times faster than text. 93 percent of communication is non verbal. And by the end of this year, visual communication will rise to 84%. It’s not hard to see why video has a better chance of breaking down barriers than any other form.

This is not the future of marketing; it’s the now

We have entered the realms where video communication is key. Those still sceptical will struggle to keep up with the competition as video dominance continues to rise. Any business, from small to global, can easily create video content in-house.

With a splash of UGC, companies further increase their chances of making successful content that hits the mark with its intended audience. Or, in other words, communications that pop.

Audiences want to feel like they’re part of the brand. Using video content with UGC is one of the best ways to capture that feeling, build brand awareness and increase ROI.

About Lobster

Lobster is an AI-powered platform which allows brands, agencies and the press to license visual content directly from social media users and could archives. Follow them on Twitter here.

A Closer Look at Video Thumbnail and its Importance

How many times have you spent quality time making a video script and adding breathtaking animations, but still ended up with little views and engagement? This has happened to me plenty times. However, you can change this by focussing on a very tiny, but important part of video marketing – the video thumbnail!

What is a video thumbnail?

A thumbnail is a reduced-size version of any image or video. Originally it got the name from being about the size of a human thumb nail.

Thumbnails are used by various platforms (especially social media) because they’re easier to scan and organise than the original files. By using thumbnails, platforms can make smaller and easily viewable pages and allow users to have control over exactly what they want to see.

Why is a thumbnail important?

You’ve probably heard this phrase plenty times – “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. Though these are words to live by, it is often the most neglected advice.

Every day, every minute, every second, your videos are judged by their thumbnails. In fact, video thumbnail plays a very important role in encouraging viewers to hit the PLAY button.

With so many videos on the Internet competing for attention, a video thumbnail can determine whether your video is watched or ignored.

[Tweet “A great thumbnail makes a creator’s content stand out.”]

How do I select a click-worthy thumbnail?

A thumbnail should achieve the following things:

  • Hint at the premise of the video content
  • Compel viewers to click
  • Branding
  • Look amazing on any device screen size

Here are few points to keep in mind when you select a thumbnail for your video:

1. Add text to represent your video content

Your thumbnail should convey your viewer what they’re going to see in the video. This is why it should sync with the title, description and the content of the video.

A good tip is to include some text in your thumbnails. Platforms like Facebook have a restriction on the amount of text you can put into a video thumbnail, so keep that in mind!

In fact, you can also include some hashtags in the thumbnail. Compare the views of this Jimmy Falon video to others:

Use hashtags in your video thumbnail

As someone who regularly watches videos on different platforms, I request you to avoid using click-bait video thumbnails. This causes a lot of annoyance to the viewer and give out a ‘cheating’ vibe. And this is not good for your brand.

In the not so distant future, platforms like YouTube and Facebook can slowly start identifying such users using machine learning, and start penalising them.

2. Make it visually appealing

Impress your audience at first sight. Use the right color palette, but also make sure it doesn’t end up too gaudy and bright. You can use some image editing tools like Pixlr to enhance the colors by editing the image’s saturation and by using hue filters.

Tubular Insights claim that something as simple as sharpening the edges can have also a subliminal effect on your thumbnail!

3. Include a human face to build an emotional connect

This usually makes people click you video because it makes them feel more connected. Once that connection is made, viewers are more likely to watch the entire video.

If possible, use a close-up shot because it helps the image stand out, irrespective of the device it is being viewed on. Look at the views on these BuzzFeed videos:

Buzzfeed video thumbnail

Tip: Based on what emotion your video is trying to evoke,  use a face that exaggerates this emotion!

4. Brand your thumbnails

Given the real estate of the thumbnail, it can become difficult to add your brand’s logo. But try to include it whenever you can. This ensures your video stands out in a collection/list, and helps the viewer identify your content.

Have a look at the Vice YouTube channel:

Brand your video thumbnails

5. Run A/B tests

Using tools like TubeBuddy and Vidyard, you can conduct split tests to determine which thumbnail drives more clicks and views to your videos.

Well planned A/B experiments will improve the performance of your videos almost instantly, so don’t ignore this valuable strategy!

How do I add thumbnails on different platforms?

