As a business owner, should you be interested in how to start a YouTube channel? Or is it worth your while turning podcast producer instead? Which is better for your business?
While there are benefits to both, one may better suit your needs and goals as an entrepreneur.
James and Valher Media's Charley Valher take an informed look at how these platforms can help grow your business, and what the pros and cons are of each.
Charley Valher‘s company, Valher Media, specializes in taking their clients’ ideas and messages and turning them into well-produced podcast and YouTube content. They edit them, upload them, drive traffic to them and amplify them, things people are too busy or ill-equipped to do themselves.
Small wonder, then, that Charley often gets asked, which is better – podcast or YouTube?
Video versus audio in current podcasting
First, some distinction may be in order – by podcast, is that audio, or video?
“We always want to scratch our own itch.”
When Charley first started his business, it was a case of scratching his own itch, and podcasts were audio almost by default. In the last 18 months, however, the world has changed, and video has dramatically taken off.
Today, 90 percent of the shows Valher Media manages do video, and those podcasters that are audio only usually have videos elsewhere.
In the last eight to 10 months, now, Charley’s company has been diving into YouTube as well. It’s like the Old El Paso toss-up between soft and hard tacos – why not both? And they’ve found that a lot of people who watch YouTube videos also like podcasts.
James is one of the converts from audio to video podcasts. Where possible now, he captures the podcast on video, which is 90 percent of the time. He typically does audio only for monologues, so he can refer freely to his notes.
For someone considering an audio-only show, he asks, should they just not bother?
It’s a bold way to put it, but almost, says Charley. What they’ve found – and not through lack of trying – is that audio is a very hard medium to run ads to, because it doesn’t lend itself well to social media and the like. So for someone new to podcasting, with no established brand or email list or social presence, it’s incredibly hard to get an audio-only show off the ground.
One of the obvious benefits of video, says James, is that you can cut it up and place parts of it on social media. He finds it interesting that they’re easier to run ads to. His team did use to extract some of his audio-only material and add images and stock to make videos. However, he’s taken lately to recording video for those as well, and has found that it does make a difference in performance.
What differentiates YouTube from podcasts
When he says YouTube versus video podcast, what does Charley mean?
A YouTube channel today, as he sees it, is made of constructed videos, usually face-to-camera, that normally cover a topic about 10 minutes long. There are huge variations, true, but if you search for a tutorial or thoughts on a topic, that’s typically what you’ll get.
James knows the type, someone usually talking to the camera, with many quick edits, sound bites or scene/camera changes. One of his favorite clients who slays on YouTube is Scott Devine with his bass guitar lessons. He puts a lot of work into telling the story by filming it a certain way.
Can you put a podcast on YouTube and vice versa?
The question James gets is, can you take that YouTube video and publish it as a podcast? And can you do the reverse, take a video podcast and just put it on YouTube?
This, by the way, is something James and his team do. You can find this podcast on Apple, Stitcher, Soundcloud, the typical podcast platforms. But you’ll also find it on The SuperFastBusiness YouTube channel, uploaded natively in its entirety. And you’ll find it on the SuperFastBusiness page on Facebook.
This was on Charley’s advice, who said they were getting a lot of views on videos uploaded natively. It went somewhat against James’s OwnTheRacecourse philosophy, but he’s found since then that he still reaches and builds presence with that setup.
Charley’s finding is that a YouTube-specific video is unlikely to do well as a podcast, mainly because they often use visual cues and visual layovers to get their point across. It’s a medium and type of video that you would want to watch.
Published as audio only, context is lost; meaning is lost; it’s hard to really understand the points. And it’s unlikely you’ll build a meaningful audience for that, where people would get a far better experience on YouTube.
Now, the reverse is kind of true, says Charley, but kind of not. A full-length podcast interview uploaded to YouTube is unlikely to be found in search. If you were, for instance, to search for “how to look after your roses”, a video of that nature would not be the best result for that search term.
Then, too, YouTube is not just a search platform these days. Many people are watching videos based mainly on what’s in their feed, or suggested videos.
However, if you are sending email and driving people to those videos, or alerting people on the channel, people that already follow your YouTube channel, or are engaged in your brand, they will likely find your material.
Now if you do have that full interview, and there is a segment, say, on trimming roses, you can cut that out and use that piece of content as a topical video or a specific thing. So this is where podcasting has a big advantage.
