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Podcasting is a great on-demand medium for reaching an audience. Audio podcasts are great because they are easy to consume, and make great companions while commuting, exercising or working. One option is to produce a video podcast. These are great for shows that have tutorials, lessons, and screenshots. They also make it possible to connect on a deeper level with visuals.
Itunes for Finding a Video Podcast
If you want to find video podcasts on iTunes, go to the iTunes store and select podcasts, then click on video and you will find several to choose from. A good example of a podcast that is suited to video is MacMost. They feature screenshots and tutorials on getting the most out of your Mac. The information would be much more difficult to convey without the screenshots. Little Adventures, Big Planet is another video podcast that wouldn’t be the same without the stunning footage of animals and nature that they feature.
Benefits of a Video Podcast
A video podcast makes it much easier to communicate subjects that are visual by nature. People enjoy being able to look at someone while they are talking to gauge their emotions. The visual medium turns you into someone they can trust and appreciate. It’s also easier to put links in your videos or have on-screen aids with additional information. Videos also make your podcast website more user-friendly.
Your Podcast and YouTube
Having your podcast on YouTube provides some hosting, SEO, and search benefits. By using YouTube, your podcast is hosted for free. If you do this and you decide to submit your video podcast to iTunes, you will need to create an RSS feed from your YouTube channel.
Should you simply wish to reap the SEO benefits of a video podcast, you could use a service like Libsyn to publish your podcast. Once uploaded at Libsyn, your podcast will be pushed out to iTunes and their OnPublish feature will push that video to YouTube for you as well.
SEO Advantages of a Video Podcast
There are two SEO advantages provided by a video podcast.
The first advantage is that many people simply go directly to YouTube and search for things there. Already being present on YouTube gives you a major advantage and enables your video podcast to be found.
The second big advantage is that Google owns YouTube. A video podcast on YouTube tends to rank high in search engines. There are many ways to optimize a video podcast for YouTube and amazing SEO.
Disadvantages of a Video Podcast
There are definitely some disadvantages to a video podcast, including time and money. Creating a video podcast takes more time and money. Editing the audio on a video podcast presents major challenges as you cannot just cut out big chunks of audio without also adjusting the images.
The cost of your equipment will also be higher. You will need a good microphone that looks OK on camera, and you will also have to worry about lighting and your studio background.
A video podcast is less portable and a little more difficult to consume than an audio podcast. Still, you could do what Dave Asprey of BulletProof Radio does and have two versions. He has an audio version on iTunes and a video version on YouTube.
If you want the SEO benefits of having a video podcast on YouTube, you can also make special segments for YouTube and have your main podcast be an audio podcast. You can use these smaller video clips to point back to your podcast website and still enjoy some of the SEO benefits of YouTube without making a full out video podcast.
How to Make a Video Podcast
The discussion about creating a video podcast has many moving parts and will be discussed in another session. Today I just want to give you an overview of the process.
The steps to creating a podcast on video are actually pretty straightforward. Recording the video podcast is obviously the first step. Your next step is to put the podcast on your computer so that you can begin editing it.
Using video editing software, add special effects and some images to make your podcast amazing. Your next step is to encode the podcast in a manageable size for online viewing.
Your final step is to upload your video podcast to a host like Libsyn or directly to YouTube. If you upload your podcast directly to YouTube you will need to manually create the RSS feed from your YouTube channel.
Video Podcast Software
There are a lot of popular video editing software programs that will do everything needed to edit your audio and video, add effects, and encode it for YouTube. You can also find stand alone products for each individual function. Chances are you already own video editing software. If not, you can download free versions of iMovie for Mac or Windows Movie Maker for Windows.
You can also try Apple Final Cut Pro X for the Mac or something like CyberLink PowerDirector, Adobe Premiere Elements or Corel VideoStudio for Windows. You are really only limited by your budget, personal preference, and the learning curve. You can even make a video podcast or an
Equipment Needed for Your Video Podcast
First and foremost, you are going to need a video camera. At the same time, audio quality is extremely important. You also need to consider the entire visual picture. Does your background look good? Is the area you are recording in neat and clean looking? These are important considerations.
A lavalier lapel mic can be a good option if you want a smaller microphone that won’t obstruct the view of your face. You can also use a headset mic or even, our favorite, the affordable hand-held ATR2100-USB microphone or a Shure PGA48-XLR microphone.
You can purchase some excellent microphones on Amazon based upon my recommendations.
- JK® MIC-J 044 Lavalier Lapel Clip On Omnidirectional Condenser Microphone
- Rode LAVALIER Condenser Microphone, Omni
- Rode smartLav+ Lavalier Microphone for iPhone and Smartphones
- Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB Cardioid Dynamic USB/XLR Microphone
- Shure PGA48 XLR Microphone
Where you plug the microphone in will depend on your camera choice. Most cameras have a 3.5 audio jack and some have XLR jacks, so plugging your microphone into your camera may be a good option that will give you superior sound quality and perfectly synced audio and video.