1. YouTube

YouTube picks 3 frames your video and lets you select any one of those. If you’re uploading a new video, you’ll see this option AFTER YouTube has finished processing your video:

How to add thumbnail for new video in YouTube

If you’re editing an existing video, you’ll see this option right beside the video’s preview:

How to add video thumbnail in youtube

YouTube also lets you upload your own thumbnail by clicking on “Customised Thumbnail”

2. Facebook

Facebook picks upto 10 frames from your video and lets you select any one. This is the screen you’ll see when you upload a new video:

How to add thumbnail for a new facebook video

As you can see, you have the option to upload your own custom image as well.

In case you missed this, you can also add thumbnails for your existing videos:

Step 1: Click on EDIT VIDEO

Step 1 to add thumbnail in facebook

Step 2: Select thumbnail

Step 2 to add thumbnail in facebook

3. Instagram

You can choose the thumbnail from within the Instagram app. This is the screen you’ll see when you upload your video:

How to set thumbnail in instagram

Video Formats: Landscape vs Square vs Portrait

As you are probably aware, it’s simple to create videos in Landscape, Square and Portrait mode using Rocketium’s Studio. But, when you’re making videos for social media, which video formats should you choose? In this article, I’ll help you answer this question and solve your dilemma.

all video formats examples
All Video Formats on Facebook. Image Credits: Tubular Insights

Let’s talk numbers

Over 90% of Facebook’s 1.74 billion monthly users access the social network from their mobile device, with 56.5% of those being  mobile-only users.

Square videos dominate landscape videos by upto 78% in mobile newsfeeds. Landscape videos are outperformed by square videos by 54% when looking at view-through rates for the first 10 seconds of a video. Square video resulted in 30-35% higher video views and an 80-100% increase in engagement.

Vertical video ads are watched all the way through 9 times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat.

From a study of 25k top performing Facebook videos, only 30.9% of videos were landscape, while 56.3% of the top performing videos were either square or vertical videos.

It costs advertisers 33% less to get someone to engage with square video on Instagram.

square video formats on instagram
Cost Per 10s Mobile Views on Instagram. Image Courtesy: Buffer

When do I make a landscape video?

First ask yourself, “How and where are people going to see my video?”. If your viewers are mainly desktop users, or if they’re going to watch it on TV, then out of all the video formats, landscape would be the right fit.

[Tweet “You should make landscape videos when they’re viewed outside social media.”]

Though YouTube’s mobile app supports other video formats, the primary YouTube player is still landscape. So, you should stick to landscape for YouTube, or your videos will be displayed with black bars on the sides.

square video format on youtube
Square video on YouTube shows black ‘bars’

When Do I Select a Square Video Format?

On every social media network, square videos outperform landscape videos in terms of video views, engagement score (likes, comments, shares), and completion rate.

  • Facebook — Square videos publish with no black borders
  • Instagram — Square videos publish with no black borders
  • Twitter — Square videos publish with no black borders
  • Reddit — Square videos publish with no black borders

The popularity of square videos originated from one of Facebook’s many subsidiaries, Instagram. Until an update in late 2015, all content on Instagram was restricted to a square frame, including video content.

[Tweet “You should make square videos when you want to post to social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”] On these platforms, square videos will take up more space and are thus guaranteed to be more engaging for viewers on both desktops and mobile phones.

Square video formats on twitter
This is how square videos look on Twitter

When do I make portrait videos?

As of February 2017:

  • Facebook — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • Instagram — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • Snapchat — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • Twitter — Vertical videos publish with no black borders
  • YouTube — The mobile app hides black borders when device is held vertically and video is viewed in full screen

[Tweet “80% of social media use now occurs on mobile devices — 61% on smartphones alone.”]

Portrait videos are the most preferred format when it comes to video ads on Instagram and Snapchat.

With 100 million+ daily active users, Snapchat has already proven that users are willing to consume video without having to rotate their phones.

- video formats - portrait
Image Courtesy: Erik Olsen/The New York Times

When users are scrolling through their social media feeds on mobile, they expect the experience to be seamless. If your video plays in landscape, not many people are going to make the effort to turn their phone 90 degrees and tap to expand to full screen. It’s the truth. How many times have you turned your phone just to see a landscape video in full screen?

