If you want to really connect and engage with your audience and target market, a quality podcast is a fast and cost-effective way to do that. While the process is relatively simple, there are a few important tips to keep in mind. We will take you through the process step by step so that you have a good understanding of how to create killer podcasts that get results.
Done correctly, a podcast is a great way to grow brand awareness and develop relationships with your market. Poorly executed, they will do more harm than good. You have to get it right.
Before you start, it is important to understand the potential and the benefits of podcasts.
Why create podcasts?
A preferred platform
Given the busy lifestyle most people have these days, podcasts are the perfect way to consume information. It has become one of the preferred and most popular platforms. Often we do not have time to read or even watch videos but we can listen to podcasts while we travel to work, exercise at the gym, work or do a range of other activities. It is a passive medium that allows you to listen and engage while still doing other things.
More attentive audience
As discussed, people simply do not have the time or attention span to read long blog posts or watch videos. Most can, however, listen to podcasts, even if they are long. You can get your message across in more detail and with more attention from the audience than you would with other media. This will give you a greater opportunity to get your message across.
The very nature of the spoken word on a podcast provides greater intimacy and engagement. This is an important goal for any online or digital marketing efforts. You can often create a loyal following and a strong brand faster with good podcasts than with videos or blogs.
With more than 2 Million blogs posted daily, you know a blog post will have great competition. There only around 2,000,000 active podcasts so it offers a greater opportunity to beat the competition for attention and audience thereby giving you greater exposure.
Podcasts give you greater access to influencers
We all understand the power of strong influencers in online or social media marketing. Podcasts offer an excellent way to reach them and engage with them. Getting a good influencer on your side will be a huge asset to your online presence.
Improve your speaking and communication skills
It is often said that public speaking is one of the biggest fears many people have. This is often quite true. Podcasts allow you to practice and perfect your delivery in “private” unless it is a live podcast. Either way, it will be easier than standing on a stage in front of a live audience. Podcasts can help you improve your confidence and skills. This way, when you do have to speak at a live event your delivery will better for the podcasting experience.
If you fear speaking in public this is the perfect way to overcome that fear. If you fear speaking into a microphone to create a podcast, just practice and practice some more. You will soon grow in confidence.
Freedom to grow your audience
Another downside to live events is that you need to book a venue, go there and do the delivery. Those attending need to take time out of their schedules and make the effort to get there too. Podcasts do not have these restrictions and can be enjoyed almost anywhere at a time convenient to the listener.
Steps to create a killer podcast
There are a number of important steps and considerations when making a podcast:
It all starts with an idea
Once you have decided that podcasts are a good idea you need to have a clear goal in mind. That starting point will help you create and develop the idea and give the content direction. Mind maps are a good way to do this. Be clear on your objectives and desired outcomes.
Learn a bit about podcasting
Let’s be honest, there are some really amazing podcasts out there and many that are not so good. Listen to quite a few, good and bad to decide on the best approach and what works. Keep your target audience in mind when doing this. You do not want to be too simple nor to technical for your typical listener.
Do some research into your niche
Look at the existing podcasts in your niche. Decide what you have to offer that is different and unique. Look at the demand for podcasts in your niche. While many podcasts mean greater competition it is also an indicator of good demand.
Decide on the theme and format
Although your content will vary you want to create a podcast brand personality. It helps to do some initial planning on the theme, format, duration and the title. This will allow you to develop consistently. Your style and format will evolve as you get more into it but start with some planning.
Define your niche
Be very clear on your niche. This follows on from the above points and works in line with your goals. You can’t be all things to all people so look for a relatively narrow niche and focus in on it.
Get decent equipment and software
While some great podcasts have been created on a mobile phone, these are the exception. It is a good idea to invest in decent recording equipment and editing software. That is not to say you need to spend a fortune. If you shop around you can get quality equipment at reasonable prices. Do a bit of research to determine the best option in your budget. The most important aspect is the microphone so consider investing a bit there.
There is free software available that will do the trick if you are just getting started and do not have a large budget. Audacity is a good example.
