Agile Audio Dashboards – Want Voice with That

VoiceThatThis podcast is an interview with Jeff “Ski” Kinsey (@Consultski on Twitter) from Agile Audio Dashboards. This episode hit the airwaves as well on News-Talk 1480 WHBC located in Canton, Ohio during September 2018.

Jeff, along with his partner Tom Montelione, produce custom Alexa Skills. This podcast talks not only about Alexa but in addition the importance of “voice” regarding the future of online marketing and our interaction with technology.

We also cover aspects of podcasting including its integration with Alexa devices and the role of audio in general as it is related to digital marketing.

If you enjoy technology it’s all the better but this is an interesting program across the board for anyone who may be interested in what the future may be for how we interact with the internet.

Ask your Alexa device: “Alexa, enable Audio Dash Updates” to hear more from “SKI”

This is an audio snippet of the podcast:

For your convenience the full audio interview is available in this post below. It is also available on most of the popular podcasting platforms including iHeartRadio.

Also below is a video snippet of a separate live WHBC broadcast hosted by Pam Cook about Agile Audio Dashboards. In it both of us talk a little bit about voice and each of our individual backgrounds.

“Want Voice With That” by Agile Audio Dashboards (Pilot Episode)

 

 

Radio Days Past and Present

Vector realistic isolated neon sign of Radio logo with headset for decoration and covering on the wall background. Concept of on air, broadcasting and dj.Once upon a time in what seems a world long ago, a young handsome man with agency credentials, (I’ll give you a “maybe” on the “handsome,”) drove around to radio stations delivering well produced and magnificent  radio commercials on ½ track reels which would then be transferred to cart machine at the station. There was a formula that clients could use at the time in order to gauge the effectiveness of the advertising based upon the response. Most of the time it was deemed effective at least to some degree.

Ahh, the good ol’ days!

Flash forward about 30 years and I am now extremely active in the online digital media biosphere. I am still active in and around radio as well. The terrestrial broadcast world is tremendously viable today although the winds blow around in it a bit differently.

Given that I have a broad mix of backgrounds I feel as though I am distinctively capable of being objective as I analyze how the online media world markets itself, along with how the radio and traditional advertising market currently works both with and against the forces of the internet.

For all of the high-talk we have in our society against bias and stereotyping it is almost a guarantee that if you listen to someone analyze the opposite ends of these two mediums they will mention age as a limiting factor.

Social media “gurus” will often claim that recommending print or radio advertising to your boss might work well if you work for a bunch of “60 year-olds who haven’t transitioned yet.”

That’s a sign of the times, isn’t it? We don’t adapt to the market place but we do “transition.” It kind of reminds me of the movie “Logan’s Run” wherein when you turned 30 you had to “renew.”

By contrast radio and broadcast “experts” will often claim that radio has been around a long time and is still one of the most used forms of media. Therefore, unless your “millennial boss” wants you to play around on social media all day you better choose real advertising.

So, what is the deal? What’s happening with advertising and marketing these days in the online and traditional media realms?

Headphones and Microphone

Radio is still alive and well. However, the way you may utilize it has changed. The days of throwing a spot on the radio and just waiting for results are likely gone unless you are lucky. You will have to get your hands dirty by cultivating an online presence. This means doing it yourself or hiring someone else to do it for you.

The best case scenario would be to find an advertising/marketing professional who represents both the online marketing and radio industries with whom you can coordinate a comprehensive game plan.

Content MarketingPeople search for information now regarding the goods and services that they might be interested in. This is why your online content marketing strategy is so important. In a nutshell, whether it’s your website, social media or web videos you want to be sure that when people find the information that they are searching for that information, in turn, leads them to you.

Radio advertising will expose your name to people who may not be seeking information about your services at that moment. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing because that will serve two functions. For one, if your advertisement sparks someone’s interest they will Google you or search you out via social media. Second, even though many listeners will not have an active interest in your business at a given moment, when the day comes that they happen to be online researching the market place they will recognize your name when they find you. Familiarity is extremely important regarding the buyer’s choices.

