According to a recent study by Podcast Download, 57% of people prefer podcasts with video. But is adding this extra step in your workflow worth the benefits? Does it actually encourage more people to listen to your episodes?
In this blog, we'll break down the benefits of recording your podcast episodes so you can decide if this is the right move for you. We'll also break down how to record quality video so your content stands out from the crowd.
Why vlog your podcast?
Do you have to record video of your podcast to have an engaged (and growing) listenership? Not necessarily. Some podcasters don't want to be on camera. Others don't want to add the step to their workflow, and some have enough of a listener base that they don't feel the need for extra visibility.
But YouTube is one of the most popular podcast discoverability platforms. Many podcast listeners find a podcast on YouTube initially and then subscribe to the actual podcast on a directory afterward. Here are some other compelling reasons why it could be beneficial to record video of your episodes:
1. Increased reach & engagement. Recording your podcast episodes will allow you to upload them to platforms like YouTube, Vimeo, and Twitch. This means more potential listeners can find your content, and even those who don’t listen to podcasts may be more likely to watch a video than they are to sit down and listen to audio.
2. Visuals enhance the storytelling. Vlogging your podcast can give you the opportunity to enhance your stories with visuals, such as slideshows, charts, or videos of yourself talking about your topic in real-time.
3. Engage with listeners via the comment section. Podcast directories don't have a way to comment on episodes, so by vlogging your podcast, you open up a whole other platform of engagement and interactivity with listeners.
4. Builds brand authority. Vlogging can help establish you as an authority in your niche and builds trust in the brand or topic that you’re discussing. Having your podcast on YouTube and other platforms can also increase traffic to your podcast website, ultimately driving more listens, subscriptions, and engagement with your content as a whole.
If recording a video podcast feels like a fit for you, read on to learn everything you need to know to get started!
Video podcast prep: What to know before you start
Let's clarify our terms before we go on. While this might sound obvious, vlogging your podcast is recording video of your podcast episodes. Many podcasters record audio only, put a static image overtop their audio file, and upload it to YouTube as an episode or clip. While this strategy is simple and tempting, it likely won't result in much engagement and therefore isn't a method we recommend.
With that out of the way, here are some questions to ask yourself before getting started:
- How many people will I need to record? Will you record conversations with guests, a cohost, or just yourself? Will you publish full podcast episodes or just episode clips? All of these questions will determine the type of setup you need.
- What type of investment am I looking at? Based on your answers to the questions above, will you need one camera and microphone or multiple? Do you need lighting equipment? Will a simple iPhone or laptop work, or do you need to invest in professional cameras and microphones? It's helpful to know these things upfront so you can have a realistic idea of the investment: both monetarily and time-wise.
Now let's look at the best setups for your specific situation.
Recording: How to record your vlog
Recording video of your episodes can be as simple as setting up your webcam or smartphone camera or as complex as a full studio setup–the choice is yours. Here are two different customizable setups that can work for any budget.
Just the basics:
Best for: Solo podcasters looking to record themselves or a remote guest or cohost. If you record with multiple people, you can add some mics and an affordable interface like the Scarlett 2i2.
- Camera: Any webcam, iPhone camera, or the Logitech C920x
- Mic: Samson Q2U (or the mic from your headphones)
- Headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M20x
- Option #1. Position yourself near a window where light is toward your face, not behind you. Pay attention to the background. It's okay if it's just a normal bedroom as your background.
- Option #2. Get an affordable ring light. This little gadget can go a long way toward making your recording look more professional.
- Remote recording software: Zoom
Best for: Podcasters with an in-person cohost or frequent in-person guests who want a studio-quality setup with top-of-the-line quality on every front.
- Camera: Canon M50 II (paired with a pro-DSLR mic)
- Mic: RodePodMic, Rode Procaster (with a Rode PSA1+ boom arm)
- Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
- Interface: Rodecaster Pro
- Lighting: NEEWER GL Pro 15.5" Light Kit
- Remote recording software: Riverside.fm, SquadCast
Obviously, these setups are just suggestions. Feel free to mix and match and create your own video recording setup and use this as a guide!
Editing: How to put together episodes like a pro
How much you edit your podcast depends on is totally up to you. Many podcasters record their video podcast in one cut and make only make minor adjustments.
- Utilize shortcuts, such as trimming out sections where you are talking over each other or long pauses to keep your episodes tight and engaging.
- Add captions for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as to make your videos more accessible to potential viewers in foreign markets.
- Always review and double-check your work before publishing – once it’s out there, it’s a permanent part of your brand.
Podcast editing software
The editing process of your video podcast is as important as creating great content. But you don’t have to spend a fortune on high-end software. There are plenty of free and affordable options for beginners that make the editing process simpler and faster. Here are some excellent free and paid video editing options.
Best free video editing tools:
- Lightworks. This powerful software is great for making simple or complex edits.
- iMovie. Another great option for free video editing software that’s available on Macs and iOS devices.
Best paid video editing tools:
- Final Cut Pro. A powerful editing platform with all the features you need to create top-notch video productions.
- Adobe Premiere Pro. Another more-advanced editing suite jam-packed with pro features and capabilities.
How to promote your vlog
Once you've recorded your video podcast and edited it, the next step is to promote it. YouTube is an excellent platform for promoting your video podcast because of its powerful search engine and algorithm that favors videos over text or audio. You can also post clips from each episode on other social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
You can create a thumbnail using a free tool like Canva or Adobe Express to create free visuals you can post to drive traffic to your channel. You can create a teaser trailer for your video podcast to post on other platforms as well.
Best practices for recording a killer video podcast
Your video quality does not have to be professional to increase engagement with your audience and expand your reach. But following a few best practices can set the quality of your video podcast apart from the rest. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Show your personality. Vlogging gives you an opportunity to show your personality in a way audio can't. Don't be afraid to use humor or facial expressions to help keep your audience engaged.
- Make sure your audio is high-quality. Investing in a good microphone and recording software can go a long way towards ensuring you have crisp, clear sound for your podcast. And, of course, if you already have a good audio setup, you can use this for your video without investing in anything else.
- Have good lighting. Natural light or a ring light will make a huge difference in how professional your video looks.
Create an organized workflow. Figure out what equipment you need, how to record and edit the podcast, and ensure that everything is in place before you start recording.
- Engage in the comments. Encourage viewers to comment and answer questions that they have. This will help build relationships between you and your audience and make them feel like a part of the conversation. The bottom line is, recording a video podcast can be just as successful (if not more) than regular audio podcasts.
As always, genuinely good content is the best way to increase engagement on any platform. No light kit or professional camera can replace true passion, interest, and curiosity in your topic.
Adding video to your podcast can be a simple, effective way to expand your reach without investing a lot of money. It allows you to interact with listeners, boosts your visibility, draws more traffic to your podcast website, and ultimately increases your podcast subscribers count.
Remember, viewers care more about the quality of your content than the quality of your production. So have fun, create quality episodes, and keep it simple!