3 Steps to Create Engaging Web Stories

Firework

So your news publication is ready to take the plunge to posting stories on Snapchat, Instagram or one of the short video platforms. Now what? Here’s a simple 3 step walkthrough on what are the big questions you need to answer first, before jumping into video creation and syndication, so the effort you put into your content creation matches the effectiveness you seek to achieve.

Step 1: Put together a news video strategy 

As the saying goes, “measure twice, cut once,” the same adage is true in video creation, especially for short videos given its reliance on masterful edits. If you are a news publication, the first step is to identify the content on your web pages, or articles you already have that will lend themselves to great video content.

Start with popularity 

Let’s face it, your most popular posts are going to translate to great video content. So start by analyzing what are those posts by going to Google Analytics, and under “All Pages” > “Site Content” you’ll see a listing of the posts or articles  you’ve created that have resonated the most with your audience. 

If you’d still like to stack-rank your Top 100 posts, you can expand your criteria to analyze virality of posts by using a tool like Buzzsumo, and the best part is that you can further categorize your posts by topics or engagement of your posts on specific social media platforms and optimize which videos might be more relevant to your readers. 

Once you’ve decided what are the most important and first 10 posts you’ll be creating, take a look at our guide to 30 second storytelling, where we walk you through 5 tips to make your content king of the charts. 

Step 2: Hit Record 

This is 2020 and creating videos is the easiest part in this process. Everyone has a smartphone in their pocket with cameras that rival the digital cameras — Nikons or Canons — from a few years ago, so all you have to do is follow three simple rules for good filming, regardless of the content you choose to adapt your posts into:

  • Stable set up: If you’re filming indoors, smartphones are notorious for shaky videos, and so a simple fix might be to get an affordable or professional tripod to stabilize your video production. Amazon might afford a slew of options to get started.  
  • Good lighting: This is one of the most important aspects of good videos, short or long, so find natural lighting, which is always a great place to start and ensure the light is on your subjects.  
  • Good sound: Again, you’d be surprised at the number of shots that are ruined by bad sound, even if your shot is perfect. A simple way to escape that predicament would be to buy a decent lavalier microphone. Just plug it into your phone and we’re good to go.   

Now for the tough part: Final Cut!

While filming in 2020 might be the easiest part, editing is the most challenging, whether it’s writing or shooting video. But, fear not, a few good companies are 

  • Quik by GoPro: Any tool vetted by Facebook must be a killer app in itself, and Quik comes from the GoPro creators. Toss in your select videos & photos and Quik figures out the best highlights, special effects and transitions for maximum effect.
  • Legend: This nifty little tool allows you to turn text into spellbinding animation. These can be great transitions, either for a news story or a creator story, especially when you’re on the go.
  • Firework: We’d be remiss if we don’t mention our own impressive little feature enhancement that automagically allows you to create meme-worthy short videos using our AI technology.

Step 3: Share Widely

Last, but not least, every publication already has a calendar and adding short videos to that content mix should be the easiest part. 

  • Buffer: Buffer is one of the leaders in sharing on the web, and they have created a specialized tailored posts feature that allows you to schedule different cuts of video content to different social media platforms and it schedules and uploads the appropriate content at just the right time. 
  • HootSuite: Hootsuite’s sharing functionality allows you to upload and share the broadest diversity in media formats, across Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn for both personal pages and your business or corporate presence.   
  • Tweetdeck: Finally, Twitter’s own power-user, yet free tool allows you to schedule independent tweets (with or without video content) at the appropriate time, if your news publication is primarily focused on Twitter for your sharing needs. 

Hope these simple tips and tricks help you get out of your starter mindset, and help you get into your comfort zone when it comes to short video creation. Let us know if any of these tools came in handy, or leave a comment @fireworkhq if you have any questions we can help answer.

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