As a marketer, this means you’re missing out on filling the viewers’ screen with your video ad and keeping their full attention as effectively as possible.

Major publishers and media companies like The Washington Postthe BBC news app, Vox, Teads and Conde Nast have also embraced vertical video formats. [Tweet “If the majority of your visitors are via mobile then vertical videos are the way to go!”]

video formats - portrait vs square vs landscape
Image Credits: SubSign, Medium

Brands that have embraced the vertical video formats are already seeing amazing results. Jason Stein, the CEO of Laundry Service, has seen success with LG vertical video ads. He claims to be receiving 3x more efficient CPM rates than standard square videos on Facebook.

Here are 13 videos ads every marketer must know about!

How do I make the same video in all formats?

Say you want to post a video on Facebook, and want to repurpose the same video for an article on your website. At the same time, you also plan to run an ad for your article on Snapchat, and want to use the same video as an ad. It is time consuming to publish the same video in all 3 formats because you would have to fill in the content and style it from scratch every time.

Here is where Rocketium saves your time drastically. Just follow these steps to get the same video in all formats:

STEP 1: Clone your video

Go to your dashboard, click on options (…) and select ‘Clone Video’.

video formats - portrait vs square vs landscape

STEP 2: Click ‘Continue’

You will be automatically redirected to the Studio. Once here, click ‘Continue’. You can, optionally, choose to change the outro/CTA of your video depending on the platform you’re uploading your video on.

video formats - portrait vs square vs landscape

STEP 3: Select video orientation

You will find the 3 options of Landscape, Square and Portrait below the preview screen. Choosing a format automatically resizes the images and text on your video – you don’t have to change anything manually.

Animated GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

STEP 4: Click ‘Finish’

Click on Finish to publish your video. Repeat the above steps to get your video file in all 3 formats. Now you can use each video on different platforms.

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:


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 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 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!


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 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.


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 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.


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.


[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.


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:


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.

5 Video Advertising Mistakes to Avoid in 2017

In the beginning, video advertising was an expensive and lengthy business, but with the advances in professional video production equipment, smartphone technology, the ease of use of platforms such as YouTube, and Web Design Company Dubai help you to master the techniques of video advertising. Almost anyone can make use of them.

The Internet has helped marketers, entrepreneurs and businessmen to bring their brands, services, and products to new levels in order to go up the ladder and succeed. Today, with the Internet so accessible, an online store is the easiest and the best way to connect with a wider audience. So, it is only obvious that the advertising will be done on the internet as well. One of the most powerful marketing tools today is video advertising.

The thing is: easier, faster, and cheaper does not mean superior. This hardly means that one will not make mistakes. You are bound to make mistakes but for your ease, I have listed 5 common online video advertising mistakes that you must avoid in 2017 if you want to see any ROI on your work.

1. Lack of Creativity in Video Advertising Strategies

video advertising mistakes
Image source: https://blog.scottsmarketplace.com

First and most obvious thing is that you need to create a video that screams quality or else your viewers are not going to trust the advertisement. Your foremost goal should be to keep the viewers from clicking the skip button. There are many ways to do this. First, the method of enhancing your video is to use visually appealing colors, backgrounds, and animations.

Video advertising is not just about visual images. Effective videos all harmonize the images with the best use of voice and text. All of these components need to be taken into consideration when producing your video then the audience will get tangled in its trance. Everything needs to be deliberate and intentionally planned. You can also add in intriguing audio and effortless
transitions to keep viewers engaged.

Remember, it is hard enough to grab peoples’ attention these days, so try to limit your videos to no longer than 1 minute. The key, even in these cases, is to keep it engaging and entertaining that gets to the point quickly; keep the attention span to average around 30 seconds. Tell a great story because stories connect with people. Try to get a viewer to take an action within the first 30 seconds.

2. Underutilising Social Media for Video Advertising

Nowadays all of us are on your screens, whether it is a phone, I-pad or a computer screen and are browsing the internet non-stop. Your video needs to be able to reach people. YouTube is great, but it is not the only player in town. Maximize not only your reach but also your SEO by publishing your videos on all possible platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Your video needs to be able to reach people. The more audience it will reach, the more SEO ranks you will have. This does not mean load the video to YouTube, then copy and paste the link on the other social media platforms.

