More kids in America would rather become YouTube stars than astronauts. In other words, there is a gargantuan number of people watching YouTube today.
And they ain’t just kiddos.
There’s at least a fraction of that number searching for content that you could be creating. Content that would be driving demand for your business or personal brand.
It’s about time you started a podcast on YouTube.
How do I start a podcast on YouTube? To start a podcast on YouTube, follow these 10 steps:
- Define Your Audience
- Name Your Podcast
- Design Your Cover Art
- Buy & Set Up Equipment & Software
- Find Guests
- Plan & Record Your First Episode
- Edit & Upload the Episode
- Optimize for YouTube
- Promote Your Podcast
- Measure Its Success
Of course, there’s a little more to it than that.
First, let’s differentiate between a podcast published on YouTube and a YouTube show.
Should I Start a Podcast or YouTube Channel?
The first decision you need to make is whether you…
a) Want to start a podcast and publish it on YouTube
b) Want to start a show on your YouTube channel.
Both can be beneficial depending on who and where your audience is.
Start a Podcast, Publish to YouTube
In this case, you’d start a podcast and upload it to a podcast hosting website. Then, you can distribute it from there.
[READ: There are tons of podcast hosting platforms to choose from. See our top 5 (free & paid).]
YouTube is an excellent channel for your podcast to syndicate to (see if your hosting service offers direct YouTube syndication).
Passive vs. Active Consumption
Being a new podcaster, YouTube can help you reach a wider audience of active consumers. You see, since podcasts are audio-only content, they’re better for passive consumption.
For instance, if you’re listening to a podcast and walking the dog, you’re passively consuming that content. But if you’re listening to and viewing a video, it’s a more active mode of consumption.
That’s not to say that some users passively consume video. Some people only listen while they’re doing something else. For the most part, though, you can count on people actively watch videos.
Since podcasts can be consumed anywhere, the retention rates are much higher than YouTube’s.
Think about it: You’re lucky to hold a viewer’s attention for five minutes with a video. With a podcast, you can spend up to an hour with a listener.
You Kinda Need the Video
Another thing worth noting is that videos without an actual recording aren’t going to perform well. At least not as well as they would had you filmed the interview.
Some podcasters who don’t record video post an audio wave or static image in place of the video.
The podcasters who publish the video recording of the interview see way better results. Even if it’s a recording of your video call, it’s better than a static image.
So start recording that 💩!
Start a YouTube Show
If you feel that your audience is made up of more active consumers, start a show on your YouTube channel. That’s what Aaron Lichtig did with OK Xoomer.
Instead of using a podcast hosting platform and distributing the show, he and his team at Xometry went straight to the ‘Tube.
When you think about it, this approach isn’t podcasting on YouTube at all. It’s better referred to as starting a YouTube talk show.
Making the Choice
Think about your audience.
Are they frequently on YouTube? Or do they tend to consume content more passively?
It’s likely a little of both. In that case, it’s best to create a podcast and distribute it to YouTube. Which is lucky because that’s what the rest of this article is about. 😅
10 Steps: Starting a Podcast on YouTube
AKA, starting a podcast and publishing it on YouTube. Just so we’re clear.
1. Define Your Audience
Here’s where it all begins — who are you making this podcast for?
If you’re a B2B brand, may we suggest focusing on your ideal customer? If your ideal customer is a hospital administrator, make a podcast for hospital administrators.
What do they care about? What are their challenges? What insights would help make their job easier?
2. Name Your Podcast
Getting your show’s name right is probably the most important thing you can do. (It will be the same name on YouTube.)
You know who your audience is, so name it for them. What would a hospital administrator be searching for in Apple Podcasts or YouTube? Stuff about hospital administration, I would assume.
Some names that would work in this instance:
- Hospital Administrative Leader
- Hospital Administration Done Right
- The Resourceful Hospital Administrator
Check out these podcast naming formulas for more ideas.
