Video did NOT kill the radio star!

(Instead they worked out their differences over a glass of pinot noir and came to a mutually beneficial relationship)

We’ve all seen the compelling evidence that proves online video works and is only going to get bigger.

All the major social media platforms are introducing ways to make video easier and quicker to load as well as making changes to ensure advertisers are able to benefit from social video.

Video and radio have been willing but uncomfortable bed fellows. It makes sense that an audio medium would want to take advantage of video to allow listeners to see the magic behind the scenes but how can you use video on radio campaigns that not only reward listeners with a unique experience but also help the aligned brand get the audience and views they expect.

Here are some of the lessons I’ve learnt after much trial and error:

1. Don’t treat video like you treat radio

Radio people, for all our eulogising about pre-prod, spend very little time doing pre-prod. The medium is quick, easy and cheap to produce and because there are so many competent people in the game, we get away it.

When you don’t plan video properly, you don’t get away with it.
Put some thought into what you are shooting, too many videos from radio stations are of the presenter doing exactly what he or she did on air. Radio is notoriously boring to watch – so why make people watch it?

Treat the video as if you are looking for an entire new audience. You catered for the on-air audience while you were on-air, rethink what made that piece so good and repackage it for a viewing and social media audience.

2. Face for radio

We love radio presenters because they are good at radio. The ones that are good at TV…are already on TV. I’ve put a presenter in an awkward situation by plonking them in front of the camera when they don’t want to be there.

I often see radio presenters on camera, even the most experienced ones, looking like a deer in the headlights. Not sure what to do with their hands, not sure how to stand.

If you are going to film an uncomfortable presenter put them in their natural habitat. Set up the shot in studio and behind the mic.
However first prize should be to appoint a ‘’video only’’ DJ – someone who has the charisma, ethos and sound of your station but is great on camera.

3. All the gear, no idea

Video is becoming cheaper and cheaper to make but it’s about getting the balance right. It’s inexcusable for big commercial radio stations to shoot client funded video on mobile phones but at the same time, there is little need for full on, in-house sets with all the bells and whistles.

Get the right gear for what you want to produce but rather make the investment in people who know how to bring a story to life on camera.

You can have the world’s best gear but if you don’t have the eye for the shot or are able to translate a story into something people want to watch, that gear is going to gather dust.

4. Now, not just now

Video for radio is caught in this weird trap where we think it’s important for a video of an event to be available online as soon as possible, often compromising production quality and storyline in favour of being live ‘’just after the show’’.

These videos notoriously get very few views because not only is it often uninteresting to watch and share, but we also put it online without knowing if there is an audience for it.

If you need to make a video live with a deadline, use your social media and website stats to make sure you are posting videos when your audience watches videos – this will often help guide you on the content of the video and buy you a bit more time to craft it.

5. One take wonders

On-air we don’t get a second chance. Once you say it, it’s out there. Video gives us the opportunity to do as many takes as we need to so that we get it right. Take advantage of it. Your extra time spent planning could be the difference between someone scrolling past your video or hitting the all-important share button.

6. Don’t bribe for views

I’ve been guilty of it and I can’t scrub enough to get rid of the shame. There is no value in a view that is just after a prize and while lots of views look great in a debrief, it doesn’t mean anything to the audience.

Rather put the time, effort and money into your distribution plan as well as producing a piece of video content that resonates with people, is truly interesting and is something they want to share.

By Paulo Dias.
Creative Director at Ultimate Media


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