Podcasts are great. They are easy for people to search, access, and listen to. In fact, 32% of Americans listen to one at least once a month, with more people joining the bandwagon daily.
Listeners can now find most podcasts for free on platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. With the industry evolving, it’s easier than ever for listeners to access podcasts on just about any topic.
This easy access to podcasts gives businesses an incentive to start their own. Podcasts offer access to a broad audience and free marketing costs.
Are you interested in using podcasts to expand your business's marketing reach? Sweet! We highly encourage it! Let's go over six things you will need to consider when you begin.
1. Audio & sound equipment
Unless you decide to upload your recording session to Youtube, your podcast will just be audio. So naturally, your audio needs to sound good (profound, right?). To produce that crisp podcast sound, you need a decent microphone and a place to record your podcast.
Don’t panic; you do not have to break the bank when buying your mic. There are tons of great options on Amazon for very reasonable prices. Check out one of our favorite options here.
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, do a little research and find the best option for you!
Unfortunately, just having a good mic won't give you the sound quality you want. Once you find the perfect microphone, you will also need to find a recording space. Ideally, you should record in a soundproof room. If you are like most newbie podcasters, you won’t have access to a soundproof room. Don't worry; just find a quiet area for now.
Maybe you have an office, garage, or even a closet (Don’t knock it till you try it) with little background noise. Any of those options would work great.
And seriously, you'd be shocked by how many podcasts started in someone's closet… so work with what you've got!
2. Recording software
Now that you can record your content, how will you edit it? You need to choose software for recording and editing your podcast. As you can imagine, there are a bunch of options for you to choose from. You might consider trying out a couple (most have a free trial period) and deciding which fits your needs the best.
Check out this great article by Riverside that outlines the best podcast software options of 2022. A couple of their top recommendations are Riverside editor, Logic Pro X, and Audacity.
We love this article because they thoroughly break down each option with pros and cons included. We also love that they lay out how easy or difficult the software is to use. Especially for beginners, a simple interface is essential.
3. Podcast hosting software
After each podcast is recorded, edited, and ready to go live, where will it be hosted? How will you broadcast it to your subscribers? You need hosting software for both.
Hosting software covers two things, really.
First, it's the sight that will actually "host" your podcast. It's the part of the internet where you can upload your episodes. Don’t confuse this with where your podcast will be listened to; this is strictly where the actual audio is stored.
Next, hosting software will create the RSS feed for your podcast. You will submit the RSS to listening platforms like Apple Podcast or Spotify. Once that is done, your audience can access the episode through the listening platform.
Podcastinsights shares a list of 31 hosting platform options, including Buzzsprout and Captivate. The article explains each platform’s features and why you might consider using their services. Check it out and see what works for you.
4. Brainstorm your content theme
You (should) have your podcast topic picked out, but take time to think about the theme. What's the overarching theme or concept that will guide your podcast episodes?
Do you want your podcast to be helpful and informative, inspirational, practical, or conversational? Ask yourself: What theme or idea does every podcast episode relate to? Will your episodes be conversational, interviews, solo shows, or tell a story?
Once you have answered these questions, you can start creating podcast scripts connected to your overarching theme. Although each is unique, your episodes should all feel like they belong in the same podcast.
5. Set a publishing schedule
Like Instagram or YouTube, you need a publishing schedule to follow for your podcast to succeed.
Decide how many podcasts a week you ideally want to upload. Then, get real with yourself and decide how many podcasts you can actually upload. Once you make your schedule, be consistent with it. Your audience will begin to expect content on your upload days, giving you a bigger listener following.
You might also want to create podcast "seasons" where your podcast takes a scheduled break after you publish a certain number of episodes. This will give you a chance to brainstorm and record future content. It will also give you a mental break if you need one.
6. Create a podcast marketing plan
Great! So you have the technical and creative sides figured out; now, what about spreading the word, so people know your podcast exists? After each episode is published, how will it be marketed?
Use these ideas to promote episodes and help with content exposure, SEO, and authority-building:
- Repurpose clips from podcast episodes into Instagram reels, TikToks, Twitter audio, or YouTube videos. This will allow you to cross-promote on your social media platforms.
- Turn highlights, takeaways, and time stamps from your podcast into "show notes" that can be published on your blog or website for SEO purposes. You can also include links or resources mentioned on the podcast in your show notes.
- Create graphic images of inspirational or informative quotations from the episode and circulate them on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. This is a great way to give a visual edge to your podcast marketing.
- Interview other companies, businesses, or influencers in your industry and ask them to promote the episode when it's live. If you have an audience that other people want to tap into, use it to your advantage! Make it a mutually beneficial partnership.
- Add keywords and search terms to your podcast titles and descriptions so that people can find your episodes through Google. You want your podcast to be one of the first things to pop up when people search for anything in your niche. Make sure you're capitalizing on keywords!
Your marketing plan will have to change with you as you grow. Still, it's important to start strong! Experiment with these tips and adjust where needed.
The podcast industry is booming and not dying out anytime soon. With evolving platforms like Spotify, and Apple Podcasts, there has never been a better time for businesses to benefit from marketing through podcasts.
Podcasting can build up brand awareness and help convert listeners into loyal customers. It’s cost-effective and, overall, easy to start.
If you're on the fence about starting a podcast, take this post as your sign to get started! You got this!