Podcasting With Video
Mike Cheng is the CEO and co-founder of the online video creation platform Lumen5. He joins Lyndsay to discuss the evolution of content, why podcasters shouldn’t ignore video, and how they can leverage the medium and platform in the best possible way.
How Podcasting and Video Merge
When thinking about podcasting and video, Mike thinks of them as the evolution of content.
First, there were newspapers. One-way communication, just written content. Readers had to use their imagination to “fill in the colors”.
As time has passed, content has become more multimedia so it incorporates more visuals or more audio.
It’s more conversational as opposed to one-way broadcasting all the way through to podcasting, which Mike views as the ultimate expression of community.
In his opinion, the best podcasts do feel like a clubhouse because listeners get to be a fly on the wall and listen to a conversation between interesting people (the mobile app Clubhouse captured the spirit of podcasting well).
It’s a much more engaging way of learning than reading a traditional blog post. It’s really hard to write a blog post as engaging and as organic as just a casual conversation.
Every Audience Member is Different
Mike believes that one way to look at it is every podcaster has an audience and knows to “go where their audience is”.
The challenge, however, is that your audience is human beings, individuals that are doing different things throughout different times of the day.
What that means is sometimes they’re sitting in a chair, scrolling through their phones where visual information is a big part of how they want to consume knowledge.
Sometimes they’re on commutes, sometimes they’re driving and can’t really be on their phone – they’re only listening and it’s important to be able to reach them in that situation too.
And sometimes they’re in a reading mood. Maybe they’re winding down for bed and don’t want to look at the bright lights of a screen. They just want to read something on a Kindle device or similar.
Mike agrees: blogging isn’t dead. It’s just another expression of knowledge and of consuming information.
Going the Extra 20% as a Content Creator
For Mike, most content creation efforts are the production of knowledge and ideas that, even though are abstract, can be represented in written, video, audio, or visual form.
If you create any type of content, then you’ve probably done 80% of the work… so, why not go the final 20% and repurpose your knowledge into lots of different formats?
What may end up happening is that your target audience, no matter where they are or what they’re doing, has a method of consuming your content that is suitable for their situation and circumstance.
Mike sees video as the medium that has the lowest barrier. “As humans, we have our hands and we practice this form of communication in person every day. Or we did, except for the past two years.”
Before the pandemic, this skill was practiced every day, so it’s very clever of content creators to record the video component of a podcast episode. That way not only does the conversation come through, but the expressions, the gestures, and everything else adds context to what is being talked about.
Using Video as a Podcaster
Let’s say you have a 30-minute podcast episode. You could divide that into 10 pieces: highlights, 30-second quotes, or exchanges that are incredibly insightful and you can share them on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.
By doing that, you immediately have a new outreach channel, a place where your content can now exist where it didn’t before.
This enables you to become a closer part of that individual’s life and they can consume your content in a multimedia way.
“Using video enables you to become a closer part of that individual’s life and they can consume your content in a multimedia way.”
YouTube vs. TikTok
The main difference between the two video platforms is the fact that TikTok really favors short-form video content, whereas YouTube favors long-form video content.
As a podcaster, you could take the approach of posting longer clips on YouTube, your full podcast episodes, or a highlight reel from multiple episodes.
Playing around with aspect ratios, video length, etc., will help you make your content available on more platforms.
How Lumen5 Can Help Creators
When Mike and the rest of the Lumen5 team started out, their vision was very simple: to build a simple video creator software anyone could use.
To do that, they took inspiration from companies like PowerPoint, which focus on simplicity.
With Lumen5, for instance, its users can easily turn blog posts into videos, can leverage automatically-generated captions – and customize their look and feel – and do everything in just one place.
Different Platforms, Different Nuances
One of the big differences Mike notices among platforms is the fact that titles have different importance depending on what you’re creating content for.
While titles may be key for YouTube, their weight isn’t the same on TikTok…
Another example is the thumbnail: very important on YouTube, not as vital for TikTok videos.
What Creators Need to Know
When it comes to creating content, especially thanks to the help of a platform like Lumen5, Mike recommends nailing two things.
The first one is the narrative: how do you tell your stories in a way that captures viewers?
The second point has more to do with the technical side – for example, how are you using visuals? And what about their pacing, timing, etc.?
There are many different ways from which this aspect could be addressed but nailing the two Mike highlighted will put you ahead of your competition.
Michael Cheng is the CEO and co-founder of Lumen5, an online video creation platform with over a million users worldwide. Michael started Lumen5 with a vision to democratize video creation so that anyone can easily produce engaging video content without prior video editing experience. Lumen5 has seen rapid growth in recent years and was featured on the Globe and Mail’s 2021 list of top 100 fastest growing companies in Canada, as well as being a winner of the Deloitte Technology Fast50 list for 2021.
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