This is one of those podcasts, says James, where he’s mentally taking note. Because what he’s found is that he lacks the preparation and effort to make proper dedicated YouTube content.
He had a recent guest, Brian Johnson, on the show, talking about his tremendous success with YouTube. And he feels he needs to make an intentional effort to have YouTube content.
If you’re listening to or watching this episode, and have a topic you’d like James to tackle on YouTube, get in touch by email, [email protected]. He’d appreciate the catalyst.
What he will say now to his team is to find those shorter snippets, and put them on their channel in a series or special category.
The challenges of venturing onto YouTube
What sort of hurdles could they expect if they were to start doing YouTube pieces, but not moving too far from their current zone? Take this interview – should James take the transcript, find the key points and make a solo video about the topic, mentioning his podcast or business?
Charley would suggest locating that five minutes about roses, clipping it, and uploading it as a standalone video. To make it more YouTube-friendly, he would recommend recording a little intro for it as well.
This would just be a face-to-camera going: I just recorded this interview with Charley. He’s unleashed weaponry skills in gardening, almost unbelievable, to see him nurture these roses at such a high level. You’ll learn this from this clip. So make sure you go through it. And then if you want a little bit more help, we’ve actually got a guide on our website on how to look after your roses, and you can pick that up from a link in the description below.
James has watched some interesting YouTube videos where, for instance, a van heist plays on the screen and someone does a blow-by-blow account from an expert perspective. They talk you through, and then they might pause to review something of note.
It’s an upfront, in-your-face personality style narrative, he says, where you’re taking them on a whole experience, which is very different to a podcast like this.
Charley would like to mention a few things which can add to the audience experience. He likes what one of his clients in the sales niche does. They’ll often do a YouTube video on a topic. And then they’ll also do a podcast interview on that subject, and actually leverage them into each other at the same time.
So people with ample time and resources can almost do a piggyback. You can do a 10-minute tutorial on, say, handling objections. Then you can do an hour-long interview with someone going through examples and breaking down call reviews, and really create a substantial body of work on the topic. So people will really get to know, like and trust you around these issues.
How to keep things fresh
And after you hang up from a podcast, says James, that’s a good time to do a solo promotion of it, or a summary of it, that you could use in your socials to draw people to your podcast.
Absolutely, says Charley. For some reason, if he records an intro, or tries to do a recap the next day, it just never has the same excitement, whereas if he does it right after an interview, everything’s fresh in his mind, and comes across in a more charismatic and excited way.
James agrees. When you record an episode well in advance, you’ve pretty much forgotten it by the time it goes live, and it’s hard to promote with any semblance of freshness.
He’s certain, though, that as an agency, one of Charley’s challenges would be extracting media from clients.
Definitely, says Charley. There’s this curse of knowledge, where the client doesn’t realize how many things they know when they’re trying to bring it to the surface. It often requires some prodding.
One thing he highly recommends for creators is Q&A. Getting questions from your audience and then answering them well is one of the greatest places to start, and one of the best opportunities for making good content. Because these aren’t things you would necessarily think of yourself.
This is one of the shortcomings, he thinks, of YouTube, where you’re trying to come up with the questions yourself and script it out. It’s just you, face to camera. You miss the opportunity for engagement and conversation, which often can unveil really good points that might not get discussed otherwise. With podcasting, someone’s going to ask the question or the deep topic. You get to unpack things very, very differently.
Some of James’s best content, he says, comes from his Q&A calls where they capture the question from a real live, breathing, paying customer. It has to be relevant for other paying customers or prospects who should be a customer.
That explains, too, why people who do live YouTube streaming on a regular basis are going to be relevant for their audience. And that’s a good supplement, if you’re up for it.
Podcasting, YouTube, or both?
If Charley were starting out today, would he do podcasting, or YouTube? Or would he try and tackle both at the same time?
If you’re someone who’s never made content before, says Charley, it really doesn’t make any sense to start doing short videos, and YouTube, and podcasting. He thinks that’s a guaranteed way to fail, become overwhelmed and lose enthusiasm. In many cases, it’s just not realistic. If you run a business as well, you may only have time for one.
If you’re someone with no list, no social following, only a little bit of time, and maybe only an iPhone, publishing short videos on social, he thinks, is a great starting point.
