Lightswitch Video | How to Create Compelling Video for News Stories
06.08.2016 Talking Tech

How to Create Compelling Video for News Stories

Video for News Stories korie cull

Tips for Creating Affordable and High Quality Videos in the Publishing Industry

Local news stations, national content agencies, and newspapers everywhere can cut costs, improve flexibility, and generate great content by leveraging Lightswitch's national video network.

The American Press Institute provides industry knowledge, best practices, and information for improving the quality of journalism across digital mediums. The editors at the American Press Institute have been publishing video creation guides and helpful tips for some time now. In fact, a search for video on their site turns up over 90 articles. It’s obvious that good video content is incredibly important for news agencies across the country, but what is the best way to generate content cheaply and effectively? Here are three tips to help you improve your video content for news stories.


According to a study by Pew research, “All but four of 32 reviewed local news stations featured video content on their home page.” Maintaining fresh video content on your main homepage will generate more views, interactions, and a stronger brand impression for your site.

Of course, if you are going to make video content the centerpiece of your homepage you need to think about shelf life. How long should you let a segment air before swapping it out? Should you include auto-play or let users select what to watch? What quality of video do you want, a short intro piece or a longer more interesting headline story? There are not easy answers for most of these questions and you will need to monitor and tweak your video strategy from time to time. However, one thing that nearly ever expert agrees on is the relative “freshness” of your content. Video should be updated to a new story at least daily to ensure a quality user experience.


YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world next to Google. Most news sites also have a sister YouTube channel where they host old content. However, staffing these channels can become a major burden for lean news agencies. That same Pew study showed that 18 of the 32 studied news agencies had a YouTube channel with at least some dedicated staff maintenance. Agencies have to ask themselves, is the YouTube market valuable enough to require a dedicated staff, or is there a better way to approach is?

Post production needs are often ignored when people produce news stories, but if you are planning to host old content on a site like YouTube, you also have to ensure quality that will hold up. Creating great video content that lasts will improve your reach and make your YouTube Channel that much more valuable.


Of course the largest concern for news teams investing in frequent and quality video content will be how to actually generate it. Producing at least one video a day and ensuring the quality of said video will be a herculean task for small operations if everything is done in house. In fact, the staff and resources needed to maintain a professional video library will be cost prohibitive to most small agencies, at least it will be to those who don’t leverage external video networks.

To properly execute a video content strategy your organization needs to leverage a professional, national, and dedicated video production and management network. These networks are relatively new to the world of digital news, but have shown great successes for organizations that want to generate frequent and consistent video content. Imagine if you were able to outsource the shooting, direction, and post production for a fraction of the cost. Video networks for local news can greatly improve the flexibility of your team while guaranteeing that all important video content for your site.

Your video content strategy is critical to long term success. Investing in homage content will drive visitor engagement and improve you brand, and leveraging YouTube content will help you reach a wider audience. The best way to generate this critical video content is by leveraging a professional video network that can provide national coverage and quality production.

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