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In this episode of In-Ear Insights, Katie and Chris recorded live at the Marketing Technology conference about the types of equipment to bring to an event, from microphones to cameras to wiring. Listen to this episode to learn how they make the most of every opportunity to generate multiple types of content.

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Machine-Generated Transcript

What follows is an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain errors and is not a substitute for listening to the episode.
Christopher Penn
In this week’s episode of in your insights, we are on site at the martech. Conference martek East which is at the we are we are at the Hynes Convention Center. And so we thought would talk about some of the things that you can be doing a video. So if you haven’t already gotten your copy, go to trusted insights.ai slash social 2020 paper to get the social networks 2020 research paper on what the most popular social networks are going to be in the next year. Spoiler alert, one of them’s YouTube. And given how prominent video has become, we need to make sure that we’re creating a lot of content that is well suited for video. So there’s a bunch of different ways to do that. But what we’ve got set up here is we’ve got a camera, this is the DJ Arsenal pocket over there. And then a separate audio recording there. Katie, you’ve had a ton of background in film, and movie production, stuff like that. What should the average marketer who doesn’t have a production company and you know, $10 million be doing to use video effectively?

Katie Robbert
Well, you know, if a marketer really wants to focus on video, they should look at the phone that they have in their hand. Because chances are, it’s going to be good enough to get started with, you know, so you can debate you know, Apple versus Android all day long. But at the end of the day, does your phone have a video recorder? If the answer is yes, start there, you don’t have to, you don’t have to buy a lot of expensive equipment to get started. And you know, keep in mind, it’s to get started. Now, you may decide as your you know, blog or whatever you want to call it, your videos, your daily videos start to gain popularity, you can monetize it, you can upgrade your equipment, but the thing that you can’t buy is authority. So if you don’t have good content going in, it doesn’t matter what quality your video is. So I would say focus less on the video quality focus more on the quality of the content.

Christopher Penn
For those folks who do want the bare bare bones of equipment, how much do they need to be looking at in terms of pieces of equipment? Obviously, you have the camera, probably want some sort of some kind of microphone,

Katie Robbert
right? Well, and I don’t think you need to spend a lot of money. I mean, the good news is that a lot of this equipment is available to everybody these days. So you know, there was a period of time where you know, someone who wasn’t, you know, in the film industry or TV couldn’t just buy a lovely or Mike or couldn’t just buy, you know, some sort of an omnidirectional mic, you know, you had to be a professional something. And so then when professional podcasting really started to take off, this equipment really became more available. And now, you know, anybody can be a podcaster, you know, with a $20 mic and a camera, you know, they don’t even need the camera, because a lot of the stuffs free so I would say, you know, invest in a decent microphone, a lovelier mic, or, you know, some sort of a podcasting mic that can plug into your phone, start working plugged into your laptop, you know, and so you have the least amount of equipment, the least amount of wires, and, you know, places where the hookups can go wrong, and just start there. Again, it’s all about just getting started. I think people focus so much on having like, the perfect setup that they forget to actually do the thing.

Christopher Penn
Yeah, I would say probably in addition to that probably want to like hit up your local thrift store and get a lamp. Like if you’re going to do video, you want some kind of light, we have the lovely overhead hideous lighting, that is common to conference centers everywhere, right. But for your home studio, I know that people sell the like crazy ring light stuff like like you can just get a used lamp put a white ball, but

Katie Robbert
it’s true. Well, yeah, I think that people are sort of going after that appearance of being behind this, like Instagram filters, like Instagram filters have ruined people’s ability to just look like themselves on camera. Spoiler, Chris and I are not using a filter. This is really what we look like. So

Unknown Speaker
I’m sorry to tell them what a great here

Katie Robbert
you know, I was able to get so I don’t have good overhead light in my office where I do the majority of my recording. But I was able to get a really inexpensive light that I just clipped to my monitor. And can I can adjust the brightness because I also sit in front of you know, a window. So any given time of the day, I might be completely washed out. So just like have, you know, a sheet or a curtain or something ready to put over your windows and then use the light that you’ve bought because natural light is great, but not for recording video.

Christopher Penn
Yeah. The part that I think people also, I know this is true for podcasting, especially people think you have to have like top of line gear to do it. And I can’t count the number of really good independent films that literally did everything with thrift store stuff and random parts from Home Depot. Well,

Katie Robbert
and that goes back to the original point of the equipment is important, but not as important as having good content. So to your point, an independent film that’s really good content, the equipment can be crappy people can overlook the quality or even, you know, the editing or the continuity if the story is really compelling and engaging.

