Video Show Versus Podcast: What's Right For Me?

August 28, 2020

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Lisa Marinelli

Lisa Marinelli

Creative


We think it’s more important than ever for brands to focus on building brand affinity, not just awareness, for long-term success. Some of today’s most prominent brands across B2B and B2C are already doing this by creating binge-worthy content like podcasts and video series. And if you’re all-in on brand affinity marketing and have been thinking about creating this type of content to grow your audience, you might be wondering which path you should take.

In this post, we break down the pros and cons of a video series versus the pros and cons of a podcast to help you make a decision that’ll support your brand. Keep reading to figure out what’s right for you!

Pros and cons of a video series

First, let’s talk about creating a video series for your business. Investing in a video series or long-form video content can be an incredible investment for your brand. In many cases, it becomes an evergreen piece of content your company can use and repurpose for many years. If we take a closer look, what are the pros and cons of this binge-worthy video strategy?

Pros

Build a stronger connection to your brand

Video is one of the best mediums for conveying your brand identity and values. Building a loyal audience won’t happen overnight — audiences build affinity for brands over time. But, video can help you communicate your brand identity and values in a way that’ll resonate deeper with people. Human brains are also hardwired to recognize faces. By putting people in your videos, folks are more likely to understand and trust what your video is saying when they can see the human behind the voice.

With a video series or long-form piece of content, you have the creative freedom to control the story you’re trying to tell. From weaving in your visual branding to creative editing — you can instill anything about your company that you want people to walk away and remember.

Easier to repurpose video content into a podcast

Depending on the format of your video series or long-form content, you can repurpose your videos into a podcast much easier than you could repurpose your podcast into a video series. For example, if you have a robust video show, you already have audio files on hand. If it were the other way around, it would take a lot more production effort and resources to create video content to support audio-only assets.

One way to successfully use the repurposing approach is to offer a strategic and unique value elsewhere and your main video content. We did this at Wistia for our original video series Brandwagon where we took the uncut interviews of our CEO, Chris Savage, and guests, and turned them into The Brandwagon Interviews Podcast.

Stand out against traditional marketing strategies

Capturing people’s attention in the digital advertising space is getting increasingly difficult and costly. Instead, investing in long-form video content can help your brand stand out among other businesses that are still relying on traditional marketing tactics to generate brand awareness. By offering content that provides value to a niche audience, you can create brand affinity, not just awareness, and resonate with the right folks who will gladly share your content with their networks and keep coming back for more.

“By offering content that provides value to a niche audience, you can create brand affinity, not just awareness, and resonate with the right folks who will gladly share your content with their networks and keep coming back for more.”

Generates more assets for marketing

In terms of marketing your video series, you’ll have tons of content you can pull clips from to pique your audience’s interest on their favorite social media platforms. The key to social media success is marketing like a media company. For example, media companies will create dozens of trailers spanning different lengths, formats, and styles to market new episodes. The trailers are optimized for the platforms they’re distributed on, with the primary call to action being “watch the full episode.”

Cons

Production and editing can be a heavy lift

If you don’t have an in-house video team already, production and editing tend to be a heavy lift. After all, video production is a new skill you’ll have to dedicate time to master. However, if you have the budget, you can hire experienced freelancers from marketplaces for film professionals such as Storyhunter, ProductionHUB, and Staff Me Up, or work with an external full-service video agency to help turn your ideas into a reality.

On the other hand, if your company is completely bought-in on producing episodic content as a long-term strategy, you might want to consider hiring a producer full-time or even start building a studio team of your own. We’re seeing B2B companies like MailChimp and ProfitWell re-investing their marketing budgets into building out studio teams that can produce engaging content to reach their niche audiences and grow their brand.

However, even with a small or solo video team, executing a video series is much harder than managing a podcast for your business.

Typically more expensive to execute

As we just mentioned, the decision to go down this path can require a considerable investment. You’ll need video gear, studio equipment, and a team to bring your show to life. Luckily, we know a few tips that can help you create a video series if you’re on a tighter budget!

Tip
Head over to our post on creating a video series on a budget for tips that’ll keep your costs low during the entire production process.

