I’m going to be honest – the trick is simple. Obvious really. But most bloggers I know fail to put it to use.
Here’s the trick: Create a video and audio version of your post and share them as stand-alone pieces of content on different platforms.
Sound like a lot of extra work? It’s not.
By the time you release your weekly (or bi-weekly) blog post, you’ve already done the hard work of research, organization, editing and publishing. I’m going to explain to you how you can take your finished product and get the biggest bang for your buck – all in approximately one extra hour per week.
We live in a time when people expect access to their favorite content at a moment’s notice, no matter where they are. The most successful brands understand this and so they publish content across a variety of channels: YouTube, iTunes, Slideshare, etc.
Think about it. On a Saturday morning you might have the time to read an article over a cup of coffee and a bagel. But on a Wednesday morning you probably don’t have that luxury. So the ability to listen to that same information on the drive to work, or watch it in a short video while waiting at the DMV makes the content more accessible and far more consumable.
It also opens your content up to an entirely new audience. By posting a video on YouTube each week you not only start earning big points with Google’s SEO algorithms, you put your brand in front of thousands of new eyes who might stumble upon your content.
The same goes for iTunes. Hosting a podcast in iTunes is free, and iTunes actively promotes “New and Noteworthy” podcasts to the millions of people who search for new content every week.
Imagine the power of your content amplified not only on your blog, but also as an ongoing YouTube series and Podcast. That’s multi-channel branding at its finest.
Yes. It will take a little bit of extra work to get this system up and running, probably a few hours, but once you’ve started your YouTube and iTunes accounts, the weekly production/publishing process should only take about an hour to maintain each week. A little further down I’ll share a simple 7 step method for getting this done quickly.
Getting Set Up With YouTube:
First of all, here’s a helpful article with all the basics of setting up a new YouTube Channel.
Since I’m a marketer and not necessarily a tech guy, I’ll leave it to the experts to succinctly explain this part to you: Click here for the tutorial on how to set up a YouTube Channel.
The part that I will explain is the importance of properly branding your channel. If you have a logo for your blog (and I hope you do), use it here. One of the most important aspects of multi-channel publishing is brand consistency. You want people to be able to glance at your blog post, YouTube thumbnail, or iTunes description and immediately know it’s you.
There is an exception to that rule, however. Another (perhaps even more important) thing to consider is brand clarity. You want your viewer to immediately know what they are getting when they click your channel. For instance, if your blog name is “Whispers From The Ether,” it’s likely that a first-time YouTube visitor will have no idea what your series is about. In that case, I recommend giving your channel a name uniquely suited to the YouTube market, and tie in your blog’s title in the general description or the video itself. Make the new name of your series super compelling – something like, “3 Minute Marketing” or “Writing That Sells.”
Finally, make sure your general description uses keywords that are important to your content. Weave them into a brief and compelling description of your channel. Be sure to link back to your blog somewhere in the description.
Getting Set Up With iTunes:
The same rules apply to the naming and branding of your iTunes podcast. Be clear. Keep your branding as consistent as possible (in most cases, the name of your podcast can and should be the same name as your YouTube series). Be sure to put extra effort into the general description of your podcast. iTunes places great emphasis on the keywords in your description when offering up your podcast to new listeners. Again, be sure to link back to your blog somewhere in the description.
Also it’s important to note that when listeners browse iTunes for new podcasts, shows are listed only with a title and a logo. It’s for this reason that you want to make sure you have crafted a very compelling title and logo. Scroll through iTunes and look at the podcasts that catch your eye. Which ones are compelling? Which ones seem professional? Which ones don’t? Use the best images and titles as a template for creating yours.
Here’s a step-by-step breakdown for setting up an iTunes podcast account: Click here for the tutorial on how to set up an iTunes account.
Note: iTunes has to approve every podcast that comes in. This process may take a couple of days before you can begin posting your episodes to iTunes.
