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How to Make a Video Podcast

A Step-by-Step Guide to Sharing Your Podcast on YouTube

How to Make a Video Podcast

Posted July 18, 2019 | Updated August 13, 2020 | Natasha Ponomaroff, Matt Graff, Resonate Recordings

There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your tried-and-tested podcasting platform. After all, the increased popularity of audio content means 32% of all Americans listen to podcasts at least monthly (that’s around 90 million people)! However, if you want to expand your audience and become more discoverable on search engines, consider also posting a video version of your podcast on YouTube.

Table of Contents 

3 Striking Reasons You Should Podcast on YouTube 

1. Google Loves YouTube

In 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 Billion.  Since then, YouTube has given Google countless reasons to favor it.  On second thought, it’s not countless – it’s in the billions – 100 Billion to be exact.  By some estimates, YouTube is currently worth over $100 Billion! Over the past 12 years, YouTube has grown into a video consumption behemoth.

Anyone with a website, podcast, or blog knows that SEO is important – even if they don’t fully understand what it is.  An entire blog post could be made on how YouTube fits into Google’s SEO (and perhaps we will do so in the near future).  The cliff notes version is this – Google LOVES YouTube. Just do any Google search and chances are you’ll have a couple results, followed by a banner featuring 4-5 YouTube videos.  Google is pushing its users (which is just about everyone on the planet at this point) straight to their YouTube platform.

2. YouTube has a Massive Audience

YouTube is currently sporting 1.8 Billion monthly users, second only to Facebook among all social media platforms.  You thought Instagram was big? They’re at 700 million. Maybe Twitter, with all its celebrity star-power? Try a “measly” 328 million.  To be sure, any of these platforms gives you the opportunity to cast your net for new listeners, but in which of these lakes would you go fishing?  Personally, I’m going to the one with the most fish!

3. YouTube is Critical Now

People of a certain age can vaguely remember when “Google” became a verb.  It’s become a regular part of our vocabulary. When we don’t know something we just Google It!  Now, studies are telling us there is a whole demographic of people whose first move to search out information is to “YouTube It”.

An interesting thing about the average YouTube experience is how similar it is to the average podcast experience.  The journey of a person seeking out content to coming across your channel/podcast, to becoming a subscriber is identical in many ways.  It makes the jump to a YouTube channel a natural next step – many of the same principles are in play.

Now perhaps you’re still hesitant after reading the points above.  Maybe you’re still thinking that there’s plenty of audiences to be gained through purely audio podcasts.  In a sense, you’re right – there are 73 million monthly active podcast listeners – plenty there to be had!  But you should realize YouTube for what it is (and what it will be) – a place where 1.8 Billion people are actively subscribing to, and seeking out, content – a place where Google wants to send people – a place that may very well one day overtake Google’s throne as the #1 search engine.

Imagine if you could go back in time to build a web presence that took advantage of Google SEO before “Google” was a verb – before everyone’s website, podcast, or blog was taking advantage of some form of SEO to call attention to themselves.  YouTube may not that new at this moment, but it is far from reaching its full potential. And for those who are able to see the opportunity and to seize it, the potential is there to grow right alongside it.

Why You Shouldn't Post a Static Video on YouTube 

When posting your podcast on YouTube, it can be tempting to release an audio-only version of your podcast episodes accompanied by a static image thumbnail. It’s convenient, takes less time, and opens your focus towards your podcast content itself.

Unfortunately, that’s the wrong approach to take.

Since YouTube is a video platform, its audience expects video—and view stats support this. Despite view counts possibly saying you get a decent amount on your episode, “fake” podcast videos made up of static images lose 90-95% of their audience within the first 90 seconds.

In this article we’ll instruct you on how to format your podcast into a YouTube video and avoid the problem of viewers dropping off early. Then, in the second part we will walk through how to livestream a video. These steps are: 

  1. Taking the podcast video
  2. Editing your video
  3. Creating a custom thumbnail
  4. YouTube SEO 
  5. Social media sharing
  6. How to Livestream a video podcast

How to Create a Video Podcast for YouTube

1. Take an accompanying video of yourself during a recording session

Example picture of a video podcast being recorded
(Source: YouTube, Blind Wave)

If you don’t have the time or skills to create custom animations for your podcast episodes, take a video recording of yourselves and your guests instead. This is known as a “talking head” video. In terms of video quality, the easy part is that now even smartphones have the capability to take high-definition video, so you won’t need to invest too much into additional cameras. 

What does matter now is orientation, layout, and presentation.

No longer can you get away with sitting at a desk, talking straight into a microphone without considering how your body is positioned. You want your face to be clearly visible so that your audience can see your expressions. Wear presentable clothing—nothing too fancy, but nothing you wouldn’t leave the house or studio in—and take the time to check whether you look alert. 

For additional visual appeal, decorate the area you’re podcasting from. A blank white wall can get tiring to look at quickly, so fill your space with interesting yet unobtrusive pieces. If they’re related to your topic, even better!

