Industry Insight

Take your local content and advertising to the next level with video


As we begin 2022, local news sites should look to video to take their content to the next level and create new advertising opportunities. 

On the content side, video provides several benefits. Video is eye-catching, compelling and takes the reader to a scene more than most still photographs do. People want to see what's happening and feel the emotion, and video takes you there. It's more of a draw than text and still pictures. If you have video and your competitors don't, you stand out. Videos embedded in content will also increase reader engagement and their time on your site. It also attracts more visual readers and those who enjoy video consumption more than reading text. And for viewers on multiple screens, video works well with virtually all devices, enabling readers to view your video content anywhere, any time. Search engines also love video, so your video content will rank highly on search, as well.

On the advertising side, video opens up new revenue opportunities. You can include commercials that you create in the videos. Commercials in videos improve an advertiser's conversion and lead to more social sharing. Video advertising does particularly well among mobile users, the core of online local news audiences today. If you place the videos on YouTube on your own channel, YouTube will put commercials in your videos for you and pay you money for having them. You can also implement video ads on your site itself, which can be quite lucrative. 

Now that you want to experiment with video, how do you do it? While video used to be the realm of television stations with high-priced equipment and expensive labor, high-quality video can now be produced and edited quickly and inexpensively. Recording video interviews via Zoom or similar systems has become commonplace — even on network television. Using your laptop's camera can suffice, or if you want to go all out, a good quality digital camera can be purchased to connect to your computer for about $200. For in-person storytelling, your mobile phone has excellent video capabilities — with some television reporters around the country shooting their stories on an iPhone and editing it on their desktop. Some editing software is free or low-cost, enabling you to create impressive visual effects in just seconds that look as if they were professionally produced. Utilizing YouTube or Vimeo, you can then upload your videos and embed them in the content on your local news site, at no cost.

By investing what may amount to a small amount of money, you will get results in page views on your site, social media, YouTube and other platforms. In addition, YouTube provides plenty of "how to" videos if you need a kick-start or quick primer on how to get something done.

Michael Shapiro is the founder and CEO of, a network of 80+ franchised online local news sites in New Jersey, New York and Florida.  These sites often represent the only daily news source in their respective communities.


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