Starting a podcast: do or don’t?
Isn’t it amazing how podcasts are popping up everywhere? It seems that they’ve become part of the ‘mainstream’ media mix. Don’t have your own podcast yet and feel the FOMO kicking in? Do you ask yourself if podcasting would help you cast your net and capture some of the listeners for your brand? Then read on and find out if podcasting could become your best move.
Why are podcasts booming?
Podcast are far from new. They’ve been around since 2004. The word itself is actually a combination of iPod and broadcast, which were both trendy at the time. In the early days, it was particularly popular with the tech savvy people and as a result very niche. But as life gets busier by the day, we want to make the most of our time. And podcasts offer a great solution for our multitasking mindset. We can listen to a podcast and cook up a dinner at the same time. Or we can spend our daily commuting trip sharpening our knowledge about certain themes. They offer a great alternative for music, with the added benefit of being educated or inspired.
Thanks to Spotify and Apple, podcasts are easier to consume than ever. When you buy a new iPhone, the ‘Apple Podcasts’ app is pre-installed. Spotify also moved its podcast section to the top of the search segment on the app.
Interesting marketing podcasts:
Yes, get on the job!
Creating your own podcast is a great way to attract some of the listeners and get them engaged with your brand. Simply introduce that podcast as an extra channel in your marketing mix.
It’s also a great way to give your brand a human voice. You can see your podcast as one long advertisement, but one people choose to listen to voluntarily. So what exactly should that voice tell them? There are many directions you can take your podcast in:
- Go behind the scenes
People could be interested in the way your product or service came to be. Talk about its history or the ups and downs you encountered during its creation. It gives the listeners a look inside, so they relate better to your brand.
- Invite other people over
Have a conversation/interview with someone who is close with your brand. This can broaden the subject and give the listeners a different point of view on your brand.
- Give advice / inspire
This format is a great way to show your expertise in your field or specialty.
Don’t start from scratch. Often the content you need to create your podcast is already there! If you have a blog on which you engage with your audience, why not convert some of the blogposts into a podcast episode?
It works both ways. The content of the podcasts you create can be distributed on your other channels as well. Take the key elements of your conversation and turn them into a separate blogpost. Or film the whole episode and post it to your YouTube channel. And be sure to link them all together. If people like the stuff you share, they will stick around and search for more.
Ermm, hold your horses! Before you get started…
You guessed it: creating a podcast isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Coming up with a great concept that really attracts people’s attention can be a lot of work. It will take time, money and effort. There’s no way around that.
You need to write the storyline that will serve as a guide during your talk. Sure, you can convert blogposts into topics for a podcast episode but that alone won’t do the trick. Try and handpick the true benefits for your listeners and use those as a starting point for your conversation.
Getting those basics right isn’t the only thing that matters in the preparation phase. Here are some other important focal points:
To sound professional, you need a high-definition microphone (or two, if you want to do interviews).
- Pick the right place to record
Choose a soundproof room, free from distraction or echo. By doing so, you won’t have to spend too much time on editing the sound quality afterwards.
- Screen layout for your video podcast
This is like the cover of an album. Make it look attractive and inviting. And keep it aligned with your brand guidelines so people can easily recognize it.
The talking itself is maybe the easiest part. After all, you are the expert! Then it‘s time to do some editing: remove any background noise and cut out blanks, add an intro and an outro. In short, make sure it’s a fully-fledged end product and align it with your other communication channels.
And wait… work isn’t done after you published the finalised episode. You still need to let people know that it’s online. Because maybe the biggest drawback in comparison with traditional content marketing channels is that you can’t find the content via Google. Unlike written content that's easily searchable and ranks on a search engine, podcasts do not appear in the initial search engine result pages. Customers won’t stumble upon your podcast when they are looking for a solution or inspiration. So the best way to guide them to your podcast is through channels like your blog or social media.
One final thing…
You can profit from the booming podcast audience without actually creating your own. If the management is still hesitant or the budget isn’t there, you can tiptoe into it by starting with podcast advertising. This works the same way as you would work with an influencer. You pay the host and in exchange they talk about your product or service. This can be anything, from a short mention at the start/end of the episode to a true partnership, that lets you integrate you product or service into the main topic of the podcast. Do keep in mind that, in influencer marketing, it’s important to pick the one that best suits your line of business. In this article, you can read more about making the right choice.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that storytelling is key. There should be a real strategy behind your podcast. If you just talk about your products/services without offering content your audience benefits from, chances are that the listeners won’t return for the next episode. If you are convinced that you can bring that added value for your customer, by all means start a podcast! When you commit to it long-term, your time and effort will be rewarded.