Turning Webinars into Searchable Text

This post was written by John White on Mon, 28 Mar 2011 19:53:34 +0000
Posted Under: case studies,interviewing customers,marketing manager

Webinars take time and money. Here’s how to get the most of each out of yours, and get search engine clout in the bargain.

Webinars, videos, customer interviews, conference proceedings, panel discussions…marketing managers expend a lot of sweat in setting these events up, and they deserve to reap sweat equity from all that effort.digital audio recorder

How can you make these vehicles work harder for you? How can get more mileage out of them? Most important, how can you get real SEO juice out of them?

One of our technology clients has events of this type first transcribed, then has the transcripts edited and converted into full-blown case studies. The resulting text is SEO-rich in customer names, industry terminology, product names and references to their wins in the market.

The procedure we follow on these webinar-to-case-study conversions is simple, and I outline it here:

  1. Product managers, field engineers, marketing managers and just about all employees in the field are empowered to record at these events. They use digital audio recorders, Flips and professional video equipment to capture the event, which they then digitize and make available as an audio or video file.
  2. Marketing then quickly reviews the footage and vets it for worthiness as a case study. (Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you get to the fairy princess.)
  3. Every month or so, they point us to the online repository of the audio and video files, some of which they place at dropbox.com and others of which they point us to at video sharing sites on the Web. We coordinate priorities and schedule using a GoogleDocs spreadsheet.
  4. We then have the audio and video transcribed, which, practically speaking, takes about 1.5 days per hour of footage, including first-pass editing and review in an MS Word document.
  5. We then send the transcript back to Marketing for review and approval by the customer who gave the presentation.
  6. Once the customer has approved, we edit and massage the transcript from its rough, oral form into a more polished, written form, which takes another day and a half or so per hour of footage. We introduce subheadings to correspond to slide changes in the presentations and questions in the panel discussions. We also add customer logos, pull-out quotations and other tidbits of metadata that go into the finished product.
  7. The client then reviews the case study and pours it into an Apple Pages template. In lives as a PDF on the Website, gets crawled by the search engine bots and viewed by customers and prospects.

The result is easier to follow than the rough transcript, and it tells the client’s story more effectively. It is not always perfect prose, but we make sure that it is good English, free of the uh’s and um’s of extemporaneous speech. It is finished enough to be valuable marketing content, yet spontaneous enough to fit our client’s marketing style and strategy very well.

And, of course, the search engines love it.

How do you recycle your webinars?

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a marketing communications writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s dirty work, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Marketing Communications Writer.”

photo credit: cogdogblog

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