Video Podcasting To Improve Branding, Search Engine Rankings and Traffic Generation

As YouTube is currently listed as the #3 most visited site on Internet, grabbing just under 20% of global Internet users per day (according to Alexa.com), it should come as no surprise that video has revolutionized the way communication occurs online.  The power of video lies in that it allows video publishers to form powerful relationships with their visitors, as it is possibly the next best thing to direct, in-person communication, arguably even more so than talking over the telephone.  Though such obvious benefit of utilizing video online is easily understood, many often overlook the various distribution models, including perhaps the most effective yet underutilized method for video syndication — video podcasting, also know as vidcasting. 


Easy Video Syndication
In today’s world of rapidly emerging hand held technology, video is easy enough to capture with simple, yet decent quality producing devices such as mobile phones and digital cameras, in addition to more traditional methods, such as camcorders and webcams.  Once created, these informative, persuasive or personal videos can be easily hosted through video sharing sites, such as YouTube, Google Video, Viddler, Veoh, Yahoo Video and Revver to name just a few services that will host and stream video. 

But while all of these sharing sites are a great way to syndicate content, video podcasting has it’s own unique benefits that go beyond what streaming video offers, such as the ability for viewers to watch podcast episodes on their hand held devices such as their iPod, iPhone, BlackBerry or one of the many other video enabled mobile phones, or through their computer via a podcast aggregator, with the ultra popular Apple iTunes as the most prevalent example.  Viewers can subscribe to a video (or audio) podcast, in which case viewers will be automatically notified of subsequent episodes, thus creating a powerful relationship and branding opportunity for publishers.  Video podcasting is allowing anyone with basic video capability the ability to create what essentially equates to free Internet TV shows. 

Boost Your Search Engine Rankings
The search engines aren’t ignoring the fact that video is a hot commodity online.  In fact, videos hosted at sharing sites such as the Google-owned YouTube, tend to get indexed with the search engines with staggering quickness.  It isn’t uncommon to see videos ranking in the top pages of the search engine rankings for relative keyword searches, and this is sometimes seen within hours after the video is uploaded.  Though Google, Yahoo, MSN and the others are working on technology to interpret video content and rank accordingly, it’s important for video publishers to include descriptive, keyword-rich titles and summaries for their videos, as this is how videos are getting picked up by the search engines.  Once again, video podcasts up the ante, as podcasts are being picked up in record time by Google and the other search engines. Podcasts have been seen indexed and shown in Google search results in less than 4 minutes!

Increase traffic and subscribers
High rankings in the search engines and widespread distribution means more visitors for the video podcaster, which leads to more exposure and subscribers.  In turn, podcast publishers can build strong relationships and brand themselves as experts in their given field to a larger number of higher-quality audience than ever before.  Podcast directories such as Podcast Alley, are becoming more popular to increase exposure, making podcasts even easier to find.

For those who mind find this exciting, yet a bit intimidating, take comfort in knowing that there are plenty of free tools and resources that are making video podcasting easier and easier.  A great example is the free WordPress plugin, PodPress, which makes creating a video podcast a snap for bloggers. 

Though video podcasting has been supported in some way, shape or form since version 4.9 of iTunes, video podcasting is still perceived as relatively new, so there is still opportunity to gain first-mover advantage and benefit from everything else that video podcasting offers!