Should you podcast or make videos?

Should you podcast or make videos?

Should you podcast or should you make videos?
You’re probably already blogging, sending out newsletters, engaging with people on Twitter,
Facebook, Instagram… but you’re thinking, “It’s time to take it up a notch! Which do
I go to? Podcasts or Videos?” Now they’re both really strong, really good
ways to engage with your audience but which one’s better?
Now I’m going to get into the pros and cons of each but I’m going to spoil it for you:
the answer is both. They’re both hugely important!
Not only are you going to be able to reach new people that you’ve never reached before,
but you’re also going to be able to reach the people that you already have access to
in new and engaging ways. This is great because people learn differently.
They learn better through certain mediums and you want to be able to hit all of those.
Let’s talk about video first. Video is the most engaging medium by far.
You’re not only getting the words that someone has to say, but you’re hearing them say it
and you’re getting to see them speak it and get a little bit of their personality.
if you were to transcribe the words that I’m saying right now they wouldn’t be as impactful
as you seeing me deliver them. You would lose out on some of that inflection
and character. And another thing that makes video so great is its ability to go viral.
Now compared to podcasts, videos have a much, much greater potential of virality than podcasts
do. That’s because people don’t necessarily have
time to sit through an hour-long podcast or even longer. Audio is almost much more difficult
to digest. It’s very long-form, it’s hard to get an idea of what the content’s about
at a glance. When you have a video, you can immediately
get an idea of who’s talking, what they’re talking about, whether they’re serious or
not and you can scrub through a video pretty easily.
So those are the upsides of video, however the downsides of video are rather significant.
For instance, if you want really high quality, professional-looking videos, the expenses
of equipment are going to go up really, really quick. It’s going to cost a lot really fast.
For instance, right now you’re looking at my setup: I’ve got Canon 5D Mark III with a 35mm lens with f/1.4, a video monitor, an NTG3 mic, a Zoom H4N, and a couple of lights. Now those are not inexpensive pieces of gear. Added all up, that is pretty costly. But when
you combine everything together, you have a really nice, high-quality picture.
So the question then becomes: “Why don’t we just turn on our webcam and just start talking
like that and forget all of the super-expensive equipment?”
Well, let’s look at this. So I’m talking at the webcam right now and we’re still using
the NTG3 mic that you can see above me. But if I switch over to the display, the display
right here has a mic. Now you can hear how bad that sounds. That sounds really, really,
poor. And if I switch over to my iPhone—I’ve got
an iPhone 5S all the way over there filming this whole thing. You can hear the onboard
audio—it’s not that great at all. That’s going to be really painful to listen to. But
if I switch right here to the NTG3 and we keep the iPhone video, that’s actually not
half bad. So you can see that the important part of
a really nice video is actually have great audio.
That’s much more important than having really fancy video equipment.
So if you are going to do video, what you want to have is a really nice microphone.
Now I’ve got a couple of SM7Bs here in the room that I use primarily for podcasting,
but you could get something like this—either a shotgun mic or even the Zoom H4N over there.
That one has built-in bidirectional microphones. Anything other than the onboard audio—for
instance, if I switch right now to the Canon 5D’s onboard audio, that sounds pretty terrible.
So the key is: even if you just have an iPhone, even if you just have a webcam, or if you
have a decent camera, the main thing is getting a nice mic.
Because here’s the thing: people will be more inclined to watch poor-quality video with
high-quality audio than they will good-quality video with poor-quality audio.
So that’s quality, but what about duration? Now, a lot of people will say, “You want to
hit right between 5 and 7 minutes when you’re doing video. That’s the most engaging duration.”
And that’s not bad advice, but it’s also kind of a rule of thumb.
This video is probably going to be a little bit longer and you can ask yourself: Was it
engaging? Did you quit before this point? Obviously you’re still here, right? So it’s
more important to provide relevant, helpful information and if you go over that sweet
spot, it’s not too big of a deal. So we’ve talked about video, now I want to
switch over to podcasting. Audio is the second most engaging medium and
by far, the reason that podcasts are effective are because of their runtime.
Now think about it: you post a blog post and you tweet it out, or you send it to someone,
or you post it on your Facebook or newsletter. Someone goes to this page, they go to your
