Last Updated on October 11, 2021
"Can you help us launch a podcast on YouTube?" I've been asked this a lot, lately. We actually hear from businesses that think of a Podcast as something that ONLY lives on YouTube. And we hear from a lot of podcasters who would like to repurpose podcast content for growing a YouTube channel, and ways to repurpose your podcast content there.
In this series so far we have focused on how we publish and market our clients podcasts via content syndication to lots of platforms. This means we use a transcript driven, SEO optimized way of repurposing podcasts to a blog post. But there are lots of channels where we distribute podcast content, YouTube being one of them. So today let’s extend this to how YouTube video fits into the content syndication scheme.
Listen to the Full Episode Audio:
Here is a Brief Video Summary for this Episode:
Repurpose Podcast Content — TOC
- The Role of YouTube for Podcasts [01:26]
- 6 YouTube Success Factors [03:50]
- YouTube End Goals [05:19]
- Business Concepts For Utilizing Video [06:20]
- 4 Concepts To Repurpose Podcast Content For Video [07:28]
- 2 Original Podcast Video Concepts [13:19]
- Conclusion [15:36]
- Episode Links & Case Studies
- Episode Tools Mentioned
The Role of YouTube for Podcasts
So let's start by clarifying that a podcast is not something that can live on YouTube alone. Sure, it can be cross-published to YouTube. But in order to be available on all major podcast platforms and listening apps, YouTube is not enough. We still need a podcast host for making it available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcast and the 100s of other platforms.
YouTube is of course a type of Google search engine, and so potential discoverability for your brand is a huge benefit there, and can also result in great traffic back to your website if done right.
How Podcasters Typically Think About Repurposing
For many experienced podcasters the thinking goes like this:
- I'd like to start or grow a video channel on YouTube.
- I already have an interview show format where video is recorded via Zoom or remote recording platforms like Riverside.fm.
- So, I might as well use that video material to grow my channel.
- And, if I have a solo show, I'll record that on video and do the same.
And while that seems like a good idea, success is not automatic. There are some considerations. And many format choices.
6 YouTube Success Factors
So let's talk about success factors first. It usually means spending a good amount of time researching keywords, doing YouTube SEO, selecting the right titles, tags, adding cards, and end screens, and having good thumbnails.
Yes, SEO is a thing on YouTube. But even when following all the rules, YouTube growth is not automatic.
It can be frustrating, and growth in large part depends on your subject matter and audience. My own story is that I can put the most insightful or beautifully produced technique video out there — with only little interest. But then when I review a microphone or piece of mundane recording gear, suddenly I get 1,000s of views.
YouTube can be fickle like that. Why is that?
The answer is an "it depends…" sort of response, if you ask me. It depends on a number of YouTube Success Factors, and here are 6 of them:
1. Your demographic and audience
Does your ideal audience live on YouTube? Or Tik-Tok? Or LinkedIn? Where do they spend their time?
2. Your topics and subject matters
Is your subject matter something people search for on YouTube? Is it popular, or maybe even too popular and competitive?
3. Show formats
What is your show’s format? education, entertainment, edutainment, comedy, storytelling? Does your show deliver on its promise, and can it do that visually?
4. Video SEO
Are you doing any YouTube SEO? Are you researching keywords and tags? Using TubeBuddy?
Do your thumbnails stand up to other videos in your niche?
6. Social reach & promotion
How do you promote your videos once live?
YouTube End Goals
It is easy to get caught up in the hype and competitiveness of building a YouTube audience. But for businesses, and from a content strategy point of view, there should be off-platform ROI and benefits, for example:
- Better brand awareness.
- Establishing thought leadership.
- Driving traffic back to your website.
- Getting people to know, like and trust your business.
- Or increasing podcast subscribers.
Side note: Remember that YouTube video views are NOT counted in your podcast host's analytics reporting.
So being aware of your goals and expectations before setting out is important. This is especially true if you are a larger firm with multiple stakeholders. We have seen unclear or unrealistic expectations kill many podcast projects after only a few dozen episodes.
Business Concepts For Utilizing Video
For me, there are basically 2 categories of video: Re-purposed and Original.
The big temptation is to repurpose a podcast video or interview recording on YouTube with the least amount of effort required.
And this can be successful, keeping in mind the factors we just covered. But we have found that original content, specifically designed for YouTube, is most successful. But let's have a closer look at both:
- Repurposed includes livestreams, full episode videos, segment videos and audiograms.
- Original video concepts are trailer / teasers and golden nuggets or summary videos
Four Concepts To Repurpose Podcast Content For Video
1. Live Stream Repurposing
- Concept: Broadcast live video to your followers on YouTube and social media platforms. Start with a livestream, then convert this to .mp3 audio. Formats can include live guest interviews, or for solo shows hosting the occasional live Q&A session for your audience.
- Pros: Very little post production effort, no editing.
- Cons: Not for the faint of heart, harder than it looks, can require massive pre-production effort and setup. And ideally your guest should be comfortable, too.