Learn how to make video ads using Rocketium

The thing is when you load your video into platforms natively, such as Facebook, you get more views as you would get if you had just put a link to the YouTube video. Agility is one of the online advertisings greatest gifts, and many advertisers are guilty of failing to take advantage of it. Online advertising provides real time feedback from your audience in the form of which ads are clicked and which are not, which landing pages convert and which don’t, and a laundry list of other engagement metrics that can tell you whether your audience is responding to your campaigns or not.

3. Not Aligning the Video Advertising Strategy to Your User Personas

The purpose of your video should be to reach your targeted audience. It should be able to make people connect with the product you are selling and hypnotize them into buying it. So, you must ask yourself is your video enticing to the people you are trying to reach? If it is not then you need to up your game. You need to go back to the storyboard. You want to make a video those appeals to exactly the kind of people who will find value in your products or services.

Think of your video as another direct mail piece. It must be specifically targeting the personas you have created. The more precise your targeting is, the better ROI you can realize. If facts tell and stories sell, then don’t make your video a list of facts about your products. Remember to focus on telling stories about people using your products instead of products themselves. If your story is well told, then people will seek out more information and will be willing to buy whatever you are selling.

4. Not Using In-Stream Ads in Video Advertising

video advertising mistakes
Image source: http://www.exactdrive.com

In-stream ads are the short ads that you see when watching a YouTube video those can be skipped, and let me tell you, they are by far the most effective ads you can run if your goal is to increase your sales. If you are running branding exercises, then you might want to check out the ads that YouTube offers, that cannot be skipped.

If you create content directed at a specific target audience like you should, your video will not only resonate with those who find value in it but your business will affect as well but of course in a good way. I’ve seen advertisers complain about YouTube that it is not effective only to later find out that they were not using in-stream ads, to begin with, because they thought it was a waste of money. Test it out for yourself and see what the data tells you. Remember to focus on quality over quantity with your video statistics. You must keep in mind that it may take months or years before your video starts garnering a lot of views.

5. Under-budgeting Your Video Advertising Campaigns

Image source: https://www.everydollar.com

Now, we all know, starting something new is risky but if you go all in and embrace the changes then the odds will be in your favor. Mostly, I have seen new online advertisers launching a new campaign in a new advertising medium with a small budget because they are scared that it will end in a disaster. While it certainly makes sense for advertisers to test out a campaign with a smaller spend but the thing is committing to a small budget may lead to poor performance.

This problem frequently occurs with retargeting. Web Design Agency advice and warns advertisers who neglect to spend enough on their retargeting campaigns will only be able to reach a smaller audience as their content will not reach a larger audience, which is, in return insufficient to reinforce the branding message and improve overall recall. A video with an appropriate amount may have been incredibly successful, but by under-budgeting, you will end up seeing mediocre results. In fact, the biggest obstacle holding back many advertisers is a budget that is simply too small.

Taking risks is a key component of online advertising and the savvy online advertisers will step outside their comfort zones to build strong campaigns that will reach to your audience globally and across channels. Video online advertising offers diverse endeavors and is ripe with opportunity. Avoid the mistakes mentioned above, take advantage of the opportunities provided, and you will be well on your way to becoming a successful video online advertiser.

Keep these In Mind When Creating Video Content

Traditional forms of communication are changing and if you haven’t figured it out already, video communication is the next big thing. Undoubtedly, video marketing is the single biggest addition to your promotion toolbox. However, before approaching a video marketing strategy you might have certain doubts. Is it really worth considering videos for promotion of a business? Is there enough resource to apply and implement into your video content marketing?

The answer is very much a YES! Video is perhaps one of the most versatile and effective digital marketing tools out there. However, with tons of brands and businesses sharing video content there is a risk of suffering from information overload. It is therefore imperative that your video content is well thought out and executed. Here are few tips to keep in mind when preparing a video content strategy for your business.