website where you’ve got a blog post: At most, they’re going to spend 3 to 5 minutes
reading it—if they read it. Most people just spend a few seconds glossing over it,
maybe it’s interesting, maybe it’s not. Podcasts, on average, the people that actually
listen to it listen to the full thing. Usually that’s 30 minutes, sometimes an hour,
even more than an hour. Think about that: you have someone’s attention
for a full hour. A full hour—that’s if you do one a week. If you do multiple podcasts
a week, it’s even longer than that. I bet you—I bet you, you don’t even have a friend
who you have their attention for a full hour a week. I mean that is massive!
Another huge upside to podcasting is mobility. People don’t have to be at their computers,
they don’t have to have a tablet open, they don’t have to have their eyes looking at the
video the whole time it’s going. They can be anywhere. They can be doing anything.
They could be cleaning the house, they could be on a road trip, they could be working out—whatever.
Podcasts have extremely mobility. People today consume media how they want and
when they want. They fit your content into the gaps of their life and when it comes to
audio like podcasting, it’s the most versatile medium. It can fit the widest amount of gaps
in people’s life. They don’t even have to have their hands and they don’t even have
to have their eyes. All they have to do is listen.
And lastly in terms of upsides for podcasting, there’s the relative ease of creating content.
It took me nearly an hour to get everything you see here setup.
The video monitor, the lens—having the right focus—and the lights, the cameras, and everything
going all at once. It took a really long time. When it comes to audio, you just turn on the
mic and you start recording. Now because it’s so easy to record audio,
you have to work to set yourself apart from the crowd.
A lot of people think, “Oh, I’ve got a microphone here, I’ve got a built-in microphone on my
laptop. I’ll just start recording and talk into it.”
No, that’s a bad idea! Everyone else can do that. You have to set yourself apart.
The microphones I use here are Shure SM7Bs. Those are nearly $400 microphones. That’s
not saying anything for the hundreds of dollars of software that I use.
I’m spending a lot of time processing the audio. Getting the EQ right, Speech Enhancement,
compression, noise gate—even on this video, I’m going to run this audio separately through
my software to make it sound really nice and clean.
That’s a lot of work, but it’s going to pay off in the end.
I know it sounds like it’s a lot of money—it sounds like it’s a lot, you know, spending
hundreds of dollars on microphones, but compare that to video. We’re talking about podcasting
and video here: Video, you can spend thousands to get a really nice setup that’s going to
set you apart from the crowd. Audio, a few hundred dollars—that’s an investment
that’s going to go a really long way. So you’re probably thinking, “Ok Sean, this
is a lot of information. Maybe can you break it down for me a little bit?”
Yes. So the answer to the question, “Should you podcast or make videos?” is: you should
do both. Now I’m going to make it a little bit easier
for you: I would say start with audio. Why? Because audio is the common denominator between
quality audio—quality podcasts—and quality video.
Because even if you don’t have great video equipment, quality audio is super, super important.
Again, people will watch poor-quality video with good audio longer than they will high-quality
video with poor audio. So you need to start with audio. Start recording.
Also, a lot of people are a little scared getting in front of video—it’s kind of intimidating.
You know, you’re kind of vulnerable. You’re putting yourself out there. Audio at least
gives you one more layer of protection. People at least aren’t seeing you when you’re
recording. So audio is a great place to start. Once you get more comfortable with audio,
start to ease your way into video. Maybe start out by making a video that’s a screenshare
of your computer. Just talking into the microphone, you’re focusing on quality audio, you’re not
showing yourself yet but you’re showing your screen.
And then maybe show your screen and switch to your webcam and then eventually just talk
straight to the camera. Focus your efforts on getting good sound,
and then you can start to experiment with video.
Every different kind of media that you produce is giving your audience a look at a new facet
of your personality. And the more they get of your personality
the better they’re going to feel like they know you. And the more they know you, the
more they’ll trust you. And the more they trust you, the more likely they’ll be to recommend
you to someone else and also buy your products and support you.
So step outside your comfort zone, put yourself out there and start creating new forms of
media and being a real person to the people that are in your audience.
Thanks so much for watching this video, if it was helpful to you, maybe share it with
a friend.