Christopher Penn
Now for editing software. Again, if you have a budget of zero dollars, there are two packages that I particularly like one is called shot cut, which is a nonlinear editor. And then there is another one another called Open cut, I think drawing a blank. But if you Google for open source video editor there, these two projects are open source they run on Windows, Linux or Mac. And they offer like 80 85% of like Adobe Premiere features for zero percent of Adobe’s price. So again, if you’re just getting started out, and you just need to put video clips together, so really good way to go.

Katie Robbert
What I think and correct me if I’m wrong, but I think a lot of the laptops, they come with some sort of an editing software built in with the assumption that you’re going to be doing that with your computer. So I think that was like I’m movie and those types of things built into the max. I don’t know exactly what’s built into a PC, but I would imagine something.

Christopher Penn
Yeah, I think Windows Movie Maker, I don’t know if they discontinued that I haven’t used a PC in years. But the open source product called will do to sign

Katie Robbert
right and you know, one of the pro tips, if you’re just getting started if you want to if you’re recording, and you know you need to edit, the best way to mark your time is to make some sort of a noise. So a lot of times. Exactly. So a lot of times when I’m recording a different podcast, will sort of like snap right into the microphone to mark the time. And what that does is you can actually see the spike in the file. So you say okay, that’s the point where I need to pay attention and make a cut. And so it’s just a really easy way to sort of Mark what’s happening instead of having to go back through and say, where were those places where I started and stopped? Yep,

Christopher Penn
yeah, I will always do three. So like, at the beginning of this episode will clap three times so that when you’re looking in the editor, if you’re trying to line two tracks up, you can the three ridges give you a really an end, make them all set. So one to pause for a second and three. And that way you can live up audacity is probably the best 00 dollar editor for audio for a lot of this stuff, because zero dollars. And it’s pretty capable, all things considered. It has its quirks as every open source product does, but it’s certainly better than blowing, you know, 50 bucks a month on Adobe Creative Suite. Unless you intend to be doing video production, audio production professionally for money, where do you have money coming in to offset it

Katie Robbert
right. Now one of the things that we’re doing differently today is we’re recording this podcast. First of all, we’re recording it off site. So we’re, you know, live at martech today, but we’re also recording the video because what we want to do was get the most out of the time that we had. And so we’re actually going to have a couple of different kinds of content as a result of this. And so we’ll have the video that we can put on YouTube. And you know, as Chris mentioned at the beginning of this podcast, YouTube is going to be really important in 2020. So we wanted to make sure that we started recording video of us recording the podcast, which sounds a little bit meta, but it just means that our content will be available in multiple different places for people to access it. So we’ll have the audio file will have the video file will have stills if we need them. And then what we’ll be able to do is then take the audio file, have it transcribed, we use otter.ai. And then we’ll have that content for blogs for social posts for a variety of different things. And really, all we did was set up a phone and a recording device for about 30 minutes.

Christopher Penn
Yep, and we get all of that. And if you want to monetize even that, if you sign up for Amazon Associates, which is Amazon’s affiliate program, you can then recommend the exact equipment that you bought as indicated by the yard sale. And and and then other people access. So if you go for example, to trust insights.ai slash Amazon storefront, all the equipment and cameras that we’re using the cables and stuff that that I carry around that we like 50 pounds, you can buy just the entire list. And if you wanted to get set up and running quickly, and you had I think the list tops around $700 total for everything that would be sort of dropping. You know, the Amazon truck pulls up and flings your podcast studio out on the front porch. But it’s good enough to get started.

Katie Robbert
Now, Chris, you’ve been recording podcasts for well over a decade marketing over coffee with john wall. How like so this is a very small setup. How has that changed in the decade? Because I know when you guys started, it was probably probably looked a bit different.

Christopher Penn
No, no Actually, this this kind of gear like these these consumer devices, these are in Ibiza, not by any means new or improved. Really. What’s changed is the ecosystem for the distribution of the podcast. So back in the old days, back in the old days, when you walk uphill both ways to the microphone in the snow.

Katie Robbert
Carrying john on you.

