Friday, July 11, 2008

Video for radio websites -- the easy way

I've talked before about how radio stations can use videos to add valuable content to their websites (and thereby increase traffic). Recently, I was reminded that this video doesn't necessarily have to be generated by the business itself.

JD Slade is the morning DJ at WJMA-FM in Orange, Virginia -- the station we're using as a case study to see what works (or doesn't) online. JD's posted some videos on YouTube. They're not official WJMA videos, just clips shot by private individuals. While not great art, they're the kind of fun, casual videos many people post.

However -- even though these are personal videos, they can be potentially valuable content for WJMA's website.

Here's one of JD Slade having fun in the studio while a song plays.

So what's the takeaway?
  1. JD Slades's a person who knows how to have fun.
  2. JD Slade's full of energy.
  3. If you look carefully, you can see that he's not just flailing his arms -- JD really knows how to play the guitar. He's a musician.
Now if this video was embedded in the station's website with info about JD Slade's morning show, the augmented takeaway could be:
  1. WJMA's morning show is fun.
  2. WJMA's morning man, JD Slade, is full of energy.
  3. WJMA's staff (at least one of them) is a musician. They must really know a lot about the music they play.
Here's another one of JD Slade dancing at a local event.

The immediate takeaway?
  1. JD Slade is man who knows how to enjoy himself.
  2. JD Slade is a good dancer (decidedly better than me, that's for sure).
  3. This looks like a fun event.
Now suppose that video was taken at a WJMA remote, and posted to WJMA's website (with accompanying info identifying JD Slade as the WJMA morning DJ). Now the takeaway's changed slightly.
  1. JD is a man who knows how to enjoy himself. His morning show must be fun to listen to.
  2. JD is a good dancer. He sure has a lot of energy. I bet his morning show does, too.
  3. Looks like this is a fun WJMA event. The next time they're going to be out broadcasting somewhere, I'm going to stop by. They know how to have a blast.
Of course, the more videos of this nature the station has on its site, the larger the cumulative effect. By also placing them on YouTube (yes, I know that's where these originated), the station makes the videos available to other folks as well. And every time someone links to it or embeds it in their own blog/email/Facebook page/etc., it just serves as another free plug for, and another link back to the station. And in the realm of social networking, that's the most effective kind of branding there is.

So the simplest (and cheapest) way to generate unique content for a website? Let the staff do their thing with camcorders -- and post the videos that work.

- Ralph

Day 27 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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