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The Whys, Whens, and Hows of Video Podcasting

Podcasting may be synonymous with audio, but did you know that there are also video podcasts? Also known as videocasts, vidcasts, or vodcasts, video podcasting can be a great next step in your journey to podcast glory. And while audio podcasts are great companions while you drive, exercise, or tackle household cleaning, video podcasts have their own unique perks. Not only can they help attract a whole different audience, but they can strengthen your relationship with your existing audience, build your authority, and they can amp up your show’s value factor, depending on the type of content you are covering. So the question is, should you turn your podcast into a video podcast?

But before we can fully answer this question, let’s look at some of the reasons why starting a video podcast might be an amazing idea…

Why You Should Consider Starting a Video Podcast

1. Video Podcasts Can Strengthen Your Audience’s Connection With You

Video podcasts allow your audience to actually see you. They can read your body language, make virtual eye contact, and see your genuine emotions. They can see you smile, tear-up, or laugh heartily, all of which help form a more powerful connection with you and your show. This connection will help build and cement your loyal fan base and keep your audience tuning in episode after episode.

2. Video Podcasting Expands Your Reach

By branching out into video podcasting, you will be able to reach a whole new group of people just waiting for your content. Let’s take the King of Video Content, YouTube, for example, which has over 2 billion logged-in users visiting the platform each month! Another crazy figure is that every day, over a billion hours of video is consumed.¹ Imagine your exposure if your episodes receive even a fraction of those numbers! And while we know that many massive names in the podcast industry are moving their shows away from YouTube – Joe Rogan being the latest (and biggest!) name to announce his departure  – he, and many others, built their following using the platform, so there is definitely potential for you to leverage those figures in your favor!

3. Video Makes For Great Advertising Material

It’s no secret that social media loves video! Of course, you can make stunning audiograms to share far and wide across your social platforms, but starting a video podcast will enable you to also share video snippets and sneak-peaks of your upcoming episodes to amp up your marketing. Releasing trailers or teasers of your next episode can really help draw your audience in, as well as helping you expand your reach across the different platforms. You could even through in some behind-the-scenes footage or bloopers! These are really fun ways for your audience to get to know you better, as well as to show the work that you put into creating your stellar show. 

Related read: How To Use Podcast Audiograms To Engage Your Audience On Social Media

4. A New Medium Can Strengthen Your Authority

Having your content available on a variety of platforms goes a long way to establishing you as an authoritative voice on your subject. Just as having a blog running alongside your audio podcast strengthens your authority within your niche, so branching out to video podcasting will further establish your name (and face!) as the one to turn to when people want to know more about something related to your topic. The more places your name turns up, the stronger your authority becomes.

Related read: 8 Strategies To Build Authority In Your Podcast Niche

These are just some of the benefits of starting a video podcast. However, just because there are many compelling reasons why a video podcast is a great idea, they are not necessarily a great idea for every podcaster. There are a few conditions you need to consider before launching a video podcast…

When to Consider Starting a Video Podcast

Take a look at our guidelines for deciding whether or not video podcasting is right for you. You definitely don’t have to have all of these in place before deciding to launch but they will help you gauge whether or not it’s right for you and your show.

1. You Have the Time to Produce a High-Quality Video

Straight-up, producing a high-quality video takes time. You’ll need the time to find the best place to film, the time to create a visually-pleasing set, and the time to capture all the content you need. Video podcasting differs from audio podcasting significantly in that, with video, you’re not able to simply cut out portions of the audio, or stitch together the parts you need. With video, these types of cuts will not only be noticeable but will also be super distracting to the viewer. You will need to put time into mastering your content as well as putting the necessary time into nailing all the takes you to need to create a smooth final product. 

2. You Have the Knowledge to Create a High-Quality Video

Not only do you need the time to create a video podcast, but you also need some video know-how. One of the many reasons why audio podcasts have become so popular is because it’s relatively easy to get a great sounding recording without too much industry-specific knowledge and without super expensive equipment. It doesn’t matter that you’re recording from your closet (or in your pajamas!) as no one sees it. But a video podcast relies heavily on your visual. If your image is low quality, and the overall outcome is sub-par, chances are high that your video podcast will have the opposite effect you were going for. Your audience won’t stick around long enough to hear your amazing content if your visual component is lacking. You will, therefore, need to acquire some basic film skills to capture the look you’re after. If you’re going to be editing your video yourself, you’ll also need to familiarize yourself with your video editing software in order to create that all-important quality final product.

