Most podcast hosts promote their episodes with something along the lines of “out now wherever you get your podcasts”, but that’s not always true. People often, for one reason or another, ignore YouTube and choose to not post their episodes there.
This seems kind of crazy when you consider that YouTube is not just the largest media and entertainment platform, it’s the second most popular website in general. On the entire internet. Yeah.
Whether you just haven’t considered it or are against the idea of uploading your podcast to YouTube, it may be time to accept that it’s unavoidable. For most of the general public, when they’re looking for new entertainment (especially people who aren’t regular podcast listeners) they go to YouTube, and you can’t blame them. YouTube has a great user interface and pretty much everyone already has an account. If every single bit of online media someone consumes is on YouTube then asking them to go somewhere else just to try out an episode of your podcast might not be feasible. Let’s go through the top 5 reasons to put your podcast on YouTube.
1. The Visual Element
Uploading your podcast to YouTube means you’ll need to convert the audio to a video. The easy route is to upload the audio with your show logo and maybe some information about the episode if you’re feeling fancy. It doesn’t need to end there though. You might also consider really taking advantage of the medium by adding video to your podcast.
If you’re uploading your podcast to YouTube anyway you might decide to just flip on your webcam or screen record the video call you’re in with your guests. It’s a few extra steps but with a little effort you now have a video podcast, which is another way you can attract new listeners.
How does having video help?
- Make more exciting clips from your episodes
- A video highlight clip of the best moment from your latest episode will always go more viral or attract more attention than just an audiogram
- Lots of people specifically like to have video podcasts playing while they do other things instead of something like Netflix
- Gives you a chance to expand your content in the future to include other types of videos like sketches, vlogs, and behind the scenes
With as little as just your cell phone, you can take your podcast to another level by adding video.
In general the more analytics you can get your hands on the better. YouTube gives you another platform to learn about your audience. Most podcast hosting data is extremely limited, especially compared to YouTube which shows you everything you could want to know about your audience.
Demographics, watch time, traffic sources (external websites, links, etc.), engagement, and audience habits are some of the analytics you have access to on YouTube, completely free. This alone really makes YouTube worth it for most people, because you can track where your viewers come from, how long they stay for, how they engage with your content, and where they go after.
Yeah, it’s true YouTube isn’t exactly a gold rush when it comes to ad money, but if you’re a small podcast struggling to attract advertisers and you’re not part of a podcast network, then YouTube monetization is a lot better than nothing. Plus, the revenue analytics you get can give you some insight as to how attractive your podcast is to advertisers.
While you won’t be making a living off just ad revenue, it can be a good place to start earning a bit of cash to invest back into your podcast. For smaller podcasts, it can also be very encouraging to see your work directly paying off, even if it’s not paying very much.
It might be surprising to learn, but a lot of people do all of their podcast streaming on YouTube (with some studies ranking it as the #1 podcast destination), and it makes sense considering they’re on there often enough already for music and videos. With that being the case, not uploading to YouTube is really just leaving listeners on the table. YouTube music has 1 billion members and counting, which is a lot but it’s extra impressive when compared to Spotify’s 286 million paid users, and Apple Music’s 60 million paid users. It’s not crazy to think that if YouTube had a system like YouTube music for podcasts, it would be very competitive.
Not to mention, when new people discover your podcast on YouTube, you can also send them to your social media pages or websites with links in the description. All of a sudden, when you add in proper links, tags, titles, and keywords, your overall SEO and Google ranking improves. Google loves when you use Google products, so it’s more than happy to rank you higher in search results when you properly utilize YouTube.
Plus, the better your video does the more likely it is to show up recommended on other videos, which is basically free promotion without any extra effort or cost on your part.
5. Community Engagement
For the average listener, a lot of podcasts can seem kind of distant. Unless you’re interacting a lot on social media or have a website or forum for people to discuss the episodes, you’re basically just throwing podcasts out into the internet and not directly interacting with your audience.
On YouTube, if done right, you can build a community with your audience, and this is because of how much easier it is to interact with listeners on YouTube. Someone can like the episode, leave a comment, and talk to other fans without leaving the episode page, as opposed to other streaming platforms that just play the audio. This often means listeners have to seek you out on social media for interaction and by the time they do that the motivation might be gone.
Spend 5 minutes here and there liking some comments on your episode, reply to some people, maybe pin a comment, and all of a sudden you have a more loyal audience that feels extremely connected to the show.
Bonus: 1 Reason to Avoid YouTube
That all sounds great and it seems like posting to YouTube is a no-brainer, but here’s an issue with the platform: if you don’t put in the effort to utilize the visual aspect of YouTube, it might punish you.
Sometimes YouTube will see endless uploads of long videos with a still image as spam and de-rank you in the search results, or make it so you can never trend. This is an issue if you intend on expanding your content in the future. So in some ways, you can’t just treat YouTube as another place to throw your podcast and you’ll have to put in the effort to make your content more appropriate for the medium.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide if it’s worth the extra time and energy. Hopefully, this blog gave you enough information to make the decision a little bit easier.