One of the first steps in this process that I recommend to people is to identify and define the personality of your business. Just like shaking someone’s hand and getting a first impression, what is the impact that your business has on a listener of your advertising or when someone finds you online? Are you a price leader? Are you a value leader? Are you a specialized services leader? What aspects of your business do you always want to make an impression with regarding all of your clients? If you can’t answer any of these questions with simple answers then that is a problem because you can bet no one else can either.

Second, have a strong online presence. Make sure your website is up to date. Choose several social media platforms that work well for you and maintain them as well. Utilize short and bright videos across your online platforms along with clear and well-taken pictures. Research the viability of podcasts and other media that may serve you well online.

Headphones Podcast On-AirThird, if you choose to advertise on the radio make sure that the identity that you are forming for your business grabs the listener. I would likely start with short ads that stress your name and the core essence of your business identity. Avoid details in your radio spots such as specials, phone numbers, and locations. These details will not be retained by the listener. Just shake their hand firmly and make an impression. If you do that they will find you on their smartphone.

Advertise and market with associates who understand and appreciate all the forms of media available in these complex times. Be consistent. Know who you are as a business. Get out there and firmly shake some hands.

How Do You Shoot Your Smartphone Video?

It’s a question as old as time. Well, not really. Mainly since smartphones have become a force in the field of video production.

Up and down or side to side? Vertical or horizontal? More technically speaking portrait or landscape

The portrait way, which is up and down so to speak, has its uses. If you are sending someone a video of yourself walking in your new suit, it may be the way to go. Or, if you enjoy producing lip-syncing music videos in various apps for Instagram and the like that’s fine too. Various social media sharing platforms encourage slightly different ratios at times and that is great. I guess.

woman with smartphone
That’s right! Landscape is the way to do it!

However, for a traditional and some might say a real video, I prefer landscape or some version of 16×9. It’s a great fit for YouTube and websites. It’s also the format that resembles television and movies. Although movie ratios can vary, that’s why sometimes they still do not quite fit your TV screen even with the newer wide TV formats, I have yet to walk into a theater and find a vertically mounted screen as opposed to a horizontal one.

I’m pretty sure some version of portrait was  tried a while back for certain movies and the concept sank like an iron ore paddle boat down to the bitty bitty bottom of the sea of misguided and bad ideas.

Last year I participated in a Video LinkedIn challenge and shot a little video about the subject. How about you? How do you shoot your video?

 

Is Podcasting a Bubble that is Due to Pop?

Press conference
So many microphones, so little time.

Is podcasting part of a digital media bubble that is due to implode?

Although it is impossible to predict the future, in a word I would say “no.” Podcasting is here to stay as a viable media tool although the landscape of the medium will change. At the same time, for the time being I would be remiss not to acknowledge that there is an overabundance of podcasts.

Podcasting is going through what the blogosphere did over ten years ago. At first there was such a hunger for articles and information that was an alternative from magazines and newspapers, that everybody jumped on the blog bandwagon. Contained in the inundation of blogs were poorly written posts and frivolous content. There is still no shortage of blogs but the cream has risen to the top in many cases by the most talented and consistent bloggers. Not to mention many of the people who were blogging about their morning breakfast a decade ago are now taking pictures of their toast over on Facebook.

We have that dynamic now with podcasting. The podcast medium is over-crowded and many podcasts have poor sound quality and production value. Furthermore, I certainly do not know how some podcasters come up with their show ideas. I would need a hit of acid to listen to an hour long podcast about ten things to use a condom for other than its intended use. Since I am strongly anti-drug, suffice it to say the likelihood of me medicating myself through that type of content is pretty slim.

The novelty of this type of podcast is sure to wear off and in time the crowded podcast field will level off. In my opinion there are three things that will keep podcasting, in essence, alive for a good while into the future.

For one, the good thing about many different creators being attracted to podcasting is that a good diverse talent base is also expanding, which will only serve a growing audience. The audience itself is becoming much savvier in terms of what constitutes good production value and content. Screwball shows can have a viable share of the marketplace as well but will have to up their game on par with professionally produced comedy shows and radio programs.