2. Edit your podcast video

Edit Your Video Podcast

Even if your video has the sound on, it’s best practice to record the sound separately through your microphone to ensure quality and minimize background noise. When editing your podcast videos, you don’t need to add too much fanciful effects if you don’t have the time. Focus on the following instead:

Audio sync – The most important part. Podcasts are all about sharing your thoughts through audio; ensure that what you say corresponds to your movements onscreen.

Audio editing, mixing, and mastering – Take your video up a notch with some basic editing, mixing, and mastering to ensure that all of your speakers can be clearly understood and connect with your audience. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can learn more about our post-production services. 

Color grading – Lighten up washed-out or dull colors by editing the colors on your video. An easy way to do this is to find video editing software that contains premade filters to place over your video.

Transition effects – Highlight special moments on your podcast episode by using simple effects. You can zoom in on a person talking if they say something surprising, quickly cut away to another to focus on an interesting reaction, and insert clips or images related to your topic whenever they come up.

3. Create a Custom Thumbnail 

Create a Custom YouTube Thumbnail

YouTube video thumbnails are often the first thing that attracts viewers to click. Creating your own custom images instead of grabbing a screenshot lets you add your podcast’s branding onto the image. Taking that extra step can improve viewer recall and give your channel a more cohesive look. The platform itself reports that 90% of the best-performing videos use custom thumbnails.
How do you make thumbnails that get users interested to click?

  • Use colors you want associated with your brand.
  • Show some emotion if you use images of a person’s face.
  • Include your podcast logo.
  • Put a catchy phrase or episode title in a large, clear font—make sure it’s visible on different devices and screen sizes.

4. Optimize Your Video for YouTube 

YouTube SEO
Screenshot from the YouTube Studio Upload Page

One of the biggest reasons to share your podcast to YouTube is SEO, so optimizing your episode is a must. YouTube can’t watch the videos itself to understand what your topics are about, so you need to utilize all the text areas available for optimal discoverability. 

It would be easy to look at this step and overlook a lot of critical details to the success of your video. But don’t miss this: How you upload your video to YouTube has a critical impact on its lifetime performance on YouTube. 

At the end of the day, YouTube is a search engine, and as a search engine it has it’s own rules for search engine optimization (SEO) just like Google. 

Nearly everyone agrees that there are five key attributes to YouTube SEO. 

  • Thumbnail
  • Title 
  • Description 
  • Tags 
  • Transcription

Video Thumbnail 

I decided to put the thumbnail at the top of the list because this is the very first thing anyone sees of your video. I’m afraid to say this because it’s so cliche, but we are all prone to judge a book by its cover – and in the same way, we typically judge a YouTube video by its thumbnail. 
 
An engaging YouTube thumbnail is high resolution, typically includes text that shows the viewer what value your content will bring them (topic, guest name, the question you will be answering, etc). 
 
Make sure to stay consistent to your brand guidelines and theme, but feel free to get creative and have some extra fun when crafting a video thumbnail. Please don’t use the default thumbnails that YouTube creates. It’s commonly expected that you have a customized thumbnail with every video you create. 
Video Title
To craft an SEO friendly title, you want to find keywords and phrases that a lot of people search for on YouTube. There are many different tips and tools on how to do this. But one simple way to collect data is to research the topic you cover in your podcast on YouTube (in an incognito browser window). Pay attention to the keywords and phrases that YouTube auto-fills as you craft your content. 
 
You also should balance this with originality, which is a crucial aspect of any successful SEO. Just don’t title your episode without taking some time to be thoughtful about how people search for content. Remember, the goal is to get your content in front of a new audience by optimizing for broader search topics here. 
Video Description

Make sure to take full advantage of the video descriptions. Add show notes to increase engagement. You can even add timestamps to the show notes (HH:MM:SS) and YouTube will automatically create hyperlinks. This is a really effective way to help listeners find specific content within your episode. 

In addition to adding your show notes, I’d recommend researching competing content on YouTube to see how they write descriptions. This will help you optimize your content. 

Tags

YouTube lets you add tags to help categorize your content. This section is tucked away when you are uploading your video under the “More Options” section of the first upload screen, called “Details.” 
Transcription

Lastly, many people agree and recommend that you upload a custom transcription of your podcast so that YouTube can index both the video and the written content. This is very similar to why we recommend adding transcriptions of your podcast to your podcasts’s website for standard SEO: plain text is typically indexed better by search engines than simple images or videos. 

 

Install VidIQ Chrome Extension

VIDIQ Video Optimization Checklist

VidIQ dominates the landscape of YouTube SEO with education on how to grow your audience on YouTube plus an amazing Google Chrome extention plugin (see screenshot above) that analyzes each video you upload and provides clear action items to improve your channels performance. 

As you can see from the screenshot above, we need to go back on one of our video and add some relevant tags, manual closed-captions, reply to user comments, and possibly re-post it on Facebook and Twitter. This tool is a valuable asset for growing your podcast on YouTube and we highly recommend you check out their tool. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of things to optimize your videos for YouTube SEO. But it’s a solid starting place for your video podcast. 

