"Critical was the need for a single effective SEO solution - and here Magnify.net fit the bill."
Rodale's Bicycling Magazine has long been recognized as a leader in the publishing field both for their editorial prowess and as early adopters of web technology. Bicycling has gained a broad and respected following in the web video space. Using his subject matter expertise and the Magnify.net Platform, Online Editor David L'Heureux is able to aggregate entertaining and informative content from multiple sources.
David L'Heureux, Online Editor for Bicycling, talks about web video and making the transition to the Magnify Platform:
"After years of providing 'pro-content' in a player and using aggregated and filtered video in the Magnify.net platform player, Rodale made the leap and decided to consolidate their video effort into a single platform.
"We decided that it looked confusing to our visitors to use 2 different platforms and players," continues L'Heureux. "For our in-house video we used Brightcove, because back then we thought their front-end was more polished - our user-generated player, Magnify.net, was working for web video. Then we realized the back end on Magnify was so much easier, and we consolidated with Magnify."
Bicycling, like many publishers, has explored video in a number of ways in the past few years. As L'Heureux states, "Several years ago, Bicycling's video offering was a haphazard mix. We created 2-4 videos a month in-house, video bike reviews or anything we could get our partners or vendors to give us for free. Because of limited resources, our hands were tied."
L'Heureux continued: "Critical was the need for a single effective SEO solution - and here Magnify.net fit the bill. When I upload to Magnify.net, the fact that the service and the player is built on HTML means it's going to pop right away on Google. We pay a lot of attention to SEO, which has paid a lot of dividends. Just looking at the Magnify video, our SEO results are very solid."
The results were significant as well, as Bicycling grew its content library from a few hundred videos to several thousand videos by curating from sources around the web. This order-of-magnitude increase in the amount of available content resulted in video traffic lift exceeding 10-fold.
To embrace video's growing demands while managing limited resources, L'Heureux used the Magnify Multi-Source solution to get videos from the web, as well as from visitors. To "prime the pump," Bicycling used a Magnify-hosted User-Generated-Video contest, with a juicy prize of a $5,000 bicycle.
L'Heureux states, "The idea of the contest was to use our video space [as opposed to running a photo contest, which Bicycling had done in previous years.] It seemed like the next logical step, and we knew that Magnify had a built-in contest service, so we said, 'Hey, let's give it a shot.'
"We invited folks to make a 1-minute video about why they should win a $5,000 bike. We were very impressed. The winner did an 'Andy Samberg'-style bike parody. We thought it was timely, witty, and funny." In the end, we were very happy with the results."
When asked about the curation process, L'Heureux explained, "I am the point person on video. The ways I add video are to set up search, get a YouTube video, side-load a video or upload our own video. I spend more than an hour a day on video. On the back end, if there's a video that's out on YouTube, we can blog about it, and Magnify it in less than 5 minutes." He concluded, "Soup to nuts, I can spend as little time as I need, with a limited resource investment."
Key to the Bicycling solution is a best-priced solution with a high quality result. Core is the encoder. L'Heureux states, "It looks phenomenal. As far as the encoder works, it's great. It take less than 2 - 4 minutes to upload a video, tag it, give it the geo tag, and hit save. From a resource perspective, the simplicity of use, and the multiple ways can group videos is a big deal for us."
So where does all this lead for the cycling champs? L'Heureux says, "We want to grow what we do ourselves as a brand. We want to get more video that is more evergreen around; skills, maintenance, training and fitness. We'll roll out stuff that has more legs. Exploring more ways to use the abilities of the Magnify.net platform to aggregate video that's out on the web, and have a video of the day, where its' uploaded by user or by the web or a video we've made."