Connecting with an audience and providing them valuable content are crucial components of many businesses’ marketing strategies. But how are these things actually accomplished? In today’s digital world, video is king. Many businesses have considered using video to market their products and services but are deterred by the idea that it is too expensive or difficult to do.
This is what Shaina Weisinger, CEO of Video Podcast Producers (VPP), aims to change for businesses interested in video. VPP teaches small and medium-sized businesses how to create successful video podcasts and become thought leaders in their industries. In this article, we’ll explore Shaina’s process for putting together video podcasts and explore what it can do to build your brand online.
Businesses Need Video
After a childhood passion for videography drove her to study film at ASU West Campus, Shaina began using video for digital marketing. She started as a freelance videographer for a business coach. Her work attracted other business owners interested in video, which helped her kickstart her video production company, WAKE Brand Media.
According to Shaina, many businesses she spoke with followed one of two trains of thought:
- They knew they needed video but thought it was too expensive to do
- They paid for inexpensive video production that didn’t live up to expectations
Through WAKE Brand Media, Shaina helped companies create video content to fit into their digital marketing strategies.
It was through WAKE Brand Media that Shaina met entrepreneur, speaker, and coach Mike Arce and helped him create a video podcast for his fitness marketing agency, Loud Rumor. Within a year, Loud Rumor grew 11-fold. The cause? Mike’s successful video podcast.
Due to the success of Mike’s business, Shaina knew she needed to replicate this strategy to help other companies achieve similar results. The two founded Video Podcast Producers, which teaches companies how to create top-quality video podcasts.
Audio Podcasts vs. Video Podcasts
The biggest difference between audio and video podcasts is obvious: video itself. Audio podcasts already draw in millions of listeners each month, many of whom listen long-term. By incorporating video into the mix, businesses can build faster connections with their audiences and establish more authority on their topics. Essentially, video podcasts are upgraded versions of audio podcasts with more room for reach.
Additionally, video podcasting allows for more opportunities to repurpose your content. With video, you have the ability to break a long podcast into smaller pieces and distribute them across many platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Although this is something that can be done with audio, it’s far more dynamic with video.
One of the most popular video podcasting formats is interviews, which work well for most businesses because they allow you to leverage the authority of other industry leaders, a component that’s made greater by physically seeing people on-screen.
So what happens when you have someone you’d like to interview? How do you turn that conversation into a video podcast? While it’s possible to bring in local industry leaders and interview them on-site, for people who are farther away, video conferencing technology works well. When conducting virtual interviews, the company helps the interviewee set up multiple cameras at their location to create an “in-studio look.”
One thing you might avoid, however, is sending clients video equipment to use on their own. The reason? There’s too much room for error. Instead, you can control the equipment on your end but offer the opportunity to train clients on how to do videography on their own.
In order to get new guests onto your podcast, preparation is super important. The average video podcasting guest will need to be more prepared than an audio podcasting guest. You can send your guests a guide to let them know what to expect.
One tip that’s worth keeping in mind is to ask the guest what kinds of questions they’d like to be asked on your podcast. This can open up the conversation and give your guest the opportunity to talk about things you hadn’t considered before. Here’s a little more from Shaina on conducting awesome interviews:
Planning a Video Podcast
So you are interested in starting a video podcast. How do you begin? The first step when creating a video podcast is to set it up as an audio podcast first, then introduce video. When businesses introduce too many visual elements from the start, audio listeners can get left out in the cold.
Next, you have to create a firm understanding of who your target audience is. Who are you talking to, what is your audience and what are they going to care about? What kind of value can you give them in their everyday lives that they’re actually going to spend 30 minutes to an hour with you and stick around?
You want to make sure you are providing content that is high-value, something that your audience will be interested in or can implement.
Once you have that nailed down, you can start to think about taking your podcast to the next level. Video podcasters should think about the different elements they can add to their video formats that aren’t available in audio. Adding lots of visuals within the intro and sponsorships sections can make your podcast more exciting to watch. You might even be able to charge more for sponsorships because it will be visual. Show the product or service in action, either in the studio or using an existing reel of footage. Apart from the intro and sponsorships, though, Shaina says video podcasts don’t deviate too far from their audio counterparts.
The Technical Side
You might assume that there’s a lot of work involved with setting up and preparing for a video podcast. While this is true, it’s definitely not unattainable. There’s a lot to be done concerning lighting and audio equipment. And, to get the video component right, you’ll probably need someone else to help you film and monitor the equipment, especially if you follow the “3 camera style.”
What is this 3 camera style?
Using 3 different camera angles allows you to more easily cut sections out and create seamless scenes within your podcast. By using this technique, you can mess up as much as you want while still looking professional.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Camera 1: Shot of both people in the frame
- Camera 2: Close-up of Person A
- Camera 3: Close-up of Person B
For more on the 3 camera setup for interviews, check out: How to Use a Third Camera on Interview Shoots
One of the main concerns businesses have about video podcasts is the process for post-production. Surely, editing video clips take a lot of time and effort, right? Actually, this isn’t true! In fact, it can be pretty easy. The first two things you should finish in post-production are the “lower thirds” (the text at the bottom of the screen showing the names and titles of people who are speaking) and your exit reel, where you thank your viewers and direct them to your website or social media. Once those two components are finished, it’s really a matter of plugging all your angles into your video editing software and choosing the ones you want to use. Once you’re in the flow, it should take about the length of your podcast to edit.
