Reaching Latinos through mobile-first visuals

By Emily Case

Using visuals as a shared language is an effective way to reach diverse audiences, Almudena Toral said.

As head of feature video at Univision News Digital, Toral uses imagery to connect with both Spanish- and English-speaking audiences. 

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Its audiences are comprised of multi-generation immigrants, non-immigrants and international users, she said. With so many different ages and backgrounds, deciding what languages and platforms are used is an important consideration in story forms.

Often, Univision reporters will work with multiple platforms in mind. In a current project about Hurricane Irma, journalists are producing content for social, television and digital platforms all at once. Toral said it’s important to make content that will be “amazing on all platforms.”

She also strives to play to each platform’s strengths by utilizing visuals in different ways. Unsurprisingly, video is a large part of this equation. Toral shared five ways to make effective video.

  1. Simple ideas and concepts. Keeping a narrow focus on a video helps make it more cohesive.
  2. Visual evidence. It’s easier to show and not tell when it comes to topics like the effects of plastic waste on albatross populations.
  3. The rare or incredibly visual. Toral cited Univision’s coverage of an alien festival in Argentina as an example.
  4. Action unfolding/drama/tension/surprise/change. Video has always been a natural fit for this more cinematic treatment of long-form storytelling, she said.
  5. Humor/tenderness/emotion/universal connections. This includes any human interest-oriented story that evokes emotion.

In addition to video, Univision implements infographics, animation, illustration and more for various pieces. Animation can be used for anything from the humorous (a video about Trump’s comments against Latinos) to the serious (explainers on what to do in an ICE raid).

Visit Univision’s portfolio to see more of its digital work.