The Best of Both Worlds: 4 Reasons to Add Video to your Podcast

June 1, 2021

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Meisha Bochicchio


You may already know the demand for video continues to rise. In Q1 of 2020, people watched 2.6 million hours of video per week. In Q2 of 2020, that number rose to a whopping 4.8 million in just a matter of months as the pandemic spread. From a consumer perspective, videos are also the favorite type of branded content to consume on social media.

“Yes,” you may be saying. “But what’s that got to do with my podcast?” Well, recording a video version of your podcast is an opportunity that many miss out on. In fact, only about 17% of people actually video-record their podcasts. Most podcasters focus solely on audio-based episodes, without recognizing the untapped potential that recording a video version can have.

By launching a video podcast, businesses can enjoy the benefits of audio and video content without having to create an entirely new piece of content. It’s a low-risk, high-reward way for businesses to engage new audiences and increase brand awareness.

“Launching a video podcast is a low-risk, high-reward way for businesses to engage new audiences and increase brand awareness.”

And don’t worry — you don’t need a fancy setup or professional gear to create high-quality video content. You can create great videos with your webcam or even your phone. Video podcasting has never been easier! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s dig into four strong reasons you should add videos in some format to your own podcast.

What is a video podcast?

A video podcast is just what it sounds like — a video recording of an audio-based show. It’s ideal for folks who want to watch a podcast instead of just listening to it. And, from a brand perspective, it can help put faces to names and provide a more immersive, relatable, and engaging content experience.

“A video podcast is a video recording of an audio-based show. It’s ideal for folks who want to watch a podcast instead of just listening to it.”

For an interview-based show, a video podcast will likely film hosts and guests in conversation. The podcast may also show clips of the subjects being discussed. For example, a video of a sports podcast could show a replay of Serena Williams from a recent tennis tournament as the hosts discuss her performance.

Some podcasts, like This Week in Tech, take an in-house-studio approach to recording video versions of their podcasts. The host, Leo Laporte, and his friends are seated for a roundtable discussion in a podcast studio with multiple cameras that change angles as different people speak. Because of the camera setup, the podcast feels like a traditional interview program that you would see on television.

Other podcasts, such as Higher Learning with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay, are simply recordings of Zoom conversations between hosts and/or guests using their personal webcams and speaking into microphones. Viewers see only a straight-on shot of each speaker. Unlike This Week in Tech, this show looks more like a conversation between a group of people, as opposed to a televised interview.

Image courtesy of The Ringer.

Why add video to your podcast?

The goal of adding video to your podcast is to reach more people.

Though you might at first think you could simply select a static image and use that with the audio version of your podcast, this probably won’t help you gain much traction. Podcasts with static images can look spammy and even fake. Instead, always record a separate video version of the same podcast you upload to an audio platform. This way, viewers coming to see video content won’t be misled or disappointed.

“The goal of adding video to your podcast is to reach more people.”

If you take the time to make your video podcast a true visual experience that is complementary to the existing audio version you already have, you can cast a much wider net and bring in a bigger audience.

Let’s dive into the more detailed reasons why adding a little video production to your podcast is a great way to level up the experience for your audience and attract new viewers and listeners.

1. You’ll reach a wider audience

A traditional audio podcast is generally limited to RSS feed distribution on audio platforms like iTunes, SoundCloud, and Spotify. While each of these platforms has its own massive listenership, your podcast can still benefit from exposure on video platforms.

YouTube can be a great place for discoverability. Add your podcast trailer, episode recaps, and teaser content to your brand’s YouTube Channel to boost awareness and capture eager viewers. Remember that YouTube works best as a search engine. It’s full of other distractions, so you’ll want to focus on hooking viewers with teasers and driving them back to your own site for the full experience. This will allow you to build and nurture a dedicated list of subscribers over time.

Having a video podcast can also help with discoverability across search engines. When someone searches for your show, they’ll hopefully first find your website links to the show, followed by links to third parties like Apple and Spotify, and then maybe even a podcast featured snippet.

If you have a video version of your podcast, this might also show up in the video search results. This allows your brand to take up more space across search results and showcases the video version of your show — a win-win.

Once you have the video version of your podcast, you can start posting to both audio and video platforms to help drive brand exposure and your overall viewership.

2. Video is great for social media

Video is an ideal format for social media platforms, which tend to be highly visual. Not only will adding a video component expand your reach, but it will also make your audio content more engaging for social audiences.

The quick-browsing nature of most social media users means you don’t want to post lengthy videos that take a while to get to the main point. You can get even more mileage out of your efforts by dividing episodes into short clips and sharing them on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. These are perfect bite-sized pieces of video content that are easy for people to spot and consume on a busy social media feed.

Choose an insightful or entertaining tidbit from your video podcast, and turn it into a snappy video that runs about 15–30 seconds. The more shares you get, the more you’ll boost your podcast’s exposure.

View post on Instagram

3. You’ll build trust and connection with visuals

Visual recognition can be a great way to build trust with your audience — especially for podcasts that aren’t backed by big-name hosts and guests. Viewers are likely to trust speakers more if they can be seen instead of just heard as faceless voices sharing opinions from afar.

Video podcast visuals can also help drive affinity for your brand. When your audience can see a host or podcast personality, they’re likely to associate that person’s face with your brand. In that way, the host functions as a company representative of sorts. It’s similar to seeing the gecko in the GEICO commercials and automatically thinking of the car insurance company.

These benefits will compound, too. The more recognizable your podcast host becomes to your audience, the more brand awareness you’ll enjoy.

Even the circulation of podcast thumbnails can help boost brand awareness. A user might not necessarily click on the video, but they’ll start seeing your host and podcast pop up more often on different feeds and make the connection that the video is from your brand.

4. You’ll make your podcast more accessible

Podcasts that rely just on audio can exclude certain groups from their listenership — particularly those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who speak different languages. Offering a video podcast with captions keeps these people top of mind for your business and gives them the ability to watch and enjoy your content with ease.

With video podcasts, you can add closed-captioning so anyone can enjoy your podcast. If you want to do this, make sure to keep your captions succinct. They should be broken up as they would in a real conversation and usually be no longer than two to three lines each.

Adding captions to your video can also provide SEO benefits. In addition to the title and meta description, Google will recognize the text file you use for closed-captioning. This can serve as an opportunity to potentially add more keywords to your video, which can help boost its search engine ranking.

If your video podcast is growing in popularity in other countries, create a set of subtitles in different languages. Wistia allows multilingual captions to be included in videos. To take advantage of this capability, you can use a free tool like Subtitles Translator and upload your English caption file to translate it into a different language. Once you have the translated version of your captions, upload it to Wistia.

Get more mileage out of your podcast efforts

Adding video to your podcast offers the potential of a big payoff in terms of brand affinity and reach, all for a pretty low-level investment on your end. If you want to connect with more people, engage more social media folks, build trust in your brand, and be more inclusive, try turning your next podcast episode into a video.

You can absolutely get started delivering video versions of your podcast without fancy equipment. However, if you’d like info on how to start creating more refined video versions of podcasts, check out our video gear setup guide to find great tools for any budget you’re working with.

June 1, 2021

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Meisha Bochicchio


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