DO NOT name your show after your business unless it’s only meant to be used internally. (Sweet Fish has an internal podcast called Sweet Talk.)
Think about it. Does your ideal customer care more about your company or ways to improve their work-life? If we’re being honest, probably the latter.
3. Design Cover Art
A strong visual brand is essential to a podcast and especially to a YouTube channel.
Your cover art is a good starting point in uncovering your show’s visual identity. And — just like the show’s name — the cover art should appear in podcast directories as well as on YouTube.
People should be able to recognize your show just by the cover art.
A few guidelines when it comes to cover art:
- Determine the purpose or vibe you’re going for (professional, quirky, mysterious, funny, etc.)
- Create a mood board with elements like shapes, colors, fonts, and textures.
- Know the dimensions. (Podcasts require no less than 3,000×3,000 pixels.)
- Choose a vibrant background color to catch attention.
- Limit the copy and contents.
- Lock down your style guide so other visual assets mimic the cover art.
Visual continuity is important especially when you’re stretching across multiple mediums.
4. Set Up Equipment & Software
Well, first buy it and then set it up.
Online Interviews & Solo Podcasting
✨ A/V Equipment Wish List:
- Mic: Audio-Technica ATR 2100
- Headphones: LyxPro headset
- Shock mount: On-Stage MY430
- Mic wind guard
- Webcam: Logitech C922x Pro Stream
- Video conference software: Riverside.fm
How do I set all this crap up?
Here’s Jeremy to tell us:
And now over to Logan to tell us a little bit about using Riverside.fm:
Admittedly, it’s easier and less expensive to record interviews online. But videos of in-person interviews can be more impactful… for a price.
In-Person Video Podcasting
Additional equipment needed for in-person recording:
- Video camera: Canon EOS Rebel T7 Digital SLR
- Lighting: GVM 80W Softbox Lighting Kit
- Digital recorder: Tascam DR-60DMKII 4-Channel Portable Audio Recorder
- Headphone splitter: NANYI Headset Splitter Cable
- Surge protector: Bototek Surge Protector
- Recording software: GarageBand (iOS) or Audacity (PC)
In-person podcast video setup:
If you’re just starting out, maybe test the waters with a few online podcast interviews first. Then, if you find it’s working, invest in more sophisticated equipment.
5. Find Guests
Remember when you named your show after your ideal customer? Here’s where it pays off. (As long as you’re doing an interview-based podcast, that is.)
[READ: Not sure what kind of podcast format you want to follow? Here are 8 episode formats you can try out.]
Since you strategically named your show, it’s going to be easier for you to source the kinds of guests you want.
Your Ideal Customer
Four things happen when you invite a hospital administrator to be on The Resourceful Hospital Administrator:
- They’re flattered that you thought of them.
- They’re excited that it wasn’t another demo request.
- They’re delighted to be considered a thought leader in their industry.
- They’re more likely to accept because they can speak to being a resourceful hospital administrator.
That goes for any industry. ☝
The majority of people are pumped to be asked to be interviewed on a podcast that their peers will hear.
In other words, you’re starting off on a really good foot with someone who could become your customer. Before you know it, they’ll be inviting you to their kid’s birthday party. Lucky you!
How to Source Podcast/YouTube Guests
Getting down to business: How do you actually find guests?
The first step is to develop a list of potential guests (who are also your ideal customers). Guest sources include…
- LinkedIn network
- Friends & coworkers
- Past coworkers or bosses
- Authors of upcoming books on Amazon
- Hosts of similar podcasts
- Guests of similar podcasts
- Partner with a podcast booking agency
Got your list? Now create two calendar links using a scheduling service like…
One calendar link for 15 minutes and another for 45 minutes. The first one is for your pre-interview. This is where you get to know your guest a little better and tell them what to expect on interview day.
The longer time slot, of course, is for the interview.
After you reach out to the prospective guest and they accept, send along the shorter calendar link so they can schedule the best time for them.
Then, right after the pre-interview, shoot them over the 45-minute link to schedule the real interview.
