5 things to know before starting a podcast
A regular podcast can help you build effective relationships with listeners, creating engagement that can extend to other marketing channels.
As well as the opportunity to create a bond with your listeners, we also find ourselves in a sweet spot of time where podcasts are gaining popularity every day but where there is not an overwhelming amount of competition.
Right now, there are around 80 million Facebook business pages, yet there are only 700,000 podcasts airing.
This number shrinks when you search by topics, so there may be only a handful of other podcasts discussing the subjects relevant to your business, with hundreds-to-thousands of listeners. With this low competition, it’s far easier to have your podcast stand out and gain momentum.
But before you’re ready to dive straight into starting your podcast activity, there are a few things you need to know.
Define your podcast niche
When you first announce that you’re starting a podcast, the initial question will be “what is it about?”
As a business, you may assume the obvious answer is the sector you belong to, but usually finding your perfect niche isn’t as simple as that. To pick your niche, you have to decide on a subject where competition is low but there are listeners interested in your content.
The first thing to keep in mind when defining your niche is to keep it relevant to your business. This means you’ll be able to offer a unique insight into the subject with your own knowledge and interest.
Second, you’ll need to pick a topic that you’ll be able to produce enough content on. If your subject is broad, it might mean you have tons of things to discuss on your podcast, but it won’t be niche enough to capture and keep an audience. Competition is also likely to be higher.
Finally, you need to pick a topic that you can narrow down into episodes. A good way to ensure you’ve chosen the right niche is to try to write down as many subtopics as you can. If you can’t think of many then your subject is probably too specific, but if there are lots then your subject might be too broad.
Finding the middle ground where you can create a good amount of niche-specific content is right where you want to be.
Understand your audience
You need to decide your podcast’s purpose. Is it to increase brand awareness? Find more customers or clients? From there it should be easy to outline who you’re aiming your podcast to and why you want to share your knowledge with them.
Once you have decided on your target audience, work on creating personas.
Personas are just individual character profiles that you believe would belong to your target audience. Building these character profiles makes it easier to be sure that the content you create will cater to their needs specifically so they want to listen to it. When creating your target personas, ask yourself:
- Is the listener male or female?
- What age group/generation do they belong to?
- What are their hopes, aspirations and challenges?
- What is their job role?
- What problems do they face that your podcast will address?
Understanding these aspects of your target audience is vital to creating consumable, interesting content that appeals to a specific group of people.
Have the right setup
Sound quality is one of the most important elements of a great podcast. If there is background noise or the voice isn’t completely clear, listeners will leave. So ensure your podcast setup is fit for purpose from the get-go.
While you can technically record a podcast with your computer’s built-in microphone and a headphone set, you might need to up your game if you want to compete with all the other podcast fish in the sea.
Some key ingredients for a good podcast set-up are:
- A computer
- Pop filter
- Boom stand/microphone stand
- Recording software
- A sound-friendly recording location.
Pick your format and hosting style
If you know a thing or two about podcasts (which is definitely recommended before starting your own), you’ll have noted that there is no set format each podcast has to follow. Depending on your business type, the format you choose might be educational, conversational, or interview style.
When you decide what the overall format of your podcast will be, you should choose whether you’ll have one host or multiple hosts.
Although being the sole host of a podcast often makes organisation easier, having multiple hosting personalities can add variety and interest to your episodes. Audience members usually have a favourite host, and each one brings something different to the table.
On the other hand, if you want to do an interview-style podcast it may add a lot to your to-do list, but it can certainly be worth it. You should try to create an interview wish list (the bigger, the better!) then do your best to schedule as many of these as possible. The last thing you need is to be scrambling to find a guest at the last minute so you can keep up with your posting calendar.
Top tip: If you can have your guests market your show, it will help you grow your audience faster. Therefore, you should always ask your guests if they will help you promote the podcast once their episode is live
Create your podcast marketing strategy
Arguably as important as creating an engaging podcast, is the marketing strategy of it. Getting your content out into the world and in front of the right people is key to having it pay off, whether that is building a community or gaining customers.
To do this well, you should create custom graphics for your show: podcast cover art, as well as social media images for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or wherever you choose to promote. You also need to write a catchy, engaging description of your show, that outlines exactly what your niche is. You’ll need this for when you’re sharing your podcast on platforms like iTunes, Apple Podcasts, and Spotify.
Another key aspect of your marketing strategy should be your posting schedule. Consistency is key to growing a fan base. If you choose to upload your episodes weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or as seasons to binge, you need to be sure of this before you launch and stick to it.
There were 48 million weekly podcast listeners in 2018 and this audience is expected to grow to 115 million by mid-2021. Getting into the podcast game now will allow you to beat the crowd and begin developing an audience before the heavier competition sets in.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be well on your way to a great podcast. If you need help with it and you’d like to work with C4B Media to create your content, promote it and grow your audience, we’d love to hear from you!
Get in touch today about starting a podcast for your business.