Tips: producing online content

As listeners increasingly access audio away from the radio, it’s essential to get content into online spaces. So how do you ensure your material is noticed on the net? Interactive editor Sam Bailey explains the principles and strategies adopted by Radio 1 and 1Xtra.

Have a clear vision
If you are adapting broadcast material for the online environment, it’s crucial to have a clear vision and to understand exactly who you are making your content for. There is a danger in being distracted by new technology rather than delivering what your core audience wants. Radio 1 and 1Xtra concentrate on sharing key entertainment and music moments with their audience. This is what their listeners want and it is also what they are uniquely placed to deliver.

Involve your audience
Radio 1 and 1Xtra’s audience is active in social media spaces. R1 and 1Xtra’s online staff and sites have a large and visible presence in these spaces too. But Sam advises that communicating on Facebook or Twitter is more about conversing than broadcasting. An example where this worked well was Scott Mills’s U CTRL Katy stunt where Katy Perry did (almost) everything the audience told her to for an hour. 40,000 SM messages were received by the station while Katy was on air, confirming that involvement is key to engagement on social media.

Aim high
Today, anybody can make films, take photos, upload them to the net and distribute them via social media. To ensure Radio 1’s content stands out, Sam and his team ensure that their photos and videos are all produced to broadcast standard. Content producers are trained to shoot stills on SLRs, vision mix webcams and edit down footage in desktop programmes.

Your audience is mobile
The audience for audio and online content is increasingly mobile. Listeners and viewers aren’t tied to a desk or a desktop computer. The on-demand audience can outstrip the live audience. Sam’s advice is that you should make sure that as much of your content is mobile, social and on demand as possible.