[READ: Here’s the guest outreach sequence we’ve seen work time and time again.]
Voila! You have your first guest. For more tips on booking podcast guests, here’s our guest outreach specialist, Alexis Germany:
6. Plan & Record
The pre-interview gives you and your guest a chance to solidify your main talking points. And, because your guest is your ideal customer, it’s understood that you’ll be discussing their particular industry.
However, there needs to be a bit more planning involved.
During the pre-interview, you should be listening for your guest’s unique point of view (POV).
What makes their perspective original? What’s their unique take on the industry? How will this interview differentiate from the rest?
To uncover your guest’s unique perspective, we suggest using POV discovery questions, like…
- What should everyone in your industry stop doing?
- What should everyone in your industry start doing?
- What’s a commonly held belief about your industry that you disagree with?
These questions often yield compelling answers that listeners/viewers will be interested in.
[READ: Here are 25 more podcast interview questions that produce revealing answers. Sourced directly from podcast hosts.]
In step 4, you hopefully got all of your equipment and software set up. In step 5, you locked down an interview time.
Now it’s time to do the thing.
Whether you’re filming online or in person, it’s a good idea to do a soundcheck. Make sure if your guest is online that they have a working mic and preferably headphones. Also, if their lighting is bad, give them some suggestions to improve it.
From the pre-interview, you should have the main points outlined. However, try not to use the outline as a script. You want to be as conversational and authentic as possible.
Remember: Your production doesn’t have to be perfect for the episode to be valuable.
For more interview best practices, check out this post.
7. Edit & Upload
Your first order of business is to get the audio edited for your podcast. We suggest partnering with a freelancer or one of these podcast production agencies.
Your audio engineer will probably ask about intro and outro recordings. Either you can record an intro and outro and have the engineer mix them with music. Or, you could sandwich the interview in between some music.
Both methods work and you can always adjust later on.
“Over time, you can always make it more polished and you can always invest more in it.”Aaron Lichtig, OK Xoomer
Here are some more insights into pre-recorded audio (intros and outros):
Uploading Your Podcast
To get your podcast on Apple or Spotify, you need to upload it to a podcast hosting site first.
Then, via your host, your podcast can be syndicated across multiple audio platforms. Some hosting services even syndicate directly to YouTube. BUT, for a high-performing YouTube podcast, you *do not* want to directly syndicate.
It will only upload the audio with a static image, an audio wave at best. You’re better than that.
Using your preferred video editing software, you can choose between several formats.
1. Full-Length Interview
Your first and most obvious choice is to publish the entire interview. If you decide to go this route, you’ll want to make the video a little more visually compelling.
As we discussed earlier, most YouTube viewers are actively consuming videos. This makes it even more challenging to keep their attention for an extended period of time.
So, in addition to the interview footage, include some complementary images, B-roll, graphs, infographics, etc.
The second option is to cut up your interview into highlight clips 3-10 minutes long.
This way, a viewer is more likely to watch the entire video because it’s the most relevant information. In this case, you still want to spice up the visuals but it’s not as crucial as it is with the full-length episode.
3. Combined Clips
Lastly, you could combine clips from one or more interviews to make a compilation video.
This option works great if you have multiple clips of guests talking about one topic. Plus, compilation videos tend to be more engaging because it’s all relevant content and there’s often more than one speaker.
First of all, if you don’t have a YouTube account, make one.
Otherwise, your company’s account will suffice. Or, you could make a brand new channel for your show.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure you have the MP4 file of your edited video. Go to your channel’s dashboard and hit Create. There, you’ll be able to select the file you want to upload.
Before you publish, take some time to optimize your video.
8. Optimize Your Video
Video optimization is all about making the video more appealing and easier to find.
We suggest going through this checklist for each of your videos:
- Write a captivating title (under 70 characters).
- Create an attention-grabbing thumbnail (4 words or less).
- Write an optimized description w/ relevant hashtags.
