Thinking about putting your podcast on YouTube? Start here!

Best practices from a podcast Audience Development Specialist


It seems like after Podcast Movement 2022 last week, everyone wants to talk about video podcasts. At the very start of the conference, YouTube launched their new podcast page, setting the tone for a week already full of video podcasting programming. I’ve already shared my POV on why podcasters need to be seriously thinking about YouTube, both here on the blog and on a panel at the conference. By now that you’ve hopefully been convinced as to why you need to consider a video strategy for your podcast, so I figured it was time to offer some more details as to how you can take your podcast to YouTube.

So, I decided to ask the smartest person I know who’s thinking about this, Audience Development Specialist Elizabeth Hames, for her best practices when it comes to putting your podcast up on YouTube.

Here’s a summary of her top tips and tricks:

Upload a visual component along with your audio

This can be a static image or an audiogram. Services like Canva make it easy to create high quality graphics, and Headliner allows you to quickly create an audiogram. This approach works great for consumers who are listening to the podcast episode without actually watching at all.

Don’t expect the same kind of retention as you’re used to seeing in Apple Podcasts

Engagement tends to be much much lower for podcasts on YouTube. Be prepared for steep listener drop-off when people realize there’s not much of a visual component to the video. But given the incredible search engine optimization capabilities of YouTube, perhaps it’s a tradeoff you’re willing to make for a big bump in discoverability. As YouTube evolves to accommodate the rise in podcasts on the platform, will the app make background listening more accessible and more common? This strategy could set you up for success as we wait for long alluded to audio-first changes to the platform.

Consider adding supporting imagery to your podcast episode on YouTube

For example, do you reference a chart in your podcast? Show an image of that chart. Do you have a guest on your podcast? Show an image of them with their name and title for quick reference for listeners. It’s easy to miss the name and title of the person speaking in a podcast and having to rewind a few seconds can take listeners out of the episode. On YouTube, there’s an opportunity to just glance at the screen to get that info!

Create descriptive, simple, search-friendly titles for your episodes

This is a great best practice for podcasts in general. A great title tells listeners what they can expect from the episode and gives them a reason to listen.

Create a playlist for your podcast that contains all your show’s full episodes

Don’t forget to include every season of your show in this playlist.

Order your videos in your playlist as you want audiences to consume them, starting from the top

This is similar to how you would order it in your RSS feed. Example: for serialized podcasts, put the oldest episode first. For episodic shows, put the newest episode first.

Add an SEO-friendly description to your full-episode playlist

Again, this is best practices for podcasts in general. In the same way you should be writing an SEO-friendly description for your RSS feed, write a description for your playlist.

Add SEO-friendly descriptions to your full episodes

Include a link to your website and any other useful information for viewers.

Manage your comments and interact with users who are engaging with your show

But don’t feed the trolls!

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