With over 2.5 billion monthly active users, YouTube is one of the world's most popular search engines for finding new podcasts. But how do you actually get your podcast on the platform and leverage it for all its benefits?
Getting your podcast on YouTube has many benefits, including:
• Increased visibility and reach. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, making it one of the best places for publishing your podcast content.
• Easier discovery for new listeners. With so many people searching YouTube for podcasts, there's a good chance that more people will discover your show.
• New monetization opportunities. You can use the YouTube platform to generate additional revenue by placing ads and sponsorships on your videos.
Uploading your episode video is easy, but how do you leverage the platform from there to expand your reach and get subscribers?
In this blog, we’ll share three tips for maximizing your success on YouTube!
Step #1. Optimize your podcast on YouTube for SEO
It's important to optimize your episode's metadata each time you upload a new video. This step is often overlooked but can make a huge difference in the performance of your channel and videos.
Here are some best practices to follow for each upload:
• Use relevant tags. YouTube uses tags to help viewers find related content, so make sure your podcast has the right tags for your topic.
• Use keywords in the episode title. YouTube uses algorithms to determine which videos show up in search results. Make sure to include relevant keywords in your titles to help your podcast stand out. This guide can help.
• Include a full episode transcript. Adding a full-episode transcript will make it easier for viewers to find and watch your podcast on YouTube. It also helps YouTube's search engine understand the content of your episode, which can lead to more views in the long run, and improves accessibility to those who are hard of hearing or prefer to read episodes.
• Create an eye-catching thumbnail. Thumbnails are the first thing people see when they search for a podcast on YouTube, so make sure yours stands out with bright colors and interesting visuals.
• Use subtitles. Subtitles are another important accessibility factor to consider. To add subtitles to an episode, go to the Creator Studio (profile picture > Your Channel > Manage Videos).
• Create playlists. Organize related episodes into playlists, which can be shared on social media or promoted through other platforms. This will make it easier for new listeners to find your podcast (and not get overwhelmed).
These are important behind-the-scenes steps to take that are foundational to a successful podcast marketing strategy. Now, let’s get into the more visible (and more fun) steps.
Step #2. Engage with your audience
It’s important to build a community around your content. After all, being able to interact with your listeners is one of the biggest advantages of being on YouTube.
Here are some tips for engaging with your audience:
• Respond to viewer comments. Encourage viewers to leave feedback and respond to their questions and comments. Responding to comments can lead to increased visibility and higher search engine rankings, which ultimately means more views.
• Include call-to-actions. Include videos or links that prompt viewers to take action, such as visiting your website, leaving a comment, subscribing to your channel, etc. This type of interaction will help you grow a loyal fan base and generate more views for future episodes.
• Ask viewers for feedback and suggestions. Include your viewers in your creation process. If a viewer is really into your podcast topic, they’ll likely appreciate the chance to offer their opinion and make suggestions for future content. The more tailored you can make your content to the needs of your listeners, the more engagement you’ll ultimately get.
Engaging with viewers is a crucial part of nurturing your audience base. Now let’s look at how to actively expand it.
Step #3. Promote your video podcast
To get the most out of your podcast on YouTube, you'll need to promote your content. Here are some ways to do that effectively (on any budget).
Cross-promote with other YouTube podcasters
Reach out to other podcasters and collaborate on projects. You’ll get access to their audience (and vice versa), which can be a really fast way to get in front of an audience interested in your content.
And it’s totally free! If you have an engaged audience, this can be a great monetization strategy as well. Collaborating with other creators can look like:
- Cohosting a series
- Organizing a virtual or in-person retreat
- Offering virtual paid (or free) events
Include YouTube link across all your platforms
Sharing links to your podcast episodes on social media is a great way to drive more listeners and views. You can also try creating short videos or teasers for each episode and post them as YouTube videos—this will help draw in potential new listeners.
Make sure to include a link to your YouTube channel on all your other platforms: your Podpage, your email list, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts, as well as in your show notes. This will help drive more traffic to your podcast episodes and increase views.
Bonus tip: Include episode videos on your Podpage for increased traffic and higher engagement.
Run targeted ads on YouTube to reach a specific type of listener
If you have some extra cash to invest, you can run targeted ads on YouTube to get more views for your podcast. You can customize the target audience based on age, gender, location, and other factors, which will help you reach a specific type of listener.
Track your performance
Tracking metrics can help you gain insight on what type of content resonates with your audience and optimize future episodes.
To get access to your analytics, go to Your Channel > Manage Videos. This will take you to the Creator Studio, where you can see the number of views, watch time, and subscribers.
Click See More for a more detailed breakdown of your viewers by traffic source, geography, city, age, and gender. These data points can help you understand your audience and get a better feel for who you're talking to and engaging with your content.
Do I need to put my podcast on YouTube?
Ultimately, of course, deciding to start a podcast on YouTube is adding another step to your workflow. So it’s important to decide if it’s the right move and something you can commit to long-term. It comes down to your specific goals and preferences.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Do I have the time to consistently commit to filming quality episodes?
- Can I commit to actively engaging with listeners in the comments section?
- Is a YouTube podcast the best platform to reach my desired audience?
We think YouTube is an important part of a solid podcast marketing plan, but it all depends on your specific goals. It's not always necessary—you may want to focus on other podcast platforms first if you don't have the resources or time to invest in YouTube.
Summary & takeaways
YouTube is a powerful medium for podcasters, between being one of the world's most popular search engines, offering both audio and video elements (obviously), and providing a way to interact directly with viewers.
Having a video podcast isn't for everyone, but it can be a powerful part of your podcast toolkit and an invaluable strategy to grow your brand and expand your reach!