Once you have your YouTube channel and iTunes account set up, it’s time to begin publishing multi-channel media like a pro. Here’s how to make it as easy as possible:
1. After you’ve published a new post to your blog, turn on your webcam, laptop cam, iPhone, or any other video camera you have and point it at yourself. No one expects you to have a professional lighting kit or anything, but make sure to pay attention to the lighting in the room (not too bright, not too dark), and framing (make sure you’re nice and center – not too close, not too far away). Also, sound is really important, make sure you set up to record in a quiet place (an external microphone is a great idea, but not required). Finally, keep the camera as still as possible (a tripod is ideal).
2. Hit record, then start reading your blog post to the camera. No, seriously. You don’t have to make it fancier than that. Just get the exact same information from the page into the camera. Obviously, it’s important to have some charisma and dynamics on camera, so once you feel comfortable with a camera in your face, begin reading and memorizing one paragraph at a time starting at the top. When you’re ready with the first few sentences, look up from the screen, look directly into the camera and deliver the paragraph with a smile on your face and some good inflection in your voice. Feel free to improvise a little bit as you get comfortable. Then, when you’ve got the first paragraph delivered, move on to the next and repeat the process. Keep the camera running the whole time. The raw video will have large chunks of dead time where you’re looking down and “memorizing your lines,” but that’s where editing comes into play.
3. When you’ve made it through the whole video, use a free, simple editing software like iMovie or Windows Movie Maker to cut out the chunks of dead space. The jump between frames here might look a little jarring at first, but this is a perfectly acceptable practice for even the most famous YouTubers. (Note: if your blog post is exceptionally long, you may want to consider leaving some paragraphs out. The ideal YouTube video is about 3 minutes long, while the ideal podcast is anywhere under 16 minutes).
4. Here are some things to think about as you get better at this. Consider adding a simple introduction to let the viewer know what you’re talking about. Something like, “Hi, my name is ____ and today we’re talking about…”. And finally, while it’s not necessary, if you feel savvy enough to add text (it’s easy to do in most basic editing softwares), consider adding some simple text at the beginning with the name of the episode. Also, fading in with a little music at the beginning goes a long way in adding production value. Finally, consider adding a call-to-action at the end of your video. Direct people back to your blog for some kind of free download, or other incentive.
5. Here’s a nice little shortcut for your creating your podcast. Once your video is ready to go, export it as an mp4. Then, export a second version as “audio only.” This audio version (.mp3) will be your podcast! Note: This is possible in nearly every video software. If you don’t know how to do it in your software, simply google “How to export audio only in [software of choice].”
6. Upload the video to YouTube and the audio to iTunes. Be sure to add a compelling title and a good description for each. At the end of your description, add a little note that says, “Text Transcript Below,” then copy and paste the text of your blog post in the description field. If it’s too long, copy and paste the most important sections. This will not only be an added value to your viewers and listeners, it will help index your content in Google and iTunes.
7. Here’s the final step. Once you’ve uploaded the video and the podcast, it’s time to make a quick edit to the top of your blog post. Somewhere near the top of your post, throw in a parenthetical statement letting the reader know that “This post is also available in video or audio format.” And be sure to include the links to each.
It may take a couple of times before this process starts to feel like second nature, but give it a few tries. It will quickly become a simple step in your publishing process, and you’ll continue getting better at it as time goes on. Obviously, you can get as creative as you want with the video and the podcast (add text, music, improvisation, Q&A, etc.), but there’s no reason you can’t keep it as simple as dictating your blog post word for word. If you enjoy posting to YouTube and iTunes, and want to step up your game on those platforms, there are tons of great resources for you. Simply Google “Best practices for posting to YouTube (or iTunes).”
Once you have the three different formats available, you will also have three separate posts you can add to your social media calendar. Consider posting the blog article on, say, Monday, the video on Wednesday, and the podcast on Friday (or some variation thereof).
By using the strong foundation you’ve already created with your blog post, you can maximize its reach by publishing across multiple channels each week.