- Include timestamps in the description for where important things are discussed.
- Tag your video w/ keywords.
- Enable subtitles.
- Add subscribe cards in the upper right-hand corner for additional resources.
- Create an End screen that connects to similar videos.
Once your checklist is complete, it’s time to publish that thing.
Pro Tip: Try to reply to every comment you can. If your video isn’t receiving many comments, post a question to get viewers more engaged. This will make your video more relevant in the eyes of the ‘Tube gods.
9. Promote Your Podcast
You’ve just published the first episode of your YouTube podcast — congrats!
It’s still important to do everything you can to get eyes on your video. So, here are a few promo tips to add to your arsenal:
- Embed the videos on your website (where they make sense).
- Write blogs based on your interviews. Embed the videos on your blog posts.
- Post micro-videos to your social media accounts.
- Send out an email blast with a preview of the episode.
- Get scheduled as a guest on similar shows.
For an entire launch promotion plan with templates, check out this post.
10. Measure Success
When you’re measuring the ROI of your YouTube podcast, keep the most important metrics in mind.
Guests Turned Customers
If your main objective for starting a podcast is to gain more customers, this should be your #1 metric.
You’re inviting your ideal customers to be guests on your podcast. The easiest way to measure ROI is to count how many guests have become customers.
No need to overcomplicate things.
Number of Downloads (Podcast)
Downloads are normally the first thing new podcasters look at. They are immediately disappointed and throw up their hands in defeat.
🌱 Growth takes time.
It isn’t until year 1 or 2 that you start to see significant download numbers. That means you’ve gotta stay the course.
If you’re set on using downloads as a metric, compare them to your own show’s benchmarks. There’s no use in comparing your numbers to those of another podcast.
When it comes to your videos, pay attention to how long people are watching.
This is a way more telling metric than the number of views. You could have 10,000 views, but if they’re not even getting to the halfway mark, what’s the use?
If you’re focused on increasing watch time, your videos are going to get better and they’ll start to reach more people.
YouTube Podcast Examples
Throughout this post, we’ve been talking about how to distribute your podcast content to YouTube (AKA, YouTube podcasts).
Below are some very successful shows that have used the same model. (No, they’re not all Joe Rogan.)
The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, post clips of their podcast interviews. They organize their micro-videos into playlists focused on topics important to their fans.
The Customer Experience Podcast
Hosted by Ethan Beute of BombBomb, The Customer Experience Podcast discusses how Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success can improve a customer’s overall experience with a brand.
Beute publishes highlights from the podcast on YouTube.
The H3 Podcast
Husband and wife comedy duo Ethan and Hila Klein co-host The H3 Podcast. The majority of their content satirizes internet culture.
They’ve interviewed guests such as Bobby Lee, Steve-O, and Jenna Marbles.
Jenna & Julien
Another comedy pair made up of Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita host the Jenna & Julien podcast. Their show explores anything and everything to do with the internet and being a millennial.
State of Demand Gen
Chris Walker of Refine Labs hosts the State of Demand Gen podcast. This show features marketing leaders who share insights and strategies that have worked for them.
Full-length State of Demand Gen episodes are on the Refine Labs YouTube channel.
The Dan Bogino Show
Hosted by Dan Bogino, a former Secret Service Agent and NYPD officer, The Dan Bogino Show covers hot political topics. Bogino has interviewed presidents, reporters, and other high-profile political figures.
Completely Unnecessary Podcast
Pat Contri and his co-host Ian give comedic reviews of video games and movies on the Completely Unnecessary Podcast.
You’re a YouTuber, Harry 🧙♂️
Maybe you didn’t dream of becoming a YouTube star as a kid. But, at least now you have the know-how to start a YouTube podcast.
The #1 thing that leads to success is just simply starting. And look, you’ve done that by reading this article!
“If you have ideas for how to create content fairly quickly that might be appealing to your audience… go for it. Make it happen.”Aaron Lichtig, OK Xoomer
You’re already on your way.