Don’t limit your podcast. Our friends at Captivate are here to tell you how to expand your show even further.
So, you’ve got a great idea that you just know lots of people will love. You’re thinking, “should I start a podcast or a YouTube channel? Can I even do a podcast on YouTube?!”
The answer is yes: you can podcast on YouTube. It’s not either/or. It’s both!
Video podcasts have been around for a long time, and for good reason. As podcasting continues to grow (listening is up 51% since last year) competition for listeners’ ears (and eyes) is getting fiercer. It’s not enough to have your podcast on one channel; you have to make your content available and accessible to your audience wherever they may hang out online.
That doesn’t mean spreading yourself thin over as many channels as possible. It means being clever about how and where you distribute your podcast for maximum reach.
Why start a video podcast?
Podcasts aren’t only something you listen to! In fact, producing a video podcast as well as audio is the best way to attract new audiences and listeners for your show, as well as leverage YouTube’s powerful search engine. Not convinced? Here are the stats:
- 73% of US adults use YouTube, overtaking Facebook as the most widely used platforms
- YouTube is the second most-favoured platform for watching video on TV among 18-34 year olds, after Netflix
- 86% of 12-34 year olds and 76% of 34-55 year olds have listened to a podcast in the last month
All this means that YouTube is a valuable tool to help you to tap into new audiences that perhaps wouldn’t have discovered your show otherwise.
So do video podcasts mean a ton more work?
Publishing your podcast on YouTube involves a few more steps, but not necessarily more work.
Every time you record a new podcast episode, you can also produce a high quality video at the same time. All you then need to do is export the video, edit it (if you like), and upload to YouTube.
This is how it works for our in-house podcast, The Podcast Accelerator. Our host, Mark Asquith, will record video at the same time as the podcast episode. The most relevant parts are edited together to produce short, 5 minute episodes geared towards YouTube audiences.
You don’t have to produce a dedicated video for every episode, either. YouTube has features like live streaming, so you can easily host webinars, live specials or behind-the-scenes content on your channel. Those videos will stick around on your channel, so if they’re well optimized, you’ll continue to attract new viewers and listeners in time.
What equipment do you need to create a video podcast?
To start recording your podcast, you’ll need a camera. It doesn’t have to cost the earth: an iPhone, laptop or device camera will do, and you can use your podcast microphone to record the audio (as you would do normally).
You’ll also need some form of light source – whether that’s a ring light, LED light, desk lamp or natural light. Most YouTubers start with natural light sources before upgrading to more professional equipment, so don’t be put off by this DIY approach for now!
If you’re curious, here’s the equipment setup for our studio, where we film our video podcast:
- Camera: Canon 90d DSLR set to 4k mode at f1.4 aperture via a Sigma 24mm prime lens
- Microphone/Mixing Deck: Heil PR-40 and RODECaster PRO
- Lighting: A Ring Light provides front key light, a Soft Box provides overhead bounce light, and 2 x LED background lights provide interest and colour
How to start a video podcast on YouTube
Video is both a practical and an effective way to expand your podcast’s reach. Read on for 3 simple ways to start a video podcast on YouTube without having to sacrifice your bank balance or your sanity!
1. Set up your YouTube channel
Before you put your podcast on YouTube, you need to think about if the format of your podcast suits video.
For example, if you co-host your podcast, conduct interviews or feature guests, your podcast will already have a dynamic which will make it enjoyable to watch.
If you create episodes that are heavily scripted or narrative-driven, you’ll want to put more thought into whether you should start a video podcast.
The main thing to consider here is that YouTube is a video platform. If you don’t have the time to fully commit to producing video, it might not be the best option for you. Simply posting audiograms, your cover art or screenshots to YouTube won’t cut it; your viewers will bounce and YouTube won’t surface your content. Long story short: you won’t get very far.
Pro tip: Create Music can help you make your YouTube videos and audio more exciting and engaging. The library of music, sound effects and easy editing suite makes it easy to boost your podcast’s production values!
2. Reward subscribers by livestreaming your podcast on YouTube
Livestreams are a brilliant way to stir up audience engagement, provide exclusive content and interact with your listeners face-to-face.
Podcast fans love livestreams because they offer live and direct access to you. Being able to put a face to the voice helps you build trust and allows listeners to get closer to you as a host.
All you’ll need to do to set up a stream is give your listeners a heads up that you plan to go live, and let them know where they can find the stream. It’s best to do this a few days ahead of time by creating a strong call-to-action that you repeat over email, social and throughout episodes every chance you get.
Some cool ways to use a livestream include:
- Offering a livestream as premium podcast content. Set your YouTube livestream to private and direct premium or paid subscribers to the secret exclusive stream. There, you can answer questions, interact with people and let fans know what goes into making a podcast episode.
- Welcome new listeners and shout out loyal subscribers/fans. Create a real sense of community by interacting as much as possible with your audience. It’s easy to do this using YouTube livestreams, as each window comes with its own dedicated real-time chat screen.
3. Optimize your video to get more views and listeners
The final step to creating a successful video podcast is optimization.
YouTube is the second largest search engine, so whenever you publish a new video, you’ll need to make sure your content is optimized for search. Playing to YouTube’s search algorithm will give your video the best chance of being surfaced, which in turn gives it the best chance of being viewed.
Follow these best practices to optimize your video podcast for YouTube:
- Do some keyword research for your video topic. You wouldn’t create a blog without doing some basic keyword research first. YouTube is no different. Simply typing your video topic or a relevant search term into YouTube’s search bar will give you an idea of what people are searching for. You can then include this in your video title and tags. Paid SEO tools like TubeBuddy and free tools like ahrefs’ YouTube Keyword Generator are really useful here.
- Use all of your tag allowance. Every YouTube video comes with a 500 character tag allowance. Tags help YouTube contextualise and categorise your video, so it can show it in the most relevant queries. Don’t ignore this opportunity to tag your video with relevant hashtags, search terms and topics relating to your video.
- Create a visually appealing thumbnail. A high performing thumbnail is essential to a video’s CTR (click-through-rate), and is the first thing to attract a viewer. Putting thought into creating a striking, clear and persuasive thumbnail is miles better than using a screenshot (a missed opportunity). As a rule, photos or faces work best, with bold, clear and short text letting the viewer know exactly what to expect. Tools like TubeBuddy allow you to perform split tests on thumbnails to see what performs best.
- Make use of info cards and end cards. Every YouTube account is able to add info cards and end cards to specific parts of a video. This is a great way to highlight other content on your channel and push viewers to other videos they might like. This extends their session and view duration, key components for pleasing the Youtube algorithm. Once you get to 1000 subscribers, you can use info cards to link out to your podcast website, Patreon or landing page!
- Don’t forget to caption your video. 69% of US consumers watch video with the sound off, and 80% are more likely to watch a full video if captions are available, so adding subtitles to your videos is essential. YouTube provides captions automatically, but you might want to check them for mistakes before publishing!
You’re ready to start your video podcast!
In this guide, I’ve covered the basics of starting a video podcast on YouTube and how you can use it to expand your audience. You should now be ready to set up your own channel, DIY studio and start publishing videos as well as audio!
Rachel is the marketing coordinator at Captivate, a podcast hosting, analytics and marketing platform from Rebel Base Media. Rachel works closely with independent creators to drive education and innovation in the podcasting community by creating practical resources and guides like this one.