Podcasts are the unsung heroes of content marketing. From being the obscure channels of communication for hipster artists and fringe brands to becoming a form of mainstream media frequented for everything from news distribution to DIY culinary shows-podcasts have come a long way. Podcasting or audio blogging, as it was initially referred to, has democratised the process of original content creation monopolised by private radio corporations until about a decade ago. Recording and uploading podcasts is great way to propagate creative ideas and collectively engage an audience both for individuals and marketers alike. Here are some simple hacks to help you get started
1. Pick a genre or a broad area of expertise
Understanding how to start a podcast is very similar to understanding how to go about starting a business- you must decide on a product. Before creating any audio content, you must introspect and outline a broad area of expertise that can be addressed in the podcast. For example: If you’re a banking professional, you can create an audio series that helps people mobilise their savings; if you represent a bank brand, you can leverage the podcasting medium to expand your brand reach and entice more customers.
2. Understand your audience
Before you spend countless hours researching the nuances of how to start a podcast, deliberate wisely on ‘who’ you’re creating it for instead. Writing content for a podcast is like strategizing plots for a radio show or a soap opera- you must ensure that the user comes back for more. It’s not a one-time purchase. Study the focus group extensively and understand what makes them click. Deep dive into the existing podcasts tackling subject matters like yours, and map popularity to content relatability.
3. Invest in good equipment
An important aspect of planning executing a good audio blog is through understanding and investing in good audio equipment. The audio quality of your podcast is the only user experience you can provide; glitches in audio can irritate listeners and cause drop-offs even if the content is engaging and exciting. Pick up a microphone that records your voice clearly while blocking surrounding disturbances. Alternatively, you can style a headphone/microphone headset to get the job done.
4. Review, publish, review
One of the most important steps to internalise in determining how to start a podcast, is actually starting. Over-planning is overkill. Don’t get stuck at the drawing board. Define an audio content strategy, jot down initial ideas, record a piece and hit publish. When you’re starting out, ensure that you make a crisp introduction of yourself, establish credibility and speak your stuff passionately and unflinchingly. Feel free to invite questions or feedback at the end of the show to rope in user engagement and be willing to pivot wherever necessary.
5. Distribute effectively.
Your podcast cannot succeed in isolation; you must actively distribute your podcast to facilitate maximum reach. There are many popular platforms that aggregate podcasts to many adoring subscribers. After the post production process of your podcast is complete, upload it to hosting sites like Anchor or Transistor. These hosting platforms will help you distribute the podcast across popular platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Pocket Casts and RadioPublic. Each platform has its own selection and rejection criteria for distributing your podcast which can take a few days or weeks depending on the popularity of the platform. Alternatively, you can take your RSS feed and share it in your immediate network to gain initial traction.
6. Invite guest speakers
The most popular podcasts feature between 2 to 3 hosts. You can invite other people on your show as well as collaborate with them and feature on their channel. Fostering diversity in dialogue will keep people hooked and give them something to look forward to. This form of cross-promotion opens your content to another content creator’s subscribers and vice versa. Many listeners discover new podcasts through joint podcasts and audio panel discussions between people they already listen to. If you can get an established podcaster to feature on your show, the exposure you stand to gain from this collaboration will be unparalleled. The right influencer for your brand can do wonders!
7. Get Social
The best way to gain the initial following for your podcast is through self-promotion. Share your podcast actively on Facebook, LinkedIn, Whatsapp, Snapchat and any other social communication network you see fit. Tell your friends to spread the word with their immediate network to gain access to a wider range of people. Since you’re reaching out personally, you have a higher probability of inciting a response from your listeners, some of whom may become early adopters and personal advocates of your brand of audio content.
8. Keep at it
The secret sauce to success is consistency. Establishing a successful presence for yourself or your brand will take a while, even if you’re doing everything right. Stick to your original content plan and push out new features regularly, preferably once or twice a week. Look for fresh ideas and trending topics to include in your sessions to amplify reach and relevance. Creating regular content that is well-received by advertisers can help you pitch a spot with an advertising network, which can open doors to more densified revenue streams in the future. Differentiate your offering and stick to your guns! There is light at the end of the tunnel.