Test and check equipment
You want to become familiar with the equipment and software before you begin. You don’t want to create the entire podcast and discover that the sound is bad or it did not record at all. Experiment with different volumes and microphone positions to see what works best.
Get a feel for it so you are comfortable and confident with the equipment. This will allow you to relax and deliver a great podcast without having to worry about any technical issues.
Plan and practice
Create an outline (or even a script if you need it) and practice. Go through it a few times out loud to get a feel for it. Ensure there is good flow from one point or section to the next. Also, be mindful of your pace and voice tone when doing this. You don’t want to be too fast nor too slow and you don’t want to have a monotone sound.
Record the podcast
You need a quiet comfortable area to record. Record the podcast using the software in a firm clear voice. Make sure you save it when complete.
You will probably want to edit out certain parts after listening to the podcast. There could be a number of reasons for this such as an outside noise, a cough, bad language or a section or two that might be repetitive or irrelevant. Just as with proofreading a written blog post, go over the podcast line by line to edit where necessary. The software also allows you to tweak the voice if you feel this is needed.
Create metadata for the podcast
You want people to be able to find your podcast and listen to it so this is important. These are the essential elements:
- Give the podcast a title and an episode number
- Name the presenters/hosts and mention any guests
- Add the date
- Define the genre or niche
- Do a summary of the content
- Copyright the podcast (software dependent)
- Add the URL
- Add the cover art
This gives the podcast structure and credibility and will improve the search engine optimizations (SEO) of the work.
Good music can create a powerful mood for your podcast and make it more pleasant to listen to. You cannot simply use your favorite song as most music is copyrighted. If you are creative you can create your own or get someone else to do that for you.
Another option is one of the many free quality music sites online. They will give you a number of choices of royalty free music to use. Take the time to find one that fits with the mood and feel of the podcast.
Consider creating chapters
As much as people have more time to listen to podcasts, many still like to skip to important or relevant sections. You have the option to create chapters to allow listeners to do this. This is probably more important for longer or technical podcasts.
Upload the podcast
Once you are happy with the edits and the final production you can upload the podcast. You can use your own social media and internet properties as well as a number of podcast directory sites such as TuneIn, SoundCloud, Podomatic, Lisbyn, and iTunes. iTunes can take a bit of time and be tricky at first but there are clear instructions available online.
Market your podcast
If your podcasts are good you will get organic growth over time but as you would with a quality blog or other online content, you need to drive it and market it.
Ensure your metadata is complete and that you have a catchy title and cover art. These two things are critical as they make your podcast cat the views eye and give your podcast a better chance of getting attention.
As stated above there are a number of directories for podcasts. Do a bit of homework and try to list on as many as possible. Uploading is fast and easy, normally through a simple RSS feed.
Use all of your existing digital marketing tools to promote visibility of your podcast. Post it on all your social media accounts and your website and also send out notifications to your email database.
Encourage feedback and reviews to boost your podcast.
Become active on communities related to your niche. Many will allow you to mention or share your podcast.
Tips for creating great podcasts
There are very few hard and fast rules with digital marketing and podcasts are no different. Research and analysis do give us a few guidelines and tips. Much will depend on your target audience and your niche. Time and the availability of quality content is also a factor.
Here are a few tips:
Although hotly debated, once a week is generally the ideal frequency for a podcast. Twice a week is the second most successful frequency provided the content is fresh and interesting.
It is also preferable to have a regular rhythm and frequency. In other words, try to post your podcasts the same day each week at roughly the same time.
Day of the Week
This is not as critical as other factors but Tuesday appears to have the highest success rate.
Research shows us that 18 to 22 minutes is the ideal time. This allows you to get your message across without losing the listeners attention.
Podcasts offer a number of unique advantages and they are growing in popularity. They are an important aspect of your online presence that should not be ignored.
The sooner you start, the sooner you can become a superstar. Leading podcasts get amazing visibility and exposure but they have generally honed their skills over time. Once you have the basics down it is fairly simple to create a good podcast. The more you do them, the greater your confidence and execution will be and results will improve.
Get going as soon as you can.