Search for “Winter Storm” in Google News and See YouTube Video from WNYC Radio

Like many of my neighbors in the Northeast, I’m hunkered down at home today because of the Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010. And while searching for “Winter Storm” in Google News I discovered a YouTube video from WNYC Radio.

Blizzard 2010, New York City, December 27

Yep, I’m watching the radio.

And newspapers are also uploading YouTube videos about the Boxing Day Blizzard. Here’s an example from The Boston Globe.

Holiday snow storm

And The Associated Press has been uploading YouTube videos since 2006.

Monster Storm Heads for Mid-Atlantic, Northeast

And WWLP-22News in Chicopee, Ma, also has a YouTube video about the blizzard in Google News.

Storm impact felt across Northeast

In February 2009, Grant Crowell, a Senior Media Analyst at ReelSEO and a speaker at SES Chicago 2010, wrote “Business Models for New Realities: The Newspapers Industry’s Video SEO Opportunity.” Since then, there’s been an explosion of news media of all stripes making the migration to online video.

So, what does mean to marketers?

It means one of the first questions that you’ll be asked when pitching a story is, “Do you have any video?”

Back in 2006, a media survey by Bennett & Company Marketing found that 90 percent of journalists said that visuals were somewhat or very important to them. And 41 percent of journalists said that visuals could dictate their content.

“A release e-mailed with a jpg or tif file has a much better chance of making it into our newspaper,” said Tom Wharton, writer for the Salt Lake City Tribune. That was then. Today, if you don’t have a YouTube video to go with your story, then God bless you and good luck.

Michael Kolowich of DigiNovations.jpg
Michael Kolowich of DigiNovations

Now, back during the Blizzard of ’78, I was the editor of a weekly newspaper. And I was trapped in Acton, Ma, with Michael Kolowich, an Emmy-Award winning television news reporter from WGBH-TV (Channel 2). There was only one set of cross-country skis and we alternated in borrowing them to head out to get interviews of how people were coping with the catastrophic and historic nor’easter that dumped a record 27.1 inches of snow on Boston.

I had a notebook and a camera that took still photographs. He had a TV camera that shot on film. And we didn’t mind cooperating on stories — because my weekly newspaper wasn’t going to scoop his story on “The Ten O’Clock News” and the 90 to 150 words that he speak in 90 seconds — the average length of a broadcast news story — wasn’t going to scoop the 1,000 to 1,200 words in a typical newspaper column.

Today, everything has changed. TV news, radio news, newspaper news, newswire services, and online news are all scrambling to put video clips in their stories.

According to research from Borrell Associates, online video advertising will generate more revenue than display banner advertising, search marketing, email marketing, and all other forms of interactive advertising by 2013. In order to fully take advantage of the incredible opportunity that exists, it is critical that online news sites utilize best practices for publishing video content in a way that makes it easy for users to discover.

So, what would Kolowich and I do today?

Well, first we’d both agree that the Boxing Day Blizzard of 2010 is no Blizzard of ’78. Not even close.

Then, we’d both try to beat each other to see who would get to use the cross-country skis first.

And whoever lost that race would then go online and look for a YouTube video about the blizzard and embed it in his blog post before the other guy got back.

Get it? Got it? Good.

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