We recently spoke to Dan Magro, Senior Video Editor at HelloGiggles about their editorial video team and the success they’ve had using Wochit. Dan spoke candidly about their editorial video strategy and how they put together a team that creates hundreds of custom videos every month.
HelloGiggles was created by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi in 2011 as a place to inspire smiles on the internet, and since then they’ve been doing just that! At every level the editorial team sticks to the positives, covering the latest in beauty, fashion, lifestyle, relationships, friends and issues that matter most to young women readers in their 100+ pieces of content published daily.
Below are a few key takeaways from the conversation with Dan, with insights for anyone thinking about expanding their video creation strategy.
Know your brand and know your audience.
One of the key points that Dan stressed is, “you have to know your brand, and you have to know your audience.” Understanding the demographics of your audience and what they are interested in – and sticking to that – is key in any content you create.
At HelloGiggles, the editorial team plays an essential role in every editorial video produced. Dan expressed unfaltering respect and appreciation for everyone involved, “I’m super lucky to work with such a talented group of people who are quite literally the hardest working people I know.”
Although they don’t directly work on the videos, the editorial video team is an extension of the daily editorial coverage. “They [the editorial team] are the people responsible for planting the seed, watering it, and make sure it’s really a tree before they pass it on”.
Your audience likes your existing content for a reason. As you ramp up your video production with Wochit, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Always look to your editors and to your audience to dictate the videos you create.
A video’s path from idea to publication
Having the editorial team of HelloGiggles is a huge help to this small (but fierce!) team of creators. The HelloGiggles Wochit team is made up of five people with a collective goal of creating 30-40 videos a day. Without the foundation of the existing articles, it would be hard to do that work so quickly.
The topics for the daily videos starts with monitoring their analytics to see which published articles are doing well, assigning it to a creator, and finally based on how quickly the views are trending up decide what type of video to create.
This brings us to another important point: you need to be flexible and nimble enough with your team to catch an article as it’s trending and add a video as quickly as possible. Striking fast is key in this day and age of disposable information and technology! For the HelloGiggles editorial video team, there are primarily two types of videos produced using Wochit:
- In an effort to quickly get a video into a story that’s currently trending, the editorial video team will create a simple short video to be exclusively embedded in the article. “It can transform an already amazing article into something even better, that’s moving, alive and much more dynamic. Using the Wochit Instagram and Image libraries makes this a completely effortless task, and allows us to move quickly,” said Dan. Because of this, a video can be live on the site in as little as 5 minutes to catch the trending wave.
- The editorial video team also creates longer-form videos that can take up to an hour to create from assigning the topic to final approvals. Because the team is given excellent content to start with, adapting the copy based on an existing article into a mini-movie is quick work. They use Wochit Story-based Search tool to easily find the relevant media for the story, add copy (using the Text Overlay tool) and then utilize the preview link to send the video out for approvals. Sometimes that means multiple reviews, depending on changes, before posting on various social media accounts.
Some things to remember when you’re setting up your own video team is to keep things organized. One lesson Dan learned through trial and error was to keep track of the many steps and moving parts of the video creation process start to finish. The team created a shared doc as a central location to keep track of proceeds and give notes on edits. “It essentially creates a living breathing tracker, keeping everyone up to date in real time of everything the department and everyone in their specific roles are working on,” said Dan. With a goal of up to 40 videos a day, things could certainly get lost in the shuffle. Being able to “keep the receipts” and show progress is essential, and a great way to keep the team on the same page.
How to build your Wochit team
One of the biggest misconceptions about video creation is that only people with a professional video background are going to do well with it. In reality, the more important point is to tap people with creative backgrounds. Although we believe that anyone can be successful with Wochit, putting more weight in a potential creator’s value as a storyteller, regardless of past video experience, will take you a lot further.
By utilizing the resources Wochit provides like Customer Success Managers, Support Center, and Support team, in addition to the built-in graphic package and styles for your publication, teaching a new user to understand Wochit is a straightforward task. The same cannot be said about the finer points of putting together a comprehensive and engaging story.
In addition to those creators, the importance of having a person to look over every video – to proofread, to ensure proper visuals are being used, to checking the style and syntax – cannot be stressed enough. For some teams, this can simply mean sending the preview link to another creator to look over before producing, others may have a multi-point quality check.
The HelloGiggles Editorial Video Team considers this a vital part of the Wochit process. It allows someone to easily act as a gatekeeper to ensure editorial standards are met before a video is live on the site. Even when using an existing article and the Story-based Search option, mistakes can happen and the importance of a second set of eyes should not be disregarded.
The importance of Wochit to your video strategy
We asked Dan about what he believes is the secret to the team’s success in creating high quality videos at scale, and to that he puts the credit towards how well HelloGiggles as a whole knows their audience.
“We know what our audience wants, and HelloGiggles’ inspiring writers and editors know how to take something everyone else has covered and make it unique in our own way,” said Dan, and that goes into every decision they make regarding the type of content being published.
One of the things that the team enjoys doing is taking on the challenge of those few articles that may be fairly simple and figuring out how it can be adapted and embellished to make the video pack a little more punch. The great thing about Wochit is it allows you to experiment. You’re able to take a chance in creating something new and different at a fraction of the cost.
The HelloGiggles audience “loves to laugh, they love to be educated and they love to be inspired.” Knowing your audience, and being able to place yourself in their shoes when deciding what type of content to create, can be one of the most effective tools in ramping up your video presence. No article or topic should be too thin for you to shy away from while using Wochit. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect, their is no expectation that they will live on forever. Playing around and trying new things can be easy and should be encouraged.
At the start of the process if you have a goal of creating a video for every type or piece of content, you’ll have a better idea of what works for you and your audience. Don’t take your Wochit trial and those first couple of weeks of usage as a time to be passive. Instead, use them to create and experiment. If you take the time to dedicate a core group to Wochit to produce and publish as much as possible, you’ll quickly come to understand the types of videos your audience wants to see and you’ll be on your way to creating hundreds of videos a month!
Read more details about the Wochit creation platform here.