Podcast Content Strategy: Audiograms Vs. Video Shorts

In today’s digital world, it is not enough to know which platform showcases your content best; you also have to know what type of content to deliver. Join Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard as they help you strengthen your podcast content strategy by helping you choose between audiograms and video shorts. While you can utilize both, it is important to know which ones to put that little extra effort to make your podcast soar through the web across potential audiences. Find out how to optimize your podcast content strategy and make sure you invest your efforts strategically for maximum impact in the digital landscape.

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Podcast Content Strategy: Audiograms Vs. Video Shorts

In this episode, we’re going to talk about a podcast content strategy, specifically audiograms versus video shorts. This is important. We have some insights to share from our experience not only with our show but all the podcasts that we produce and host for podcasters like you reading this. We have a lot of data that supports what we’re about to share with you about what’s working and what’s not working.

Since we have multiple shows that we’re doing every year on our own, we do a lot of experimentation that other people can’t do. We’ve got plenty of content to share and some of you are maybe struggling with your content and strategy in general. The type of content is a significant part of the decision. It’s not just like, “What channel am I going to share in?” That’s a critical piece but then, “What type of content am I going to share? What resonates?”

One of the things that we recommend here is starting with one channel, getting the content types right in that channel, and then moving on to the next channel. Unless you’re already everywhere on social media and you’re adept at that, that’s a strategy that we put in place. There’s a past episode here about the one-channel strategy that we do. This is a great way for you to get started.

It is what I’m going to call the design experiment of the content types matched to the channel and audience type that is critically important in the decision-making process. What you do is try to take the learnings that you made in one channel and then take it to the next. Early on, we were very strong in a couple of platforms. We were strong on Facebook and Pinterest, interestingly enough. That’s where I was already strong before we started our first podcast. When you start something early, you tend to stay strong in that channel.

Pinterest had started to develop some strategies early on for allowing videos. The short clips were doing well there. We didn’t always produce videos for our podcasts. Early on, I would test video clips but we didn’t have video to use so we created audiograms. That’s what we want to talk about. Would you define audiograms for this community here and how podcasters use them specifically?

Experienced podcasters have probably heard of them and seen them. Maybe you’ve seen them and you didn’t realize they were called audiograms. For those of you that don’t know who are new to podcasting, an audiogram is a way to take a clip of your podcast audio and share it on social media. Social media platforms do not let you share an audio clip by itself, whether it is an MP3 file, an M4a file, or other audio files. The only mechanism for sharing a clip is to share a video.

 

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Content Strategy

 

What happens in an audiogram is you create a short video with usually a still image. Sometimes, there can be some movement to it, an audio waveform. Certainly, the captions of what’s said in this audio clip are also very often part of an audiogram. You’re taking this audio track of a clip, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or whatever length you want, converting it to a video so you can share it on social. I want to be clear that it’s not a full-motion video.

It’s a still image but sometimes, it has the audio wave moving. The captioning is usually moving if you’ve got captioning going onto it. Those are the components of it. Usually, it’s formatted vertically for social media so you have a long portrait style. If you are pushing it into YouTube and you put it into the regular YouTube videos, there are a lot of podcasters who do full-length audiograms where it’s a still image of their brand, cover art, or podcast captioning. They use that to broadcast it when they don’t have video. They use that on their YouTube channel in the full-length version. There are some cases where you might use a full-length video. It’s not as common but it does happen on YouTube.

I remember when audiograms were a new thing. There were some new services that came out specifically to create audiograms in an easier way. Anybody who ever did any video editing had all the tools necessary to be able to create an audiogram but there were some automated tools that would do it. In the beginning, it was like, “Everybody needs an audiogram.” It’s what most podcasters were sharing. I also have to say it was at a time in the evolution of podcasting when much less than half of podcasters were recording and publishing actual videos of their episodes.

It was probably less than 1/3 back then.

I remember when we started our first show. This is going back many years ago, which is scary to think about. We started saying, “We’re going to do a video every episode.” In case you didn’t know it, we were publishing five episodes a week. That was a lot of content. We did that for some reasons that made sense at the time. It was very successful for us. We, not only from the logistics and the hassles of doing it but also the expense because we were paying someone else to edit the video, quickly abandoned the video and went audio only for years. Part of that’s because you didn’t want to have to do your hair and makeup and be on video.

That’s exactly what I say to people, which is true. We did do videos. We did what we called video compliments or video supplements. We would do B-roll-type stuff and publish those on YouTube. We were doing a show on 3D printing so we’d show the machine and not us. There were other things that we would do but we were always doing those.

 

 

When audiograms came out, we started experimenting with them and using them in full force. It was mostly in our Pinterest but in other areas as well, especially on Facebook and then eventually into Instagram. We would use them in 2018 starting then to try to refine them. We did a lot more in 2019 and rolled them out to our clients. In 2019 and 2020, we started producing them for our production clients. That’s when video was not as predominant as it was in 2024.

