Why are brands vodcasting and should you do it too?

The podcast and podcasting craze has skyrocketed in the last few years, with many brands and entrepreneurs taking to the microphone and sharing their insights, and it’s resulted in a new type of content: Vodcasts and vodcasting.

As the name suggests, a vodcast is a video podcast with a video recording of an audio-based program. Vodcasts give you the option of tuning in with your ears and eyes, but if you do need to keep your eyes on the road, you can minimise the visuals and just listen. 

This flexibility is what makes vodcasts great and they are gaining popularity for several reasons. Vodcasts allow listeners to connect more deeply with the content. Cumulus media reports that six in ten weekly podcast listeners prefer podcasts with videos: Half enjoy actively watching while listening to the content and the other half choose to minimise videos as they work on other tasks.

The growing trend for vodcasts has increased the competition between the three big platforms; Apple, Spotify and Youtube are racing to make vodcasting easier and adding features to help content creators monetise their programs, such as having fans pay for interactive content like Q&A and polls.

The development of YouTube algorithms is also aiding the discovery of vodcasting programs. Tagging episodes with related topics, special guest hosts, and other popular programs can increase subscriber counts.

Content creators can measure the success of their program with video analytics that enable them to see how many people watched their video, the percentage of those who listened or watched and the time spent watching, check out copywriting services to know about content strategy. 

The vodcasting industry isn’t just for indie content creators, though. The growing popularity of this type of content is a great opportunity for small businesses to reach their target audience and expand their reach.

How your small business can benefit from vodcasting

Given the increasing popularity of vodcasts and their accessibility, this can be another tool for you to market your business. If you’re already in the podcasting space you have the advantage of recycling your content and adding videos to your existing episodes. Here are four benefits that vodcasts can bring to your business:

1. Vodcasts boost your brand’s audience reach

A growing number of people are preferencing videos to get their information. YouTube channels are certainly taking advantage of this by generating an enormous amount of content every day. According to the Pew Research Centre, there are about 44,000 channels with at least 250,000 subscribers. By using YouTube as a platform for your content, you can utilise the power of its algorithms to drive brand exposure. Search engines place importance on video content, so producing and uploading vodcasts will improve your SEO. You can easily embed video links to your social posts and website to gain more viewers and subscribers.

2. Visual content performs well on social media

So many people turn to social media platforms for information and entertainment, so leveraging these channels can be a great way to promote your vodcasts. According to Insider Intelligence, Millennials and Gen Z spend more than half of their total video time on social media apps, so this is a great opportunity to tap into a younger audience. Social media is highly visual and watching a video grabs more attention than just static images, audio or text.

Social media platforms, such as Instagram and Twitter, are known for giving news quickly. So,  amongst busy feeds competing for attention, it’s important to keep your video content short and snappy. If you do have a lengthy vodcast episode, you can divide this into a series of clips to get more from your content. Or, you can hook viewers in by posting entertaining 15-30 second tidbits before viewers click for full episodes. This can boost your brand exposure with more views, shares, likes and comments.

3. Vodcasts build trust, connection and authority

Videos are engaging because people respond better to face-to-face communication. Facial recognition is more likely to build connection and trust, rather than just a voice. You can show off your personality and flare, which further builds rapport. Viewers will associate your face with your business to help you gain recognition and grow brand affinity. Videos can also build authority, as audiences associate your face with your field of expertise.

4. Vodcasts are accessible

Audio-only podcasts can exclude certain groups, such as those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or those who speak other languages. But with video podcasts, you can add closed captioning, which gives everybody the ability to engage with your content. Make captions succinct and no longer than two to three lines, they should be broken up similar to real conversation. 

If you plan to expand your vodcasts to international audiences you can add multi-lingual captions to your videos. Video captions also provide SEO benefits. Google recognises the keywords in your captions, which serve to boost your search engine ranking. 

3 factors to consider before starting a vodcast

Like podcasts, vodcasting requires considerable planning and work before you can launch the final piece of content. We’ve shortlisted key factors you should take into account before starting your vodcast.

1. What resources are needed to create a high-quality vodcast?

It takes time to create a great video. You’ll need interesting video ideas, a script, great camera work, an appealing setting and many hours are always put into editing. 

Vodcasting also requires more equipment and software, such as:

  • Lights
  • Cameras
  • Microphones
  • Studio space to record
  • Video editing programs. 