Speaking of length, you might be wondering: how long should your video podcast be to retain the most viewers? Unfortunately, there’s no straight answer—it really depends on your audience and the topic your podcast is covering. Most business podcasts sit for approximately 20 minutes. These are best for commuters as they drive to and from work. To determine the best length for your videos, ask yourself who your audience is and how much time they have to give you. Ultimately, as long as you’re producing good content, your audience will find time to listen.
Consistency Is Key
One of the major points to keep in mind is that consistency is key. It’s important to determine a posting schedule and stick to that so your viewers can find you. For most podcasters, one video podcast a week is ideal.
To stay on top of your game, try front-loading your content. Film a few podcasts at a time and have a few ready to publish and even more in the pipeline. This strategy is a good buffer for the unexpected, allowing you some helpful leeway in the event that “life happens.”
Video Podcast Equipment Essentials
As you’d expect, there’s a basic level of equipment you’ll need in order to pull off a video podcast, but it’s just that: basic. You can even film video podcasts on your iPhone, as long as the room you’re filming it is lit well. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of filming—even the best video equipment will have a hard time producing the quality video if the lighting is bad.
Using a basic Panasonic camcorder (Like the Panasonic HC-VX981K), try shooting in HD or 4K video. This equipment is easy to use, and it’s easy to train other people on it. Shaina also has put together a gear sheet, with a complete breakdown of everything you’ll need to shoot a successful podcast and options for every budget.
For audio recording, use boom mics rather than lapel mics, which can be unpredictable. Boom mics—the kind that sit on a large stand over the speaker’s head—stay out of the frame and pick up high-quality audio.
You want your audio to be as clean as possible with a video podcast, so make sure to turn your AC and halogen lights off before rolling, or you might get some unexpected sound in the background. For those businesses conducting online interviews for their podcasts, experiment with online tools like Appear.in for video conferencing and Screenflick for screen recording.
Put Your Content Out There
Once you’ve got a complete video podcast ready to roll, what then? Where do you put it? The most obvious choice is YouTube. After that, you should create a website for your podcast and embed the video link into a page for each episode. This way, you can use your website as a home base and a link source.
Transcriptions are also huge in the world of video podcasting. Having 40 minutes of an episode transcribed is great for search engine optimization. Transcribe every episode and use a drop-down box to hold the text content on your website.
For more on using video for growing your brands check out: The Ultimate Guide To Branding With Facebook Video.
Marketing a Video Podcast
After your video podcast is published, the fun doesn’t stop there! You can continue to repurpose your podcast content to market it and drive more viewers to your website. Marketing can be a surprisingly enjoyable part of the process, particularly once you realize just how many pieces of content you can get out of a single episode.
To be successful with marketing your podcast, create “video memes,” or short 1-2 minute clips to share on social media.
— Máté Kovács (@kovacsamate) April 20, 2018
These bite-sized pieces of content should contain dynamic things people say on your show and drive people back to your website. Try making 5 or 6 of these memes—and if you can’t, your content probably isn’t that valuable. Use memes as organic content on Facebook or Instagram, or turn them into ads on YouTube and Facebook if you have the budget.
If you want to start creating video memes check out Shania’s tutorial here:
It’s very important to add subtitles to your Facebook videos. The majority of Facebook users won’t click on a video to hear its sound, so if there are no subtitles, they’ll scroll right past. Transcribe the clips yourself or use a program like SpareMin to generate subtitles for you.
Another cool way to promote your podcast is through image quotes. Create an image featuring your guest or a cool quote they said during the interview and post it across your social media channels to generate excitement.
This is also a great time to leverage your guests. Cross-promotion is huge in video podcasting, so get your guests to share the episode with their audience. The key to this is getting your guests excited for the episode and keeping them that way by previewing it to them. That way, they’ll be eager to share it with their audience, which is composed of lots of people who aren’t following you yet but will probably be interested in doing so.
When You Can Expect To See A Return On Investment
The whole point of implementing your video podcast is to build your audience and drive sales. Naturally, you’ll be eager for growth and a clear return on investment. But when starting a video podcast, you shouldn’t expect to see a large ROI immediately. After 4 or 5 months, it may feel like the only people listening are your mom, your employees and maybe yourself—and this may be right. The video podcasting process can take time. Adding video to the podcasting strategy can help accelerate your growth on occasion, but it is truly a long-game format.
The more important aspect to remember is that your video podcast is helping you become an influencer in your industry. While creating content, continue to ask yourself if the podcast is serving a need for your audience. If it’s not, you’re probably not going to see a great ROI.
Ultimately, the goal is to create content that your audience actually cares about. Don’t be boring and don’t talk about yourself. Make your audience care, provide them with value and make them trust you. Eventually, the benefits of video podcasting will show themselves in growth for your business and greater visibility for your brand.