3. You Have Content That Suits a Video Format

Now this is not an explicit condition for starting a video podcast, but it is definitely something to consider. Take the interview-style podcast for example. Now, it’s not to say that if your show follows this style you shouldn’t give video podcasting a go, but the genre is fairly well-populated, so you will have to think creatively to make your show stand out from the crowd. It can be done, but it will require creativity and a sound strategy to make it a success. On the other hand, if your niche and your content lend themselves to tutorials, practical “how to’s”, or other types of visual lessons, then video podcasting could be your natural next step. Your video podcast needs to add value to your audience. By offering them something through your videos that they can’t get from an audio podcast, your audience will gain extra value by the bucket load.

4. You Have an Audience Who Will Value Video

Perhaps most the most important guideline, particularly if you are thinking of branching out from your audio podcast, is that you need to be sure that your audience will find value in a video podcast. Video podcasts require an added level of attention and so are harder to consume while you’re on the go. Your audience won’t be able to tune in while they’re driving or busy with work, so if this when your current audience typically listens to your show, you will need to give them added incentive to turn in to your video episodes. Otherwise, you’ll find your venture into video a futile endeavor.

So if you checked “YES” to any or all of the above guidelines, then we can move on to…

How to Start a Video Podcast

Okay, so now we need to know what is actually needed to start a video podcast. For the purposes of this post, we’ll just be looking at the equipment you’ll need to get your show on the air. The nitty-gritty of launching a video podcast will be a conversation for another day.

Your set-up for your video podcast will start with the basics of an audio podcast, like your microphone, recording device set-up, and headphones, (you can find more on some top podcasting tools here!), but you’ll also need the following…

1. A Camera

It should come as no surprise that your first addition to your usual set-up is a camera, this being a video podcast and all! While camera prices can vary widely, you may not need to venture into this territory just yet as the technology powering the cameras of the lastest smartphones is more than adequate to produce a high-quality video recording. Depending on the capabilities of your laptop’s webcam, that could certainly also be a viable option.

Pro Tip: Depending on the type of device you choose to use and the length of your recordings, it would be a great idea to stock up on a few extra memory cards. This will help avoid having to stop filming to upload the footage every time your memory card is full. 

2. A Tripod or Camera Stand

An easy way to capture professional-looking footage is to always make use of a tripod or camera stand, depending on your chosen device. This will allow you to record steady footage, as well as helping you capture your recordings from the best angle possible. Think about your filming set-up and how you would like the final product to look, and then find the stand or tripod that will help give you the look you are after. 

3. Video Editing Software

If you’ve started out as an audio podcaster, you will be familiar with editing software. But it might be the case that the editing software you’re using is limited to audio editing. For your video podcast, you’re going to need software that is also able to edit videos. Just as the options of audio editing software are in abundance, so there are many top-notch video editing software out there for you to choose from. With a little research, you’ll find the one that will best suit your needs and your wallet, and with a few tutorials and a training video or two, you’ll be editing your video podcast like a pro.

Pro Tip: Just as there are many services you can outsource to edit your audio podcast, there are also some really great companies that can do the same for your video podcast. If you don’t have the time to edit, and your budget allows, this is a really great option for you to consider. 

4. Preparation

We’re including this in the “how-to” section as it is an important part of creating a video podcast and will most likely require some extra input when you’re just starting out. Preparation is key to creating any successful video project! Firstly, you will need to do adequate preparation for what you will be covering in your episode to ensure that you are confident about your topic. This will help you limit the number of takes you will need to record. If you will be interviewing guests on your video podcast, you also need to give your guest adequate time to prepare. It’s a whole different situation recording a video podcast as opposed to an audio podcast, and being on film often makes people nervous. But if you give your guests fair preparation time, they will be able to put their minds at ease and you’ll get a fantastic recording!

Closing Thoughts

Starting a video podcast can be a fantastic way to up the ante and build your authority within your niche. Video is a great way to strengthen your relationship with your audience, besides the fact that video is still the “chosen one” when it comes to promotion via social media. Just remember that to really be effective, it needs to be of high quality, but most of all, it needs to add value to your audience’s overall experience and interaction with your show. If your video podcast is able to do that, then you’ll definitely be setting yourself up for success. So set that camera up and get yourself camera ready, and enjoy the adventure of video podcasting!

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