Not everyone loves being on camera

Another issue with video arises when you’re sourcing talent or getting guests to come on your show. The truth is, not everyone loves to be in the spotlight! Finding enthusiastic employees to be in your videos is one way to go, but learning how to direct non-actors will be vital to make everyone feel more comfortable on camera.

When a guest outside of your company agrees to be in your video, you can help set them up for success by sending them a document ahead of time with any information they should know for the actual shoot day. Whether it’s pre-interview questions, outfit suggestions, or specific directions, extra information ahead of time will make them feel more confident about what to expect on set.

Being remote makes video super challenging

Shooting a series is also harder to execute in a remote world when you have people in multiple locations. To maintain the same production quality throughout your videos, you might have to ship folks the gear and equipment they need to record their parts. Remote directing is another new challenge you’ll need to consider to help coach your talent through their lines and capture solid takes.


Pros and cons of a podcast

Now, let’s talk about podcasting and weigh the pros and cons of going down this audio-only road for your business. Like video series, a podcast can also become an evergreen piece of content that could benefit your company long after producing it.

Pros

More comfortable than being on camera

For anyone familiar with the struggle of being camera shy, podcasts are a more appealing option and offer more leniency for slip-ups during conversations between co-hosts and guests. Reading off of a script still takes practice to sound natural and authentic, but compared to video, no one will be able to see your eyes moving away from the camera to read any lines. Plus, if you’re recording a podcast from the comfort of your own home, no one can see what you’re wearing — feel free to activate pajama-mode for maximum recording comfort!

Typically more affordable to execute

Even if you’re working with a shoestring budget, making a great podcast is still completely feasible. You don’t need the fanciest gear or software to get spun up — technology is so advanced today that talking into your iPhone while you’re in a quiet room will almost always produce decent audio. But, if you want to add a microphone to your toolkit, we have a gear review post that covers three affordable microphone setups.

Get Inspired
Learn how Privy launched The Ecommerce Marketing Show for only $53 an episode.

With podcasting being more affordable to execute, it also allows for more experimentation and testing the waters. You can pilot multiple podcasts with different formats to find out what works best for your business before getting too deep into production.

Lighter lift for production and editing

In terms of production and post-production editing, don’t feel like you have to learn the ins and outs of a software program, either! There are plenty of talented freelance audio editors on sites like Fiverr and Upwork that you can help you clean up the audio content. This approach is a convenient, low-risk way to test the waters when it comes to podcasting.

If you do want to tackle some basic editing, try GarageBand. We’d say it’s the most beginner-friendly audio-editing program, and there are tons of tutorials on YouTube that can help you out along the way. Plus, it comes preloaded on all Mac computers! If you don’t have a Mac, try Audacity.

After your podcast episode is ready to go, uploading your podcast for everyone to listen to is pretty simple. You’ll need to sign up for a podcast host where you can upload your .mp3 files and publish show notes with episode summaries, transcripts, and any other additional information. From there, you can submit your RSS Feed to podcast directories like iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, and more.

More convenient consumption

Podcasting also offers more opportunities for your audience to consume your content. With the ability to download a podcast and listen on the go, folks can easily listen on their commute, at the gym, or anywhere else. Podcasts also offer more privacy; you can listen without someone looking over your shoulder in the office or on the train to see what you’re watching. Additionally, podcasts don’t necessarily require someone’s full attention to take away important details, unlike watching an immersive video series or show.

Easier to execute remotely

If you have folks in different locations, executing a podcast is much easier than producing a video series. There are no visuals involved, so you don’t have to worry as much about remote directing or recording the perfect take.

Cons

Harder to repurpose into video content

As we previously mentioned, repurposing your podcast into a video will require more investment in production. Even if you created a video series to go along with your podcast, it’s important to remember that these mediums are not created equally. You should be offering unique value and perspective if you choose to use both.

Creative constraint with formats

Although there’s more room for testing the waters with podcasts, you’re more limited in the format your show can take than video. There are more elements to video series that could engage your audience — the design of the set, interview locations, immersive brand visuals throughout the series, and more. But with podcasts, you don’t have these visuals and must rely heavily on storytelling, scripting, auditory branding, and host selection. Being able to hook your listeners will test your creativity within these constraints.

Tip
Explore more about video series formats and podcast formats to gauge what might be a good fit.

