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Boost Engagement on News Websites with Video Content

Video content is essential for modern news websites to attract and retain audiences. Leveraging platforms like social media, creating short-form teasers, live-streaming, and collaborating with influencers can significantly enhance engagement and reach.

By Sakshi
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In today’s digital age, video has emerged as a dominant force in the media landscape. According to a report on Statista, videos have an audience reach of 92% among internet users worldwide. This popularity spans various types of content, including viral videos, educational material, live broadcasts, and sports clips. However, many news publishers and brand blogs have yet to harness the potential of video for audience development fully. Given the surge in video consumption, publishers can leverage this medium to attract new audiences and boost engagement. Here are five expert tips to get started.

1. Create Short-Form Videos as Teasers

Short-form videos are incredibly effective at grabbing attention. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts thrive because they cater to the modern consumer's short attention span. News websites can use short-form videos as teasers to draw viewers to longer, more in-depth content. These snippets can highlight key points of a story, enticing viewers to visit the website for the full details.

For example, BBC News and The New York Times effectively use short video snippets to promote their longer news segments. A notable example is a BBC News snippet about gas explosions in Johannesburg, which garnered close to 6.2 million views on TikTok. Creating compelling short teasers might require excellent editing skills, and AI video editors can be a great resource to get started.


2. Collaborate with Influencers

Collaborating with influencers can significantly boost a news website’s visibility. Influencers connect with their followers, bringing your content to a wider audience. This strategy isn't limited to individual influencers; collaborating with other media houses or niche individuals can also expand your reach.

An excellent example is Morning Brew, a tech and business news website, which partnered with tech YouTuber Mrwhosetheboss. This collaboration introduced Morning Brew to Mrwhosetheboss’s substantial following, resulting in increased subscriptions and visibility. Partnering with influencers who align with your brand can open doors to new communities and readership.

3. Use Social Media Platforms as Your TV Channel

Most people spend a considerable part of their day on social media platforms. In 2023, there were an estimated 4.89 billion social media users, with Facebook alone boasting around 2.95 billion active monthly users. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube offer news websites an unprecedented opportunity to expand their audience through short, impactful video updates covering breaking news, major events, or trending stories.

News publishers like The New York Times and CBS News utilize platforms like Instagram and Twitter to post concise video clips, directing viewers to their websites for more detailed stories. Adopting a multi-platform approach ensures broader demographic engagement, as seen with CNN and Fox News, who have amassed millions of followers on YouTube by regularly posting video content.

4. Cross-Promote Your Videos

Cross-promotion of videos on multiple platforms ensures maximum reach and engagement. For instance, linking to a video on Instagram from a YouTube video, and vice versa, provides multiple entry points for your audience to discover your content.

Using a video content management system can help organize and streamline the packaging, publishing, and distribution of videos across various platforms. This strategy not only enhances visibility but also ensures that your audience can easily share and access your videos, driving traffic back to your news website.

5. Incorporate User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) can be a powerful tool for news websites. Encouraging your audience to submit their own videos related to news stories or events can create a sense of community and engagement. Featuring UGC not only provides fresh content but also makes viewers feel valued and involved. Platforms like CNN's iReport have successfully used this strategy, allowing users to contribute videos that complement professional journalism.

6. Leverage Live-Streaming

Live streaming offers a dynamic way to engage viewers in real time, providing immediate coverage of breaking news, interviews, and discussions. This real-time interaction can make the audience feel like an integral part of the story’s conversation.

The Washington Post Live, for instance, is a platform where the newsroom hosts live conferences, interviews, and panel discussions. This approach not only keeps viewers informed but also encourages active participation and engagement, fostering a loyal audience base.

7. Use Video for Data Visualization

Complex news stories often involve data that can be challenging to convey through text alone. Videos can simplify data visualization, making it easier for viewers to understand intricate details. Infographics, charts, and animations can be integrated into video content to explain statistics and trends clearly and engagingly. News outlets like The Guardian and The New York Times frequently use videos to break down data-heavy topics, enhancing comprehension and retention.

8. Optimize Videos for SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic to your website, and videos are no exception. By optimizing video titles, descriptions, and tags with relevant keywords, you can improve your search rankings and visibility. Additionally, creating video transcripts and adding closed captions can enhance SEO and make your content accessible to a broader audience. This approach ensures that your videos reach the maximum number of potential viewers.

9. Utilize Video Newsletters

Incorporating videos into your email newsletters can significantly increase engagement rates. Video content in newsletters can summarize key stories, provide exclusive interviews, or offer behind-the-scenes looks at the newsroom. This multimedia approach makes newsletters more dynamic and encourages higher click-through rates. Companies like Axios have successfully integrated videos into their daily email updates, providing a richer experience for their subscribers.

10. Host Webinars and Virtual Events

Hosting webinars and virtual events allows news websites to delve deeper into important topics and engage with their audience in real-time. These events can feature expert panels, Q&A sessions, and interactive discussions, providing valuable insights and fostering community engagement. Recording and publishing these events on your website and social media channels can extend their reach and impact. News organizations like Reuters and Bloomberg regularly host webinars and virtual conferences, attracting a global audience.

Final Thoughts

These five tips are just the beginning of leveraging video content to enhance engagement on your news website. Creating budget-friendly videos that resonate with your audience doesn't require a massive investment. The key is to keep your videos focused and concise, ensuring that each update is engaging and to the point. If a news update is substantial, consider splitting it into multiple videos to maintain audience interest.

Incorporating video content into your strategy can provide a competitive edge, transforming passive readers into loyal, active subscribers who regularly share your updates. As video continues to dominate the digital landscape, embracing these strategies can help news websites stay relevant and thrive in a rapidly evolving media environment.