Follow these tips for a podcast that will engage and grow your audience
Every savvy marketer knows that content is essential to a strong brand: It keeps current customers engaged, snares new ones, boosts SEO, and more.
However, fewer marketers capitalize on the range of content options out there. Blog posts, op-eds, photos, and video are all essential ingredients to an impactful content plan. But there’s one important ingredient missing from that list: podcasts.
Podcasts have become a dominate form of media in recent years. “Two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts at least once in a while, including 23% who do so a few times a week,” reports CBS News. The type of people who are listening is expanding, too: “Listeners over age 55, who were slower to adopt podcasts, are finally catching up,” says the New York Times.
The popularity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Podcasts are the easiest type of content to consume: You can listen while at work, at the gym, walking the dog, or washing dishes. “One reason podcasts are so popular is that the format is uniquely situation to fit into our busy lives,” Forbes writes.
For these reasons, brands can reap the rewards of investing in their own podcasts. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s as easy as pressing “record” on your smart phone, though. Podcast competition is fierce, and listeners have come to expect a certain quality. A low-fidelity, and rambling conversation just won’t cut it. Below, find four tips for creating a podcast worth listening to:
Tip 1: Plan Ahead
Just like a solid blogging or social media strategy, a podcast needs a comprehensive editorial plan. What topics will you be covering, when, and why? If listeners perceive that you’re making it up as you go along, they’ll tune out. “Think about your expertise and audience, and what topics you could cover on an ongoing basis,” advises Constant Contact. For example: Are you in the consumer-facing healthcare industry? Plan episodes that address health insurance myths, or little-known wellness tips. Timing matters, too: Are you in the retail business? In the winter, plan episodes around holiday shopping and December deals.
Tip 2: Take Production Seriously
Again, podcasting isn’t as simple as just pressing “record.” But, you don’t need a degree in audio engineering to pull it off, either. There’s an abundance of free and cheap tools out there to make even the most novice podcaster sound professional. Invest in a good microphone; the article “21 of the Best USB Microphones for Podcasts (That Won’t Break the Bank)” can get you started. Also, learn what the best apps are for recording; the website Make Use Of has a list titled “7 Android Apps for Recording Your Own Podcasts Anywhere.” And, depending on the scale of what you’re looking to accomplish, a production partner can be a valuable resource, too.
Tip 3: Invite Guests
No one is an expert on everything. For that reason, bring in guests to share their expertise and opinion on the topic of the week or month. If you’re that healthcare business, invite a local doctor to discuss seasonal allergies. If you’re that retail business, invite an economics professor from the local university. Indeed, some of the most popular podcasts around — like the New York Times’ “The Daily” — are built around the guests that appear on the show. What’s more: That guest will likely encourage their audiences to tune in, so you’ll be reaching new ears.
Tip 4: Create Sister Content
If you’re investing time and money in your podcast, it shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. Each episode should have a blog post summarizing the key points and enticing readers to listen to the full piece. Share each new episode on your Facebook page, LinkedIn page, and Twitter account. And snap a photo with each of your guests for your Instagram.
Launching a quality podcast is no easy feat, but it’s possible for even small- and mid-sized businesses. If you’re eager to get started, heed the tips above. Also, take a moment to listen to the podcasts by brands and entertainers you like most — you’ll pick up even more tips and inspiration for starting your own.