Accessibility

Due to podcasts’ audio-only nature, it’s harder to provide more accessibility for your audience. You should keep this in mind when you’re brainstorming show concepts.

Podcasts can be made more accessible through written transcripts, encoding your website with accessibility in mind, and making sure your media player is accessible. For more information on podcast accessibility, visit podcast-accessibility.com.

Discoverability can be a challenge

As of August 2020, there are over one million podcasts and almost 30 million podcast episodes. In such a crowded space, getting discovered presents a promotional challenge for marketing your podcast and getting the word out.

According to Makermag, there are no algorithms used in podcast apps, limiting the organic discovery opportunities. The only way to get organic traffic in a podcast app is from listeners using search in their app and for your podcast to show in the results. Your team will need a solid promotion plan to complement organic discoverability to really grow your podcast audience.


The case for binge-worthy content

No matter the medium, creating binge-worthy content in the form of podcasts, video series, or long-form content can help reach your audience in new ways and build your brand. Here are a few reasons why we think businesses should be investing in binge-worthy content as part of a brand affinity marketing strategy.

Binge-worthy content can improve time spent with your brand

A strong case for creating a show — either a video series or a podcast — is based on the way users choose to consume media. In this binge-watching era, users are embracing the trend of watching or listening to content for several hours straight when it’s worthwhile and engaging.

When you invest in creating long-form content that offers value and entertainment for a niche audience, the increase in time spent with your brand for one engaged individual is significant. There’s no comparison when you think about someone who willingly watches 10-minutes of a brand show versus someone who is forced to watch a 10-second video ad.

It’s the most scalable type of content

If your business creates an asset — whether it’s a video series, podcast, or docuseries — it lives on forever. You can scale your marketing assets just like media companies by creating a trailer to tease the release, extracting clips from the actual series to promote it, engaging people with behind-the-scenes footage, and so much more. This investment becomes an evergreen piece of content for your business that’ll support your brand indefinitely. And, you’ll be able to reuse and re-create marketing assets from your podcast or series far into the future.

“You can scale your marketing assets just like media companies by creating a trailer to tease the release, extracting clips from the actual series to promote it, engaging people with behind-the-scenes footage, and so much more.”

For example, when we released our four-part docu-series One, Ten, One Hundred, we created several unique marketing assets to get people excited and interested in watching. One year later, we re-marketed the series on social and posted behind-the-scenes footage to reach new audiences. As a result, we saw new people access this evergreen piece of content and spread the word to others that it’s worth watching, too.

Need more convincing? Here are five reasons why 2020 is the year to invest in binge-worthy content.

What’s best for me?

With a better understanding of what truly goes into making a video series versus a podcast, figuring out what’s best for your business boils down to being honest with yourself about the amount of time, money, and resources you can dedicate to this type of content.

These are some questions you should ask yourself to scope out your project:

Do we have the time to really execute a show?

The time required to execute both a video show or a podcast will significantly depend on your chosen format. Is the show ongoing, or is it a one-time mini-series? Will there be multiple seasons with breaks in-between? Explore your options and really consider how much time your team will have to tackle every aspect of show planning, production, and editing.

What resources do we have on hand, and what else do we need?

What existing resources do you have on hand? Do you have existing video or audio gear that you can use to support your project, or will you need to rent or buy the equipment to get started? Will you be managing the project in-house, or are you outsourcing to an agency or contractor? What are the natural strengths of your team? Be realistic about what you have on-hand and what you’ll need for a successful launch.

What’s our budget?

What is the budget for your show? This number should include team time or external costs associated with planning, producing, and editing your show. While it’s certainly possible to create a great video series on a budget, in general, it’s more affordable to launch and maintain a podcast over time.

Do we already have a clear vision?

Many businesses struggle with coming up with creative ideas for a show or podcast. If you already have a clear vision of what you want to make in the form of a video series or a podcast, we suggest you take the risk and invest in the medium you think will work best — trust your gut!

“At the end of the day, if you have a clear idea of what you want — if you can see the end product — that’s the path you should choose! Whether it’s a podcast idea you can already hear in your head or a video series you feel inspired to create, make the content that you and your team have the strongest vision for.”
Adam Day
Lead Producer, Wistia

August 28, 2020

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Lisa Marinelli

Lisa Marinelli

Creative

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