If you're a business owner or entrepreneur, there's a good chance you're already using video to promote your brand. But did you know that video podcasting could be a powerful addition to your content marketing mix?
Charley Valher’s business is producing other people’s podcasts. With all the shows he’s handled, he speaks with some authority on the advantages of a video podcast. Tune in to get ideas you can apply to your own podcast.
02:15 – The argument for video over audio. Someone who manages multiple podcasts for a living knows what he’s talking about.
04:39 – Video podcasting and SFB. Some developments since SFB’s switch to the video medium…
06:14 – The dimension video adds to communication. People get to know you a whole lot better on video.
09:10 – How audio-only might fare these days. Could a solely audio podcast achieve any traction these days?
12:19 – Video versus audio versus nothing at all. If you can’t or won’t do video, is audio better than doing nothing?
14:22 – How much the quality bar has risen. There was stuff you could get away with then that will lose you viewers today.
18:24 – In-house production, or hire a team? James and Charley compare the costs and the payoffs.
23:44 – How client input impacts podcast show output. Quality and success still depend a lot on what the client gives you.
27:59 – When you’ve made the jump to video… Do people ever look back? Charley shares what he’s seen.
If you’ve never heard of Charley Valher, ou’re probably not one of our regular podcast listeners. Charley is James’s go-to pro on the subject of podcasts and related topics. He manages the shows of multiple clients, and his credibility is such that all of James’s current podcasting gear is the result of his recommendation.
James also used to do audio-only, and at Charley’s suggestion he switched to video, which is the topic of today’s podcast episode: is it worth the extra tech, time and effort?
The argument for video over audio
If someone had an audio podcast now or was thinking of starting a podcast, why would Charley suggest they consider video podcasting?
Charley answers with an observation he’s made: across all the shows his business manages, particularly in the last 18 months, video is becoming a more dominant part of every podcast that does video.
Some three years ago, he says, you could have said 20 percent of people’s media consumption was video, and 80 percent audio. That’s changed in a big way. Minus the daily commute or access to a gym, people are watching more
“Video’s just become incredibly dominant.”
YouTube, in particular, has risen through the ranks of becoming the video podcast platform. More commonly now, Charley’s seen that video has just become incredibly dominant. As a podcast host, you ignore this at your own demise.
Video podcasting and SFB
Video and YouTube have been topics on our podcasts for over a decade. In the very early days, Gideon Shalwick talked about YouTube at James’s live event. James works closely with agencies who run YouTube ads, like that of Tom Breeze.
In Charley’s own agency, James has noticed the shift to video, and it just makes sense. YouTube video is a hyper growth area that deserves focus.
One of the big changes in the distribution of SuperFastBusiness episodes is that the videos now get loaded natively to Facebook and YouTube. It means a little less control, but offers more exposure and audience.
This is episode 892, and SFB, at James’s last peek at the stats, was in the top 70 something podcasts in Australia. Time was it was always top 10, but with the vast number of business podcasts now and so much talent out there, James will take the top 100 any day.
The dimension video adds to communication
What James has noticed is that people seem to feel a stronger bond with the James they see and hear, as opposed to him just being a voice or a podcast name. Can Charley speak to that point?
It’s true, says Charley – there’s a new level of communication that comes when someone can see you. He can’t recall who said it, but there’s a quote that only 10 percent of communication comes from the words we say. There’s numerous visual cues we pick up on, consciously and subconsciously, that really define how we communicate with another person.
Charley would go so far as to say that video builds a deeper level of trust, because we feel we know more about a person, like we understand them. Take, for instance, the guitar behind James, and the hint of an exercise ball. It says something about James, and people may decide they can relate to him.
It’s an important point, says James. Say you’re on a Zoom call – do you register the background? And does it make you form an opinion of the person you’re dealing with? Say it’s messy or noisy, or the sound quality is weak – what conclusions might you draw? There’s a lot of information you can take in from video.
How audio-only might fare these days
That said, would people still consume a podcast that’s recorded in video as audio?
Absolutely, says Charley. Now, the main reason he got into video was the marketing opportunity. If you start an audio podcast, unless you already have a following or are doing something with other marketing material, it’s incredibly hard to market.
Audio clips don’t lend themselves well to promoting on Facebook or Facebook ads or YouTube ads. The options are limited, and it’s also very saturated.
Some people would disagree and say you can definitely just start an audio podcast and get it off the ground. And you can, says Charley, but there are headwinds. Elon Musk or Oprah could probably do it, with their brand leverage. But for normal people, there are so many tailwinds going through video, it’s not funny.
So that marketing aspect is the first consideration.
Then, if you do a video podcast, you can get additional exposure, as James has mentioned, by posting natively on YouTube and Facebook.
There’s also the valuable repurposing element, where you can create snippets and clips from your show. And that makes podcast video much more powerful in marketing.
Those are many reasons people, especially newcomers, might benefit from doing a video podcast over audio. James has also mentioned the connection you can achieve, which Charley thinks is very cool.
What Charley finds fascinating, too, is how many people will discover a video podcast and then consume it in audio, because maybe they’re driving and can only listen. So there’s that interchangeability available for podcast fans.
Video versus audio versus nothing at all
James has a couple of questions: supposing you could only do audio, is it better than nothing? And if you are only doing audio, is it worth adding or switching to video? He imagines there are complexities – and he’s been through the switch – in terms of equipment upgrade, environment, process, if you want a minimum standard.
