Are you hosting your podcast on YouTube?
It’s true that most podcasters never even consider YouTube. It’s a video platform, after all, with most podcasts being strictly audio. But if you’re not on one of the most popular websites in the world, then you’re certainly missing out.
Today, let’s look into how you can get your podcast into the world’s second biggest search engine (bet you didn’t know YouTube is also a search engine, huh?)
First, Is it worth it?
While YouTube isn’t technically built for podcasts, it certainly won’t hurt to make a presence there. Its millions of daily active users can potentially become your subscribers. Even if you hit just a small fraction of that, you’re golden.
You can also tap into the power of YouTube to further drive up your podcast’s reach. You can post exclusive video-only content such as special interviews and snippets of your show to get them to listen to your main podcast. You can even host a full-on live video podcast.
Plus your listeners can be more active by engaging in the comments section while they listen. This can give you valuable feedback and interaction with your fan base.
Prepping your Podcast for YouTube
At this point you might be thinking: “isn’t hosting on YouTube easy? You just upload, and that’s it, right?”
Well, it is if you’re hosting a video file. But what we have is MP3 audio, and YouTube won’t accept that. So a workaround is needed – to find a way to convert our audio file into a video file that we can post on YouTube.
This is what most of this article is all about.
But what would our now video podcast “show” if it was audio, to begin with?
This is where you can get those creative juices flowing. At the most basic, you can just put a static image of your artwork, and that will work just fine. Some go to great lengths and employ animations and effects to really spice it up.
Remember that you’re trying to attract listeners in a visual platform. Investing time and effort into creating exciting and eye-catching visuals can significantly increase the number of people that listen and hit “Subscribe.”
But how do we convert our audio file to begin with? Fortunately, there are many tools available, depending on what you want or how easy you want the process to be.
First, let’s set up your YouTube account
Before we do anything else, we need to set up your YouTube accounts first. This ensures our video uploads will work later on.
- Go to the YouTube website and click on the Create a Video or Post icon
- If you haven’t logged in with your Google account yet, it will prompt you to do so.
- It will now ask you to create your channel if you don’t have any. Name it appropriately (preferably with your podcast’s name) and click Create Channel
- On the create video page, click on the Increase your limit link below.
- In YouTube, if you want to upload more than 15 minutes of video, you need to verify your Google account. Since you’re uploading podcasts, this is almost always the case.
- Go through the verification process, which is done through an SMS message or a call, whichever is convenient.
- You may also want to customize the look of your channel to attract more listeners. Click on the account icon in the upper right screen and click My Channel
- In your channel page, click on Customize Channel. Here, you can change your channel artwork, create a description of your channel, and so much more.
And we’re done with the setup. Now let’s get on the many methods you can use to convert that audio file into video.
How to Convert Using Video Editing Software
Recommended option if: you’re looking for full creative control, flexibility and powerful features
What you need to convert your audio file into video is probably already in your computer.
There are lots of free software options that you can use to do this, such as iMovie for Mac users and Movie Maker for Windows users. These two alone are more than enough to get the job done.
If you have access to more powerful video editing software, like Adobe Premiere or Final Cut, you can use those as well. For adding effects to your videos, you can use motion graphics software like Adobe After Effects.
Using dedicated video editing software gives you complete control over how your podcast video will look. You get access to powerful features that allow you to create really engaging and awesome looking videos.
The process itself is straightforward. You import your MP3 audio file into your video editing software of choice. Once there, you can add video elements such as photos, videos, animations, and effects.
You then export the resulting video into a video file format for uploading to YouTube
TIP: We recommend using the MP4 file format, which is also what YouTube prefers. It provides excellent quality without taking up too much file size.
While the results can be amazing, this option takes the most time and effort. Most editing software has a learning curve that demands further investment in time.
Since video editing is an extensive topic, we won’t be going into too much detail here. Plus there’s already a ton of excellent resources online, and a quick search will get you started in the right direction.
Instead, we’ll spend the rest of this guide on the various online tools that can do the conversion job for you.
How to Convert using Libsyn and Podbean
Recommended option if: you want a fast and easy way to do it
If your podcast is hosted on either Libsyn or Podbean, then you’re in luck. Both of these hosting services let you easily convert and publish your audio episodes to YouTube and even other social media platforms.
Here’s how to do it in Podbean:
- Login to your Podbean account. In your dashboard’s left-hand menu, go to the Social Share section under Settings.
- Podbean will display all the possible social media networks you can publish to. In our case, click on the red Connect to Youtube button.