Christopher Penn
You had to hand edit the RSS file. So you had so you had an RSS file on your server that you had to hand edit everything post up new new episodes, you had to load the video to create the audio FTP it somewhere handed at the RSS hope you didn’t screw it up. And then when you used when you have the new episode available, didn’t you had to manually paying the different services to let people know that was available and there was no mainstream podcasting software. So Apple’s iTunes didn’t support podcasting, I think I want to say 2006 is when it first introduced ZO 506 but it took a long time for any major player to start taking audio podcasts. And now of course you have Google podcasts, Apple podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify. Our friend and colleague Tom Webster said Spotify has embraced podcasts wholeheartedly because every minute you spend listen to a podcast as a minute of they’re not spending royalties on you know, they have to pay the musicians so that you can you’ve seen this huge uptake in podcasting. But the this process these pieces, not not super different. It’s all on the distribution side and the monetary side. Now, podcasts are our big money. I mean, there’s big money in the podcasting space, I think the local to bubble is just for me, it’s in spots. But as a shameless plug, if you’d like to sponsor the trust insights, podcasts, please email sales at trusted insights.

Katie Robbert
But I think, you know, that’s one of the things that I think people can think about is, what is the content of my podcast? Who is my audience? Who would be a good sponsor? You know, so that’s a really, I wouldn’t say it’s an easy way to monetize. But it’s a good way, because getting a sponsor isn’t necessarily an easy thing. You know, do you feel I know that you and Tom Webster have talked about this? Do you feel like the podcast bubble, much like the influencer bubble is about to burst or is it still just taking off,

Christopher Penn
it’s still just taking off because it’s very crowded, it’s much harder to build an audience now. But the fundamental economics are still in podcasters favor, as long as services like Spotify are saying, Hey, we don’t have to pay you to directly. And we can avoid paying licensing fees from music, we’re going to keep promoting you. Because you are it is in our economic interest to do so. Same with Google podcasts. And with Apple, everybody is seeing essentially free labor out of podcasters saying we want more of this. So as long as that model holds, and podcasters can monetize on the other side with sponsors, and monetizing the audience. It’s a model that works for everyone, just like YouTube, YouTube channels, and popular YouTubers. I mean, there’s stuff on YouTube that I don’t understand why people watch, but they lots of people watch it a lot. And as long as they can monetize their audience, and like, this is one show called hot ones, which is where Sean Evans interviews like famous people, and now he’s got like, you know, the rock and Beyonce and all these people, the premises, they eat progressively hotter, hot wings as they do the interview. It’s gotten so popular now each episode is getting like 67 million views, that they’re monetizing it not from an audience perspective only. But now they’re selling their own brand hot sauce. As soon as it’s like, Okay, then they’re finding different ways to monetize it that that alone could probably be its own episode of the show. But even starting out, if you sign up for an Amazon Associates account, you can and you should, because you are legally required to say, This episode is sponsored by DJ the idea as well pocket camera by yours on Amazon today and get the link out. And I remember seeing something on some, like Instagram, some like starting Instagram for work, showing like fake endorsements to look bigger than they are like, don’t do that just stop for an affiliate program, and you then legally have to disclose that you get paid. If someone buys the thing.

Katie Robbert
That’s I mean, we could go down a whole rabbit hole of common mistakes that people do when they’re starting out. So one of the things that you were looking at over the weekend, since we’re talking about video, and YouTube is Instagram TV. Now, I know that you were sort of basically what you were trying to understand was, does using the feature of HGTV, do anything for your brand for your engagement, you know, what’s, what’s sort of the bottom line?

Christopher Penn
The bottom line is it’s mostly a bust. It’s mostly about it’s mostly a bus. And here’s the thing, there’s this was, you know, in your realm, failure of planning on two fronts, right, Instagram failed to plan that nobody wants to get another app from Facebook, on their phone, and you have to have that installed, to continue watch the videos. And for a lot of the influencers and brands, it never really made it on their radar. So it was never part of a coherent content plan, it was just sort of like is always an afterthought, because for a while like you had to have its own separate format and couldn’t just like reuse the YouTube file that you’re the video file you can use for YouTube. And they kind of fix that, but it’s still it’s still not delivering outsized results, there was a period of time from March to August of 2019, when the algorithm favored HGTV, and that that honeymoon is over, that those things have now fall into the same performance, everything else, but fundamentally to your back, going back to your point, you need to have a content plan and strategy in place before worrying about the channels. And then make stuff that can be as cross channel as possible so that you can if you want to cross launched IPTV and then watch nobody watch it.

