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Behind the scenes of SEOmoz’s Whiteboard Friday

SEOmoz has filled a niche in the world of SEO by making weekly videos, called their Whiteboard Friday series. Here’s an example of a Whiteboard Friday video:

The example video’s analytics reflect the audience’s engagement. Almost 50% of viewers watch the entire video, which is a remarkably high audience retention rate for a 15-minute long, non-required video.

The ideas

The Mozzers have made a name for themselves by straightforwardly explaining complex topics. How do they do it? They just apply their expertise to the great topics that they choose. SEOmoz shared with us where they find their Whiteboard Friday ideas.

  • They answer questions from their blog comments and their PRO Q&A Forum
  • They talk about issues they're working on. If they’re brainstorming solutions to interesting problems, they figure that other people might be interested in their thought processes.
  • They give their perspective on news and trends in their industry.
  • They find inspiration on Twitter and Quora.
  • They conduct live, in-person interviews. If someone drops by their office, SEOmoz willl often film a quick Q&A with the guest.

The production

Once they have their idea, they’re ready to go. SEOmoz broke down their production process into some easy steps for us.

  • Organize. Have a meeting to come up with an idea, get input on the content, and discuss the logistics of filming. SEOmoz gave us an example, “If we don't have a video in the hopper, I'll speak with our team about who might be the presenter of the next WBF video.”
  • Lights, camera, action! The Mozzers set up their equipment, and then it’s blastoff! They film their video in one or two takes, keeping it fun and conversational. SEOmoz’s laid back approach is a great alternative to an expensive, highly produced series.
  • Edit. SEOmoz says, “It usually doesn't take a lot of time, maybe an hour, to cut out excess film and add bumpers.” They recommend Final Cut for editing, SpeechPad for transcription (which is great for long videos), and Quicktime, compressed with H.264, to export their film for video rendering.
  • Upload and post. SEOmoz uploads their final video to Wistia (thanks guys!).
  • Distribute. SEOmoz uses the Wistia Social Bar to get their video out there. They share the Embed Code and Video Analytics with their audience. Then they fill out the Video Sitemap and celebrate because they’ve finished the production process.

The Results

SEOmoz explains how Whiteboard Friday has helped increase their presence in their community, “It's something the SEO community has come to know and expect...We get a lot of viewers, especially from returning community members.” They add, “It really feels like the SEO community owns Whiteboard Friday more than we do!”

If you want to see part 2 of the Link Metrics discussion and other Whiteboard Friday videos, check out The Daily SEO.