The PoLR blog has been lucky enough to secure an interview with Ali Hutcheson of Woods Noble Media, who has kindly agreed to answer some questions for us. Woods Noble Media specialise in producing quality video and audio for businesses or those who require the service of multimedia specialists. With over a decades experience in television and radio production as well as spending time working as a journalist for one of the largest corporations in the UK namely the BBC; Ali brings to Wood Noble media a solid technical background in multimedia production but also a profound knowledge of how to communicate in business.
Woods Noble Media provide businesses with a full multimedia service also specialising in websites, podcasts, social media and image presentation. Some of Woods Noble Media’s past clients include; Scottish Women in Business, New Territories and Scottish Sinfonia.
Hi Ali! How are you? Are you feeling in the festive spirit yet over at Woods Noble? Thanks for taking the time out to answer these questions for our blog readers.
Thank you, I’m pleased to escape the Christmas cards!
1) What encouraged you to make the move from working in Television and radio production into running your own business helping other businesses with all their multimedia requirements?
After many years of working for the BBC I had the opportunity of redundancy and decided to take it and see where it led me. I had a few years doing a number of different things, before realising how much knowledge I had from my broadcasting years. This coincided with the expansion of multimedia on the internet. It became obvious that I was in the ideal position to produce broadcast quality video and audio for websites.
2) What do you see as being the main benefits of businesses incorporating video and audio (podcasts etc…) into their online presence?
SEO is a good start. YouTube is the 2nd biggest search engine in the world and as Google own YouTube, you can see why it makes sense. In the Google Video search there are a lot fewer videos than websites, so you stand a much better chance of being ranked.
With video on your site, you can give potential clients more confidence in your product or service; they can see who you are. Video testimonials are so much stronger than written ones, and much harder to fake.
Video also brings value in demonstrating a product or service, it just adds so much information. It’s also a fact that people stay on sites longer that have video content and they remember more information. Finally, I think that people are starting to expect video when they go onto a website.
3) How did you start out and first begin your established career in the media as it is a very popular yet competitive career choice for a lot of young people and I’m sure they’d love to find out how you did it?
I started in the old days when there weren’t a lot of Media Studies courses. I’d always been good at arts and sciences and didn’t quite know which way to go. Although I wanted to study music, sense prevailed, and I studied Physics at University. However I took advantage of being a member of the team that provided staging, sound and lighting when the Student’s Union put on bands. When it came to a career I found the job description for a ‘BBC Studio Manager’ which was the BBC called their radio sound engineers. It needed a combination of technical understanding and creativity and seemed like my sort of job. Despite over 1000 applications for about 60 positions, I was lucky enough to get one. It was such a great job; I met and worked with really interesting people and learnt so much about broadcasting. A lot of people started their careers as a Studio Manager, Esther Rantzen and Tony Benn among them.
Although I moved from radio to television, my strong audio background gives me an extra layer of creativity when producing video.
4) In your opinion what aspects form a good promotional video that has been made for the internet? Also what do you feel are they best methods in ensuring people watch these videos?
I’m a great believer in videos that get straight to the point. A video should be an integral part of the webpage and when I click on a video, I like to get to the information quickly, not sit through 20 seconds of titles. Brevity is also important; I don’t think that there are many online videos that should be longer than 2 minutes.
I also firmly believe that it has to look good and be well crafted with good sound as well as good pictures.
5) What advice would you give to business owners who like the idea of promoting their business through video, but are too shy or hesitant to get in front of the camera, how else can they use video?
For a start, being in front of the camera to promote your business doesn’t mean that you have to be a TV presenter and to be honest for most people I wouldn’t recommend it! It’s a difficult thing to do and only a few can do it easily without lots of practice.
One way I find works better, is to do interviews. This means that rather than trying to present and remember lines, you just have to answer the sort of questions that you answer about your business all the time. I then edit the answers with other footage about the business to produce your video.
Another service we provide is the audio slideshow. If you already have a lot of photographs relating to your business, it could be products or a photo archive relating to the development of your business over the years, then we use these with an audio interview. Speaking without a camera in your face is easier, so we record an interview about the images and then edit it all together. This can also be used for a personal family archive and can be amazingly powerful.
Thank you so much to Ali Hutcheson for taking the time out to answer our questions, we hope you enjoyed reading this.