Katie Robbert
Right. Well, and I think that that’s an important point. So you know, as we’re talking about people just getting started out using inexpensive equipment, you can’t skip having a plan. And so I think one of the mistakes that I see people make a lot is they’ll just turn on the camera, start recording and hope for magic. Yep. And that there’s very few people in the world that that actually works for. And I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I mean, I know that someone like, you know, Gary van der Chuck records and stuff all the time. But you better believe he has a plan. Like he’s not just randomly doing things that might come across that way. But that’s actually something that is part of his brand. That’s part of the plan, and everything how a purpose, like he didn’t make all of his money doing things randomly. Right. You know. And so I think that that’s one of the things that people tend to overlook is, you have to have a plan now, we talked about recording live today. And so we brought the equipment, and we always have a plan going into the podcast, we have a topic. Now. That’s a really like simple plan. It’s maybe a 32nd discussion, but it’s a plan, we’re on the same page, we’re working towards the same goal. So a plan doesn’t have to be the thing that hinders you from getting started. Just go in having some sort of an idea of what you want to get out of it. Do I want it to be about 20 minutes? 30 minutes, 60 minutes, I was talking with somebody last week, who has this idea for a podcast, which Okay, great. What’s the idea? And so, you know, the person told me and I was like, okay, that’s kind of interesting. How long is it going to be? She’s like, well, we talked for about, you know, 90 minutes the first time. So I need to figure out how to cut it back down to like, 30 minutes, I’m like, that’s going to be nearly impossible, because you’re gonna have a lot of choppy. So you need to think through, does it work? Can I test it as a longer format thing? Because, you know, people’s attention spans, they’re pretty short. I mean, mine’s already pretty short. My mind’s already, like 600 different places. Am I still doing this is actually what’s happening. You know, but it’s something that you also need to consider is, you know, do I have enough engaging content? Or if I have too much, if I have too much to say, How can I break that up so that people are still engaged? So you can’t skip planning? You? Yes, you can just start recording, but I guarantee you, you will get junk,

Christopher Penn
you need to have that and you need to pull some data, right. So we pay attention to the American Automobile Association disclosure, they’re a client of the company, because they publish reports every year, here’s how long the average commute is, right? When do people listen to podcasts, at work, at home, cooking, in the gym, and on their commute? Right? So if you’re not serving your audience, your emails like, hey, when you go to the gym, if you go to the gym, how long do you been there? And do you listen to podcasts there? And if they do, then you can calibrate your show based on your audience’s needs. So many people like yeah, we’re gonna do a two hour podcast like nobody’s gonna listen to. I wouldn’t listen to that. I wouldn’t even listen to myself talk for two hours. The other thing is, you can’t skip over the audience research, right? asking people to what, what do you need to hear about what would be helpful to you? Because if it’s just a long winded rant about yourself, you and perhaps a parent will be interested in that maybe my mom would like that.

Katie Robbert
Finally, you told me something about your life. You know, no, to help,

Christopher Penn
but help help. It helps nobody else. Right.

Katie Robbert
You know, and I think the other thing, so you have to do your audience research, but you also have to do your competitive research. Does this thing already exist? Probably. So what is your way of differentiating, and then also, from a legality standpoint, does the name you want already exist as somebody already own the rights to it? that’s actually something that you had that happened recently, I had it happened to me. And it was it wasn’t a big deal. It was for different podcasts that I do with karaoke, are going. And it was just a slight variation. Now the people who said that they had the claim to the name first. They had zero content, they weren’t doing anything with the name. And it actually wasn’t trademarked. It was just something that they thought was a cool idea. That said, we were happy to adjust just to avoid any sort of issues. Because we were early enough on we did our due diligence. And Carrie also happens to have a legal background. So she knew what to do. But it’s something that had we not it could have turned ugly. People will see you they’re very happy to try to take money from you, even if it costs them money to do so. So make sure that you’re sort of like checking all the boxes. Does this name exist? Am I using copyrighted photos? Am I using copyrighted music as my intro? You know, those are all things that you can’t do unless you have permission.

Christopher Penn
Yep. So it’s all planning. Yeah. final tip, make sure anytime you’re recording especially if you’re recording an environment that’s unfamiliar, give yourself five seconds on either end of the recording your noise reduction software will thank you. As always, please subscribe to this podcast. Go to a trusted sites.ai slash podcast to find the actual feed itself. Or just stop by the website. Please subscribe to the YouTube channel to the newsletter and we’ll talk to you soon. Take care


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