If you look around, it seems like everyone has either a podcast, a Youtube channel, or both. But podcasts and Youtube videos are not right for everyone. If you are using the wrong platform to spread your message, you could be wasting your time and turning audiences off. But how do you know which one you should be using?

Be Clear About Your Goals

Before you put time and energy into any platform, you should take some time to think about what you want to get out of your efforts. There are things that you can do with podcasts that cant easily be done with Youtube videos and vice versa.

Are you planning on interviewing power players in your field? Will you need to explain complex subjects to your audience? Will you be selling advertising, or relying on Google Adsense to monetize your efforts? Questions like these will determine whether Youtube or podcasting makes more sense for your brand.

The Pros and Cons of Youtube

Youtube has more than 1 billion users that watch hundreds of millions of hours of video every day. 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and that number is only growing. Before you turn on your webcam, Youtube is anything but a gold rush. Here are the pros and cons.

Pros

Youtube is a great tool if you plan on teaching your audience how to do something, especially if you are teaching them to do something online. For instance, if you want viewers to see your screen while you set up a website, you could record a “screencast” showing them exactly where to click and what to do. If you are teaching visitors to do something manually, your Youtube channel could become an online classroom that walks viewers through the process.

Youtube has monetization build in to the platform. Users who sign up to display ads on the videos that they upload are paid based on the number of ad views their video receives and the number of individuals that click the ads they see. What this means for you is an immediate potential stream of income without having to set anything extra up.

Cons

While having built in monetization might sound like a good option, you will not be paid until and unless your account reaches $100 – and that number can be hard to reach unless you have tens of thousands of views. It is possible to monetize your Youtube video in other ways, but most advertisers wont bother with a channel that doesnt consistently put up big numbers.

Creating Youtube videos is also resource-consuming. If you haven’t invested in a good camera or a device that has a camera, you will need one. If you dont plan on using live action, you will need video editing software to add still images to your video. If you are using animation or whiteboard videos, you will need to purchase them from somewhere.

Finally, the fact that 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute means you will have more competition than anywhere else.

The Pros and Cons of Podcasts

Podcasting is a new innovation to the media landscape, but they are exploding in popularity. In fact, people are listening to podcasts as much as they are listening to music or am/fm radio!

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Pros

Since podcasting is still new, competition is still scarce. You can become a boss in your field by producing the first podcast for Black Hairstylists or wine enthusiasts.

Another strong advantage of podcasting is your ability to reach out to influencers and invite them as guests on your show. I have interviewed authors, entertainers, and entrepreneurs who wouldn’t have picked up the phone for me if I didn’t have a popular podcast. Plus, it gives me an easy way to add them to my network while giving my audience valuable content from the experts.

Podcasts can also be downloaded and listened to when your listeners are driving, working out, walking around, or doing whatever else. Listeners dont need to be online to listen to your content compared to Youtube, where they need to be online and may have to deal with slow load times.

Cons

Youtube has a huge number of users on one platform, but the fact that podcasting is still new means that there still isn’t an ‘all-in-one’ platform to upload your recording and make it available to a very specific group of people. That is starting to change, but you will need to spend more time and effort marketing your podcast than you would if you had a platform like Youtube under you.

Producing a great sounding podcast is hard. There are free programs that exist (like Garageband or Audacity), but you will still need to know how to use them. It can sometimes take twice as long to edit your recording as it takes to actually record. And believe me, editing is a pain in the ass.

Which One Should You Choose?

If you want an easy way to make a big impact in your field with a minimal investment, podcasts are the way to go. I am not suggesting you avoid Youtube, but if you go with podcasts you can always take those recording and add them to Youtube later on. Podcasting is a red-hot field right now, and if you get in before your competition does it can become your secret weapon.