Although video and podcasting are not new to marketing, some of the channels are changing as Facebook tries to nudge in on Google+ and people are consuming more content on mobile devices. Including video and podcasting as part of the marketing mix is something some marketers are doing well and others are still working to improve. Regardless of where you fall in that mix, there are always things to improve and ways to make sure you’re keeping your video and podcast content on point.
10 Steps To Start a Video or Podcast For Your Brand
Create content for your audience
Find a topic or area that you can talk about with passion, knowledge, and enthusiasm. Content creation best practices for other types of content still apply to content produced via video or podcast. Know your audience and create content that they’re interested in hearing about. You can find content ideas in many of the same places you look for blog post content or other website content:
- High performing keywords/keyword groups
- High performing content/content groups
- Competitor content
- Quora or other social media sites where your audience is asking questions
You’ll want to find a format and a style that resonates with your audience. Creating audience personas will help you to decide how formal or informal your episodes should be. Your style will also be determined by your purpose. Is your tone educational or conversational? Knowing who you’re talking to and why will help determine how you set your style and tone. The length of your episodes will also depend on what you know about your audience. The best podcasts and videos are long enough to cover the topic, but short enough to stay engaging and keep audiences coming back for more.
Involve your audience in the process. Ask for response and questions and give them a place to contact you. You can set up your own hashtag on Twitter and invite them to a converation on social media following the podcast.
One of the things that you definitely want to focus on is not trying to be all things to all people. Even if your company is really large and has a lot of offerings, start with a smaller audience niche and try to own that market.
Record at least 5 episodes
There are lots of reasons to wait to publish your podcast or video series until you have three to five episodes recorded and ready to go. The first reasons is that it might take you two or three episodes to find a style and format that really works for you. After recording several episodes, you’ll be sure you’ve created a “look and feel” that you can maintain over the long haul.
If you’re producing a podcast, you’ll want at least 5 episodes when you first publish on ITunes to improve your chances of appearing on Itunes’ New and Noteworthy podcast directory. While having multiple episodes doesn’t guarantee you’ll be listed, it helps to establish your trust and authority in the space.
If you’re trying to attract a new audience to your content, having multiple episodes gives you more content to share and more content to entice viewers and listeners to subscribe. If your goal is to arrive on the scene as a podcaster or videocaster to be watched and followed, be sure to give your podcast and each eposide a snazzy title.
Publish on iTunes, YouTube, Spreaker, or other platforms
Once you’ve produced a few podcasts or video episodes, you’ll want to publish on as many platforms as possible. For video, YouTube is still the go-to platform, but that may be changing as social platforms such as Facebook look to get into the video distribution business.
For Podcasts, ITunes remains the number one hosting site, you can get more play if you also host your podcast on Spreaker, or other podcast hosting sites.
Getting and retaining an audience is easier if your podcast is more frequent. Consider publishing more than one podcast a week. If the recording schedule seems too challenging, try recording several podcasts at one time to distribute later. Sometimes it’s easier to set everything up once and set aside a block of time for recording instead of trying to reserve smaller blocks of time all through the week. Most hosting sites provide you with analytics and tools to help you share your content in other places.
Publish on your own website & properties
Where ever else you publish your podcasts and video, but sure to make them available on your website. Not only will it help your content show up in relevant searches, but it brings the SEO value to your own site. When viewers or listeners find your episodes on your site, you can direct them to more of your content instead of having YouTube or ITunes suggest other content.
Good SEO value is gained by creating quality content that uses the relevant keywords your audience uses when they search online. Gain more positive SEO value by writing show notes and including a transcript of your podcast or video on your landing page.
Re-purpose podcast and video content by writing up a recap of the conversation as a blog post. Convert YouTube videos into podcasts easily using Audacity, or other free tools. Offering your content on a variety of platforms increases audience engagement and provides multiple ways to share content and attract an audience.
Promote, promote, promote
Don’t rely on YouTube or ITunes to drive all your traffic to your content. Be proactive and promote on your own social channels. Send out an email with links to your content and invite your email audience to subscribe to your episodes.