There are a variety of video creation software and tools that are available to suit different budgets and needs. Of course, you’ll need time to learn how to use the equipment if you don’t already have the know-how. Partnering with a content agency can take the guesswork out of this process and can save you time. They will typically do a content strategy workshop with you and help to create a video that reflects your brand.

2. Does your content idea suit a vodcast? 

It’s important to plan and generate a lineup of content ideas you can use for your vodcast. Developing a content strategy can give you a clear direction of themes and topics that will suit the vodcast format while engaging your audience. You need to consider whether adding video footage to your audio content will add value. 

If you’re delivering content in a lecture style or even an interview style, you will need to think innovatively about how a video will enhance your delivery. Evaluate whether a video will offer your audience something that a podcast can’t, for instance, practical tutorials and ‘how-to’ videos work perfectly in vodcasts as audiences need to see what you’re doing and they often follow along as they watch.

3. Does your audience consume vodcasts? 

Because of its visual element, video podcasts don’t lend themselves to multitasking and often require the full attention of your audience. They won’t be able to tune in when they’re on the go, at work or driving so you’ll need to give your audience an added incentive to tune in. Evaluate whether your audience will benefit from and are receptive to video content.

5 steps to make an awesome vodcast

Once you’ve decided that vodcasting will help your business grow, here are some tips that will guide you:

1. Invest in video and audio equipment

Video cameras can be pricey, but now the latest smartphones come with technology to create high-quality footage and overnight TikTok sensations have been proof of this. Laptop webcams could also serve as viable cameras, depending on their capabilities. 

A separate microphone is something you should invest in, as phone microphones may not be powerful enough to record audio. Lighting is also something you should invest in. Even during the day, it’s difficult to capture natural lighting because of changing weather conditions. Equipment such as a ring light instantly gives you lighting that is flattering and can offer different modes to set the right tone. 

A sturdy tripod assures that the camera is steady and stays upright. You’ll also need video creation software and there are many programs to suit different needs and budgets. OpenShot is a great program for beginners and is free to use.

2. Decide on your topic and format

Preparation is key to ensuring you’re confident in your topic. Creating a video script or an outline will help you decide on – episode length, talking points and questions. 

There are several different formats for presenting video podcasts and you will need to choose the type that best suits your set-up and content.  A few examples of formats include:

  • Interviews and monologues: These are conversation-driven that include the host and/or guests where they can discuss their thoughts, ideas and experiences to bring valuable insights to listeners. It can be shot either in a studio or remotely via programs like RiversideFM. 
  • Livestreams: This is the recording and airing of footage in real-time as opposed to a pre-recorded video. What sets live podcasting or streaming apart is the high level of engagement you can have with an audience. You can talk to viewers, answer their questions and even gauge their interest based on views and reactions.
  • Videos with animations: This requires resources as well as designers or artists that can animate elements such as characters and special effects. Although challenging, this can be a creative engaging way to present your content.  

3. Record and edit your vodcast episode

The recording process varies and each format can be very different depending on which you chose. For example, when using animation you’ll need to create a storyboard and record the video, whereas using slides or static images you’ll only need to record the audio and corresponding image. If you’re recording an interview, the process differs again. You’ll be recording yourself and the interviewees and must make sure that the setting is right.

After recording, it’s time to edit, which is another process that can take time to refine your video. You may want to adjust colours, change sound levels, stitch the footage together and add titles. The process usually requires piecing audio and video together and requires video editing software to meet different needs.

4. Create an on-brand, engaging vodcast thumbnail

Once you have a polished video it’s time to promote all your hard work. You want to create a thumbnail of your video that attracts viewers. Choose a good layout for your thumbnail and be sure to use your brand colours. Create thumbnails that are consistent in how they look so that your audience will recognise your brand. Use an image that represents what your vodcast is about, such as an interesting shot from your video or an image of your guest. Choose an interesting title to draw people in and ensure the font is big enough for viewers to read. 

5. Upload and promote your vodcast

Upload your show to various platforms that feature vodcasts like Spotify, Apple Podcast and YouTube. It’s also important to share the episode link on your social media platforms with a caption that encourages audiences to listen. Another way to share or promote your vodcast is by repurposing it into short-form videos that highlight interesting points in the episode. You can add a link with the full episode for viewers to see more. 

You will need to consider whether vodcasting ticks the boxes for your business needs and the needs of your clients. Starting out will be a learning curve given the equipment, software and processes involved. But with any new trend or innovative development, it’s important to keep an open mind or risk getting left behind.

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