1. Your Brand

brand for video content

The first thing to research upon are brand personality and assets. Quintessential to any marketing strategy is knowing your brand extremely well. Research is key to achieving this process. Understanding the brand’s vision or tonality of communication can help long way in creating a successful video marketing campaigns. A video that accurately depicts the brands message or offering is always more effective in reaching the right audience than a generic video production.

2. Target Audience for your video content

Every video marketing effort is directed at an audience. While some might focus on younger individual audiences, some target businesses while some aim at brand awareness goals. Whatever the target audience may be, the video you create must communicate to that segment and hit touch points such as tonality, design, illustrations and choice of colors and fonts.

3. Tell A Story

Crafting a compelling story is quite the task! But it serves as the core attraction for any content creation effort. More so for a video where engaging the viewer through a story telling format results in the highest attention span.

Inclusion of story into video marketing strategy is something B2B marketers often tend to ignore. To promote credibility to your own brand, and get your potential audience to remember you, try creating a story around the brand or product offering being made.

A great story not only compels but creates an impression in the viewer’s mind that might turn into action taking.

Here is a great article by our friends over at Caseo, where they share 25 tips to create good content. Do check it out!

4. Publishing Platform

Marketers often make the mistake of over sharing or under sharing videos across platforms. There needs to be clarity in regard to the publishing platforms one should use when sharing video content. Every platform has its own unique audience, file type capabilities and restrictions. Understanding the same can help in choosing the right mediums to share your content.

5. Call To Action

Marketers should make sure all the video content they create has a ‘call to action’ element at the end. The CTA prompts the viewer to not just watch the video, but to take impact actions after it. A CTA could be anything! From CTA to move viewer into purchase or to simply drive traffic to another page of yours, CTAs are essential to navigate the audience after they’ve viewed your video.

Read more about “How to make your videos standout

Do remember to hit the share button if you liked this article and subscribe for more!

Want to Make a Great Video? Read this first.

A major step in building a great video is using the right combination of the elements in your video. Your video must be visually appealing to your target audience, which means you must use the right fonts, colors, highlight the right words, time the animations and transitions with the music, etc.

Do you have a diagram pointing out your target segments based on the traits discussed here? 

A list of useful resources to guide you to select the right elements:

Font styling

Since 85% of the videos are played without music, it is upto the text to convey the message. In the Add Content screen of the Rocketium Editor, you will find various text styling options – bold, italicize, size, etc. Use them to modulate your text and draw the attention of the viewer.

  • Contact information (phone number, fax number, email id, skype id) is generally italicized.
  • Quotes are italicised, and the name of the person quoted is set to bold.
  • A number in the midst of text must be highlighted and its size increased (Viewers give more attention to a sentence with a number in it).

All these factors when taken into consideration, contribute significantly towards making a great video.

Niki from Drexel mentions a very interesting note – she says that fonts that are a little difficult to read require more time from the viewer to go through. This means more time for the user to process the information being conveyed and thus a higher chance of recollection. Quite a paradox!


Color is one factor that distinguishes a great video from a good one. Use colors to influence the mood of your video. If you want to grab attention to a particular piece of text, highlight it (from the Add Content screen) and select the highlight color (from the Preview & Customize screen).

  • Blue, green and violet hues tend to set a “cool, calm” mood.
  • Red, orange and yellow hues tend to set a “warm” mood.

Wield the power of colors by selecting text background colors, scene background colors, filters and colored overlays from the Rocketium collection.

Read Also: Choosing the Right Color Palette for Your Videos

Must Reads:

  1. A detailed analysis of how colors associate to certain feelings and emotions by Joe Hallock.
  2. Infographic by Kissmetrics explaining relation between colors and gender.
  3. Research paper on Influence of Color, Shape, and Font Formatting on Consumers’ Perception


Apt music is unarguably the most influential element of a great video.

PsychologicalScience focusses on how music influences consumer behaviour and also on how auditory perception influences the monetary value of a product.

Rocketium segregates music tracks for your video by mood which you will find in a drop down option in the left panel of the Preview & Customize screen with music tracks that you can listen to before applying it.

Read Also: Tips to Choose the Perfect Background Music for Video

Head over to the Rocketium Editor now and create a video keeping these tips in mind!