- Log in to the Google account that’s associated with your YouTube channel.
- YouTube will now appear under the Connected tab, indicating a successful connection.
- Now add a new episode by going to the Publish section and uploading a new audio file.
- Under the Share tab, you should now see the YouTube icon as one of the choices. Whenever you publish, it will automatically create a video podcast and upload it to YouTube. (You can turn this on or off by clicking the YouTube icon)
Image taken from podbean.com
- Your podcast should now appear on your YouTube channel. The video will show a static image of your show’s artwork in Podbean
And here’s how to do it in Libsyn:
- Login to your Libsyn account. In the dashboard, click on Destinations and select Add New.
Image taken from libsyn.com
- In the destination list, select YouTube and click on the Add Button
- You need to log in to your Google account that’s associated with your YouTube channel. Click on the Login button to proceed and complete the process.
- Once successful, Libsyn will present you with a series of settings. Of note here is the YouTube category drop down. You should pick the category that best fits your show to help you get more relevant listeners.
- Once you’re done with the settings, click on Save. Libsyn and your YouTube channel are now linked
- Create a new episode by hovering over the Content menu and picking Add New Content
- Upload the audio file as usual and click on the Publish button.
- Libsyn will now automatically encode a video file of your audio podcast and post it to YouTube once completed. This might take some time, depending on the length of the podcast.
- Your video podcast will now appear under your YouTube channel with a static image of your podcast artwork from Libsyn.
How to Convert using Repurpose
Recommended option if: you want to fully automate the process of adding your episodes to YouTube, especially for multiple podcasts
Repurpose is a great online tool for connecting your podcasts not just with YouTube, but with other social networks as well. The name is pretty appropriate, too – as it allows you to repurpose your audio content for reuse in various other channels.
Repurpose makes it incredibly easy to manage and automate the workflow of converting your shows into video. This is especially true if you have multiple podcasts. It even provides animated templates and other cool artwork instead of the usual static logo as the video element.
Best of all, Repurpose has a free trial, so you can take it on a test run. So head on to the Repurpose page and sign up for an account.
- Proceed to the Repurpose main page.
- You first need to set up at least two connections. Connections are your input and output sources that need to be linked. In this case, we want to connect our podcast (the input), so it can post video podcasts to YouTube (the output).
- Click on the Connections tab on the left side.
- On the Connection Type drop-down box, select Audio Podcast (input) and click on the Add Connection button
- It will ask for your podcast’s RSS URL. Provide it to continue. You now have your input setup
- Now click on the Connection Type drop-down box again, but this time select YouTube (output) and click on the Add Connection button.
- It will ask you to name the connection, then prompt you to log in with the Google account associated with your YouTube channel. Complete the steps to proceed.
- You now have two connection points. Next, you need to create a workflow by clicking on the Workflows menu on the left.
- Workflows specify the actions to be done between two connections. Click on the Create A New Repurpose Workflow button
- Name the workflow appropriately and click on Next
- In the Input step, select Audio Podcast Feed in the Choose an Input Type drop-down, and choose your desired podcast feed.
- In the Action step, since we want to convert an audio podcast into a video for upload to YouTube, select Convert Audio to Video in the Choose an Action drop down and click Next.
- In the Output step, select the YouTube output option from the Choose an Output Connection drop-down menu. If you want to publish your videos to the desired YouTube playlist, pick that in the next drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can also create a new playlist with the Create Playlist/Folder button if you need to.
- You now have a new workflow setup that will automatically convert your podcast episodes into video and send it over to YouTube. At the moment, though, it’s still not doing anything. To do the actual converting, you have two options: manual or automatic.
- If you want to be selective of the episodes you want to send over to YouTube, you can manually publish each. Ensure that the Publish Mode column is set to Manual. Click on View Episodes
- It will list all of your podcast’s available episodes. To publish to YouTube, just click on the Publish button. It will start converting and uploading to YouTube and will flag once completed.
- If you prefer a “set it and forget it” automated workflow, pick automatic to publish. It will automatically convert and send your podcast episodes to YouTube, as you add them. To do so, simply toggle Publishing Mode to Auto.
- You can also click the Settings button to customize the video your podcast displays on YouTube. There are a lot of options here to really spice up your episodes.
How to Convert using Wavve
Recommended option if: you want an easy to use tool that can create great looking video podcasts quickly with minimal frills.
Wavve is like the Canva of the podcast world. It’s an easy to use online tool for converting audio podcasts into video. But Wavve’s strength lies in providing more than just a static logo image and calling it a day.
