If you want to make your business more visible, then you should consider starting a podcast. After all, 51% of the US population listens to podcasts. Its popularity is undeniable, with the presence of 30 million episodes and 750,000 channels to date.
If you’re looking to tap on the popularity and benefits of a podcast, then here are some tips on how you could start one for your business.
Why Should You Have a Podcast?
With the following benefits, podcasts can help your business scale to better heights.
1. Podcasts help you reach more clients.
As mentioned, more than half the US population tunes into podcasts. Then there are millions of other listeners from various parts of the globe. If you want to widen your reach and acquire more customers, then starting a podcast is one of the best ways to do so.
2. Podcasts make you more credible.
Podcasts can give you better authority over similar businesses. The expertise and tips you share are sure to put you ahead of the pack. Needless to say, this authority that you generate can make your brand more attractive to patrons.
3. Podcasts can help build brand loyalty.
With a podcast, you can promote your business in the most strategic way. You can make it your own, even if you follow a certain script. Your voice alone can make the brand seem more personal and more endearing to the listeners.
While podcasts are beneficial for acquiring new clients, it allows you to retain the existing ones as well. As long as you remaining consistent with your topics and episode releases, you can foster loyalty and a bigger client base.
4. Podcasts are more comprehensive.
What’s great about podcasts is that they’re not bound by time. You can make an episode short or long – depending on how exhaustive you wish it to be. As such, it can help you promote your business more comprehensively. For example, you can provide a behind-the-scenes episode that you don’t have to finish in such a rush.
5. Podcasts are portable.
Since podcasts are often made for mobile use, it allows you to promote your brand more efficiently. That’s because podcasts can be played wherever the user may be. It doesn’t matter what the listener is doing, as he or she can easily listen to your episode as he or she cooks a dish or washes the dishes. This portability allows you to establish a personal reach that can boost your business.
How To Start a Podcast for your Business
Now that you know why you need one, it’s time to get started!
1. Carve your Category
Like any other marketing tool, you need to choose the right niche or category for your podcast. Of course, it’s best to have one that’s related to your business, while exploring topics that many people find interesting.
It’s best to pick a more specific category, rather than going with something so broad or general. It’s ideal to delve with a niche that is less common since it means that there are lots of consumers who are in search of such content. Once you capture this audience, other listeners are bound to pour in soon.
2. Pick a Name
First impressions last, so you want a catchy title that reflects your niche. You want an easily-recognizable name, so listeners could click on your channel right away.
According to experts, refrain from adding your name to the title. This will only work if your name is recognized by a huge audience.
3. Decide on a Format
There are various types of podcast styles – solo shows, co-hosted shows, and interview shows.
As the name suggests, a solo show involves the speaker communicating directly with the audience. With a co-hosted show, you share the floor with another speaker. As for interview podcasts, you and or your co-presenter get to invite a guest.
Some experts believe that having two hosts can be quite problematic for interview shows. As each presenter adds his or her own flair, the spotlight can be taken away from the guest. Even with this drawback, a two-host interview show could work as long as each presenter knows how to play his or her role.
Depending on what format you choose, the most important thing is to create content that leaves a lasting mark on your listeners.
4. Choose your Style
The best podcasts are usually delivered in an engaging conversational manner. While it’s okay to use a script, most don’t stick to one. After all, it can lead to a dialogue that most listeners find stiff. Worse, it can sound like a boring lecture that could put everyone to sleep.
If you want your business podcast to succeed, you would need to sound genuine. When you talk to your audience, do so as if you’re conversing with a close friend. You’d want to make a personal connection by letting them know certain parts about you. While the content is obviously important, delivering it in a personal, friendly tone will make it even better.
5. Work on the Length
As mentioned, you can take as much time as you want when making a podcast. You could start with a short 5-minute podcast, even make a comprehensive, in-depth 4-hour episode. But generally speaking, the average podcast runs anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes – the time most people take when commuting from work.
What’s great about a podcast is that you have the freedom to choose the length you desire. And when you do so, don’t try to cramp or prolong a conversation just to follow a specific duration.
Remember, as a podcaster, your goal is to connect with your audience. Whether you have a short or long episode, this connection will keep your listeners glued to your seat regardless of the length.
6. Fix the Frequency
If it’s your first time to release a podcast, then you need to be consistent with the frequency of your episodes. As a general rule, it’s best to launch a podcast every week. This will help you gain more listeners – and tap into new ones – both of which are vital to growing your podcast channel.
If you don’t want to cram over creating podcasts, it’s best if you produced a few episodes before you formally launch your channel. This will keep the pressure off your shoulders as you maintain a regular listening routine for your listeners.
