When it comes to podcasting there are two formats and lately bloggers seem to be getting confused about which one to use and when.
Of course you know the two format choices are audio and video -that’s it!
Yet why is it that so many of us are using the video format when we should rely on the audio format?
Let me explain my thinking.
“DO” something! I don’t need to watch you talk
First, let’s keep in mind a fact that we are all aware of – everyone is busy. I really mean it, these days we are all so incredibly busy that when we sit down in front of our computers we need to delegate time limits for specific tasks. One critical task we must make time for in order to strengthen our blogging fortress is: learning.
In order to accomplish this quickly quite often we go to YouTube in search of short videos that demonstrate “how-to” complete a specific task. For example we might want to learn how-to install CommentLuv, or how-to transform backlinks from NoFollow into DoFollow links. We seek quick, visual instructions when we don’t have time to read lengthy blog posts and scroll through endless screenshots and descriptions. Instructional video screencasts and tutorials are the answer to our prayers.
I don’t know about you, but my attention span is only about 5 minutes long (or less). So don’t make your screencast much longer than that unless you have some really snazzy animation going on. Of course there’s exceptions to this rule for a handful of professionals like Lisa Irby, Matt Cutts or Lynda.com. I can watch these guys for hours – and I do! Check YouTube Insights to find out the attention span of your viewers.
Audio podcasts are more appropriate when there’s no need for visual instruction of the subject matter. When you want to share ideas and concepts with your audience don’t keep them hostage in a chair in front of their monitors. Create an audio podcast with a free recording tool like Audacity and let your visitors click the play button on an audio file so they can listen to your message. I know, I know, you want to connect with your audience and put a face to your brand. Well my friend, hopefully you’ve accomplished that mission by carefully deciding on a Gravatar and uploading your most flattering vanity photo to your blog’s sidebar or header.
Why is the cat climbing on the sofa?
When I watch your video podcast and all I see is a “talking head”, my mind drifts off and I start begin to have thoughts like “Where did she get that gorgeous mahogany computer desk”, ”Why is that adorable cat climbing on the sofa” or any other distracting background “noise” I can wrap my brain around. Create an audio podcast. , so that after we press play we can turn up the volume and listen to your message while doing some ab-crunches or push-ups – or maybe even some house work! (kidding about the push-ups).
The bottom line here is, use video for instruction and how-to screencasts and choose audio podcasting to connect with your readers when you simply want to communicate ideas and concepts.
I hope this advice is seen as constructive criticism. What are your thoughts on video vs. audio podcasts? Have you ever watched a podcast that you wish you listened to instead?