Wavve gives you complete flexibility to design your image however you want it to look. Add templates, waveform animations, and even descriptive text.
Unlike the previous tools, however, Wavve is purely just a converter. You still need to upload the video file into YouTube manually.
You can sign up for a free account at their website to test it out.
- Go to the Wavve dashboard.
- First, you need a design. This is what will appear in your podcast video. You can try your hand at designing your own using the Create Your Own button. But for now, select one of the pre-designed templates.
- Upload your podcast audio file using the Upload Button (unfortunately, Wavve can’t connect to your podcast feeds to do this automatically)
- Test the audio out to see if it’s okay. When ready, click on Generate Video
- Wavve will then begin the task of creating your video. For really long podcasts, you can just leave it, and Wavve will notify you via email if it’s done.
- You then preview what the video will look like. If you’re satisfied, click on the Download button to get a copy of the video file. You can now upload this on YouTube.
How to Convert using Headliner
Recommended option if: you’re looking for a fully capable and powerful, yet easy to use tool to create your video podcasts.
What happens when you take your video editor and make it entirely online? You get Headliner.
Headliner is a powerful online video production tool that is made specifically for creating social media content. It allows you to combine videos, photos, and audio with text effects, waveform animations, and automatic transcription.
Ever seen those video memes and slideshow-like announcements in social media? Headliner makes creating those a breeze. As such, it is more than capable of producing an awesome looking video podcast from your audio file, complete with all the bells and whistles.
You can create a free account at the Headliner website. Once you’ve done that, we’ll take it for a spin:
- Go to Headliner’s projects page.
- You’ll be presented with a few quickstart projects and templates. If you want the full power and flexibility of Headliner, you can click on Straight to Editor and begin a project from scratch.
- For our purposes though, we’ll try the easy way first. Since we’re interested in creating a video from an audio podcast to upload to YouTube, we’ll click on Full Episode, which does precisely that
- You’ll be asked to upload your podcast MP3 file. Do so and click on Next
- Next, choose the appropriate aspect ratio for your video, which is Landscape. Click Next
- You’ll now be able to customize the look of your video podcast. You can add waveform animation through the Wave Type drop down box and pick a custom image background. Once you’re happy with the way it looks, click on Export
- Headliner will start creating your video, which can take quite some time. So take a quick coffee break, and you will be notified via email once your video is ready
- Once the video is available and you have received the email, check on the link sent to preview your video. Save a copy of it for uploading to YouTube by clicking the Download Video button.
TIP: Headliner’s video editor is really powerful and worth looking into. You can get access to stock photo and video, text animations and other cool effects that might be useful with other projects like video promotions or memes for your podcast. Experiment and see what you can create.
How to Convert using PodVideo
Recommended option if: you want to convert video podcasts on the go using a mobile app
If you’re always on the go and want to turn your audio podcasts into video quickly, PodVideo might be your best option. While not as powerful as the other dedicated online tools, it does a decent job in a pinch.
The mobile app essentially allows you to create an audiogram, or animated waveform, from your podcast audio. You then upload this video to YouTube.
The app is free to download and use, and is exclusive to iOS devices. After you have installed it:
- Open the PodVideo app and tap on Start to begin
- Tap on Create Audiogram to create a new podcast video project
- Tap on Import Artwork to pick your podcast’s logo (or any other picture you wish to use).
- Tap on Import Audio and choose your podcast audio file. You can pull this from various sources (iTunes library, Google Drive, etc.), or you can even record on the spot, although we don’t recommend it.
- Tap on Next when done.
- You can trim your podcast audio on the next screen. This isn’t usually needed but is there just in case you do. Tap on Next to proceed
- Now comes the fun part. You can customize and pick from a wide range of very cool looking audiogram designs. Fiddle and experiment around! When you’re satisfied, tap on Create on the upper right to create your video.
- Once completed, you can preview the window and choose to share it to social media. In our case, tap on Save to save a copy on your phone, which you can upload to YouTube after.
Uploading your Video Podcast to YouTube
Once you have your podcast video, the hard part is over, and everything is straightforward from here on out. You only now need to upload your podcast video file to your YouTube channel.
NOTE: If you’re using Libsyn, Podbean or Repurpose, then this step is not needed since your video podcast is already on YouTube.
While not a straightforward process, posting your podcast to YouTube is both easy and worthwhile if you have the right tools for the job. With the video platform within your reach, there’s no reason not to tap its widespread reach for your podcast’s benefit.