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Brands Can Learn from Journalists’ Use of Online Video Storytelling

According to The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism report, how people get their news has changed. The State of the News Media 2012: An Annual Report on American Journalism states:

[T]he majority of Americans now get news through at least one digital, web-based device. While the desktop or laptop computer remains the primary digital platform for news (54% of Americans get news there), the number of consumers who get news on multiple digital devices is growing. Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults, 23%, now get news on at least two devices.

As people get more of their news online, news organizations are also making adjustments. Twenty percent of U.S. newspapers require a paying subscription for full digital access – a number that has doubled since last year. For those going online to get news, what better way to bring readers to the heart of the action as it happens than video?

The Wall Street Journal created a hub called WSJ WorldStream, on the video-sharing site Tout, for mobile video shot via smartphone by more than 2,000 journalists around the world. According to the Wall Street Journal, their video viewership has more than doubled in the past six months so it makes sense for the paper to expand video creation.

Video storytelling was also used during New York Fashion Week by ”… several fashion reporters … turning to Viddy and other forms of mobile video distribution to compliment their coverage.” Many felt video brought the clothing to life in a way still images couldn’t, and the format was perfect for short interviews with designers and fashion show attendees.

What can brands learn from these examples? Share the latest news about your brand, details about events as they happen, and provide how-to videos. When Apple released iOS 6, Mashable shared a hands-on how-to video about the new features, which brought the information to life and made the changes easier to understand.

Creating videos to share information with customers is not a new concept for many brands. However, with the advent of video sharing sites like Viddy and Tout, brands don’t need to – and are not expected to – create long, edited, fancy videos. Instead, information can be shared quickly and in easily digestible, 15-second clips. Bring brand stories to life with video, make your blog posts and social media updates more interactive, and give customers an authentic feel for what your company is doing. Social media has created platforms for closer connections between brands and customers, and video can only help strengthen this connection.

One of our clients, Markon Cooperative – a produce provider to the foodservice industry – does a nice job of providing timely produce updates to their customers and buyers via a weekly “Live From the Fields” video series. Markon’s Aug. 30, 2012 episode focused on the elevated insect pressure in the Salinas Valley at the time and what harvesters were doing to address the issue.

What do you think about companies integrating video into their communications? How could your company use video? What are the benefits?

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