He has a friend, for instance, whose wife has a highly successful audio podcast, which they record in a cupboard. They have kids, and the couple simply shut the door and record.
Charley says an audio-only show is better than nothing. He can relate to James’s friends, having been a closet podcaster himself. And if they’re dodging kids and working through logistics, it’s fine for where they’re at. But if they’re building an audience now, it opens the chance if they would like to do video and reach more people and access more opportunities. That’s a powerful idea.
If you have the means though, says Charley, you can move much faster by doing a video podcast from the start.
How much the quality bar has risen
One point Charley does think is important: when James entered podcasting, it was early days, and the relatively small number of shows meant you could get away with more. People wouldn’t likely switch shows because one episode had poor sound. Now, however, people are spoilt for choice.
So quality is worth taking very seriously. And if you’re not willing to put in a couple of grand for podcasting equipment to get good audio quality, and to hit that minimum standard, it could be you’re not serious enough.
James recalls when his equipment moved state, and he went into quarantine. He filmed one episode then in his hotel room, using his iPhone and a digital Zoom recorder. It was his lowest-tech setup, but the episode was popular, because of the emotion and the immediacy.
“If you’re going to go for a video podcast, have a minimum standard of equipment.”
You could see the lift in video quality when he got out of quarantine, says James, and it did teach him that having good gear was worth the extra effort. He highly recommends, if you go for a video podcast, to have a minimum standard of equipment. And if you don’t know what that is, you can ask Charley at ValherMedia.com.
In-house production, or hire a team?
If you do speak to Charley, another thing you might consider is having your show produced by his team. James’s team puts out two episodes a week, and has done it for years, and it’s mostly hands-off for James. But to bring on team members, to train them and to accustom them to working as well as they do took a massive effort.
Having Charley’s company doing everything for you would cost you about as much as if you were to train, manage and look after your own team.
Now, James’s team doesn’t work for anyone else. Charley’s team does. And James would like Charley to discuss in-house versus his service in terms of results.
Charley has audited a number of podcasts where a single VA or team member is doing everything, and the quality is just below par. People put time and effort into finding guests, recording, buying mics, and then fall down on production.
First impressions matter, says Charley, and second impressions. If low-quality video or audio is released, it impacts a brand. So he always encourages people to push towards the best quality they can work with.
Charley assumed himself, at first, that his VA could do it all. And he was hugely disappointed when the results sounded nothing like Joe Rogan or This American Life.
He bought better equipment, got sound insulation. Eventually he got a team to produce something comparable to the best shows. It took three or four people. He realized then that it wasn’t very cost effective if they had only his podcast to work on. And a light went on – he could offer it as a service.
To Charley’s delight, it turned out quality podcast production was something of a frustration in the market. So for anyone who didn’t want to hire three or four people to do the work, he and his team were a great solution. And to date, it is all they do, which makes them highly specialized.
James and his wife run a recruitment business, VisionFind.com. And they do get people looking for one VA who will process the audio files, create show notes, repurpose content, create a blog post article, etc. In his own business, he has three or four people directly involved in producing his podcast, and in all a team of six doing everything needed in the business.
Producing multiple podcast episodes a week is just not a one-person role. And if James were to start again, he says, it would be easy to just let Charley do everything for him. But saying that, he’s happy with what he’s got. His average team member has worked with him for 10 years.
How client input impacts podcast show output
How important to a show’s success is client input? Charley has hinted that good quality recording is essential. What about the premise of a show?
Having worked on so many shows, says Charley, they start to wonder, why are some more successful than others? And often in an audit, one of the things Charley points out is that the show strategy doesn’t match the outcome they would like to produce.
For instance, one client had a fitness podcast. And it looked like they were trying to serve two markets – on one hand, they’d cover the technique of a deadlift or a pushup. On the other, they were trying to teach people how to run a successful personal training company.
Charley asked what they did for a business, and they said they’d basically get clients for personal trainers, help companies grow. This made half the info they provided irrelevant, because most personal trainers are actually good at the physical part of what they do.
When they shifted the podcast show to focus only on helping personal trainers run a more successful personal training business, the client had much more success.
Is podcasting worth it?
In the case of this episode, is video podcasting worthwhile? The person listening to this podcast has most likely got a podcast or would be considering a podcast, and the goal with this is to help them make good choices about whether they should go video or not, whether the outcomes are worth the effort.
When you’ve made the jump to video…
James’s own experience in running a successful podcast has been that it was good to be involved with Charley, that it has been good to go with the video modality, even though, initially, he resisted it for two reasons.
One, he didn’t need videos as a consumer. But then he realized he didn’t even listen to podcasts. So his opinion didn’t matter.
Second, he used to love the ease and simplicity of just recording audio without video, and sending the file off to the team. They managed to do that for many, many years. But Charley is right. There’s so much more choice now. And James has had to continually improve over the years. It’s not a static thing.
There’s resistance with most podcasters making the switch, says Charley. But once people get into it, once they get past the tech challenges, or the lighting, or the staging, or whatever it is, and they start to experience the results from going video, it’s funny – he doesn’t see people turning back.
“Video is the way of maximizing a podcast result.”
And what people come to realize is, If I’m going to spend all this time creating a podcast, I really want to maximize the return from it. And video is that way of doing it. That’s the overwhelming truth when you look at the state of podcasting right now.
It’s probably 20 percent more difficult to make, says James, but it gives you five times more opportunities to promote.
Charley will be back for a number of episodes. If you want to start a podcast or just get in touch with him and his team, head over to ValherMedia.com.
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