5. Share Your Video Across All Channels 

Once you’ve uploaded your video, now’s the time to share the link on all of your marketing channels, from social media to your email newsletter. Social media platforms love video content, so that’s why the YouTube video format helps a lot on this regard. 

You can post short clips from your podcast video episodes as a sort of sneak peek into the next episode to hype users up. Additionally, after your podcast has been posted, you can snip some of the highlights and post those to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter as well as an accompanying call-to-action to view the full episode.

After all, video content does incredibly well on social media. 45% of people watch more than an hour of video per day, and 78% of social media marketers believe videos attract more traffic to their pages.

How to Livestream a Video Podcast 

As of March 2020, the coronavirus has forced millions to unexpectedly transition to remote work. As a result, thousands of events have been canceled. 

A rtists have cancelled tours and moved to online video streams. Businesses have cancelled conferences and scheduled webinars. Churches are livestreaming services. Schools and universities have moved online. 

Whether you are a podcaster, artist, church, business, school or university, you are probably looking for tools and tactics to transition your events to a digital experience. Video livestreaming is a powerful solution for staying connected. 

There are thousands of equipment lists and tutorials available for video streaming, so we designed this blog with a streamlined approach. 

After reading this, you’ll have everything you need to set up a livestream video for your podcast, webinar, live experience, church, etc. 

We’re going to walk through three different equipment setups for livestreaming your event online. 

Smartphone + Social Media ($0-37) 

You can use your smartphone to livestream directly to social media. This option is free and is fairly self explanatory. You might just want to buy a tripod ($18.95) to get the best angle of your speaker. 
 
All you have to do is log into your Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube* and you can immediately go live to your audience using your phones built in microphone or camera. If you want a simple way to improve your audio quality, we recommend using the Rode Smartlav+ ($79.99). This lav mic simply plugs into your smartphone and will immediately boost your audio quality.
 
*You need to have 1,000 subscribers on your YouTube channel to livestream directly from their mobile app. Anyone with a YouTube channel can livestream from their desktop app. We cover how to do that below. 

DSLR Camera + Video Switcher ($1,318) 

The other simple way to set up a livestream is to invest in a DSLR camera. We recommend the Sony A6400 with a kit lens that sells for $998 on Amazon. This is a simple camera that is used by many YouTubers. 
 
Using an external camera for a livestream on Facebook or YouTube requires you to buy a converter to send a signal to your computer. We recommend the Black Magic ATEM Mini. It’s affordable, high-quality, and super easy to learn. 
 
Simply set up your camera, connect it with an HDMI cable to the ATEM Mini, connect the USB cable to your computer, and log in to Facebook or YouTube. You can learn more specifics about how the ATEM mini works in their workflow guide. 
 
If you want to stream to multiple platforms simultaneously we recommend using OBS. It’s free and high-quality software that integrates with most livestreaming platforms. Otherwise, you can stream directly from the ATEM Mini into Facebook or YouTube. 
 
What about audio? If you’re a church looking to livestream your service you probably already have a sound system where you can easily run an auxiliary output. The ATEM Mini has 2 XLR inputs where you can easily connect a mic or an output from your sound board. 

Promoting Your Livestream 

The last step to setting up your livestream is promoting your event. 

Over communication is the key to this step. Make sure your audience knows the time of your event, including the timezone. And schedule multiple reminders in the weeks, days, and hours leading up to the event for maximum participation.  

Encourage your audience to subscribe to your Facebook page or YouTube channel and turn on notifications so they are notified when you go live. 

Lastly, make sure to share the video after you go live to connect even more with your audience. 

Finally, as an added bonus, check out NPR’s Facebook live Guide. They offer some incredibly helpful tips about the best practices for how to create an engaging live video.

Conclusion

Are you convinced yet? The process of making a video podcast or livestreaming a video does take a bit more time and requires more preparation than just recording audio, but investing into sharing your thoughts on multiple platforms increases your audience. 

YouTube is a free, accessible platform, and many individuals prefer slight visual accompaniment to their audio, similar to a talk show. You may find some of your biggest new fans searching on video platforms instead.

If you don’t have experience with video editing, or you just don’t have time (or desire) to edit the videos yourself, we offer professional video editing services. Our team can take care of the entire video production process for you, from editing the video and adding an intro bumper to creating a custom thumbnail. 

You can learn more about our video editing services here, or schedule a call today! 

Natasha Ponomaroff

Natasha Ponomaroff, Resonate Recordings

Natasha Ponomaroff is the Senior Marketing Director of Instasize – a content creating tool kit for anyone editing photos and online content on mobile. A weekly contributor on the site’s blog, Natasha tracks social media trends and updates the millions of “creatives” who are currently using Instasize to curate awesome online content. When she isn’t writing up the latest trend, Natasha is overseeing a team of 10 over at the Instasize HQ – ensuring that the marketing content on the apps various social platforms is ready to go.

Matt Graff

Matt Graff

As a Video Editor at Resonate Recordings, Matt captures and edits video and keeps up with industry standards of best practices on YouTube.  In addition to podcasts, he has directed and edited numerous music videos and worked for the Louisville Bats AAA baseball team. Matt and his family live in Louisville, KY.