How to start a video podcast simply

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This article is sponsored by Switcher Studio. Switcher Studio allows you to produce your live video podcasts and I use it almost daily. Thanks for the support. Rest assured, these are my opinions and tips as usual.

Podcasts – audio and video – are continuing to boom. My prediction for 2021 as shared by the Content Marketing Institute is that the popularity of podcasts will continue to increase.

Some marketers might scream: Now we have to do video and audio podcasts? That’s yet two more channels to add to our long list already. It has to stop somewhere. And that is a valid statement because we can’t do everything and definitely can’t do everything well. But, podcasting and video podcasting is still on the upswing and there are ways to do it simply and make it part of your content production process. Let’s dive in and see how you can make video podcasts part of your strategy without driving yourself crazy.



Sometimes it’s easier to talk about the topic or your audience might be more open to listening than to reading. For example, I know many people like to listen to podcasts when they’re driving to and from work or while at the gym. In addition, people also watch videos. 

I’ve been podcasting for years. I’ve also done live video streams – mostly selfie videos pre-2020. It just makes sense to combine the two and make my live videos into a video podcast, then use them on my regular podcast and as part of my overall COPE strategy.

And keep in mind that it’s much easier today than recording on two devices, which was something I actually did four years ago. Today, I use just my iPad to do the livestream (and recording) via Switcher and then import the audio into my podcasting system.

Why to start a video podcast

Livestreaming expert Jeff Koslofsky and Switcher Studio’s Marc Gawith joined me on a livestream to discuss the topic and we agreed that livestreaming podcasts with video on gives you several advantages:

  • More immediate distribution
  • Our show was broadcast to LinkedIn and Twitter. The two channels together had over 200 views in the first 16 hours.
  • It can lead to a really good and informational discussion
  • Authenticity – you see the real people. It’s hard to fake your personality on a 45-minute live

I think of video podcast distribution like this:

video podcast distribution

Go live on the channels where you see the most return. For me, that’s Twitter/Periscope and LinkedIn. Then I extract the audio to distribute the podcast version via Anchor. To make sure you know all the podcast channels and there are plenty, set up a Podpage landing page which helps you walk through that process.

Some experts will tell you to only focus on the highest performing channel. That’s not a terrible strategy, but why not try to maximize your output when it’s basically automated.

Replays matter

This one is an interesting area as much of the video podcast discussion is about live. Why do replays matter? Replays are basically views that happen after the livestream concludes. For example, with Switcher I did a livestream about video storytelling. It had about 50 live views and later an additional 300 replay views.

Keep this in mind when you are going live. In-the-moment chatter is great, but your content also should have some shelf life. When people ask questions I acknowledge them and the livestream as well. I try to extend the shelf life.

“Thanks Dan for joining our livestream on LinkedIn Live.” If they ask a question, I read it back and try to answer it. Given the multitude of where people watch and listen I also remind everyone that we livestream shows now and how they can catch one down the road.

Try video podcasting with Switcher Studios here. 

“People say ‘well, I only have five viewers,” Marc said. “But this content lives on out there in perpetuity unless you delete it. People see it as they are perusing your profile, doing searches for different things. The replay is a good thing to keep in mind as you are thinking about your live video strategy.”

“You have to remember that not everyone is just waiting for you to go live,” Jeff added. “Not everyone is going to tune in right then.”

Jeff does daily updates and they are also being watched on replay. Jeff has found a lot of success on Facebook, which hasn’t shown much for me personally. Again, test and see what channels are best for your brand.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube typically don’t delete the video after the livestream has ended. If they do, check the settings. For example, here’s how to change it on Twitter. To livestream on Twitter you have to tie your Twitter account to the corresponding Periscope account.

The setup to start your video podcast

As always, start with your strategy. What are you going to talk about, who is talking about it, who is the audience, etc. If you are already producing audio podcasts, the strategy likely is already in place and you can simply jump to how to get started with video.

Read next: Who is your audience? Is it internal or external?

What’s your overarching topic for the podcast?

Virtually all the podcasts I listen to have higher level topics that they don’t stray from too far. Yes they have episodes that are at the edges of that stated topic but overall the sales podcast won’t be talking about something totally unrelated to sales.

Just like any content marketing channel consider:

  • What’s already out there?
  • Would your podcast fill an empty topical niche?
  • Is there an actual audience?
  • Are you an actual expert on the topic?
  • Do you have enough topics to cover weekly or bi-weekly or monthly podcasts? Once you invite guests, I find it quite easy to produce a lot of shows. The guests are now your partner in topic collaboration. 
  • So while I typically don’t recommend over-analyzing focus groups or committee meetings with professional overthinkers these are things to think about before starting and even if you do a pilot for a few months it’s still important to keep these things top of mind.

