Everything you need to know about starting a podcast that integrates into your content marketing strategy and speaks volumes about your brand.

Content marketing comes in many forms – from print, blogs and webinars to social media and SEO.

But what about podcasting? Love it or loathe it, audio marketing is here for the long run. Podcasting is no longer an enjoyable hobby for budding DJs and creatives who love the sound of their own voices.

Nowadays, it’s a viable form of content attracting over 15 million listeners in the UK.

The question is, does starting a podcast make sense for your content marketing strategy? And if so, how do you make it a roaring success?

How podcasts can help businesses

Everyone has a voice. Podcasting gives you another way of reaching your target audience and ensuring your voice is heard. It offers an alternative way of sharing content and addressing important topics.

Like a good boxset on TV, if you can get the content right, you’ll have people hooked.

Still not convinced? Then have a read through these top benefits of podcasting.

Benefits of podcasting

Connect on a personal note

Authenticity and building personal connections are two of the most powerful ingredients to content marketing success.

Ever feel like you know a radio DJ despite never meeting them in your life? Well, the same principle applies to podcasting.

You can write a brilliant blog, but you can’t build a true connection through a comment, like or share. It’s also hard to express yourself through the written word. But when you make a podcast, listeners will get to know you as a person, as well as your traits and your values.

The result? They’ll trust you and feel more inclined to use your services when they need them.

Break down barriers

Reading content isn’t always doable or enjoyable on the go. The good thing about podcasting is listeners can access it whenever they want. Download it for later. Replay it as much as they want.

There are no limits to podcasts. Listeners can tune in at work, on their commute and during exercise.

From a mental aspect, it allows your target audience to escape their bright screens for 20 minutes.

Interestingly, according to Vision Direct, British adults spend an average of 34 years of their lives staring at screens. So, your podcast could be the perfect antidote.

It’s an easier (and less daunting) alternative to video marketing

Video marketing is hugely important, but it isn’t always feasible or manageable. A key benefit of podcasting is that it’s relatively easy to get started and you don’t have to be an editing whiz to create something professional.

Invest in the right podcast equipment and you’ll be able to produce quality results in no time.

You also need to think about your employees and potential podcast guests. Not everyone is going to feel comfortable sitting in front of a camera, as it can feel very intrusive.

Podcasting allows you to create both video and audio-only versions. So, you can keep the camera switched off until everyone feels more confident.

It’s an easier (and less daunting) alternative to video marketing

Like any type of content marketing, podcasting can offer your business a unique way of increasing website traffic and conversions.

Providing you consider the important things before starting a podcast and continue to deliver new audio content regularly, you’ll start to build brand affinity.

By building this emotional connection between your brand and your target audience, you’ll develop excitement. More listeners will lead to more comments. More comments will lead to more subscribers. And more subscribers will lead to more business.

Ideally, you need to be publishing one 15-25-minute podcast once every two weeks.

Podcasts feed content creation

One of the biggest benefits of starting your own podcast series is the positive impact it can have on your overall content marketing strategy.

The beauty of podcasting is its ability to be dissected and utilised in other forms of content.

As you record more podcasts, you’ll soon realise what topics are gaining traction. You can then turn these hot topics into social posts, blogs, video content, white papers and webinars.

Or in some cases, it might be the other way around. It only takes a quick look at Google Analytics to see what pages and blogs are generating consistent traffic. Why not make these topics into in-depth podcasts?

Is starting a podcast worth it?

The benefits of starting a podcast are palpable. Yet, that doesn’t mean it’s the right move for your business. Before you take the plunge, ask yourself the following questions:

#1 Do you have the time to create a quality end product?

In theory, starting a podcast is relatively cheap when you know what equipment to buy. But like most content marketing, the biggest expense comes in the form of time. How long will it take you to think of ideas, do the visuals and edit the content? Be realistic.

If you have the budget to cover the extra hours, go for it. The benefits of producing a high-quality podcast are huge.

#2 Can you afford to play the long game?

Starting a podcast can be a slow burner. If you’re looking for quick wins or ways to support seasonal campaigns, podcasting might not be the best solution.

It takes time to build an audience and a passion to learn and adapt as you go. You need to listen to what your audience wants and analyse the data. Better content comes from smarter insights. It’s a simple case of whether you’re willing to play the long game. If you are, the return on investment could be huge.

#3 Do you know your audience and what you want to achieve?

Any successful content marketing strategy requires a clear plan and purpose. If you start a podcast without analysing who your target audience is and what they want to hear, your content won’t land.

Similarly, it’s vital to understand what your goals are. Don’t start a podcast for the sake of it. The best business podcasts are entwined with a wider content marketing strategy. Everything should work in tandem and work towards one common goal.

Again, this takes time to develop. However, if you’re willing to put the effort in and do it right, there’s no reason why you can’t become the king or queen of the airwaves.

“Whatever you do big or small, do it well or don’t do it at all.”

Chuck Brown

How do you go about starting a podcast?

Finding your podcast niche

With over 850,000 active podcasts, choice isn’t a problem for listeners. Unfortunately for you, that places a bit of added pressure on getting things right.

One of the biggest tips for starting a podcast is to think long and hard about your niche. The key is to find a way of cutting through the noise and making sure your voice is heard.

Here are a few ideas to help find your podcast niche.

Think outside the box

Can you think of a common problem in your industry that doesn’t get the coverage it should? If you have a customer service team, speak to them. These amazing people are at the frontline of your business and speak to customers every day. See if they can pull together a list of FAQs that needs answering.