However, at some point, especially in some niches, you’ll want to want to create something a bit more high-value, and probably higher production value. And that’s where you move into either podcasting or YouTube. Charley thinks podcasting has some pretty big advantages, where it’s easier to podcast than get great at scripting YouTube videos. So as a fundamental point, that could be the next step.
And then once someone has a podcast, where they can consistently get into that routine, and they’re doing video, when they’re cutting their clips, YouTube becomes the icing on top.
Right, says James. So short social media videos or live streams are the easy play. Podcasting is next-level difficult, but still a great market to be in. And then YouTube is the most difficult, most competitive, but big rewards high-stakes game.
One more point that people don’t often think about, says Charley, is that having a guest on your podcast can lead to other opportunities. He’s had people on who signed up as clients. Or he’s done an affiliate or joint venture deal with them.
This is why he likes that podcasting step for business owners. YouTube, he says, is not necessarily something of a relationship capital nature.
A podcast is a huge asset, says James. A great number of his guests have become members of SuperFastBusiness. It’s also a great way to get educated, as he is being educated on this podcast.
The small things that make a big difference
What are the small things, asks James, that one thing missing that Charley typically sees between a person and success on either platform?
A universal one, says Charley, is picking a niche. As a broad stroke, he wouldn’t encourage people to go after just business owners, or just the fitness market. If you’re going to be successful, you have to have the best content for a specific market on the internet.
One he sees in podcasting is a huge bias towards interviews, and a leaning as well towards just propping up one’s guest. Quite often he sees hosts not contributing to the conversation and necessarily showing people why they’re worth listening to. He thinks that’s a huge foible.
The other part of that is he’ll see, commonly, hosts trying to cram too much into an interview rather than cover one topic well. They’ll just glaze over the surface, and never go into anything more deeply. It just seems like a wasted opportunity for someone to really understand a point.
Secondly, with podcasting, promotion doesn’t get treated very seriously. People will often just upload and hope that people will find it. He believes you’ve got to make sure people are aware and know how to get to your podcast.
This is where he gives massive credit to YouTubers – they’re intensely focused on getting people to their stuff. They are obsessed, he says, on what time to post, what keywords, what descriptions, how they’re promoting it, where they’re getting it.
“You’ve got to be consistent if you want to have success.”
One shortcoming on YouTube is when people aren’t consistent. Podcasting forces people into a routine. That is the nature of it, and that principle really applies to YouTube as well. You have to be consistent if you want to have success there.
A downfall on YouTube is people are often doing a lot by themselves, and it takes more time than they realize. At Valher Media, they once had to edit a 10-minute YouTube video, and a two-hour podcast. The 10-minute YouTube video took dramatically longer.
“YouTube is just getting hotter and hotter and hotter.”
That’s one thing that stopped James from being a YouTuber, the amount of time and energy and talent required to do a good job. But he would be keen these days to make some more face-to-camera videos. And he’d like to address topics that have come from his audience. YouTube is just getting hotter and hotter and hotter. So it’s definitely worth paying attention to.
What should have been asked?
Wrapping things up, what hasn’t James asked that Charley really wishes he had?
The one Charley would factor in is, while they both agree YouTube is more time-intensive, it would be interesting to consider rewards. Time versus reward.
And he would encourage people to think of the sheer volume of people that’s on YouTube right now. Whether you’re going in from a video podcast perspective or a straight YouTube perspective, think of how hungry the market is for content. The volume of traffic, and people searching for things, is almost unrivaled at the moment. It’s ridiculous in the world of media. So that’s an exciting thing for either path. Both can be dramatically worth it. Just be very aware of what you’re getting into.
James has no doubt YouTube is worthwhile. You’ve just got to take it seriously. More thought, more planning, more narrative, more production, more effort, more time, more money.
If it’s beyond you, individually, get help from Charley at ValherMedia.com. If you’ve got a podcast and you want help, or you want an audit, have a chat to Charley.
Just on the fly, James is considering an episode where Charley talks him through an audit of his own podcast – where it could be improved, what observations and suggestions Charley can make. It might be illustrative of what Valher Media does for client audits.
Charley is definitely up for it. He will mention, however, that someone did attempt it previously, and the results weren’t published. They didn’t like the findings. He feels, though, that James might be more grounded and appreciative of finding those areas that need work. Still, it may go unpublished.
The great mysteries, says James.
Again, if you want help from Charley, look him up at ValherMedia.com.
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