Here, we will take a look at the benefits and drawbacks of these two options and what you can do to get the best results from both.
How to Start a Podcast
Podcasts have been around for a while now, but their popularity has grown significantly in more recent times. In 2020, 100 million people were listening to podcasts each month, and by the end of this year, it’s expected to have reached 125 million.
But there’s more good news – 55.6% of listeners have purchased an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast and 82.4% of listeners spend more than seven hours per week listening to podcasts. These figures showing just how promising podcasts are in terms of lead generation and engagement, respectively.
It’s easy to see why podcasts are so popular – learning about something while doing other things is convenient, especially when being packed onto a busy train during your commute makes reading a book almost impossible. In addition, podcasts provide the scope to cover topics more extensively than other media allows.
Podcasting is a great way to engage your customers on a personal level and build trust and authority. It’s also an opportunity to communicate your brand’s values, products and knowledge, as well as drive traffic to your website.
If your business has customers that are inclined to listen to audio content, then starting a podcast is an excellent marketing tactic for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know to get started.
Plan Your Podcast Strategy
There are a few things to consider before you get started. Who and where is your target audience? What are their interests? What are they talking about? If you are already implementing a content marketing strategy, consider which topics you typically address could benefit from a deeper exploration through this medium. You can also use the opportunity to ask your existing audience what content they’d like to see more of.
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Types of Podcast
The next thing to consider is the type of podcast you want to create. A podcast is either audio only or a combination of audio and visual content. Which would your audience prefer?
Podcasts that contain visual content usually feature interview snippets, and relevant clips or animations. Naturally, if the topics within your niche require visual explanations of concepts, then a combination is best.
Some people prefer audio only as it can provide a good way to unwind and rest strained eyes after a long day in front of a computer screen while working. On the other hand, they always have the option to only listen if the situation prevents them from watching and then to watch visual sections later at a more suitable time.
Audio-only podcasts, as they’re easier to download and consume on the go, but a podcast that is both audio and visual may offer a more engaging experience and allow you to put a face to your voice.
Select a Platform
There are many different platforms available for publishing your podcast. Among the most popular platforms are:
- SoundCloud: SoundCloud is a great option, and it’s easy to use. It offers simple RSS feed integration and has a massive user base. To distribute the content externally to SoundCloud itself, you may simply copy the web address or URL of the podcast and embed the same on your website.
- Fusebox: Fusebox offers a different formula where you do not have to host content directly on their main platform. As the creator, you may choose to integrate Fusebox on your website directly. Fusebox users also benefit from increased customisation of the embedded player on their site and they may choose different buttons, colours, and so on, which is helpful for maintaining consistent branding. These buttons also include options such as downloading the podcast for offline listening, subscribing to your email list, and more.
There are plenty of other great podcasting platforms out there. Some others include: Google Play Music, iHeart Radio, Amazon Alexa, Anchor and Podbean.
Many creators take to YouTube to share their podcasts which is a great additional distribution channel you can even go live with them.
Plan Your Topics
If you already have a content strategy, you may have plenty of ideas to get you started. As mentioned, you can ask your audience what content they would like from you. Other considerations include whether there are any gaps in the market for relevant topics that others are not talking about. In addition, think about whether you can create a unique angle for the topics you have in mind. It’s also a good idea to check what your competitors are doing and which topics are most popular among their podcast audience.
Decide on Your Format and Schedule
There are three main podcast formats:
- The interview format: In this format, you invite guests on your show to talk about their expertise and experience. This format is ideal for introducing new knowledge and discussion over topics which are relevant to your brand. Some viewers may find your podcast because they were actually researching your guest, making this format an excellent way to drive new traffic to your content and grow your audience.
- Solo format: This format is just yourself speaking on a particular topic, which you may have researched or have a personal experience with. This format can be oriented towards objective knowledge, but you may choose to give personal opinions. This format offers the greatest flexibility, since there is only one person hosting and deciding what to speak about and which perspectives to put forwards.
