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Storytelling, visual elements are essential for compelling weather videos

By Jim Politis

The Weather Company, an IBM Business

Andover, Massachusetts, USA


For digital content producers, creating compelling video content isn’t just about disseminating information; it’s a strategic way to captivate and retain audience attention. An engaging video can go a long way in terms of building trust and increasing viewership.

Of course, creating timely content that resonates with viewers is easier said than done. Audiences’ attention spans are fleeting, and journalists feel constant pressure to share new posts at a rapid pace as trends develop and events unfold.

And for weather content producers, whose forecasts update daily, the pressure to keep up with production schedules can feel overwhelming.

Though weather videos must deliver time-sensitive information, storytelling is still important for engaging viewers.
Though weather videos must deliver time-sensitive information, storytelling is still important for engaging viewers.

For weather videos specifically, the goal isn’t just to deliver an update. These videos must also engage viewers and establish your brand as a trustworthy resource. In an era where authenticity is paramount, videos striking a balance between informative and engaging can enhance your brand’s credibility.

As a prime news source, you can’t afford to compromise on content quality or cadence. However, there are tools and strategies that can help you unlock video production efficiencies without sacrificing quality — or audience engagement.

Crafting compelling meteorological video content involves many moving parts, so it can be easy to overlook critical elements. To maximise engagement, your strategy should:

1. Tell a story

The essence of effective weather videos is storytelling. Create a focused message that resonates with your audience emotionally and intellectually.

Weather stories that surprise, delight, and teach the viewer something new hold a greater chance at eliciting positive reactions. This means focusing on more than data presentation. Instead, contextualise information into a narrative that viewers connect with on a personal level, giving them a reason to continue watching.

2. Leverage automation and templates

Ensure your videos align with current weather events, such as promptly addressing severe weather warnings or flood alerts. Templates can also be an important tool in ensuring your content is properly sized for various formats and channels, while remaining on brand.

Being timely and pertinent enhances the value of your content, encouraging your audience to return for accurate and up-to-date information for their day-to-day weather experience.

3. Include A/B testing

Implementing A/B testing to experiment with a variety of video content is a highly effective strategy.

While certain content, such as severe weather updates, may be time-sensitive and straight-forward, others present an opportunity to test diverse engagement approaches. Testing various lifestyle weather content such as a beach forecast or golf forecast allows you to identify audience preferences and behaviours so you create more unique content, ultimately enhancing overall viewer engagement.

4. Use the first three seconds to your advantage

Capturing users’ attention within the first three seconds is critical to keep them from scrolling past your post. Use visually engaging elements, compelling titles, and concise openings to entice your audience from the outset.

5. Make it visually appealing

Elevate your video content’s appeal and effectiveness by incorporating impactful visualisations. Examples include storm surge and flooding visuals for heightened preparedness during severe weather, a vibrant local weekly weather overview for quick comprehension, dynamic temperature tracking for informed planning, and visually represented humidity levels to enhance accessibility for a broader audience.

About Jim Politis

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