What do you have to say that isn’t already covered in one of the 750,000 podcasts currently available?
With mainstream platforms such as Global, Spotify and Apple Podcasts (amongst others) making it even easier for listeners to access podcasts, if you want to start your own, your first consideration should be how your podcast can stand out from the crowd or offer the listener something different.
Podcasts – a series of episodic audio files that the listener can subscribe to and download – continue to grow in popularity. They’re often short, and provide chunks of information and/or entertainment that is quickly accessible and appealing to a generation who are short on time and hungry to learn.
In business, many hosts use a podcast to position themselves as an expert in their chosen field. Being able to speak clearly and with a strong narrative strand will instantly make you an authority on your subject, backed up in the proof of the podcast itself. So the format in which you choose to develop your podcast in is incredibly important.
Many hosts choose to opt for an interview style, in which they discuss a topic with a guest. The advantage to this is that the content is always different, and each guest brings their own listener base – which is why you often see podcasters guesting on each other’s podcasts, to try and grow their subscriber numbers.
And whilst all you technically need to launch a podcast is a microphone, a recording device and some editing software (in theory, your smartphone could do the job), you may want a business-based podcast to sound more professional, so it is worth investing in a decent microphone at the very least.
You will also need to bear in mind that podcasts thrive on consistency, and so cannot be made sporadically when you have the time or something to promote. Once every couple of months isn’t going to cut it with today’s listener! You need to commit to a regular pattern of production in order to encourage listeners to build loyalty and subscribe.
Finally, once you’ve got all of that into place, produced and uploaded a few episodes to your chosen hosting service, it’s time to start marketing your podcast. Your listener base is most likely to grow via word of mouth, supported by social media, and then the use of any advertising platforms you already have in place (such as your business’ website or added to its existing adverts, for example). You could also consider adding a link to it on your email signature, or add the information to your next email newsletter to your customers. This is an important factor – few podcasts grow in popularity by themselves, you need to give it a helping hand.
Hard work, right? But when done well, completely worth it.