We see upwards of 65% or more of our client base doing video. There’s a video available. You have both video and audio files to play with. We have done a lot of that experimenting and doing side by side over in 2023 and seeing what’s going on. We’ve taken the same clip that’s in the video, put the same clip on the audiogram, and said, “Let’s see what the social media platforms do with these.” That’s the experiment that I have done with my team over 2023.

Here’s what we found. Video with the human face without the audiogram does three times better than the audiogram on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter or X. Video does ten times better on YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram. Think about those three platforms. They have a much more video component to them so it’s more rewarded on their platform. That’s partially why there is a differentiator on that.

We’ve been seeing this for quite a while. To us, this isn’t news. We’ve been seeing the writing on the wall here for most of 2023. People who we’ve been producing for years get set in the deliverables or the things we create for them. It’s like, “What do you mean? You don’t want to make audiograms anymore? I don’t think they’re going to set the world on fire for you. It’d be better if you did this other thing.” We’ve gotten to a point where we’ve been recommending to customers, “I wouldn’t even bother with audiograms. They are not worth it as long as you have a real video to use to create social video clip shares.” That’s the big message.

If you were doing full-length audiograms for YouTube because you don’t have a video, continue to do that. The only way to make sure you have a podcast playlist is to have a video. Let’s make sure that you stay in that podcast playlist area. We did a bunch of episodes about YouTube podcast playlists and how to make sure you’ve got yours running. It doesn’t run from an RSS feed. I suspect it will in the next few months of 2024 but as of this conversation, it doesn’t.

You need to make sure that you’ve got a video in there to be able to utilize the YouTube audience and attract that audience. Continue to do them if you have no video but start thinking about putting video into your plan. How many of you record on Zoom already or record on a platform where you are capturing and interviewing your guest and you’ve got the video? All those times, there was never once we didn’t have video files. We always had a video file to use.

The only way to make sure you have a podcast playlist is to have a video. Click To Tweet

We did because we wanted to see in real-time who it was we were talking to and interviewing. In the early days, it was Skype. Do you remember that? We had to have plugins and things for Skype to make it work. Those were the days with a big mixing board and all sorts of stuff. I’m not knocking people who use a mixing board so don’t write to me or complain on social media, please. The reality is technology and software have come such a long way that most podcasters are not going to that extent.

Still, we had a video. Even with Skype, we had a video that we were recording. As we moved to Zoom, we had a video. All of the major podcast-specific platforms are recording video. Maybe there are 1 or 2 that are not but most of them are so you’ve got it. At a minimum, I’d be using it. For whatever reason you don’t want to do the full-length video and deal with the captions, the SRT files, and all this stuff to put the full-length video out there, you could at least be cutting some short clips for social media promotion. That wouldn’t take very long.

Here’s my recommendation to you. If you aren’t already capturing it, capture video. It’s important for the future. If you feel that the video’s not good enough for full length, then create enough full-length audiograms at minimum for YouTube. I highly recommend loading that raw video onto YouTube. Don’t edit it. It’s okay. You can trim on the front and back and do a couple of things. There are some editing tools on YouTube that are useful to you. Go ahead and use it. Load it into YouTube.

If you don’t know anything about YouTube and you would like to know some more, we have a great resource for you. We had done at least 1 to 2 episodes with her already. It is Fran Asaro, Senior Tuber. I love her community and her group. She gives great advice. It is better to have a video up there than to have nothing at all. Even if the video’s not perfect, get it up there.

Here’s a new tool on YouTube that’s fantastic. Even if you felt like you’re such a perfectionist and you didn’t want to create it in public, put that video up on YouTube unlisted and then create shared clips from it. You can go and clip and then share on social and other places. You can create a clip of any segment from within the show and share it as a YouTube Short. You have the ability to clip straight into YouTube if you want. They don’t have an AI tool at the time of this recording but I guarantee, it will be there.

It’s not picking clips for you. You have to do it yourself. You know your video. You recorded it. Write a timestamp down on your little notes and then go there and make the clip for yourself. It’s not difficult. When you share those clips, use auto-captioning. Don’t worry about anything else. You can add a watermark to your brand and cover art. You can create a transparent layer of it and put it in one corner. That’s an automated thing you can add on YouTube. You can save those clips and use them on other social media platforms. It’s already perfectly aligned for you to do this in the simplest way.

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Content Strategy
Podcast Content Strategy: Anybody that ever done any video editing has all the tools necessary to be able to create an audiogram.

 

If you want to go deeper, take that video that you recorded in Zoom or any of the other programs. Please, not Skype but anywhere else, I suggest. Go ahead and use tools like Opus.Pro or Vidyo.ai. The AI will automatically choose the clips. You can save them out of there. You can save them with captioning, sub-branding, and little stylistic things on there. You can do all of that and save them out if you want to be a little fancier and be a little more highly branded about what you do.

There’s no real excuse for this being more difficult than creating audiograms. Creating audiograms is as complicated. You had to go to a site, drop them in, and have an output but you still had to pick a clip. All of those things are the same. If you’re creating audiograms, my suggestion to you is to drop them and use the video clips.