- The “crew” format: This format is where a team of people, or “crew” members, host the podcast together in every episode. This creates a conversational format that is more familiar and friendly than the interview format, and where the team members tend to have an ongoing relationship beyond the podcast itself. Such podcasts can create a fun atmosphere that is enjoyable for listeners who love group interactions.
Aside from the format, you will need to establish a schedule. The more often and consistently you publish, the more listeners you’ll gather.
Publishing podcasts once or even twice per week can be challenging but there are a lot of advantages to it. For one, you can build a very loyal audience. As they become familiar with your content, they will start to rely on it. Another advantage is that it strengthens your brand and keeps it in your audience’s awareness.
If you choose to go with the interview format, you’ll need to start searching for guests. Keep in mind that guests are people who can help you establish and build your podcast; perhaps they are experienced in an area that’s related to what you do and can help you provide more well-rounded information and perspectives.
A good idea is to start by inviting people that you know well or have an existing rapport with. While you can start looking for guests from the get-go, it’s better to build a few episodes before you invite them to join your show. This may help in making the show more appealing to potential guests, since it will already be established.
How to Record a Podcast
If you decide to record your podcast from your computer, you need to consider the following:
- Decide on a decent microphone, either condenser or dynamic type. Some microphones have noise cancelling features which will attenuate background noise.
- Keep your audio clean. Use a pop shield to make sure your mouth doesn’t create distracting sounds such as plosives (P, T, K sounds) and fricatives (S, SH,F sounds).
- Adjust your computer for optimum sound quality. To that end, you can use an external audio interface.
- Get audio editing software. You do not need professional software, but make sure it provides you with the basic tools such as EQ and clip slicing.
Once you’ve selected your equipment, you need to pick a location to record your podcast. The location should be quiet, with minimal background noise. You can use soundproofing materials to silence vibrations and reduce sound interference. Wherever possible, try to avoid rooms with windows that could allow outside noises to seep into your recordings.
For a successful podcast, good editing is a must. As mentioned, sound editing software that offers at least the basic tools is a necessity for a good end product. First, you will want to cut out any needless segments, ramblings, hesitations, and so on.
You will then want to remove any background noise. This can be done by using an EQ with a “high-pass filter”, which removes low frequencies and only keeps those in the range that most speech falls into. Most sound editing software features EQ presets that will do the work for you.
You will also want to ensure that all clips included in your final cut are at the same volume. If you add music or extra segments, you will need to manually adjust all levels to create an even sounding final product.
If this all sounds too overwhelming, there is always the option of hiring a sound engineer, a host, and even a show producer. When outsourcing anything, it’s important to do enough research and find individuals that have relevant experience and are right for your show.
For a host, you will want someone who can carry the right tone. For a sound engineer, make sure they are able to deliver audio that sounds professional, with smooth editing. Hiring a podcast producer can assist in helping you brainstorm show topics and making decisions in the show’s direction. They’ll also help in sourcing guests and booking interviews.
Recording Your First Episode
Once you are ready to record, you’ll want to ensure you have a well-researched outline for your discussion and a sense of what flow and structure you want. You can either record your show live, or you can record one segment at a time and edit them together.
Whichever method suits you is subjective, and both options can work excellently. If you choose to record your show live, you will want to spend some extra time ensuring that all audio will be captured perfectly in the moment.
Promoting Your Podcast
With your first episode ready, you’ll want to promote your podcast as it launches. AS well as promoting it through your existing audience, some other ways are as follows:
- You can create a landing page with information about the show, the first episode with the option to download it, and links to subscribe.
- You can ask your guests to share the episode with their own audience.
- You can also try to get press coverage for your show. This can be tricky, but if you can get a writer at a reputable publication to write about your podcast, they’ll likely include a link to your show which could boost traffic.
Podcasting is an incredible way to engage your target audience and share your knowledge and expertise with the public. Once you’ve published a few episodes, you will see more people start to listen in. As long as you keep producing excellent content, you can expect to see your audience grow.
You don’t need a large investment or a fancy studio to launch a podcast; you can get started from your laptop using free software. All there’s left to do is create some quality content, and make sure your audience find it.
If you need any help with your marketing strategy, you can reach out here – my team and I will be happy to help.