If you haven’t noticed, in the past few years, podcasts have become highly popular. Podcasts are a series of audio files that cover a specific topic and can be downloaded from the Internet or through a mobile device.
Whether you are cooking dinner or getting a workout in at the gym, listening to a podcast has become one of the most popular ways to consume content. Thanks to mobile devices and apps, they are convenient and easy-to-access. People can learn something interesting, catch up on the latest news or just enjoy some humorous entertainment on their daily commute.
Even though podcasts can be a highly effective channel to connect with audiences, you’ll find that there aren’t an enormous number of businesses creating them. For you, this can be a perfect opportunity to tap into a market and connect with customers in ways that your competitors haven’t yet.
However, you still need to put careful thought and planning into your podcasts. To build traction and success, you need to know these podcast tips and insights:
Why launch a podcast?
Podcasting has shown promising growth in recent years. According to Pew Research Center, over one-third of Americans say they have listened to a podcast. Research from Edison claims that 36% of the U.S. or 98 million people are podcast listeners.
Since 2016, a reported 21% of Americans (ages 12 or older) have listened to at least one in the past month. In 2013, it was a mere 12%. Podcasts may not have had shocking overnight growth, but interest has been steadily increasing for years and signs show it will continue.
1. Define your audience.
Like other communication channels, the primary rule of successful podcasts is: know your audience. Who listens to podcasts?
Of monthly podcast listeners in the Edison survey, 27% were 12 to 24 year olds, 24% were 25 to 54 year olds, and 11% were over the age of 55. Millennials are the primary consumer of podcasts at 38%, but Baby Boomers aren’t far behind at 34%.
Have a clear view of the types of audiences you expect to reach by podcasting, and develop content that is relevant and valuable to them.
2. Develop a theme or focus for your content.
Businesses can reach multiple age groups through podcasts, but it is important to keep content focused. The top podcasts from Entrepreneur on Fire and The Tim Ferriss Show to Kevin Smith’s SModcast and Neil deGrasse Tyson’s StarTalk circle around a main theme, in which the hosts are singularly qualified at exploring and discussing.
What are you passionate about? What do you have years of experience in? Why are you qualified to create a podcast series around this topic? Before launching a podcast, it is important to consider your expertise and experience.
3. Set clear objectives.
You shouldn’t just start a podcast, because everyone else is doing it. Like any other content or marketing initiative, it needs to have a purpose and clear, measurable objectives.
If you are an entrepreneur, a podcast may be a great way to network. You can interview key contacts in your industry or set a goal to connect with 10 people in the first six months. You may want to highlight the tech or startup scene in your local area or showcase your expertise in a specific niche.
Podcasts aren’t just a creative outlet or passion project. They have the potential to be money makers, if you have the right audience and content. Most high ranking podcasts generate revenue through partnerships with advertisers and affiliate links. However, it can also be a way to generate leads by attracting listeners.
Define what your goals are and how you will measure success. Do you want to gain subscribers? Partner with industry insiders or connect with consumers?
4. Create hype with cross-promotion.
No one is going to listen or subscribe to your podcast if they don’t know that it exists. To attract the biggest audience to your channel, you need to diversify your broadcast outlets and cross-promote.
You can use social media to share and promote your podcasts. Make sure to let your community on Facebook, Twitter and other channels know that you are launching a podcast or that a new episode is available. Tease the launch or episode with clips, visual quotes, and behind-the-scenes images. Change your banners to a graphic with the podcast artwork, launch date and other critical details. Promote it by including the information in email newsletters leading up the date of launch.
5. Submit it to podcast platforms and aggregators.
For many businesses and organizations, the common way to broadcast podcasts is by sharing the audio on a website or blog. Although, those are both suitable channels, don’t let them be the only places. If you do, it will highly limit the potential listeners to just the people that regularly visit your site or blog. You should also submit it to iTunes Podcasts, Soundcloud, and Stitcher. They are content platforms specifically for finding, downloading and listening to podcasts.
Putting your podcast on iTunes is critical. Nieman Lab claims a reported 70% of listens come from iTunes or iOS device apps.
To submit a podcast to iTunes, you first need to sign up for Podcasts Connect. Your audio recording must be in one of the accepted file formats (MP4, MP3, MOV, etc.) You also need to have a RSS Feed set up. Content providers must apply to join Stitcher Radio and submit shows. Soundcloud is free, but you need an account and a RSS Feed as well.
6. Partner with interesting guests and influencers.
Like guest blogs, featuring guests on podcasts can be a great way to boost exposure. You can connect with their community and potentially get some subscribers of your own in the process. By bringing in an expert or third-party, it can build trust with listeners and foster transparency. It also makes it more interesting to bring in new voices that are relevant than to flood listeners with the same hosts every episode.
7. Be consistent.
Whether it’s providing consistent customer experiences, brand messages or high product quality, consistency is king. It is a primary influence on business and professional success, so keep that in mind when creating any type of content. For podcasts, it is especially crucial to produce quality episodes on a consistent basis.
People are more likely to engage with you in other ways, besides listening to a podcast, when they subscribe to your channel. To attract subscribers, you need to regularly churn out episodes. You can test out a monthly podcast, but the top performing podcasts tend to release at least one new episode on a weekly basis. Some even increase that frequency and put out two per week.
If that sounds overwhelming for you to manage on your own, consult with a marketing agency to help you produce quality content on schedule.
If you want to attract subscribers fast, you should take the time to develop a launch strategy. Overnight successes are rare, but you can increase your chances by setting the right pieces in place. Podcasts can be a highly effective way to engage with your target audiences, but it requires planning, strategy and consistent, engaging content. Interested in starting a podcast of your own or want to learn more about creating and promoting them? Contact 10twelve and find out how our team can help.