To help us separate the best from the rest, we spoke with Paul Colligan, who has co-authored The Business Podcasting Bible and blogs about profitable podcasting. Companies in general are missing out on the power of video podcasting, which lets them build up a regular audience, perhaps because the commitment is so much greater than with occasional videos. Here are a few companies that are making the most of the medium.
- Let Me Entertain You
Not surprisingly, the most popular video podcasts are shows from cable or network TV that are simply made available online. Colligan notes that one of iTunes's top video podcasts is Bill Maher's HBO show, which offers the entire show each week. While it's not creating revenue, Colligan thinks it's a smart move as it's generating interest for other HBO programming.
- More Social than News
Another top video podcast, Diggnation, reports the most popular stories on the social news Web site Digg.com. Its popularity comes largely from the boozy camaraderie of its hosts, Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht. "These two guys have a chemistry," says Colligan. They come across as guys the viewer would like to have a beer with. While viewers are watching, they're getting a 50-minute commercial for Digg.com, where they can go to vote for next week's stories.
- Blending Up Sales
Of all the real-word companies that are using video podcasts to drive sales, none is more successful than Blendtec's Will it Blend series. "It sounds like a Letterman sketch," Colligan says, but the company has found a following by dumping items like marbles and iPhones into its industrial blenders. When viewers need to buy a new blender, they'll certainly think of Blendtec first.
- Geek Stuff
Colligan also thinks a few tech-related video podcasts are doing great work. The guys at PhotoshopUserTV use a video podcast to teach Photoshop tips and tricks, while a husband and wife team present the day's tech news at Geek Brief TV.
There aren't a lot of companies using video podcasts, but if you've got an entertaining or useful message to tell, consider starting one. They're an excellent way to gain repeat visitors and generate great word-of-mouth.
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