Adding Value to Websites with Audio, Video

In this post, Allison Gibeson, secretary of ASBPE’s Kansas City chapter, shares tips she got from attending a chapter event on website videos and podcasts.

As demand for advertising in print declines, adding video and audio to Web sites can provide another means of revenue and content.

To help give other editors ideas on how to implement such efforts at their publications, John Unrein, editor of InStore Buyer and Baking Buyer magazines at Sosland Publishing in Kansas City, and Chriss Scherer, editor of Radio magazine at Penton Media in Overland Park, Kan., recently spoke to the Kansas City chapter of the American Society of Business Publication Editors about their efforts in audio and video.

Unrein said his publications’ ventures into video began when their largest advertiser came to them and basically told them print is dead. Not wanting to lose the revenue from this advertiser, Unrein and his publisher decided the best course of action would be to start producing video that would be made available through their websites.

Talking Business. Some of the videos would be about three-minute editorial interviews with various bakers talking about their businesses and new concepts in the baking business, and these videos would be sponsored by the important advertiser. Other videos would basically be “advertorial” style with the advertiser directing the content but made available and published through the means of two Sosland Publishing websites, BakingBuyer.com and InStoreBuyer.com.

At the beginning, there was the concern if owners of bakeries, who have a more “behind-the-scenes” type of job, would respond well on camera.

“What we discovered, interestingly enough, is they make for some pretty good television … If bakers were talking about what they love to do, they were actually quite good,” Unrein said.

To produce this video, Unrein and his staff of two other editors found it necessary to hire a videographer, both from a time perspective and in order to produce the quality of video they would like. However, his staff travels to different bakeries on a monthly basis to conduct the interviews and oversee the video.

Enthusiasm Is Contagious. “Keep it comfortable,” Unrein said. “People will enjoy talking about what they do, what they love.”

Unrein also said it is important to develop a brand for videos from an editorial perspective. They call their overall efforts “The Baking Channel” with the editorial videos dubbed as “Discovering America’s Bakeries” and the advertising videos known as “Baker’s Workbench.”

With years of radio experience, Scherer discussed the how-to’s of adding podcasts to an editorial website. He went over the types of equipment needed including recording and editing software, types of microphones and recorders, telephone interfaces and more.

Sometimes ‘Good’ Is Enough. The amount of money spent on the quality of equipment basically can be determined by the audience. For example, Scherer said since the audience of his publication and website are those in the radio industry, high-quality sounding podcasts are necessary because the audience will pick up on imperfections. However, in other industries it might not be necessary to have such expensive equipment.

Scherer said five minutes is generally the upper time limit for a podcast, although some can go longer.

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