100 thoughts on “Should you podcast or make videos?

  1. Great video, but the one thing you didn't address is cost of content hosting. If you want to start a podcast, you will need to pay for a website, domain name and audio hosting, which can all add up to $30 – $50 a month. Starting a youtube channel is completely free, it's amazing but they'll basically host an unlimited amount of video files for you FOR FREE, which are much bigger and more costly than audio files, which you have to pay $30 a month for. If you're starting from scratch I agree with you, do audio first. But if you already have a good camera and computer to edit video, it might be easier and cheaper to just start a YouTube channel, which can also make you money from built in ads, which podcasts can't currently do. Lots to think about

  2. Well making videos is actually not working for us, so your'e basically a liar. we put out at least 4-6 videos a week (at most) unless we really busy. Stream also and not getting nothing. So this is all pointless and we are trying our best to become noticed and can't figure out why. So guys come and subscribe.

  3. I don't get it, his most viewed vid barely broke a 100k and he's got all of this equipment. please call me out if i'm missing something but it seems like this guy is acting like he's got it all as some sort of self help scam.

  4. Super kick ass video man. This is very informative and guess what. I watched the entire vid. I'm a podcaster. I really appreciate the ❤️ you gave to my format. I would appreciate it IF I could get you on my pod. Just saying. . . cough really would

  5. Hi Sean, this is a great video, answered a lot of questions. If I want to create a video from youtube and at the same time record audio for a podcast, do I setup in the same way? Where would the audio only be recorded? Sorry, probably a stupid question but I am a little lost.

  6. Sean, this was a great video… very informative. I liked that you appear very relaxed in front of the camera with out being extra loud and overly animated. I'm a complete newbie so please forgive the very basic questions. I plan to do my first videos via videoconference. Do you have any suggestions on the best platform to use for this? Also, if I purchase a separate mic on my end, how does that compensate for any audio quality on the interviewee side?

  7. As a listener to lots of videos on many topics audio is most important to me, if it sucks, I'm gone. But video, i really can't tell the difference though now I will be looking for it. If the topic is important to me the video quality isn't important, unless it's just really bad. This was a very informative video, thanks.

  8. Excellent video Sean, I was looking for such info for my blog as I want to expand, really liked the live demo about using a decent microphone and not just rely on your camera/phone etc. I´ll try both offline and test with what I feel most comfortable with I already got a Shure microphone 😀

  9. Ok, so I read the comments before play the video, but when I realize the color of photography and the audio understood what people was writing now you become an Idol to me, but so sad your last video was long ago

  10. Great video Sean! I'd love to know the steps you take to run your audio through all that software. I make videos on a weekly basis for my job and getting audio to sound like that is where my biggest failings have been.

  11. thank you very much for your insight. i'm new to making videos myself. i'm currently just using my cell phone/ipad. I have no problem being in front of a camera but I would like to enhance my videos with better audio being that i only use the mic from my cell phone/ipad. I'm currently looking to purchase a mic as my 1st upgrade for my videos. i feel that would help put out better content for my viewers and subscribers. Eventually i would like to have a set up like yours, but baby steps for me. Thank you for sharing your insight and knowledge. I just subbed to your channel and thank you.

  12. Can you please tell me which stand (tripod) with boom pole and other stuff did you use in order to mount the NTG mic?

  13. Great Content ! Shawn or Sean Sorry ! I loved it Your explanation sounded pretty precise ! Please make a video in depth with regard to how to grow your channel as a Small Youtuber like Me… Thanks ! Greetings from Milky Way

  14. This video maybe is the best explanation about this topic I´ve ever watched. It was really useful for me. Thanks!

  15. Best damn video ever!!!! Full of examples especially of the sounds of mic's. Your set up is sweet, perfect. Thanks for sharing, teaching

  16. Can I work with you bro as a volunteer, I am in florida and will be doing a startup similiar, anybody else would be cool also, and if need seed money i have a connection too, freelandegroup2 at gmail

  17. Is there a name for the YouTube videos where you don't see the speaker? They just show pictures or video clips to support their point or use a drawn avatar in order to show reactions.

  18. Excellent vid!
    Really enjoy the breakdown of the different video/audio equipment.
    And true solid point at the end – I'd rather watch a 'podcasty/interview' type of video with OK video quality, but with clear audio as opposed to other way around.

  19. I’m not sure if you’re still responding to comments or not, because I see you haven’t uploaded videos in a few years 😩

    But awesome advice buddy. Very helpful. I DO have a question about production.. say that, I get some decent quality mics and have that all setup through my mixer and all that. But, I am initially going to record on two iPhones for video. How am I feeding those recordings in my computer? Which programs are best? Or, are you just recording on each separate device, then loading into computer afterwards? If that’s true, I’m having trouble also figuring out how you’re bringing the audio from the mics in with so many different devices.


