Podcasts are becoming more and more prominent with every passing day, and it’s easy to see why their popularity is on the rise for both creators (aka podcasters) and listeners alike. Podcasting is entirely unrestricted, allowing freedoms that don’t exist in the TV, radio and print worlds. They enable brands the flexibility to produce content that at its best makes unique, fascinating experiences that resonate and engage their audiences like no other. What kind of engagement, you ask? Well, as podcasts are listened to “on-demand”, people can and do listen to their favourite shows anywhere (car, plane, beach, park, gym) and doing anything (running, washing up, working, commuting).
Simply put, if you make a podcast that connects with your listeners, you will have unparalleled access to them. Research showed over half of podcast listeners are more likely to buy or engage with a brand after hearing an advert on a podcast. Adverts are typically 30-45 seconds long. Imagine the uptick if the company or client made the whole podcast?
Okay, so now I’ve explained why you would want to produce a podcast for your brand. What are the top things you should consider?
- Define your ideal listener and hone in on that niche!
It’s easy to say, “our podcast is for everyone”, but doing so makes it so much harder to promote and attract listeners. If you can work out your ideal listener and understand them, it helps set the bar for everything and makes the next steps that much easier. Think of ways to speak to them directly – but running services competitions and discounts exclusively for your listeners.
- Understand the main goal for your podcast
Are you looking to add personality to your brand? Are you looking to up your content marketing game? Are you looking to provide insight to potential clients or critical fans? Are you looking to improve your brand awareness? Again understanding this helps to set the stall out for how the podcast.
- Build a format that works to your brand’s strengths
Do you want to do an interview podcast or an audio drama? Or somewhere in-between? Do you want to have a celebrity host to voice your or is there someone in your team that would be great for the role? It might be worth producing a few pilots and testing out what you think before releasing the first one to the public!
- The best podcasts make it look easy but take more effort than you think!
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to put each episode together. Consider working with seasoned podcast producers and editors. If you can, it will pay dividends in the quality of the end product and your sanity! Make sure to budget appropriately for an excellent team to help you with everything from podcast art and submitting to Apple to guest booking and weekly editing and publishing.
- There may be more effort than you think, but content from your podcast can be repurposed – so you could be “killing many birds with one stone”!
Each episode can be repurposed in many different ways (blog posts, social, white papers etc.), and the content that each episode produces could be the catalyst for more of your content marketing strategy
- Get the right equipment AND learn how to use it.
Good sound is essential, and your listeners will thank you for it, but you don’t need to break the bank with the equipment. A cheaper microphone used correctly will sound much better than an expensive microphone that hasn’t been set up correctly.
- Promote your podcast through existing channels
Promote the episodes through your social channels, newsletters, magazines etc. If you have guests or well-known hosts, you could also leverage their channels to amplify the podcast. If you do use famous hosts, make sure you include this as part of their SLA.
- Record a bunch of shows before you even release the first episode
It’s never fun working to the wire, and with podcasting, you don’t have to. If you can, try to have a few episodes in the bank so that you aren’t always scrambling to put these together at the last minute. These will ensure that the show’s quality is as high as it can be as each episode won’t be rushed together. Consider releasing more than one episode on the first day as more people are like to subscribe to the show if they can hear a couple of episodes on the first day of release. Not to mention this will likely help with your iTunes chart rankings
- Work out a schedule and stick to that!
Being consistent with your release schedule is vital for both production and your listeners. It’s okay if you want to release every week, every other week, or even once a month. Just be clear from the outset with your core episodes. If you have more content, you can always throw in a bonus.
- Make sure you have fun
Podcasting should be fun! If you feel that you are fighting against all the odds to get each episode out there and it’s a real struggle, it’s a sign that something isn’t quite right. Maybe look to change the podcast’s format or bring in help for the parts that you are struggling with. Editing, for example, can be time-consuming. This might a place where you can get assistance.
- Consider bringing your ideal client onto your podcast
People love guesting on podcasts! It’s a great way to reach out to them. You can be sure to get their attention, and you will undoubtedly be on their radar after this.
- Create a trailer, and make sure you submit it to Apple podcasts at least two weeks ahead of your first episode going live
Apple has to approve every podcast that goes into its directory, and it’s essential to be there as they are by far the source of the most significant number of podcast listens across the globe. If you have your heart set on a release date, make sure to schedule a short trailer two weeks before. This only needs to be less than 60 seconds, and Apple will use it to approve your show. The bonus is that you can start to promote and publicise to your listeners once it’s approved.
- Don’t think about the number of downloads to be your primary measure of success
Many podcasts with a small listenership have gone on to generate significant revenue for a company or brand. What is most important is engagement and being able to attribute your podcast efforts to your goals.
- Do you get buy-in from your team
As stated before, podcasts can take a lot of effort. Make sure that key people in your company and team are bought into it. You may need their help along the way.
- Listen to podcasts
Lots of them! Find out what you like and don’t like. Think about everything from the soundscape to the voices, the artwork and the format for each show. You can emulate the parts you want and make sure you don’t include the details you don’t like. This will help you to shape how your show will sound and is really fun.
Kobi is a passionate podcaster and has been teaching the podcasting masterclasses with The CMA for several years. Kobi founded the podcast network Stripped Media, which produces content for companies ranging from the BBC to Spotify and for brands as diverse as the British Standards Institution (BSI), Picturehouse Cinemas and startups such as Zwift. If you want help starting your podcast, please email Kobi on [email protected] and quote “CMA Podcast enquiry” in the subject heading for a free, no strings attached consultation. White-label options are available for agencies that wish to produce podcasts for their clients