From a barely noticed content platform to one of the hottest media ecosystems on the planet, podcasts have seen a meteoric rise in the last few years.
When you think about podcasts, you think about the power of narrative. Words are powerful. They drive purpose; they deliver thoughts; they create action. Audio and voice are by far the most natural way for humans to interact. We are genetically designed to listen.
Podcasting is an effective way to leverage audio to:
- Spread content.
- Present new perspectives.
- Deliver Thought Leadership.
- Empower audiences.
With that in mind, here are 10 podcast tips that will give you the best chance to drive audiences.
1. Have a Purpose
What is life without a purpose? Comparably, what is the point of a podcast that has no driving purpose?
Your starting point to kickstart your podcast journey must begin with a purpose. Your purpose helps you identify a killer topic. Without a killer topic, why would anyone want to listen to your podcast? After selecting a topic, take some time to analyze the subject matter. Identify a few standout concepts or ideas to talk about during the series.
For example, if you plan on creating a podcast on launching small businesses, choose a few main effective strategies in a particular niche. Focus on their financial, marketing, or HR teams. Don’t try to cover every aspect a small business needs to consider. Think of all the main talking points for the specific strategies.
What are the real world benefits, processes of putting the strategy into practice, and why your listeners need it?
2. Give Your Podcast a Distinct Brand
While walking down the aisles of a supermarket, you remember you have to buy some ketchup. There is a wide array of options presented to you, but how do you decide on one? One word: branding.
Each podcast has a certain uniqueness it brings to the table. When starting a podcast, remember that people develop a better impression when it provides some sort of distinctiveness. That may be the energy levels, style of conversation or the type of influencers brought in.
In other words, it has a brand.
One of the best ways to give your podcast a distinct brand is to establish yourself as an authority in your niche or industry. Always produce helpful content. As a business, know your audience, learn their needs and be able to provide it to them.
3. Create a Consistent Publishing Schedule
Getting your podcast out available platforms is one thing. But the pivotal factor in building an audience is uploading on a regular basis. Depending on your availability, this could mean weekly, bi-weekly or even monthly.
Create a podcast schedule that you can realistically adhere to. That way, your listeners can follow a reliable schedule.
4. Create an Action Plan
Before you turn on the mic and bring in experts, it would be advisable to create an action plan.
Key characteristics of the action plan would include:
- An outline of your subtopics
- The people you’re bringing in
- How much time you’ll spend talking about each sub-topic
- The burning questions you want to cover
Plot out on paper how you will record, edit, publish and promote your podcast. Break it down into specific and actionable steps.
But, it’s important to note that formulating a plan doesn’t mean you must follow every single instruction during the podcast. The purpose of the plan is to guide you through planning out the podcast. Don’t make it too structured. You want the podcast to seem conversational, authentic and casual.
5. Invest in Quality Equipment
You can bring in amazing guests. Discuss the most intriguing and burning topics. But no one wants to listen to a podcast with below-par audio quality.
Investing in great audio recording software, good quality microphones and editing tools will go a long way in helping you create a winning podcast. There are many free or low-cost audio production tools that you can use to enhance your podcast. There are also studios that specialize in audio recording. If you’re a business and need to assure professional quality – a studio can make a big difference in production value in recording and editing.
6. Be Prepared to Edit and Add Production Value
If you want to sound professional, you’ll need good editors.
Editing helps you smooth out the wrinkles and create a good flow. You’ll also want to add production value. Add a powerful and catchy introduction to spark an immediate interest among listeners. The real benefits of an effective podcast occur behind the scenes.
Editing may end up taking the majority of your time, but it is a pivotal part of the process. So, ensure that this step is not overlooked.
7. Promote, Promote, Promote
Building an audience is one of the biggest challenges of a successful podcast.
Podcasting requires the same marketing techniques as regular forms of online content. That means being active in driving traffic to your podcast. The good news is, we live in a time of the most powerful marketing tool ever: social media.
There are many ways to use social media to promote your podcast and build an audience. Create a hashtag to represent your brand. This is an effective way to encourage listeners to leave comments about your topic.
Now let’s talk about timing. Good, rewarding podcasts are generally 20 to 30 minutes. But not everyone can find time during their days to listen to a whole podcast. Create short fragments of the most compelling parts of each episode. Upload them on all your social channels and ensure that you are not using the same caption per channel.
Write to the platform. Readers on LinkedIn consume content in a different way than Instagram users do. By doing this, you can build up a social media following. Also, you can provide absent listeners with an opportunity to engage with your content. Expand your reach by releasing your podcast on many platforms as possible. You can start with YouTube, Spotify, Blubrry and iTunes.
8. Get a Host, Find “That Voice”
Mainstream podcasts and developed, hosted and administered by whoever conceived the idea.
With business podcasts, the marketing department locates the best team to run the series. The best practice is to choose an individual comfortable being the main voice of the podcast. Find that unique and energized individual to run your series to provide consistency. This will prove essential for long term success.
9. Produce in Batches
One of the biggest challenges to creating a corporate podcast series is scheduling. The tendency is to find a topic and schedule a time on a day leading up to your next publishing date for executives to take part. But, a more efficient way is to develop a bunch of themes and schedule all the interviewees for a single day.
Produce 3-6 podcasts in one day. This will have you covered for a couple of weeks or months (depending on your publishing schedule). Always leave room for one-off podcasts that are tied to specific events on your calendar.
Generally, producing in batches gives you a lot of breathing room. Want to learn one way to boost production without sacrificing quality? Focus on creation first. Improvements can happen later through editing.
10. Don’t Sell
Don’t sell, educate. It’s okay to introduce your company and the work that you do. A brief introduction is a great idea because it validates your credibility on the topics of discussion. Emphasis on brief, it does not need to last half your podcast.
The point of your podcast should not be to sell your product or service. Rather, to use your expertise to bring clients up to speed with information and trends that they would be interested in.
Stay updated with The Streaming Network’s very own podcast series, Lessons From The Frontline. Tune into our latest episode as Matt Ley, President and CEO of TSN and I dive into executing hybrid events.
Still not convinced about leveraging podcasts? Read our post on the effects of using podcasts in your content strategy to generate more Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).