Creating great video is one thing. Monetizing it takes additional time and focus — a true challenge for many publishers.
This was the focus of a recent training offered through the Facebook Accelerator Program, the Facebook Journalism Project’s business training program for news publishers. From April to June, 20 Brazilian news organizations participated in a Video Accelerator course held in partnership with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). During six in-person sessions, they learned all aspects of video production in a newsroom, from scriptwriting to shot lists.
In one session, participants learned how to monetize videos on Facebook Watch and other social media platforms. Below, learn the first and last thing every video team should do to start earning money from posting videos to social media.
Before Choosing a Video to Produce, Ask Yourself a Few Questions
Of all the social media platforms where you can publish video, Facebook Watch is perfect for monetizing videos with strong emotional narratives. Whenever video teams are brainstorming ideas and choosing which stories to work on, they should try to answer a few simple questions:
- Think about the people in the story: who will your audience connect with?
- Consider the story’s structure: How would you as a viewer want the narrative to unfold?
- Make sure there’s a strong hook: How can you make sure people watch until the very end?
- Be consistent: How does this video story fit into the big picture? Can you create new video content every week?
“These lessons helped us reconsider the role of video in our newsroom,” said Anderson Meneses, an Accelerator participant and co-director of the São Paulo nonprofit news organization, Agência Mural. “We learned videos should encourage viewers to take action” — to like or share it on social media themselves — “and that’s the difference between producing video on television versus online.”
How Do You Know If Your Video Is Successful? Monitor 3 Important Metrics.
A good video gets watched, but a great video gets shared. So after you post a video to social media, see how well it performs. The numbers of shares, reactions, and comments are the first basic metrics to look at. Beyond that, it’s important to monitor three metrics:
- Average watch time — you want people to watch for more than 10 seconds.
- Revenue per thousand views (RPM, or revenue-per-mille) — the more your audience interacts, the higher this number will grow.
- And, of course, viewers — especially if your video is a live show or broadcast, the key is to notice when your audience has started to decline.
Being savvy with these data metrics empowers everyone on a video team, said Alexandre Oliveira, another participant and a digital video coordinator at the Brazilian publisher Editora Abril. “We produce content, but we don’t alert ourselves to these issues,” he said. “Analyzing the numbers helps us to be more assertive about content publication.”
The most successful videos are simply good stories that people want to share. The most successful video teams track how well those videos are shared.
Check out more ideas for video strategies here, all from the Facebook Journalism Project and Facebook Accelerator Program.
The Video Accelerator Program
The Facebook Journalism Project’s Video Accelerator Program helps news publishers create excellent video and build sustainable business models that work. Funded and organized by the Facebook Journalism Project (FJP) in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists, each Accelerator includes hands-on workshops led by news industry veterans and coaching from industry experts. Catch up on all the lessons from the Video Accelerator here. For monthly updates on the Accelerator Program, sign up for the FJP newsletter.