YouTube is not a podcasting platform, but podcasters can still use YouTube with podcasting. As another point of distribution, YouTube can help with search-engine optimization (SEO), growing your podcast audience, and complementing your platform.
1. Publish your audio podcast on YouTube
This is kind of the poor man’s cop-out for using YouTube with podcasting. It would involve taking the audio from your podcast and simply slapping your cover art, or a couple slides on the screen just to make it a “video.”
You can tell I’m highly critical of this method, and I think it does more harm than good. Within Noodle.mx Network, we’ve tried this and the plain view numbers (more than 21,000!) seem wildly successful for a 36-minute audio “video.” But the audience retention was horrible! 90% of the audience left within the first two minutes. Five minutes in, only 5% of the audience was left.
That means that nearly 19,000 potential raving fans turned away and may never come back.
Watch for a future post on TheAudacitytoPodcast.com with detailed information about this and comparisons with other methods.
2. Publish “talking head” video from your recording session
A step up from audio “videos” is to actually upload or stream real video to YouTube. When this is nothing but showing you talking (like in your “studio” or from a webcam), we call this “talking head” video. This is much better than “hacking” the system with fake video. But the retention will still be low because people may not be interested in seeing just your face all day.
Please contact me if you publish talking-head video and are willing to be part of my ongoing research!
3. Upload HD video episodes to YouTube
Video podcasting is expensive, especially podcast media hosting! A five-minute video in HD could take several hundred megabytes of storage. For this reason, I recommend that podcast videos be only 640 × 360.
But if you’d like to show off your high-definition video, then upload the full 720p or 1080p video to YouTube. These HD videos won’t be publicly downloadable for free podcast hosting. But this does make sharing your video podcast much easier and more social.
These HD videos will embed on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and more!
4. Embed YouTube videos on your site
Take your HD YouTube videos a step further by embedding them on your site. You may even want to replace the PowerPress video player with YouTube’s.
YouTube views won’t contribute to your regular podcast stats, but it could improve the experience for your audience by providing an HD version.
5. Use Google+ Hangouts (on Air) for interviews and roundtables
Google+ Hangouts and Hangouts on Air (the live-streamed version of Hangouts) let you invite multiple guests into your recording session. You can let Hangouts automatically switch the camera to whoever is talking, and choose whether to display thumbnails of other participants.
This is much more engaging than just seeing your head when your guest is talking. It’s also a lot easier than managing the video switching yourself with fancy hardware (like a Tricaster), expensive software (like Wirecast), or a decked-out studio with monitors (like Todd Cochrane’s).
6. Create video promos on YouTube for your regular podcast content
You can use YouTube as a springboard to point people to your regular show by creating promos or teasers. Look at how Elsie Escober has done this for LibSyn’s podcast The Feed.
This can be a great opportunity for search-engine optimization, because you can make multiple videos for the same episode. Each video can have a different title, and you could provide short, valuable information in the video while pointing people to your main show for the full information.
Make sure you do link to your content! (See #9 below.)
7. Live-stream with YouTube Live
YouTube Live is now my choice for live-streaming video. It’s free, you can control whether ads show, it works on mobile devices, and it even records directly to YouTube and is immediately available afterward.
You can stream to YouTube Live with fancy software, like WireCast, Adobe Media Live Encoder, and more. But you can also go the simple route and use Hangouts on Air, giving you all the great power and simplicity of a Google+ Hangout.
I recommend that you create your own /live page on your website, where you embed the YouTube Live player and your chat room of choice.
Since YouTube Live creates a different URL (and thus embed code) for each event, I recommend the IX Show Latest YouTube plugin for WordPress for showing your upcoming, live, or most recent YouTube video automatically—without having to update your code every time!
8. Create supplemental YouTube videos to complement your podcast
Podcast episodes can be long, and that’s okay. But YouTube videos work best when they’re short—five minutes seems to be the sweet spot.
And the best kind of video for YouTube is actual video content. The kind of stuff you have to show for people to understand.
Any kind of highly engaging video will do very well on YouTube. Show stuff! Or get out somewhere interesting and record in an attractive environment (like what DigitalRev does with their photography videos).
9. Link to your site and affiliates with YouTube descriptions, annotations, and comments
Every video on YouTube gives you multiple opportunities to send people back to the platform you own. You can now place these hyperlinks in three places.
- Description—Link back to your site for the show notes, include a link (possibly an affiliate link) for whatever resource you’re discussing.
- Annotations—These are the on-screen hyperlinks. They can be a speech bubble, and note, or a frame. This works great to put around any link you display on the screen (or mention in the video), and have a visual “subscribe” button that links to your subscription. You can now point these potentially anywhere by verifying your domain and making your own 301 redirects with a plugin like Pretty Link Pro or Better Links Pro.
- Comments—The thing I love about Google+’s now being integrated with YouTube is that I can finally include URLs in comments! So when I need to point a commenter to another resource, I can include the link and make it easy for them to go there.
Any of these links could be affiliate links, links to other videos, links to resources, or links back to your own site.
The video annotations don’t show up yet on mobile apps, but that will probably come soon.
10. Monetize your content with ads
Lastly, using YouTube with podcasting can help you make more money by enabling ads on the videos. You’ll get a tiny commission anytime someone sees an ad, but you earn even more when they click on the ad. These ads come in multiple formats.
- Display ads (banners) run across all areas of the site except the Homepage. They are available as a 300×250 ad that appears to the right of the feature video and above the video suggestions list.
- Overlay in-video ads are transparent overlay ads that appear on the lower portion of your video.
- TrueView in-stream ads are skippable video ads that are inserted before, during or after the main video.
- TrueView in-display ads appear alongside other YouTube videos, or on websites that match your target audience.
- Non-skippable in-stream ads are video ads that can be inserted before or during the main video and must be watched before the viewer can continue watching the content selected. These ads can also be placed after the conclusion of a video, in the post-roll slot.
Quick tips for using YouTube with podcasting
- Create a YouTube channel for each show/niche. Don’t mix content into your personal channel. Make a Google+ page for each show, and then a YouTube channel for each page. This allows you to have managers who can upload content, tweak settings, add annotations, or manage your videos for or with you.
- Include links and promo text in your descriptions. Include a standard script about your show with links to it in the description for every video. This will be searchable and provides more opportunities to people to click through to your platform.
- Add your own video thumbnail. Don’t let YouTube choose a thumbnail for you, unless you’re in a hurry and it already looks great. I suggest big text with a relevant image.
- Include subscription annotations in every video. Make every video have a visual “subscribe” button for several seconds at the end. You can be as creative as you want, but always remember to link it.
- Get your international podcast reviews automatically emailed to you with My Podcast Reviews!
YouTube video of this podcast episode
Here’s what I live-streamed to YouTube via Google+ Hangouts on Air. Unfortunately, I had my mixer set to not send my music out to YouTube, and I forgot to switch to Studio Mode for my audio. Thus, the audio isn’t as good.
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This post may contain links to products or services with which I have an affiliate relationship and may receive compensation from your actions through such links. However, I don't let that corrupt my perspective and I don't recommend only affiliates.