The numbers speak for themselves on the likes, shares, and engagement on social media. We’ve also talked in the past about not every social platform is a great fit for every show. Some people engage more on certain platforms than others. Their audiences seem to be spending time on certain platforms rather than others. All that is still true. A platform for a platform, comparing audiograms to video clips or Shorts, if you will for YouTube, hands down, the real video is winning. It is to the point where, for us anyway, it’s not worth it to spend the time to create audiograms when we have real video.

Here’s the thing. If you want to be successful on social media and get to your audience, you have to tap into the algorithmic interest of the platform you are on. They are very video-short-centric. All of them are. I expect that 3X number where the video is 3X better than the audiogram. I expect that to only increase year over year on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I’m already seeing more success on LinkedIn with video posts. It’s increasing probably close to 5X.

There’s a definite algorithmic benefit to doing real video. It’s going to only continue to be stronger in the future with more AI emergence, and here’s why. The platforms are not only video-centric but they’re face recognition-centric. It’s something that they do well. They want to center in on your face and see a face. Anything with a face in it does better even in a static post.

They want to know that there are human creators behind it. Fashion, voice, excitement, and hand movement. I do that. There is all of that that comes through the video that engages people and keeps them watching. More time on the platform means more ads that get served and more money that those social media platforms make. It’s better for them. Here’s the other thing. You also need to be viewer-centric.

Video is going to continue to be strong in the future and grow. It is better for you to take advantage of it. Click To Tweet

The follower or the person on the other end who’s receiving this, scrolling your feed, or seeing this, video is less taxing on the viewer than an audiogram. You don’t have to read the caption. You don’t have to stop and listen. I see somebody’s face and I go, “There’s something going on there. There’s passion and excitement.” I stop. I don’t have to read it. I can still listen to it but it stopped me in my tracks before I figured out what was going on. That’s harder for the viewer and the listener. Social media is so distracting.

Video is going to continue to be strong in the future and grow better for you. Take advantage of it. I can’t tell you how much we are bullish on what’s going to happen on YouTube podcasts, which is happening in a different way. There’s no way to explain it any other way except that that is a video-focused platform. Dive in. Make sure you’ve got a video in your strategy for 2024 and you are putting video shorts in that strategy as well.

I couldn’t agree more with that last point. I’m glad you mentioned it because if you didn’t, I was going to. Don’t underestimate YouTube podcasters. I understand many of you may have gotten into podcasting not thinking about video or not considering it, or it’s not maybe as important to you. That’s fair. Don’t get me wrong. We love podcasting. The vast majority of all the podcasters we support have a lot more podcast listeners than they do YouTube viewers. We’ll see how that changes in the future.

It’s always been that way and it still is that way from the numbers that we see. YouTube is a huge opportunity for podcasters. They have doubled down on podcasting in 2023. In 2024, a lot of changes are happening. We’ve talked about that in a couple of past episodes. You might want to go back and check out some of those if you didn’t read them. Do not overlook YouTube. You’re limiting your reach and potential audience if you’re ignoring it or not taking it so seriously.

Who’s the number one podcaster that everybody always mentions when they think about successful podcasters?

They always mention Joe Rogan.

Feed Your Brand | Podcast Content Strategy
Podcast Content Strategy: Do not overlook YouTube. You’re just limiting your reach and your potential audience if you’re ignoring it.

 

He had 5 times more listeners and 5 times more viewers on YouTube than he had listeners on his podcast.

When? What period is that you’re talking about?

In the period before he got bought by Spotify.

Even before then, he was bigger on YouTube than he was on a podcast?

Yes.

That’s very interesting. I did not know that. That is the opposite of what I was saying for most of the podcasters that we know.

If a podcaster that big built up his authority and value in podcasting with a YouTube strategy as well, then so should you.

That is something to think about.

For those of you who don’t remember, we have donated our show here and live streams to Podcasters United because we’re devoted to you, podcast industry people. We want to make sure that you’re successful. Our show is located on PodcastersUnited.org. You can find that show, The Binge Factor, our live stream links, and everything out there. Come join us there.

Thanks for reading, everybody. We’ll be back with another great episode next time.

 

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Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard

Tracy Hazzard and Tom Hazzard

As podcasting and monetization marketing experts, husband and wife team, Tom Hazzard and Tracy Hazzard help major publications, sports stars, and entrepreneurial influencers broadcast their original messages. A highly successful inventor and product designer, Tom has been rethinking brand innovation to build in authority and high-converting revenue streams. Tracy brings an insider media/promotion perspective as a former Columnist for Inc. Magazine, contributor to BuzzFeed and international speaker. Together, they are the blog writers and podcast co-hosts for Feed Your Brand and The Binge Factor. They provide businesses of all sizes actionable tactics and strategies to spread marketing messages, grow valuable audiences, and retain valuable platform authority without a lot of time, cost or effort.
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