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in a professional video studio in the US. “Video makes up probably at least 30 per cent of the content we produce for Burda Style in the USA. Even for items that aren’t focused on video, such as our web seminars and our online courses, we still find a way to incorporate video into them. A lot of our readers, members, and online visitors like to learn visually, and video is the perfect way to do that, especially with such a technically focused, hands-on subject as sewing.” Michaels agrees: “Increasingly, video

is a very important part of our strategy, allowing us to reach a new audience and also differentiate what we do from our competitors. In the consumer technology market that we cover, it’s particularly important to be able to demonstrate how a product works and to do it in a lively way. Video helps us do that in a way that a text article simply can’t.”

Making money It’s also boosting the bottom-line, according to Wootton: “Video works for us in several ways. Firstly, it makes our sites more engaging, it increases dwell time and attracts additional advertising. Adding all that up it’s worth about £2m in additional revenue that we make because of video content. It’s a combination of appearing on our site and selling advertising around it and also other things like YouTube. We have roughly eight million views per-month across our brands on YouTube, and two million on our sites, so that’s about 10 million views per month. “On YouTube, that’s a huge outreach

programme of getting people to be engaged with our brands and we hope that turns into

referrals back to our site and maybe

subscriptions. It’s a really important part of the creative content that we do for advertisers – native advertising or content marketing. We make a lot of money from brands. We’ve just done a big campaign with VW, for example, with videos very much at the heart of it”. “We strongly believe that video is a

valuable service for our customers,” says Evans. “So we certainly don’t offer video content only for the sake of SEO-optimisation. Our Burda Style team is thoughtful and careful about how and what we produce. We choose video topics that our readers are already searching for; we write web copy and marketing copy that will also catch their searches. Our web development team optimises the back- end details in order to ensure people find us.


PETE WOOTTON, Managing director, Dennis Interactive, UK “We employ six full-time videographers. They are camera people, directors and editors, so they have a lot of advice about how we set up the cameras in the first place and what

would make a good series of shots. They also specialise – in screen graphics, for example. We also employ a full-time journalist who covers our motoring sites. We get people who have specialist knowledge, rather than full-time presenters.

“It’s quite exciting doing video. A lot of people like doing it. But there are a lot of really good journalists who are just not good on camera. Some people are naturals, some aren’t. It’s partly experience, but there’s also an innate ability. We invest in people and give them training. But there are some people, no matter how much training they have, are never going to look comfortable on camera. It’s often not the most experienced journalists who make the best video presenters; more likely a genial person who seems natural and comfortable. And we spend time with those people getting them better.

“The studio is really paying for itself. But it’s only part of the work we do. We’re out and about filming cars, testing on racetracks and on the road. We outsource our production facilities and our staff to other publishers and companies. We think we are very good at providing value for money. If you go to an agency in London and try and hire a video team they will easily charge you £50,000 or £60,000 without breaking a sweat. But we know publishers aren’t made of money, so we make sure it’s good quality at the right price.

ELIZABETH HEICHLER, Video VP/ editorial director, IDG News Service, USA “The IDG News Service is a centralised editorial resource serving all IDG titles worldwide, providing 24-hour breaking news of the technology industry from

bureaus in Asia, Europe and North America.

“About eight years ago, we talked about the feasibility of adding video content to our offerings, and started by purchasing three “pro-sumer” cameras, and handing them over to the correspondents who wanted to develop their video-journalism skills. We also bought video editing tools such as Adobe Premiere. Finding the right people was key, because there can be a steep learning curve to video production – you need to be able to shoot, edit and tell stories.

“We did a lot of experimentation to find out what resonated with our audience. The bar has been raised a lot higher since those early days, in terms of production values for online video. Our skill levels have grown and the content looks pretty good.

“After about a year or two of bootstrapping the video operation without dedicated staff, I hires a full-time video journalist. We took on a recent journalism graduate who already had some skill in shooting, editing and writing. We have since added another video journalist to the team and produce about eight to ten videos per week. These include breaking news and more ‘evergreen’ content.

Dennis’ London studio creates many videos for its viewers and others

“Because we’re in the technology space there are a lot of new devices coming in for hands-on reviews. This also leads to more “how to” videos – these are very popular. We’ve found that it helps enormously if you tie video to text stories, so both of our video journalists will typically write a story to go along with a video. We also encourage our reporters in the field to shoot video with small, very portable cameras or even smartphones. We have them send that content to one of our two video specialists who have the skill to quickly edit it into a nice-looking report.”

issue 83_2014 | Magazine World |25

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