Kate Brannen Smith

Switcher Studio Digital Content Strategist and Writer

Recent Posts

How News Stations Are Driving Views — and Revenue — with Facebook Live

By Kate Brannen Smith on Dec 31, 2019 9:45:09 AM

The Radio Television Digital News Association conducts an annual survey of newsrooms across the U.S., and one of the open-ended questions they ask every year is, “What is the most important new thing you started doing with social media in the past year?”

In both the 2017 and 2018 reports, the most popular answer was Facebook Live. (This makes sense considering Facebook Live was rolled out globally in spring 2016, and each year’s report covers the previous year’s activity.) Newsrooms reported using it for breaking news, weather, polls, sports, events, behind-the-scenes content, and more. Interestingly, in the 2019 report, Facebook Live was the second most popular answer (likely suggesting it was no longer a “new thing” for most newsrooms to adopt). 2019’s top answer was strategy — newsrooms reported being more strategic about what and when they posted on social media.

Newsrooms gearing up for 2020 can learn from these reports by looking at their own Facebook Live strategies and applying the insights in the RTDNA reports. Here are a few tips gleaned from the anonymous responses quoted in the 2018 and 2019 reports (2017’s report didn’t include direct quotes):

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74% of Buyers Prefer Video to Text When Learning About Products

By Kate Brannen Smith on Dec 16, 2019 11:46:19 AM

Promo.com recently released their 2019 Online Video Statistics and Trends report, and the findings are right up our alley. Here are a few of the highlights. 

  • 56% of respondents said that Facebook was the social platform they spent the most time on.
  • 67% of respondents said YouTube was their go-to place to watch video.
  • 49% of people watch more than 5 online videos per day.
  • 52% of people prefer to watch videos on mobile.
  • 74% of people prefer to learn about products/services through videos rather than text or photos.
Topics: Latest News
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The Best Livestreaming Platforms for Churches

By Kate Brannen Smith on Dec 2, 2019 3:15:48 PM

We’ve discussed at length why churches should consider livestreaming and how they can get started for free, but we haven’t yet covered where they can livestream — what sites or platforms are the best fit. There are numerous streaming platforms out there, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the options. The obvious big names are Facebook and YouTube, and these are both great destinations for your livestreams, giving you the opportunity for incredible reach, engagement, and ease of use. But there are also a number of paid platforms that churches may choose if they want more powerful broadcasting options. Here we’ll break down a few of the most popular streaming platforms for churches, detailing what they offer.

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9 Must-Have Apps for Mobile Journalists

By Kate Brannen Smith on Nov 4, 2019 10:09:57 AM

An interesting shift has happened in journalism training just in the past decade or so. When I was in undergrad, journalism students were required to have DSLR cameras and voice recorders. We needed them for our photojournalism, multimedia, and newswriting classes. By the time I was in graduate school, just a couple of years later, journalism students were required to have iPhones (yes, iPhones specifically). And those we needed for, well, everything.

It’s no wonder iPhones are a staple for aspiring and established journalists alike. What blogs and social media did for news gatekeeping, the iPhone did for news technology. Now we’re all gatekeepers, and we all have in our pockets the tech needed to record, photograph, film, write, edit, polish, and publish a multimedia news piece. That brings a whole new meaning to freedom of the press.

We’ve curated a list of must-have apps and resources that will take your already amazing iPhone and deck it out to be the ultimate mobile journalism tool. So check out our list below, and add your own favorite resources in the comments:

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Taking Your Radio Show to Facebook Live

By Kate Brannen Smith on Oct 24, 2019 2:50:37 PM

Radio stations are facing more online competition than ever before. Streaming services like Spotify and Pandora provide music lovers with infinite options, and podcasts provide an inexhaustible number of talk shows on even the most niche of topics. And that doesn’t even include on-demand video services, news subscription sites, digital books and audiobooks, and all the stuff our friends post on social media. Channels abound, content abounds, and competition for audience attention is steep.

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See What’s New in Switcher 4.3 — Cloud Asset Storage, Video Chat for All, and More

By Kate Brannen Smith on Oct 22, 2019 1:57:23 PM

Happy Switcher Studio update day! We’ve been working on the enhancements in today’s 4.3 release for quite some time. We’re thrilled to introduce asset storage, make our multi-user plan more accessible, bring Video Chat to everyone, and turn a number of your requests into a reality. Below you’ll find an overview of the biggest additions and improvements. But before that, we wanted to introduce you to a new plan structure! 

Topics: Latest News
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See What’s New in Switcher Studio 4.2 — Upgrades to Video Chat, Audio Controls, and Inserted Videos

By Kate Brannen Smith on Aug 27, 2019 8:48:09 AM

It’s everyone’s favorite day — update day! We’re rolling out Switcher Studio 4.2, which includes enhancements to the Video Chat extension as well as greater audio controls and more options for customizing your inserted videos.

Download the updated Switcher Studio app from the App Store to get these exciting upgrades. (If you don't already have one, you'll need to create a Switcher Studio account to use the app.)

Topics: Latest News
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How to Measure Your Live Videos' Effectiveness

By Kate Brannen Smith on Aug 12, 2019 9:00:00 AM

This is the eighth post in our Live Video Content Strategy series, helping you craft a strategy for your live videos.

It’s almost time to go live, you guys! If you’ve been following along with this series, you should have a live video content strategy document that’s nearly complete — audience identified, topics chosen, goals stated, etc.

The last step in building your strategy is to determine how you’ll evaluate the effectiveness of your live videos after the fact. Which metrics will you look at to know whether your content plan succeeded?

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Is Livestreaming Services Right for Your Church? 8 Reasons to Consider

By Kate Brannen Smith on Jul 29, 2019 10:28:11 AM

If I’ve learned anything about church management from my decades as a pastor’s kid, it’s that church leaders have a lot on their plates, and it extends far beyond pastoral work. Sure, they preach and counsel and visit sick people. But they also run teams, hold meetings, deal with budgets, manage conflicts, and oversee basically everything. They’re like CEOs in clerical collars — or snazzy sneaks, depending on your denomination. Oh, and they answer to God. So, yeah, lots of responsibility.

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How to Create a Content Calendar for Your Live Videos

By Kate Brannen Smith on Jul 15, 2019 9:28:09 AM

This is the seventh post in our Live Video Content Strategy series, helping you craft a strategy for your live videos.

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