Get creative with the format

Idea creation isn’t always easy. Instead, you could always play around with the format. Break the mould of a regular podcast by creating a themed structure or doing shorter/longer episodes.

Try a different tone

If your industry is renowned for being dry, adding a lighter touch can set you apart from the rest. Place your work shoes aside for a moment and put on your slippers. This is your opportunity to be your authentic self and inject some personality into uninspiring subjects.

Dare to be Marmite

Strong opinions will always generate engagement. Some will agree, some won’t. If you’re working in an industry where contradicting opinions are the norm, this could be the podcast niche for you. Just be sure to be considerate and always open to debate.

Best podcast hosting software

After deciding on your niche and your content, it’s time to think about the technicalities.

When it comes to hosting your podcast, you have two options:

A

Store it on your own website server

B

Use podcast hosting software

The problem with using your own website server is the quality, speed and storage. It only takes one or two episodes and your website will start running at a snail’s pace. As a result, this will not only frustrate visitors, but it’ll impact your search ranking too.

The best podcast hosting software benefits from inbuilt servers capable of hosting large audio files and maintaining crystal clear sound quality. You can then embed them onto your site without compromising site speed.

Many leading podcast hosting software comes with analytics too. So, you can seamlessly track how long your audience listened for, where they’re from and what type of devices they’re using to tune in. Gathering this kind of data will allow you to tailor future episodes to suit your audience.

Many leading podcast hosting software comes with analytics too. So, you can seamlessly track how long your audience listened for, where they’re from and what type of devices they’re using to tune in. Gathering this kind of data will allow you to tailor future episodes to suit your audience.

As for podcast hosting software, here are a few popular options to explore:

How to promote your podcast

Determining the success of your podcast depends on how you choose to promote and distribute it. Great content doesn’t guarantee mega hits, further business opportunities and thousands of subscribers.

Remember Ask Jeeves? This funky search engine with a charming cartoon butler called Jeeves answered the world’s most pressing questions long before Google appeared on the scene. Yet, Jeeves didn’t stand the test of time.

In other words, it doesn’t matter how innovative or ground-breaking your podcast is – if you can’t get it in front of the right people at the right time, you’ll quickly become the Ask Jeeves of the podcasting scene.

Ways to promote your podcast

Submit every episode to podcast aggregators and directories

Once you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, you need to submit it to all the big podcast aggregators and directories. Some of the most popular examples include:

Invite podcast guests

A quick and easy way to get more people listening to your podcast is to invite guests to feature on an episode. Not only do they add a different voice and view to your show, but they have the power to promote it to all their followers.

If you can get a guest who generates higher engagement rates on social media, you can use their influence to introduce your content to a completely new audience.

A good example of a guest could be a current or past customer. They’ve experienced common pain points in their industry and you’ve helped them solve them through your service or product.

It’s also worth looking into dedicated podcast groups on social media like Podcast Movement on Facebook and Podcast Guest Exchange on LinkedIn.

Use podcasting in your content marketing strategy

The best way to promote your podcast is to implement it into your content marketing strategy. As we mentioned earlier, this form of content can fuel multiple campaigns and maximise traffic across all channels.

It only takes one hit podcast episode to understand what your target audience wants. You can then repurpose this content into blogs and social media posts or expand on the key points to create an industry-leading piece of gated content.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) and podcasts work hand in hand too. Although Google can’t listen to your podcast, it will look at your titles and meta information. So, make sure you do some keyword research and include all the search terms your target audience will be looking for.

Answerthepublic.com is a top SEO tool for picking up long-tail keywords. Perhaps there might be some correlation between your findings and your customer service team’s list of FAQs.

A useful way to improve the visibility of your website and podcast is to include the episode transcripts under the podcast clip. This trick is an ideal way of including further keywords and maximising your chances of generating organic traffic.

Gaining more ratings and reviews is worth pushing too, as it helps potential listeners find you online and reassures them that your podcast is a quality source of audio wisdom.

Measuring podcast success

When it comes to measuring podcast success, it all depends on your initial content marketing goals. If you’re starting a podcast as a tool to build brand awareness, that’s fine. In which case, your measurement of podcast success will be based on the number of listeners and engagement each episode generates.

However, if the end goal is solely about lead generation, you may want to dig a little deeper into the marketing metrics.

Google Analytics will give you a complete overview of how to track a listener’s journey – from where they came from (the source) right through to their final action on your website.

By integrating podcasting into your content marketing strategy, you can add a fresh source of leads into your marketing funnel.

By integrating podcasting into your content marketing strategy, you can add a fresh source of leads into your marketing funnel.

The first step will be generating subscribers. Once you have them hooked, you can create an email sequence to nurture them and convert them into paying customers.

For the listeners who don’t subscribe, think about including enticing links to other pieces of content around your website on the podcast host page. Your measurement of success will then be based on how your podcast is improving website engagement and bounce rates.

Conclusion

The potential success of starting a podcast is only limited by time, budget and imagination. If you can find the right niche and follow these points, the benefits of podcasting as a content marketing channel are extraordinary.

  • It offers a unique way to help you differentiate yourself from your competitors.
  • You can inject personality and authenticity into your brand.
  • You’ll be able to mix up your content marketing strategy and breathe life into old evergreen content.
  • You’ll attract a new and engaged audience.

To many, starting a podcast is a daunting task. But with a bit of careful planning at the start, making it a success is very achievable.