Another option for recording audio for your video podcast is to connect a mic to an external recorder and then sync the audio and video with your video editing software. This can lead to better audio because you aren’t relying on the camera’s preamps.
Aligning Audio When Using External Recording Device
It might be a good idea to use a small recorder like a Zoom H1 to capture your audio while recording your podcast. In order to sync the two recordings, record a snap or clap into the Zoom and the camera microphone and use that as a synchronization point. When you are editing the audio and video align the snaps and then mute the camera audio. Also, align the recording rate of your camera and audio recorder.
Another option is to use a portable recorder like the Zoom H4N as a microphone and plug it into your computer and use your webcam for the video. This will record everything on your computer and the audio and video will be synced. There are quite a few audio and video choices you can make. It really depends on preference, budget, and your ultimate recording goals.
Again, these products are available on Amazon.
When it comes to video, the lighting matters. You can buy a light kit or experiment with lighting options until you get the right look.
A common lighting technique is three point lighting. This consists of a main light, fill-light, and an accent light. You could also add an additional light on your camera or use lighting and lamps already in the room. The same thing goes for the background of the room. You can make your background as elaborate as a green screen or as simple as a nice safe blank wall. Just be aware that your viewers will get a shot of the background and arrange it accordingly.
There are a lot of camera options. You can use a camcorder or a DSLR for shorter videos. Current smartphones have very good cameras and with certain recording apps, you can get a decent recording on your phone. Webcams are another option and with the addition of recording software and good lighting can offer good results.
Keep It Short
It is very important that you keep your podcast short. The attention span of people is notoriously short. While an audio podcast can easily be an hour long, a video podcast needs to be about 10 to 15 minutes in length or you won't get people to watch it.
Consistent Release Schedule
One of the keys to your success is going to be developing a release schedule and then sticking to it. Pick a day and time for release and then always hit that schedule.
Cable television is dying, but there’s a lot they get right. Imagine if you were hooked on a TV show and it came on at a different time every week. How would you know? If you were only half interested, would you go out of your way to find out? Probably not. Releasing at the same time every week allows you to build up the audience anticipation and then release that promotional energy in one burst. It’s a Pavlovian effect.
You should also never skip an episode. Again, drawing upon the television show analogy, imagine if the producers just didn’t feel like making an episode that week. You’d probably be pretty upset.
Syndication and Promotion
Once you’ve put all the work into creating a great new podcast episode, you should try to get as much mileage out of it as you can. It is hard work
You should definitely syndicate to YouTube, iTunes, Facebook, and Twitter. Beyond that, it depends on your audience. For example, if your podcast is about programming, you might want to consider posting to a few other places related to that topic. After a few days, post it again later in the week. Posts on social networks are fleeting and it’s easy for people to miss stuff amidst all the noise.
Don’t be afraid to be a little bit self-promotional. As long as you’re providing good information and you’re humble about it, people will generally appreciate your efforts. If anyone complains about your free podcast, offer them a refund!
All that said, don’t push to more places than you can manage, because it spreads your community thin. If you can’t keep up with the comments on 4 or 5 social networks, then keep it a little bit more exclusive to one or two places. For example, when I post a link to The Nightly Rant I almost always post the link to our YouTube channel so that the conversation is focused there.
Monetize Your Content
We all want to make money with our podcasts. There are several ways to do this, some indirect and some direct.
An indirect way to monetize your podcast is with affiliate links in your show notes and commercials on your podcast pointing to those affiliate offers.
There are two really good direct ways to monetize your shows.
Contact companies and services that might be willing to advertise to your audience. You can create a customized mention on the show for them that will resonate well with viewers. Nobody knows your audience better than you, so most companies are happy to let you advertise their product in whatever way you think will work best. As long as you don’t bash people over the head with it, you should be OK.
This isn’t as common, but you might even choose to charge a modest fee. You could do $1 per episode or charge some other price for a monthly subscription. A steady income for your efforts will help justify the time and expense that you invest. Over time, this could even turn into your full-time job.
Patreon is another great way to get subscriptions. We do this with The Zoo Media Network.
It Will Pay Off Over Time
There are many different ways to create a video podcast. Whether creating a video podcast is right for you or not, really depends on your time, budget, and podcasting goals.
The thing I want you to take away from this is that things like this take time. You have to put in a consistent effort over a period of time in order to see the pay off in the end. The important thing to remember is that nothing ever happens when you give up completely.
Set yourself up a workflow and then use it to get things done. Your consistency will reward you in the end with additional listeners, a larger email list and potential subscription and sponsorship revenue for your shows.
If you are a video podcaster or have any questions we’d love to hear from you. Tell us about your setup or why video podcasting is working for your genre.