Starting a podcast can be fun, engaging and lucrative. Depending on your goals, you could be starting a podcast as a fun hobby, a side hustle or for the purpose of this article – for your business right from the get-go.
In this article, we’ll explain how to start a podcast, including the must-dos, the don’ts and how for your business podcast. As with every marketing activity, your business should plan, execute and review the effectiveness of the activity.
What Actually Is A Business Podcast?
A podcast is an audio-only episodic series that features one or more hosts talking about a particular topic. There are podcasts that discuss just about anything you can think of: from current events to true crime to beekeeping. For a business, it typically revolves around them discussing many aspects of their business area and applying their knowledge on industry trends. Although many are audio-only focused, there is a growing trend of including more video versions also that are popular for social media and YouTube promotion.
Reasons To Start a Podcast For Your Business
There are a number of great reasons to start a podcast for your business, the most common of which include:
- You want to build an audience. The most successful podcasts reach millions of listeners. A podcast is a relatively inexpensive way to build a following. Many businesses use this to grow awareness of their brand and promote engagement with their marketing and sales focused teams benefit from the exposure.
- You want to build credibility as an expert in your niche or industry. Thanks to the podcast medium, businesses tend to build up a regular following and have credibility within their niche. Talking about topics very often brings familiarity with your audience.
- You want another stream of revenue or income. Because podcasts are a more intimate medium, they can be a powerful way to sell your product or service to the audience. If you don’t have a specific product or service you’d like to sell, you may eventually be able to monetize your podcast by playing sponsored advertisements and earn money through affiliations with other brands.
- You want to build your network. Through podcasting, you can meet other people who are interested in what you talk about and can help you further your career or business. Reaching out to other industry professionals as possible guests increases your business reach.
- You want to have fun. You can record a podcast purely for your own enjoyment as a business. It’s a great way to engage your team in being creative and focused on developing better communication.
How To Start a Podcast In 4 Simple Steps
If you’re interested in starting a business podcast but don’t know where to begin, completing the following steps will set you up for success and get your business audience growing.
1. Define Your Niche /Topic and develop a plan
Narrowing down a topic or niche is essential so that your business has any chance of growing the audience it desires. Make sure it’s broad enough of a title to interest listeners for a first try. If the target audience is focused, it will help you focus on the content straight away. Remember that podcasts are broken into episodes across a series, so there should be a direct focus topic each time and not simply a free for all.
It would be good for you to assign a team in your business that will help execute the delivery of the podcast. There are some technical elements that need to be considered. Would you have the capacity in-house or would you require a professional podcasting team to produce the episodes?
As with every marketing activity, this needs some research. Pick a topic that’s broad enough that you could reasonably talk about for multiple episodes, seasons, etc., but specific enough to draw in a certain type of person or demographic. Check the podcasting competition and see if the particular niche is sufficiently covered.
Arguably the most important question you’ll need to answer before creating your podcast is: who is this podcast for? Having an ideal listener in mind will help you create content that is both valuable and relevant. Try to nail down basic information about your ideal listener, such as:
- How old are the audiences we are targeting?
- What do they do for work or what are their interests?
- What forms of media do they already consume and is podcasting new for them?
- What problems do they commonly face that this podcast will solve?
- What do they wish they knew more about my niche and our business in particular?
2. Build Your Brand and Sign up to Podcast Platforms
Naming your podcast is a hugely important step. You want your podcast’s name to relate to your subject matter or likeness, as well as be clever or memorable. In addition to a podcast title, you’ll need to spend time creating your branding elements. Branding elements encompass your show’s cover art, colour palette and any custom design or audio work. How close these are aligned to your business is up for debate. If the show is titled too similar to your business name, it could come across as too direct.
Professional graphics and audio intro/outro’s are a must for any corporate podcast. Talk to a graphic designer and an audio specialist about getting these right from the start.
Having a social media profile or website directly related to the podcast will surely help build awareness and will bring professionalism to your offering. These could be similar to your own business also. You should also consider hosting sites specific for podcasts such as ’Anchor’ as they will help you submit your podcast to podcast directories such as Apple, Google Podcasts, Audible and Spotify. If you cannot submit to these platforms, your podcast will not reach the audience levels you need. Most major directories rely on your podcast’s RSS feed to verify its legitimacy and ownership, which is why you’ll need to make sure you have one in place beforehand.
3. Source Recording Equipment and Record your First Show
It’s very likely that you can record audio using the computer or phone you already have. However, for a better, clearer sound, most podcasters recommend investing in a separate podcast microphone and supporting technology. Many online retailers have specific podcasting bundles for a few hundred euros.
There are plenty of simple audio editing software that are suitable for podcast editing. Free software such as Audacity and Garageband are very popular, with premium software such as Adobe Audition very popular.
After a few hours, many people become familiar with the basics of audio editing. You can also outsource this to a freelancer and send them the files online.
Time to start recording your first episode. You can have a script prepared or simply wing it with some general notes prepared. Remember that you can take breaks between sections and edit them together seamlessly(unless you go live too). Podcasting a skill so your first one is unlikely to sound polished.
4. Record and Edit Your First Podcast
Once you’ve nailed down your equipment, you’re ready to record. Some podcasters write scripts beforehand so that they know what to say ahead of time, while others wing it. The choice is up to you.
Even if you write a script, you’ll likely have to take breaks, pause, re-record and/or edit your audio to produce a final, polished version. As with anything else, the more you do it, the better you’ll get. Podcasting is a skill in itself that takes time to get right. Make sure you have some fun and don’t take it too seriously. This is really important when having a group discussion as the podcast medium is really focused on developing characters and relationships over time. Your first episode should aim to introduce yourself and give the audience a feel of what to expect from future episodes.
Once the show is finished and edited, make sure to describe the show with apt titles and a good synopsis in order to reach your potential market. Once it’s up and ready for an audience, you need to make sure it gets an audience. Either start small with basic sharing with contacts or choose to advertise more widely.
Podcasting for Businesses
Remember taking action is hugely important for any business task. With podcasting you don’t need to have a large following to make it be valuable for your business. It doesn’t take a lot of money to get started and doesn’t have to take a lot of your working time. Podcasts are here to stay and are growing hugely across the world.
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