7. Prepare Your Equipment
What’s great about a podcast is that you don’t need expensive and sophisticated equipment to record your episode. As long as you have a laptop or PC, audio recording and editing programs, and a good mic, you’re good to go.
If there’s something you need to invest in, it’s a good mic. After all, podcasts largely rely on sound quality.
Should you scrimp on your mic, you may end up producing unclear, inaudible sounds. While your laptop and tablet has a built-in one, it does not work as well as a specialized mic. If you want to keep your audience tuned in, you need to make use of a high-quality USB microphone.
A great thing about microphones is that they’re not that expensive. Some are below $100, while some are more expensive. That being said, you’re sure to find one that will fit your budget.
Don’t forget to purchase a pop filter as well. This will help reduce the smacking and clicking sounds that can resonate on the microphone.
Location is very important when recording a business podcast. You’d want to make your episode in a quiet space that’s free of extraneous noise (think car horns or construction sounds). If you have the money, line your room with sound-absorbing materials. If not, you could always record in your closet!
b. Recording and Editing Programs
If you have an iOS device, then there’s no need for you to download or purchase recording or editing programs. MacBooks and iPads usually come with Garage band, a free professional-quality application that’s very easy to use.
If you don’t have iOS, you need not panic. You can download similar programs such as Adobe Audition or Audacity. The former has a monthly subscription fee while the latter is free.
If you find these programs to be highly technical, you could always try Alitu. This podcast-making program can help you edit, process, and publish your episode with relative ease.
8. Improve your Interview
If you want to create an interview podcast, then you need to put a list of your guests right away. It’s important to schedule their interview right away, so you can get a slot that fits both of your availabilities.
While it’s good to make an in-person interview, you can do is remotely as well. For one, the Skype program can help you record calls excellently. Compared to landlines, the quality of the sound at Skype is usually better.
Apart from investing in good tools, you need to work on your interview skills as well. You’d want to sound friendly and natural while building rapport with your guest.
As an interviewer, you must make sure that the dialogue moves forward. It’s also up to you to keep the conversation within focus. You need to make sure that the interview doesn’t get too boring or out-of-topic. You don’t want to treat your audience to a 30-minute interview that’s nothing but fluff.
Apart from listening well to your guest, you need to call out his/her comments as needed. While this may be intimidating, this will help you maintain your credibility as a podcaster.
9. Work on your Voiceover
Apart from recording your content, you need to have a voiceover ready. You can use this for your podcast intro, which is usually a music-laden voiceover. Even so, it should provide background information about the host, the guest, and the episode.
You also need a voiceover for your outro or the ending credits of your show. This will help you show your gratitude to listeners who listened to your show.
While you can do the voiceover yourself, you can hire a professional voice actor as well.
No matter who does it, it’s important to have the voiceover convey both professionalism and personality. It should be fun and easy to listen to, as it will help make a good impression (especially for the intro). With the right voiceover, you can assure your listeners that they’ve tuned into the right channel.
10. Marvel at the Music
While it’s important to add music to your show, it should fit your brand and your personality. With that being said, make sure to use the right type of tunes. Using copyrighted music without permission will get you banned at Spotify or iTunes.
If you don’t want to suffer this dire fate, then make sure to use ‘free’ music. You can find this easily in creative commons libraries.
If you find free music too generic, you can always sign up for programs that provide royalty-free music. They include Jamendo and Audioblocks, to name a few.
Another thing you could do is to invite a band or musician to your show. This is actually a good X-deal, as you get free music while the artist gets free exposure.
11. Craft your Cover Art
There are specifications you need to follow when making your podcast cover art. It should measure 1400 x 1400 pixels and should come in a JPG or PNG format.
When making your cover art, remember to include your logo and the details that indicate your podcast’s subject. Make use of high-quality images and readable fonts, as the subscriber will just see this as a small picture.
12. It’s All About Hosting
Contrary to popular beliefs, you can’t upload your episode to iTunes right away. You first need to create an account with a media host. This subscription program keeps your audio files while serving as a link between you and the directories (iTunes, Spotify).
It will provide you with an RSS feed/URL that you need to submit to the said platforms. It also provides stats and marketing tools that can use for promotional purposes.
13. Promotion is Key
As mentioned, you need to have a few episodes ready before you launch your program. Once you have this, you can start promoting your podcast to your business contacts. After all, you’d want to establish an audience base before you start.
Don’t forget to ask your listeners to rate your podcast. This will help you gain more visibility in platforms such as Spotify or iTunes.
Starting a business podcast may be cumbersome, but it’s worth it! By following these tips, you can tap into the many marketing possibilities that come only with podcasts.