Updated June 2, 2022
Be careful. The most successful breakthrough podcast, Serial, is audio only.
Generally speaking, companies who have podcasts value developing a long term relationship with the audience. This allows for increased reach and brand awareness. That is the main argument against just hitting a button at your hosting service to jump to YouTube.
Let’s list the four most prevalent arguments today, and offer a rebuttal:
- It’s easy, must be a good idea
- What harm can it do?
- But, Gary Vee is talking about repurposing . . .
- But, everybody says video is the future
Thousands of podcasts have been launched in the last couple of years. In April of 2020, Apple announced it had one million podcasts in its directory. If you do not think you are getting the results you want, think about making your podcast easy to just post the podcast to YouTube and double your downloads. Not quite. Podcast listeners are different animals than YouTube viewers:
- A typical podcast listener subscribes to six podcasts and listens for 30 minutes.
- A typical YouTube search will answer with a short video.
1. It's easy
You cannot argue this point. Companies like Libsyn makes it a snap to send your podcast to YouTube.
Just because it is easy does not make it desirable.
The reality is that most folks do not spend time to promote their podcast effectively and think a move to YouTube will provide magic results.
Before we think about YouTube, when it comes to podcast promotion, how does your company stack up?
- Do you record interview with high-quality audio and use a professional audio engineer?
- Do you write a summary including keywords from the podcast?
- Do you examine social media accounts of guests to get key phrases and hashtags, then include them in your social media promotion?
- Do you choose a relevant past podcast and put links on the show notes page?
- Do you send audio to REV to get a transcript, correct transcript, load on the show notes page?
- Do you listen to the podcast to select quotes for show notes and social media?
- Do you structure a distribution grid for LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook
- Do you design email promotion, email on Tuesday, resend to “no opens” on Saturday?
- Do you consistently reach out to thought leaders in LinkedIn Groups and Facebook Forums to inform about the new episode?
That is a short list, but you will see putting a podcast on YouTube will not make up for your lack of effort at podcast promotion.
OK, for the sake of argument, let us say you are a champion at podcast promotion and spend ten hours of promotion for every podcast.
>>>>> 10 hours a week promoting your podcast
Do you have time for
>>>>> ANOTHER 10 hours a week promoting your YouTube video?
To be successful on YouTube you will want to have at least that much time and a written strategy for your channel and videos, something apart from your podcast strategy. If you are going to appear on YouTube, you might as well become familiar with some of the basics of video promotion.
If you have not budgeted time to promote your podcast, how will you ever set aside time for the proper way to promote a video on YouTube?
We have not even mentioned the kinds of videos that are effective – lots of pattern interrupts, great visual structure, and high energy.
2. What harm can it do?
Just posting a video on YouTube certainly seems innocuous. Hit one button and it is there.
The reality is it can impact your ability to rank other videos on your channel. YouTube likes signals from viewers: retention, likes, comments, and subscriptions. If you get no interaction you can get your podcast downranked on YouTube.
Most podcasts have a goal of developing a mail list where they can further engage the audience. That is why they have mid-roll reads with a call to action to visit the show notes page. You will have to rethink your podcast strategy for YouTube.
YouTube does not like calls to action that take viewers off YouTube.
They do not look kindly at leaving YouTube to go to your show notes page and sign up for your newsletter.
Also, YouTube rewards links to other videos at the end of a video. What videos will you use?
People come to YouTube to get a quick answer to a question. The presentation of the answer is normally a visually engaging thumbnail with video content involving a human being. If you merely post your cover art and audio, YouTube may look at it as deception, possibly spam.
Some will provide anecdotal evidence that argues that most auto-posted YouTube videos get no views. Anyone searching through YouTube will come to the same conclusion.
3. But, but . . . everyone is talking about repurposing . .
Popular marketing gurus will tell you to merely pop your podcast on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, then LinkedIn, then Instagram . . . ad infinitum. Even the venerable blog at HubSpot mentions repurposing.
Please remember the self-appointed marketing leaders have huge budgets and staff to accomplish this marketing miracle. Be wary of millionaire marketers who talk about the ease of going multichannel.
I have listened to many digital marketing leaders use the phrase, “Just bust our your phone and create a compelling video.” What is ironic is this advice is given from an expensively produced video.
Podcasts are inexpensive to put together, videos can cost four to six times as much. How much do you want to sink into this time consuming video adventure?
4. But, but . . . video is the future . . .
Podcasting can be a building block to other media. However, this step should be made after success in podcasting.
You must enact a specific strategy to be successful on YouTube, just like any other platform, not just impulsively hitting a “YouTube” button.
Do not jump to video without putting in the requisite hours promoting your company podcast. Competing for eyes on YouTube is drastically more difficult than in a pool of podcast listeners:
- Your video will be competing with 31 million active YouTube channels.
- Your podcast will be competing with 400,000 shows with more than ten episodes.
You can damage your presence on YouTube with a sloppy video presentation. Omnichannel is great if you have a team but can get expensive if you do not. It is possible to cut up a podcast into chunks and place them on YouTube, but it comes with a high degree of difficulty.
People listen to podcasts and audiobooks because they can walk, run, or cut the grass while enjoying the experience. Please remember that watching a video is different.
If you liked this article, you may want to read “15 Ways to Use Twitter to Get More Downloads and Have Bigger Impact.”