Creating a video podcast is an ideal, personal way to reach your company’s clients (or potential clients). To learn how to create effective and entertaining podcasts, we spoke with Steve Mack, author of The Podcasting Bible and the owner of LUX Media.
Video podcasting has a lot going for it that streaming video lacks, Mack notes. Your viewers can automatically download fresh content and watch it whenever they want. Best of all, they can take it with them on an iPod or another portable player.
The challenge for video podcasters, Mack says, is the same challenge any video creator faces: creating compelling content. Don’t try to surprise viewers with hidden marketing messages or they’ll unsubscribe in a heartbeat.
It’s an informal genre, allowing you to focus on your message and not your production. That’s one of the factors driving the rise of video podcasting, Mack says. “It’s so refreshing to hear people talking honestly.”
Here’s Steve Mack’s advice for creating a winning video podcast:
- Have a Strong Story to Tell
It’s better to create fewer podcasts with important content than to do a daily podcast with nothing new to say. Focus on delivering value, not sticking to a schedule.
- Be Relaxed and Honest
“People can smell a rat,” says Mack, “and if people can see through you and see that you’re not being honest, that will do more harm then good.” Be honest about the content and the message of your video podcast, rather than trying to hide a promotional pitch behind a fake setup.
- Buy a Good Microphone
“If you’re recording into a crappy plastic microphone,” Mack says, “it’s going to sound like a crappy plastic podcast.” It might seem odd to emphasize audio in a video podcast, but Mack says that people will watch sub-par video if the audio is good, but they won’t sit through high-quality video with poor audio. A good quality mic will cost over $100, Mack says, and you can get a fantastic quality mic for $500.
3a. Buy a Decent Microphone Preamp
A microphone isn’t the only thing you need to get good audio, and Mack stresses that plugging directly to your computer’s internal soundcard will add noise to your recording. Spend between $150 to $700 for a good preamp.
- Choose the Right Location and Light it Properly
You want your shooting location to look cozy, Mack says, so skip the conference room with the echoing walls and the fluorescent lights. Think of your location as your studio, and put your speaker in front of something interesting, like a bookcase with a plant nearby, to create visual interest. If you have the money, create a full three-point lighting setup. If you’re on a budget, invest in a softbox, which creates a soft, rosy light.
Once you’re done shooting, you might think you’ve got a great 10 minutes, Mack says, but more likely you’ve only got a solid 3 to 5. Remember that that’s what your viewers want; keep the video brief and tight. If you’re talking off the cuff, limit yourself to 3 to 5 bullet points and tighten up the results with editing.
Follow these tips and you’ll have an entertaining, great-looking podcast, and high subscriber numbers, too.
This article was first published on WebVideoUniverse.