RTV Noord is the news station for the province of Groningen, a region of about 580,000 people, in the North of The Netherlands. To best serve the Groningen community with up-to-date news and memorable stories, RTV Noord incorporates an experimental, mobile-focused digital video into its reporting strategy.

“It’s our goal to create stories that will become the tale-of-the-day. We believe that video plays a big part in bringing these memorable stories to life,” said Rens van Stralen, Digital Media Coordinator at RTV Noord.

The social team at RTV Noord is empowered to regularly experiment with video format and type. As a result, RTV Noord’s digital video strategy incorporates a variety of video types, including:

We connected with Rens van Stralen, Digital Media Coordinator at RTV Noord and Stephanie Nijssen, Community Manager at RTV Noord, to learn more about their digital video strategy. Read on for their insights.

What’s your newsroom’s approach to creating digital video?

Our social media team adopted an iPhone-centric approach for making videos. We use the app LumaFusion for editing and a custom-built online tool for adding subtitles, text blocks, logo overlay and outro video. The starting point is that we must be able to make a complete, good quality video anywhere, anytime.

As a newsroom with a TV legacy, a fair portion of our videos are created primarily for the use on our TV station. We supplement that with videos created specifically for the web, our app, or social media. We have an active social media team that, although small, creates great video content — especially for Facebook and Instagram.

What are your goals for video on Facebook?

RTV Noord wants to be the number one platform for our audience to consume their regional news about Groningen in the Netherlands.

Because the consumption of video is growing strongly worldwide, we want to anticipate that growth and incorporate it into our strategy. So we invest in a digital video strategy for our social media channels, and view it as part of our platform.

On Facebook, we want to inform and/or entertain our fans about news topics that are relevant to them. Doing so on Facebook gives them a place to share meaningful interactions with their friends and family about their favorite news topics.

It’s our goal to create stories that will become the tale-of-the-day. The general idea is that our fans will talk about these stories with friends and family — online and offline. We believe that video plays a big part in bringing these memorable stories to life. Video can have a lot of impact and can help viewers remember the stories that are relevant to them.

What types of videos resonate most strongly with your community?

There are a few video subjects that resonate very strongly with our community.

We see good results with videos:

Our audience cares deeply about these stories, because videos about these topics often have a big impact on their lives.

What formats or types of videos do you create?

We try and experiment with format and type across our videos. Here are a few examples.

Short news videos that make coverage as self explanatory as possible. The video Bijstandsmoeders runnen kiosk in Delfzijl (“Mothers running kiosk”) below, for example, contains edited footage and text block titles to highlight the unique food served at a kiosk. Another example of this format is our video Helden in de hitte (“Heroes in the heat”).

Explainer videos that educate on a concept, event, or tradition. In the video below, we explained the history of an old tradition in our region, called “Sint Maarten.” It’s a yearly recurring event on November 11th.

Long-form videos or even video series that dive into a topic. The video below, for example, is an episode from a triology about Schuurfeesten, or “parties organized in sheds in the countryside” in our region.

We started creating user-generated video content after a massive cloudburst. People started to send us lots of their vertical video content of the event. We combined the submissions to create a video about the rain and flooding.

Facebook Live helps us cover ongoing local news, like in this example covering a much-debated crossing where cyclists have priority over motorized vehicles.

We partner with other Pages to cross-post video content. We cross post with GrunnenTV, for example. They make parody videos in our local dialect. We also cross post the regional video stories that NOSop3, a national news organization, creates.

What are three of your favorite or most successful videos?

  1. A Grunnen TV video of Kings Day 2018 that we crossposted.
  2. A Facebook Live we did during a march, which was organized in response to a 3.4-magnitude earthquake in our region that was caused by decades of natural gas extraction. Recurrent earthquakes are a big issue in our region provoking much public debate.
  3. Video coverage of one of our journalists helping a bus traveler when bus drivers were on strike.

What advice would you give to a newsroom thinking about building their own video strategy on Facebook?

If you want to put energy in a video strategy for Facebook and other social media platforms, start with a dedicated team that works “social media first.” This is especially important if you have an offline legacy on mediums like radio, TV or print. Even a web or app legacy can be an online legacy that slows down developing your social media platforms. This dedicated social team can be an example to the rest of the newsroom on how to transition into online and social video.

Don’t hesitate to repost videos that were already successful. If the subject of the video is still on topic, use the option “Create post with this video…”

Crosspost if you want to post the same video on more of your Pages – whether it’s from an external source you are collaborating with or between verticals within your own organization. It’s beneficial for both the Page publishing the video and the Page crossposting it.

Last but not least: Keep trying new formats. It’s never too late to start a new experiment on social video.