There are a lot of podcasters turning their audio clips into video to promote their podcast on social media. Over 30,000 alone are using Headliner to do so every month as of the writing of this post. But for all the videos getting created, there isn’t a ton of data out there showing how effective it is to promote your audio using video. So, we decided to run tests on social media to try and get to the bottom of what is the best way to promote your audio.

The Changelog Test

For the first test of this year, we thought it made sense to do an updated version of our very first test from last year. The original test pitted a still image against a few different types of video. Social networks are always updating their algorithms, so to start off this next round of tests, we wanted to first see if things had changed at all since last June.

I got a note a few weeks ago from Jerod of He said he wanted to see more actionable info from us in our upcoming posts. Naturally I took that as an invitation to repurpose one of their Tweets into a series of ad units for a Facebook Split test, thanks Jerod!

For those of you that are new to Changelog, they have a series of weekly shows about developer culture, software development, open source, building startups, artificial intelligence, and the people involved. For this test, we used a clip from an episode all about Java Script: JS Party.

About the Test

We wanted to check in and see if video is still more effective than a static image for promoting your podcast. We did this using a Facebook Split Test. Targeting was set to people on Facebook, over 18 years old living in the United States who are interested in Java Script.

The 5 Units

We set up a few test videos using different combinations of waveforms and captions (or lack thereof):

  1. Waveform Only: this video featured the audio, a moving waveform, and an image.
  2. Waveform and Captions: everything above, plus captions across the bottom of the video.
  3. Video with Image: this video featured the audio and an image, that’s it!
  4. Captions Only: this video featured audio, an image and captions.
  5. Static Image (No Video): this unit is simply and image. There is no audio, and it is not a video.

You can click on any of the video images below to view the actual video.

The Results

VIDEO: Waveform Only911,5515.9%$0.21
VIDEO: Waveform and Captions841,7154.9%$0.23
VIDEO: No Waveform, No Captions731,5794.6%$0.26
VIDEO: Captions Only621,4794.2%$0.32
IMAGE: Static Image321,7951.9%$0.61

The best performing video was THREE times more effective at driving clicks than a static image.

The winning video was a simple combo of audio, still image, and a moving waveform. It was 3 times more effective than the static image post. The next video, that featured waveform and captions, was more than 2.5 times more effective than the static image post. The worst performing video in this test, was the one that was just captions (no moving waveform), and it still performed 2 times better than the static image post. In short, this test shows, yet again, that video is much better at driving traffic to your site than a static image alone.

Thanks for checking this out. If you have a test you’d like to see us run, or would your podcast considered for a future test, please email us.

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