If there’s an opportunity for your audience to view/listen to your broadcast live, send your subscribers a reminder before the show and a link to the episode after.
Your guests are a great resource for promotion. Ask them to promote on their channels and mention them in your social posts to encourage them to re-share. You might suggest that your guests share to their email lists and offer to provide a pre-written template to make it easier to send.
Invite interesting, relevant people to participate
If you know your audience, then you know who to invite to be on the show. Look around social media and see who is already talking about subjects and topics in your space. Once you’ve found a few people you’d like to talk to, make sure you communicate clearly with them about the show, why you want to talk to them, what you’ll be talking about, and how much of a time commitment your show requires.
The best interviewers are the best listeners. Have some questions prepared before hand, but listen to your guest and ask the follow-up and clarifying questions that naturally come up during a conversation. Even if you think you know what your guest is saying, if you’re in doubt, so is your audience. Ask the questions that anyone listening would want to ask, if they could.
Employ a subscription strategy
If you’ve created relevant and engaging content, you should start seeing some traffic to your podcast or YouTube episodes. The challenge is to create an audience that watches or listens and then comes back for more. Like all content marketing, your podcast or YouTube episode should have it’s own KPIs.
When setting a goal for a desired number of subscribers, or number of listeners, keep one thing in mind – it might be more helpful for your goals to have a highly engaged audience of 100 rather then 1,000 people who either aren’t very engaged or are completely irrelevant.
To start growing your subscriber base, reach out to audiences that you’ve already established on other channels. Increase your audience through email, newsletters, and updates you post on your own website. Invite readers to your blog post or your email subscribers to tune into your broadcasts and subscribe.
Measure audience engagement
Depending on whether you’re broadcasting a podcast or a video and where you’re publishing will determine what kind of metrics you can get about audience engagement.
If you’re downloading your video into YouTube, you can track:
- Audience demographics
- Traffic sources
- Minutes watched
- Overall performance
- Most popular
You can also collect audience responses through likes and dislikes and comments under the episode.
The analytics for podcasts are not as developed in ITunes, or other platforms. You may be able to track how many listeners and downloads, but not subscriber or audience data and you may not have a way for your audience to comment directly on the channel where your podcast resides. So, it’s important to provide a way for listeners to ask questions or respond to your podcasts outside of the publishing platform.
Regardless of the metrics you collect outside of your own website, the goal is to drive traffic to your website. Publishing your podcasts and videos as landing pages on your own site will give you access to audience analytics from Google Analytics or your own analytics tools.
Find a formula your audience responds to – and stick to it
Growing a subscriber base and keeping audiences returning for more is dependant on how successfully you can create consistent, reliable content. While this concept is one of the most important to keep in mind while you create your broadcast week after week, it’s the one that needs the least amount of explanation, and yet it’s the one that trips people up the most.
Here are some questions to ask yourself ever time before recording:
- Does this content answer a question or address a need expressed by my audience?
- Do I have a guest that’s engaging and interesting?
- Have I prepared enough questions to make sure there’s content to fill all the time available?
- Is the tone and style of this broadcast in line with previous broadcasts?
- Why am I recording this episode?
If you’ve built a subscriber base, then you’ll want to reach them at the same time every day or the same day and time every week, depending on your frequency.
Well produced is good enough
Videos and podcasts that are created to communicate content do not have to be highly produced. While you’ll want to make sure you have good lighting, sound, and an environment free from distractions, you probably don’t need to spend a lot of money creating glossy, slick productions. Don’t make the mistake of not starting a podcast or video series because you can’t afford a highly produced end product. Sometimes it’s more about getting the content out there and making something interesting and engaging. Think of your experience as a way to grow your own skills while expanding the types of content your audience can access.
Every week we produce Found Friday – a conversation about SEO and marketing trends, topics, and challenges. From that episode, we create a landing page, a blog posts, and a podcast. You can see all of our past episodes here, complete with transcript, blog post, and podcast.