If you’re a business that’s looking to expand your creative endeavors beyond the standard promotional tools, have you thought about a podcast? It’s a very simple way to create a product but when done right, it can do so much more for your business than you realize. No doubt it’s something that’s crossed your mind, but maybe the practicalities didn’t lend themselves well at the time. But let’s break down the barriers and help you set up a podcast that’s related to your business, but also brings in the right audience.

Firstly…

You could spend a lot of time deciding what you’re going to talk about, but if you’re thinking in terms of the maximum amount of listeners as possible, you are tempted to go for more popular subjects. When you are coming up with a specific topic or theme, it’s far better to go for something that you are already a master in. Many businesses provide podcasts that are guides, perhaps on how to start a business, or they get in industry experts. The best ways to get a podcast that suits your business and brand is twofold; the topic needs to be very specific, but it also needs to inspire mass conversation. If you’re part of an industry that isn’t fairly represented in the podcast universe, this becomes a very obvious subject matter. But you have to remember that if you want to go down this avenue, it’s not necessarily a good way to make money, but it can get you additional exposure. The money aspect boils down to downloads and not the subscribers.

Don’t Worry About Fancy Hardware

Yes, you need a microphone as well as some audio software to record and edit the material, but as long as the audio is of decent quality, then at the very beginning, you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fancy equipment. You can get condenser microphones if you are happy to spend a bit more money, as well as a pop filter, but the basic USB microphones are very cheap anyway. As long as you have a quiet space to record the podcast that is free from unwanted background noise you can let the discussions fly.

Don’t Follow A Script

A podcast isn’t a tightly scripted endeavor; it’s a meandering, thoughtful process. The closest thing to a podcast is talk radio, where discussions can go for a long time. And while it may seem intimidating to talk at length for 30 minutes, it’s all about the caliber of the guests you get on. What’s important to note is that you are talking about what you know, getting in other experts in their fields, and it’s just about letting the conversation go as far as possible. Don’t worry, because you can edit it all later on. It’s far better to get more answers and discussions than less. Make the most of the allotted time with your guest, and make sure everything is set up prior to the podcast being recorded because if they only have an hour, you want to get 60 minutes of good quality material in, and this means preparing more questions and topics for discussion. It’s not a scripted process, and this is a very important part of what makes a podcast a product that people will come back to again. It’s a very intimate art form, and as such, it needs to be as authentic as possible.

Choose Multiple Distribution Platforms

You need to get this out to as many listeners as possible. And while you can easily submit your podcast to platforms like iTunes or Spotify, the first thing you need to do is check with your current web hosting company to see if you’ve actually got enough storage to upload these episodes. It’s very likely you need to upscale your storage. And after this, your media host will give you an RSS feed, with this is what you will submit to distribution platforms. But it’s not just about the platforms, but it’s about the whole package. Pay attention to the description as well as the artwork, and if you’re struggling to get an overall theme, it’s worth hiring a creative agency to point you in the right direction and tell you what may work based on your subject matter and general feel. After all, this is going to be linked with your brand, and you need to develop the overall package to make it stand out.

Setting Up For The Long Haul

When you start, it’s far better to have at least two or three podcasts ready to go. This means you will hit the ground running, rather than starting off very slowly, and taking some time to build up speed. Think of how streaming sites like Netflix provide every single episode on launch day, and while this can be a lot of work beforehand, if you think about it, a podcast, when done right, isn’t an extreme amount of work. As long as you get the subject matter right at the outset, and you ensure that you stick within the parameters of this, you can’t go far off. The big mistake that some people make is that they diversify, and as such, they are going above and beyond their capabilities. But you have a business, and you provide a certain product, and as such, you’ve already got a template. And if you can build a small audience prior to the launch day, this will improve your chances of being noticed.

A podcast is a very saturated market. The big podcasts are always linked to a big name, like Joe Rogan, or a very intimate subject matter, like Serial. But the goal of the very outset is to acquire a dedicated fan base. It’s all very well and good trying to reach as many different people as possible, but at the very beginning, as with every podcast, it benefits from a small, dedicated group of listeners. You can improve your chances of getting noticed by specializing in a niche subject, but if your business doesn’t provide that niche subject matter anyway, you’ve got to ask yourself if it’s worth branching into this. A podcast is a very good marketing tool, it’s a very intimate art form, it can be done cheaply, and it can reach audiences far and wide.

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