  20. Wow! This is one of the best and most informative videos I have ever watched on this topic! Thank you so much!

  21. Can I pay you to come help me make a system to make daily videos for my business? Please get in touch with me!

  22. AMAZING video. I have a radio show on actual AM radio which I also podcast AND put on Youtube. As I put it, "it's 2018, my broadcast is promotion for the podcast."

    The ONLY thing I would add to this video would be an emphasis on patience after you start putting your content out there. I think any massive media outlet would say the same. The channel with 10 million subscribers will say the first 1,000 were the hardest.

    My Youtube channel has almost 500 subscribers…that's it…yet my podcast is #2 on our station in a city of 6 million people, despite my midnight airtime.

    My point is, even in a city of 6 million, even with an actual broadcast to the masses, even though it's growing nicely, building the digital side is an absolute grind.

    The KEY is to stick with it. You will want to quit over and over again.

    Besides content, the single biggest asset a creator has is patience.

    Without patience, you will fail before you start, no matter how much you invest into equipment.

    You will not be an overnight success, you have to grind every single day.

    So stay true to yourself, your content, and enjoy the journey.

  23. Audio, audio, audio…..absolutely true! If the audio is poor….tin-can-sounding….I just stop listening. Thank you for your efforts here. Question, can a video monitor be attached to an Android phone? I'm trying to make very simple videos to review reading/spelling/vocabulary lessons for my students.

  24. Thanks dude! You have literally solved all my issues. I’ve been trawling through videos and you have just killed it!! New subscriber!! 👍🏻

  25. I was a freelance writer and newspaper reporter before the wife died in 03, and I walked away from creating print stories completely and moved to the forest on an Ozarks ridge. A few years later, a famous friend wanted to know why I quit writing. I had to choose between the wife's medication or food and in the country, I can grow food, fish and hunt. Long story short, her idea was another way of creating stories. So I'm learning to make videos. I bought a single mic mixer for the small Sony camcorder that I have and then for field work, but the manual warns of temperature excesses in the outdoors. I have a Blackweb portable battery meant for cell phones, and the Behringer mixer is 5 volts USB powered and the battery output is five volts also. My gear is largely meant to be packed into the woods in one backpack. One mic mixing board? Why? Volume control, gain control to get rid of any hiss and audio panning. It adds definition. The old films look like home videos. The new ones get a lot of compliments for the camera switching, and better audio. I read that a video image lasts about 1.5 seconds in the mind, while audio lasts for slightly over 4 seconds in memory. Long enough to get stuck in your head. I'm still learning from home and watching YouTube lessons on audio and video. Thanks!

  26. This was so helpful thankyou ! I’m really getting into learning about the quality of video and audio and I’ve had the incline to go for audio first purely to get a feel of my journey. This has inspired me. There’s so much to learn!

  27. Thanks so much Sean! Your video content is highly informative. I'm a teacher and these days we are constantly making decisions about selecting technological tools to create blended learning environments for our learners.

  28. Can you do a video to teach us how to do the perfect setup for podcast and video in same time? I’m trying start my podcast but in the same time I would like to record the video to YouTube

  29. Great video. I've been podcasting audio only for 6 years. I conduct a lot of interviews. I use a USB mic {no Mixer} and record via Skype. I'm wanting to convert the podcast into a youtube video format. I'm having a hard time finding info where I can still record my audio interviews and record the interviews while transferring the audio and video together. So you can see & hear me conducting the interview but also hear the phone caller. Any help is much appreciated.

  30. You can make Videos OF your podcasts using Podcast Story Maker mobile app. Optimized for Instagram – produces square timeline videos or portrait stories using your podcast audio directly from Itunes. Only takes a few min.

  31. I'm subscribing to you because this was an incredibly detailed and creative way to inform and I absolutely have to support that

  32. Sir,
    This is the video which made my way very clear. I was planning on getting into net broadcasting but I was very confused. Podcasts were my favourite but I really wanted to get into video segment.
    You cleared my doubt.

  33. I was thinking about making an investigative documentary and podcast. The podcast would tackle the more factual side of it and the documentary would physically explore the subject area. Thoughts?

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