- Our take: Great if you have a large list or following, are looking for interaction and engagement. But livestreams result in long form videos, which are typically less concise and more meandering. We have not seen a lot of organic search based success with these.
2. Full Episode Videos Repurposing
- Concept: Record an interview, and then repurpose the entire recording in split screen view.
- Pros: Manageable post production effort, depending on required edits. "Talking Head" conversations are more acceptable post-pandemic. Benefits from a good chemistry between host and guests. Great new platforms make this easy now (links in the show notes).
- Cons: Requires more setup, coordination, guest onboarding.
- Our take: This approach can work well, but often results in too long videos. We all know that the biggest drop off in watch time occurs after 2 minutes. Does not inspire "subscribe" behavior as well as original videos.
3. Show Segment Videos
- Concept: Record a longer show, but then split it into shorter clips or segmented videos. Each becomes its own piece of content.
- Pros: Can work almost as well as original content if done well. Will yield multiple SEO and social media content pieces.
- Cons: Requires a more planning and works best with a rigid show structure. Best with clear breaks between segments. Also will cause a lot more post-production work.
- Our take: We believe in this concept, but it is harder to execute, and therefore more costly in terms of time or paying someone to help do it right. Some cool new platforms are emerging that use clever AI to try and automatically segment clips, chop and repurpose video. (Links in the show notes). This AI automation might work to create smaller social share videos for Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. But we find that manual editing still rules when it comes to crafting original SEO optimized YouTube content.
- Concept: Upload your podcast audio file, and re-purpose it as video content with graphics and sound waveform animation.
- Pros: Completely automated with tools like headliner. Good to share on social channels that enforce short video formats like Twitter and Instagram. Avoids the need for special video recording sessions.
- Cons: Boring and not very visually effective for long stand alone videos. It is audio content only, pretending to be visual.
- Our take: Not worth the effort on YouTube. To create audiograms of 30 second quotes videos is useful for social channels if you have a large following. You can also perhaps upload these into a separate YouTube playlist, but we have found minuscule interest and watch stats for these.
- Alternative: Instead of audiogram tools, we would recommend using storytelling video platforms like Invideo, links are in the show notes.
Two Original Podcast Video Concepts
1. Trailer / Teaser Videos
- Concept: The idea here is recording a short 2-5 minute video summarizing or teasing the entire podcast episode.
- Pros: Shorter time commitment. More traditional podcast workflow, with a summary video shot on iPhone for example. Easier on camera shy guests. Results in purpose made original YouTube content.
- Cons: This constitutes an extra step in an audio centric workflow.
- Our take: We like this concept the most, along with "Golden Nugget" videos that highlight the best content from an episode.
2. Golden Nugget Videos
- Concept: Summarize "golden nugget" insights from your guest, creating a short 2-5 minute video for each episode.
Pros: Can be shot casually by the host only. Can also feature guest footage talking on camera.
- Cons: Requires manual editing all the way.
- Our take: This is an appealing format for many podcast audiences. They appreciate the effort that goes into summarizing the best content from an episode, Cliff notes style. We think of this as the best re-purposed video format, even thought it is labor intensive.
Conclusion: What is the best way to repurpose podcast content?
What we have found, and what other articles and case studies also seem to indicate, is:
Original videos, not repurposed videos are most successful on YouTube.
This is not a recommendation that everyone should stop repurposing podcast content on YouTube and produce original material instead.
All I am saying is to strike the right balance for your brand in terms of effort, time, cost and effectiveness.
Episode Links & Case Studies
- How To Podcast On YouTube (Our recent in-depth article)
- Podcasting Insights from Westwood One’s Fall 2020 Study (Youtube is the #1 listening platform, also something that data from Edison Research podcasting data shows)
- How to Podcast on YouTube: The 3 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid (The Captivate Blog)
- Podcast Audiogram Alternative For Promotion and Visual Storytelling (our post on using alternatives to audiogram)
Episode Tools Mentioned
- StoryChief and Our Workflow Tools
- Repurpose House Service
You can find the links and deals for many of our timesaving tools on our sister site, The Podcasting Resources Guide.
FAQ — Repurpose Podcast Content
Q: Can a podcast be repurposed as a blog?
A: Yes, we love to approach podcast show notes as high authority SEO optimized blog articles. We covered this in more detail in Episode 1 and 2. Basically, the approach is this: Use a high quality transcript as the basis for the blog article. Add sub-headings, add a table of contents, add images, quotes, and eliminate unnecessary speaker labels. Also, do not bold the speaker labels, or have extra carriage returns for them. We are trying to make it look like a high quality blog article, and not like a pure transcript.
Some tips for this: We recommend including the podcast player widget in the article as well. Some people post their episode twice on their site, once in the podcast section with the player widget and a short description, and then again as a separate blog article, often without the player widget. So they think of it as two separate entries. We do not recommend this approach, since it can easily cannibalize the SEO presence for each episode.