Podcasting has become increasingly popular recently, as the medium transitioned from a casual side-of-the-desk project to a central part of the world’s audio market. As one of the best ways to reach a global audience, create an intimate connection with listeners and develop on-demand content, podcasting has become a valuable tactic in any brand’s communication toolkit.
Fatima Zaidi, CEO and Co-Founder of Quill, has a philosophy on podcasting. “Just like you had a phone number for your business in the 1980s, a website in the 1990s and social media in the 2000s, I predict that every brand will either have their own podcast or advertise on one in the next five to ten years,” she explains in a recent interview.
But are there too many podcasts out there? Are would-be listeners paralyzed by choice? With over 4,000 shows popping up every week and 900,000 active podcasts today, that’s likely to be true. But just like other forms of mass advertising, podcasters need to find a way to stand out.
There is, after all, a certain magic to the impact podcasting can have on your audience. Consider these numbers: 13 million Canadians have listened to a podcast in the last year and of them, 27% are monthly listeners. What’s more, 95% of listeners who start a show will listen to the entire podcast.
And according to a recent study from the BBC, podcasting generates an 89% increase in brand awareness, 57% in brand consideration, 24% in brand favorability and 14% in purchasing intent. Those are numbers that suggest a podcast is worth the effort.
Zaidi offers four tips to create a podcast that breaks through the noise and captures the attention of your audience.
1. Access available resources
If you’re a start-up or small business considering a DIY approach to podcasting, it’s worth doing your research to determine what you need to get started. Quill’s online Resource Center offers podcasting best practices, advice for creating a home podcast studio, tips for launching on a budget and more.
There are also podcasting courses available at various colleges and universities across the country through continuing education curriculums.
2. Research and work with experts
If you’re looking to monetize your show, bring on sponsors and take a serious crack at podcasting, it’s worth working with podcast experts to create a professional production that has legs for the long-term. Consider the various layers of podcasting – from writing scripts to finding guests, creating cover art, recording, editing, mixing, music licensing and marketing. That’s a lot of heavy lifting to do on your own. Whether you work with a full-service agency or choose freelancers to fill some skills gaps, a team of podcasting experts can help you take your podcast to the next level.
“Many podcasters will launch with a great idea but get overwhelmed with the technical aspects,” says Zaidi. “That’s why there is such a high number of inactive shows. You want to build a sustainable infrastructure so you can continue creating great content.” And do to that, you’ll likely need some experts in your corner.
3. Use the right tools
If you’re taking on the production side of podcasting on your own, be sure to use the right recording software. “Zoom is not podcasting software – it’s a video conferencing platform,” advises Zaidi, who recommends Zencastr, Squadcast or Anchor as recording and editing platforms. “Don’t take shortcuts when it comes to your production quality,” she cautions.
4. Figure out your goals
Ultimately the path you take with your podcast depends on what your goals are. Is your podcast going to be a side hobby, or a professional production that is meant to drive customer engagement and brand loyalty? Know why you’re starting a show, what your objectives are and what success looks like. It’s then that you can put a plan in place to create the podcast that aligns to the goals of your business.
Should I just advertise on a podcast instead?
Many businesses choose to sponsor or advertise on podcasts versus creating their own, which enables them to reach an audience of listeners without the work involved in creating a show. Is this the right move for you?
Again, it depends on your goals. While advertising on podcasts may generate high conversion rates, it isn’t going to help you create a brand story or genuine connection with followers. So, if your goal is simply conversion, then this may be the route to take. If it’s to tell your story, connect intimately with listeners and convert them organically, it may be worth investing those advertising dollars to create your own branded show.
Make the most of your podcast
Should you go the podcasting route, be sure to get the best bang for your buck. You can convert podcasts into many different types of content, including social media posts, audio grams, blog content, YouTube videos and more. In doing so, you’re stretching not only the content you’ve developed, but your marketing dollars too.
When it comes to podcasting, there is a low barrier to entry, but it takes some time and effort to do it well and keep a show going with positive momentum. Understanding your goals, taking stock of your resources and creating a unique, differentiated story to share can help you enter the podcasting world with the best chances of long-term success.
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