We all prefer videos? Don't you?
Updated: Sep 7, 2019
Communications is a function that makes the bridge between the internal and the external world of an organisation. To be able to advise on communication strategy, one must be aware of what is happening in the world. And for that you need to read the news.
At the 2019 EACD Communication Summit one of the panel discussions was named: Running a communications department like a newsroom. Among the panelists was Oliver Cann, from the World Economic Forum, who made me think about how his team produces news worthy content. Or rather, re-uses news content that relates to their audience.
Today, being present on social media is a must, and requires content production, whether or not it is news. This is where you can focus on re-using press news that relate to your audience. From a simple news re-share, to the re-creation of news content in various formats, from postcards, GIFs, to videos.
Organisations, like The World Economic Forum for example, thrive on media information and dissemination. They re-use the news that relate to their work in a way that engages their audiences. The World Economic Forum has some unique features as the convenor of the world economic elite in Davos every year, and ensuing news media frenzying. But producing informative pieces that reach and inform people is in my opinion, a good outcome of their work. They do this by producing video content that re-uses information from the news. Usually, I see the news go by, and a couple of days later I see the same news on a video format, pushed by the World Economic Forum. How do they do these videos?
Creating engaging social media videos might be quite simple for some, harder for others. So here is a quick guide if you want to experiment.
1. As you browse the news, select one that appeals to you particularly. There is a reason why that news is relevant to you, and you want to explore that. Make sure it contains relevant facts and possibly figures from verified sources. In today's world of fake news, make sure you use trustworthy sources. Be informative.
2. You might have heard of Lumen5, if you haven't, give it a go. Paste your text there (or later on set up a feed), and you will be quite amazed at the good job it does - pulling together footage that relates to your content.
3. While this can already look quite good, the key element for success is to ensure that your video reads in an engaging manner. When you adapt the text in your video be coloquial, sharp and engaging. I usually think of what makes me watch videos. Think empathy, emotion and storytelling.
4. Start with a question that relates to your audience. But mind that even experts also understand simple langague. So do not use technical jargon, and no acronyms, please.
5. Familiarity with the topic will attract people to watch. We can think it is like emphaty. An example: the Northern hemisphere is enjoying Summer as I write this blog, and therefore, people are likely to pay attention to content that relates to their current experience of vacation - even when what you want to pass across is not necessarily related.
6. Goes without saying that the images need to be relevant and engaging, so take your time choosing, it pays off. But keep the video under 1 minute if you want to share across all social media platforms.
7. Music? I do not think that many of us nowadays listen to video content. We mostly read video content instead. But do choose a tune that fits the mood of your message.
Once your video is created it is time for distribution and analysis. Upload your video (natively) to each of the social media platforms where you want it distributed, sharing the youtube link will not do much for you. Et voila. Now you just have to look at the statistics to understand what works and what doesn't. Success can be as simple as trial and error, don't be afraid to fail, be afraid of not trying.