Thank you to our guest writer, Bryce Anderson of Lightswitch Video
In 2020, when it became apparent that Mardi Gras wasn’t going to go on as it had in New Orleans for hundreds of years, team members at NOLA.com took it upon themselves to create the next best thing — a three-night, nine-hour media extravaganza, covering music, restaurants, culture, history, architecture and everything New Orleans and Mardi Gras had to offer.
Their production, Mardi Gras for All Y’all, went on to win Telly awards and an Emmy, to be seen by over 2 million people across over 50 countries, and to make NOLA.com a respected name in local video production.
They are now a go-to resource for video advertisements, content series, historical pieces and agency quality production throughout Louisiana.
What can other news outlets learn from their experience? We’ve compiled four quick tips:
Understand that the only barrier to a video audience is quality content
Gone are the days where TV and movies have a stranglehold on all things “moving image.” With streaming services, YouTube, Roku, and media-rich owned-and-operated sites, everyone can draw an audience to quality content like shows, docuseries, and sponsored content. Whether you’re a newspaper, magazine, website or other nontraditional video outlet, there’s no longer any barrier to get the audience and ad revenue, other than creating the content itself — and making it great.
Find the overlap of what will interest local and national audiences
A good video content series makes everyone in your current audience happy and finds that sweet slice of your market in which outside audiences will also be interested. Tourism and travel related series are some of our first recommendations. Cover the history, culture, food, music and other exciting events of your market from an insider’s perspective. Your audiences will love the chance to see their stories shared, and outsiders get the opportunity to learn something new.
This seems like the simplest part, but you just have to do it. Don’t overthink it and don’t let perfection stop you from making moves. In today’s world someone is going to create it if you don’t. You’re the obvious choice to do it, so don’t let someone else eat your lunch!
Start by leaning on an outside resource for expertise
We get asked fairly often by our production partners whether they should build out their studio, or how many people to hire for their video team. Our answer is almost always “no” and “zero.” If you’ve never done this before, lean on an outside expert to help you get started. Take the time to learn and be sure you have the knowledge and demand before investing in full time team members. Our first recommended hire is always a producer.
This is the best time for legacy media groups to get into new media formats. The landscape is dramatically changing and the best content will win, not the best channel. These are just a few steps on the path to success, and we at Lightswitch would be happy to coach you the rest of the way. But no matter what — we wish you luck and can’t wait to watch your show.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Bryce Anderson, Chief Revenue Officer | Founder, Lightswitch Video
Bryce grew up in Iowa, attended the University of Iowa and has worked in media sales for nearly a decade. He tried out both coasts and the mountains before settling down in Chicago – his true love. His interests include movies, Frasier, being correct, and obsessively tracking packages.
He lives with his lovely wife, 2 rambunctious young children, and an old dog.