Second, the landscape for digital media regarding content marketing is enormous and the demographics for podcasting are possibly wide open depending on the subject matter. A big advantage of podcasts over video or written blogs is that they do not require your complete attention. A busy listener who is juggling a career and family can easily listen to an episode while doing pretty much anything else simultaneously. As big businesses and their marketing divisions are realizing the new potential to build a bridge of good content to their client base by utilizing podcasts, investment in the medium will likely propagate.

Thirdly, the utilization of audio only in general is increasing rapidly. Audio streaming devices in the home are already very common and as internet enabled cars are also on their way to becoming a norm, a loftier potential to reach a large audience is being set in place. The day is coming when while on your way to work, you can simply ask your car’s dashboard how your local councilperson is planning to vote on an upcoming issue and within a few seconds you will hear his or her voice. From this aspect alone I have been advocating the idea that building a reservoir of audio content online is a good idea for many people who need to get the word out about what they do.

Predictions about the rise or fall of podcasting have been happening every year especially since 2012 when the medium’s popularity began to soar. My opinion is that the rage will level off but podcasting and especially audio content in various forms is here to stay.

In the meantime I hope that the sheer number of podcasts do not hurt the brilliant shine of the medium. There was a time when telling someone that you had a blog was met with a deep sigh because of the saturated blogosphere. For the serious practitioners of podcasting the best advice I can give you is to stay consistent, don’t try to compete with every new podcast that comes along, and be sure to serve your loyal audience members with great content.

We’ll just have to wait for the dust to settle around us.

Why Podcast?

Online Media Concept. Blue Podcast Button with Microphone. 3d ReI come from the world of audio and media production in general.

With that being said, in professional and social settings I often get asked about podcasting and its relevance. Being that I enjoy the medium I’m not sure how much people expect an objective answer from me. Well, there are no easy solutions in today’s complicated and fragmented online and traditional media landscape. I would not tout podcasting as a one size fits all solution for everyone. However, it is becoming a force that more and more people are turning to as part of their overall content marketing strategy.

The audience for podcasting is growing. According to recent data from Edison Research, the audience is strong in the age group 18-54. The podcast listener tends to be educated, affluent, and is also part of a group that likes content that is free from advertising or that is at least low in advertisement rotation. The on-demand nature of podcasts seems to be a big part of the medium’s appeal as well.

There are plenty of ways for people to produce their own podcasts at a low cost just as there are easy ways for them to produce their own online videos and digital pictures. However, just as with video and other media there are times when professional production is more appropriate. For one, the growing audience is increasingly listening to podcasts on better sounding streaming devices and becoming savvier regarding production quality. Secondly, as this occurs companies and organizations wanting to increase their listenership may not want to incur the time of in-house training and the cost of equipment to get to a high production level. Even with this being the case, most of the time professional podcast production is very affordable when compared to television and other media.

Investment in the medium is improving not only with increased funding but with traditional media outlets beginning podcast divisions. Style and presentation is also evolving for the better due to the talent base that podcasting is attracting. Moreover, marketers are aware that internet enabled automobiles will likely only serve to expand the base of podcast listeners where almost half of radio listening takes place.

fdb26a0f-3bfe-4804-9e0f-9a7f34098669To me, one of the major appeals of podcasting is the fact that they do not require the audience’s complete attention. Unlike a video or a blog post, you can listen to a podcast while you are pretty much doing anything. This is a key feature for young professionals who are busy with a family and a career.

I would also want to be aware of the burgeoning use of interactive audio content. It may not be long before you are able to just simply ask your car’s dashboard what your council representative’s position is on a given issue and his or her voice will be coming out of the speakers. Building an online reservoir of audio content for your potential clients to access in the future is probably a good idea.

Podcasts can be very entertaining and informative. I certainly would encourage anyone to become a fan of podcasting.

For the more ambitious of you who may want to try making one, it is often said that good writers are good readers first. I would advise the same for novices regarding podcasts. Listen to a few of them. Remember, we don’t expect online videos to be stylized as television programs and podcasts do not need to be modeled after morning zoo radio shows. Get some ideas and settle on your own panache.

Oh, and have fun.

Podcast Production 5 3 2017