Set a rough agenda to start your video podcast

When I went live with Jeff and Marc we briefly discussed the topic over email and I send a very loose agenda, which looked like this:

  • Hello, introductions and overview
  • Why live video matters
  • How to produce it effectively
  • Other tips to making being on air easier
  • How to repurpose it
  • Summary and wrap

That took us almost 50 minutes to get through. We didn’t script any answers and just let the conversation flow, which is a great strategy to keep it authentic and real.

Take your time. Don’t rush it. New video podcast hosts sometimes breeze through things too quickly. Have a conversation. Go on relevant tangents. Embrace momentary silence. Some banter is okay. I always tell my guests: “It’s okay if we disagree on something.”

Guests

When you first start podcasting some guests might not be interested in being on your first couple episodes. My own first 20 or episodes or so were just me talking. But I also didn’t ask guests to come on the show right away.

Having guests though, can make the show much easier to produce and make the conversation more fun. Guests usually also will promote the show once it’s live. It’s build-in promotion. Simply reach out to people that you want on your show. Not everyone agrees to be on mine, but I’ve had big names as guests, including:

Who is your podcast talent?

When I’m speaking at conferences I remind people that not everyone is a fantastic writer and not everyone is a fantastic podcast host. We all have our own unique strengths. Now podcast hosts don’t necessarily need to have traditional broadcast experience. But they do need to be able to speak on air and be understandable and be able to have a conversation.

They have to bring themselves. Some people don’t like my podcasts because they don’t like me. Others like me. That’s okay but at least you know you are getting the real me.

Read next: [Content marketing] What to do when not everyone loves us but why we should still care!

Who will produce the podcast?

I have published podcasts before without any editing. Many podcasts do need some kind of editing. At the very least at the beginning to add an intro, some music and setup. I also like adding some midroll ads.

That can take a few minutes and skill. The process I use is quite simple:

  • Livestream and record via Switcher. I use my iPad typically to produce and host. The iPad sits on a tripod which sits on the top of my desk. You can certainly also just prop your iPad on your desk if you don’t have a tripod.
  • I set it to go live and record to whatever channel I want to use for this stream. Make sure to pick good headlines.
  • At the end of the show, click end, the livestream ends and you can move the file to your camera roll.
  • From there, I move it to my computer or run it through an audio extraction service like this one. I can also move the video file to my computer and dump it into Anchor, which then extracts the audio for me.
  • Then I edit the beginning, add some midroll ads and schedule in Anchor as well.

Here’s how that looks visually when you end a livestream in Switcher:

Click the button in the top right to stop. (The screenshots are from a show I did with Tim Ash)

It takes a moment to end:

Then move or copy to your camera roll:

There are some technical things to consider when you go live:

  • Do you like your framing (I hardly ever do looking at myself).
  • What kind of graphics do you need on the screen – if any?

In the show with Jeff and Marc, I put the Switcher Studio logo in the top left, a “live” graphic in the top right and another call to action to sign up for Switcher in the lower third.

That’s it! When I first started, I had way too much going on:

  • I constantly flipped camera angles
  • Switched graphics
  • And more

I could barely focus on the discussion.

If you want to start your video podcast without actually being on camera, that’s easy to do as well. Just put up your podcast logo, like this on the live screen:

Video podcast without video

What podcast technology needs to be bought?

It’s easy to use technology as an excuse to not start. I don’t have the best mic. I don’t have this or that. Jeff and Marc both reminded us how easy the set up can be.

You just need an iPad or iPhone, good lighting, and Apple headphones – which come with the iPhone – should work fine. That’s basically my setup. My desk is right in front of a window so on a sunny day the natural lighting will do the trick. When it’s more cloudy or I’m streaming early in the morning or later at night, I simply use a ring light – which is technically my 12-year-old daughter’s.

Your Switcher trial subscription and a free Anchor account are the other things you need to get started.

The workflow to publish everywhere

Follow some of the workflow I discussed above. In addition, I also like to use podcasts as a base to write blog posts on here. Blog posts are for yet another audience and can help with SEO. Of course, keep in mind that your podcasts also have SEO value as I’ve previously shared. The audio of livestreams and podcasts will likely be indexed in the near future as well – if it’s not already.

Jeff shared another great idea: He likes to use pieces of the video for short social media posts. Some can also be used as audiograms. With that in mind I offer the full video file to my guests and then can use pieces of the show as well.

There are three ways on how to easily create them:

  • During the show mark down time codes for quotes you like.
  • Listen to the show again and pick them that way.
  • Look for breaks when people start talking when you are looking for quotes from specific people and keep moving forward looking for quotes that way.

Video podcast wrap

Producing a video podcast – live or recorded – while producing my audio podcast version has helped me grow and engage my audience. It’s really a great way to maximize on my content efforts. And once I worked Switcher into my workflow it made it even easier.

Get your free Switcher trial here.



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