How to automate your news video production through data
In this blogpost we’ll talk about the importance of automating your news video production and look at some tips to do it through data!
Table of Contents
In a dedicated series of posts on this blog we are focusing on everything related to video production for the publishing industry.
We started with the basics, identifying the five main benefits publishers can gain from exploiting video: from proximity to their audience to capturing attention, from understanding and the memorability of messages, to stimulating engagement and improving search engine rankings.
We dedicated a second post to positioning and SEO, where we identified the 7 most important best practices to improve the visibility of your videos, and, consequently, audience engagement.
Now, however, we want to address an extremely promising and increasingly essential aspect: we’re talking about automation applied to news video.
Why do we see this as both promising and increasingly essential? It’s easy to guess. Just think of the enormous amount of content that the world’s major newspapers produce every day on their websites (but also on smaller sites that want to grow and win new slices of the market, of readers, of attention).
Beware: with this enormous amount of content, you have to add up everything that happens in the social networking ecosystem, an ecosystem where video plays a major role.
The problem is quickly identified: someone has to produce all this content, all this video news. You can never stop, and in many cases, you can’t even slow down the pace of publication.
So, it’s impossible for publishers to keep up with these rhythms and quantities in an entirely manual manner—it would require a large investment of time and money. What’s the solution to this kind of problem for publishers? It’s about embracing the video automation breakthrough.
Video automation – definitions, benefits, opportunities
Video automation is part of the broader scope of content automation tools. Thus, we’re talking about the set of technologies, strategies, and digital processes that make it possible to minimize human labor in all the steps involved in content creation and distribution.
How does this translate to the specific area of video and video news? What are the direct and indirect benefits?
To understand this, we have to consider the traditional ways of producing a video in publishing. First, it’s about identifying the news or topic, more generally.
Then there is a delicate phase of study, based on your editorial focus and the importance of the news; thus, the collection of related information and data (data and information that may not be easy to unearth).More generally, there is also the analysis of sentiment and one’s target audience that must be considered. (Of course, we are simplifying a process that can be even more complex than that.)
Next, comes the script ideation stage. And then the actual content production and editing, while following the established guidelines regarding graphic identity.
Finally, there is distribution through the different channels, which, as we know, are continuing to increase.
But that’s not all: you must also pay attention to everything that comes after the distribution of the video. We’re talking about the analysis of performance and results, based on the different metrics that will need to be set up. Doing this set of actions in the best possible way takes a lot of time and a staff with a wide range of specific skills. Skills that must, moreover, be well coordinated.
Automation can dramatically reduce this load.
Translating this to the publisher side, we can summarize the benefits as follows:
- Savings in money and resources for specific professional roles;
- Drastic reduction of production and distribution time. Time is an absolutely decisive variable when we talk about video news: it’s a central, very intuitive, and decisive point.
- The ability to greatly expand your range of video news, both on your own web pages and social channels with the resulting important returns in terms of visibility, coverage, recognition, and quality as perceived by the public and by reader loyalty;
- Triggering a mechanism for continuous improvement based on the evaluation of results and opportunities to recalibrate communications, again automatically. In short, it’s possible to understand what worked and what did not, where it worked, and for which targets. But also having even more circumscribed insights. Fr example: is there a point in the video where people tend to drop out of viewing? The ultimate consequence of all this information is the ability to reshape your videos to make them increasingly effective.
- Soaring communication effectiveness: especially when automation is integrated with data-driven personalization tools. And we will return to this crucial aspect later in the final section of this post.
First, here is a quick roundup of the different types of videos that can be made through automation, all of which can be very useful for all types of publishers.
Types of videos that can be made through automation
Automation systems can apply to different types of videos, are perfect for publishers and for distribution either on their own sites, through social media, or for another example – through dedicated apps, when there are any.
Let’s look at some of these types of videos.
Articles to video
Purely textual articles that are automatically parsed, dissected according to their key themes, and finally transformed into video format.
To reflect on the effectiveness of this type of operation, here’s a great statistic to keep in mind:
When viewing a video, the average user retains 95% of the message it contains; when it comes to text, this drops to 10% (covideo.com).
Data journalism to video
The mechanism of this type of video automation is akin to what we saw in the point above but, in this case, the primary inputs are data and infographics, which can be “told” in a much more effective and engaging way, including through animations. This is the turning point of Video Data Visualization.
News feeds to video
Leveraging platforms such as Babelee’s (which we will come back to later), companies can bring together the two sides we have isolated above. You can take RSS news feeds from any newspaper or blog and automatically turn them into clear, engaging videos that feature text, data, graphics, and images. All of these can be updated virtually in real time; the end result is perfect for publishers and all their channels.
Before we move on to the next section and close out this post on the topic of data-driven personalization, we’ll consider a couple of types of news that we all deal with on a daily basis: we’re talking about weather updates and those related to financial markets.
We chose these two examples because they are content that is easily automated and can be transformed, from a data set, into video news. Moreover, they are also content that is continuously updated.
And, last but not least, they are also very useful information for readers!
Automation and personalization – the possibilities offered by Babelee’s Video Automation tools
When it comes to the effectiveness of video news for the publishing industry, it’s not just a matter of content. Above all, it’s a question of the target audience: this is a really decisive point that should never be forgotten.
With video automation systems, videos can be built very quickly to suit different target audience segments based on their characteristics, browsing choices, preferences and habits.
Here’s an example. We first introduced the possibilities related to the automation of weather-related news. Here is an area where geolocation is decisive.
If I live in Arizona, I won’t necessarily be interested in the weather for tomorrow in northern Italy and vice versa.
In short, the effectiveness of a communication always depends on its target audience. And deep knowledge of the target audience becomes critical.
But how can you “get to know” an audience that consists of thousands or even millions of people who are so diverse in age, gender, location, profession, habits, desires, and so much more? The answer is very clear: this is all possible with the analysis of Big Data.
But what do we mean in practice? It’s about the ability to gather a great deal of information about one’s readership from the digital traces that each disseminates online, at virtually any time.
What is the end result?
From this broad and in-depth knowledge, communications can be tailored to different audience segments, increasingly moving toward personalization, naturally built and distributed in an automated, multichannel manner. The turning point in video communication for publishers is all summed up here, in the combination of automation and personalization.
It is precisely on this combination that the Video Automation systems offered by Babelee are built. It is a platform aimed at publishers as well as agencies, professionals, and content marketers: easy to use, intuitive, scalable.
To learn more about all its aspects, how it works, and the different opportunities it offers, just follow this link.
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