To Video or to Podcast on an Online Community?

Anna Ritchie : Community Maven
Anna Ritchie
Marketing & communications practitioner, and product manager for TMCnet. Focus on content marketing and social media with a specialty in Online Community-building for businesses. Follow @Connectincloud and @apritchie
| Expertise and Advice on Successful Online Communities

To Video or to Podcast on an Online Community?

During our recent Webinar about building Online Communities for businesses, we got an interesting question from a participant about using videos versus podcasts in their marketing campaign. This particular participant was wondering about the differences between using these two types of pieces, and while the differences are slight I do feel it raises quite an important question: How do you know what kind of content/multimedia elements to incorporate in an Online Community?

At TMCnet, we've seen Online Community sponsors use a wide range of multimedia- from audio clips, to videos, to podcasts and product demos. The possibilities are truly endless, and really it depends on your internal resources or the external resources you have available to you to decide which elements to use.

A Podcast is exactly what it sounds like; a broadcast of something (can be video or audio-only) that streams through your computer or other device. The name of course provides the connotation that it’s something you listen to or watch on your iPod/iPhone but really there are many ways you can stream a Podcast. The Podcasts that I’ve experienced have been relatively brief (usually under 25 minutes) and designed to provide education or insight on a particular topic.

Many companies also use video to announce a new product launch, or relay a message from the CEO of a company about their thoughts on certain industry advancements. Videos are definitely meant to be seen, not just heard, and can be longer than audio Podcasts because they are able to be more visually engaging, grabbing the viewer’s attention for longer periods of time. The interview style of a video works well, too, because you can see the interaction between the people talking and really feel like you’re part of the conversation. Plus a video can also be uploaded to YouTube where it could potentially be found by thousands of people searching about your product or industry.  

Now that we’ve covered the differences between the two, which one works best? My personal opinion is that we don’t really need to answer this question: The more variety of content on an Online Community, or in any marketing campaign, the better. Some people may take a daily jog, for example, and want to download Podcasts to listen to. Others might like to start their days by viewing the latest videos as they drink their morning coffee. Finally, some people might like the good old-fashioned print pieces that they can physically hold and make notes on. Everyone learns, and likes to receive information, in different ways, so the more options you have out there, the more likely you’ll be to attract all the members of your potential audience.

We’d love to hear what methods you’re using, and how effective you feel they are at reaching your target audience. Do you think people prefer videos over Podcasts, or vice versa? Here’s a sample of how the same subject, building trust through Advertising and Thought Leadership, is covered using both a Video and Podcast:

“No One Buys Without Trust”- Podcast

“The Evolution of Advertising”- Video

You be the judge!

Related Articles to 'To Video or to Podcast on an Online Community?'
Webinar 2 Poll Results