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Shoot your video podcast

Video podcasts benefit from the same tips provided for audio podcasts. Plan ahead, think in segments, use multiple people for variety, and all the rest. Beyond those tips, you need to take a different approach to making the video itself, because iPods are not TVs.

Videos that you post on YouTube follow all the same rules you’d apply to videos you distribute to your customers on tapes or DVDs. You can shoot it with an amateur video camera and edit it on your PC, but your customer might expect higher production values, so consider hiring professionals.
Video podcasts are a different game, with different rules than DVDs. Some companies are creating audio podcasts with a software product demonstration or a Flash animation that isn’t really video at all, but others are producing full-blown video podcasts.
So how do you go about making your own video podcast?

  • Keep it short. Battery life continues to improve, but iPods are not the best way to watch hours of video. Your customers are on the run with their iPods so deliver your message in small doses over time. Moreover, movies as short as ten minutes might take up 50 megabytes of space. Some popular video podcasts are five minutes long, and many are ten. Don’t make yours 30. Better to do a weekly 10-minute show than a monthly hour.
  • Get ready for your close-up. Ever see the screen of an iPod? It’s tiny, compared to a TV. So, when you shoot your video, get real close to your subjects. And forget wide-screen mode—stick with standard mode.
  • Stay still. Talking heads work best. Many fast-motion sequences will be lost on the iPod’s small screen.
  • Write big. When you add on-screen titles to your video, remember that text you see just fine while editing your video on your computer may be unreadable on an iPod screen. Use text judiciously and in a large point size. Test everything on a real iPod before posting it.
  • Think viral. If your video is well done, people will share it, which is great. But if you don’t watermark it, people won’t know where to go for more.

Make it easy by using a digital video camera. If you have an analog video camera, you can convert the footage to digital format, but it adds another step to the process. If you’ll be doing this a lot, choose efficiency.
Now, go shoot that podcast!


Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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