Podcasting is one of the newest forms of marketing which businesses can employ in their online marketing strategy.
A podcast can give your brand an online personality and a physical voice which your audience can gravitate towards. With a good podcast your audience will feel like they are joining in the conversation with you. Yet for podcasting to work, you have to make sure you do it right.
Learn some of the basics here on our blog to make sure your podcasts are successful.
What is a Podcast?
A podcast is essentially an audio recording which is used to convey a message to the audience. There are different types of podcasts in both format and style. For instance, there are video podcasts and podcasts which show coverage of special events.
Generally when a business creates a podcast it is like a blog post in audio format.
The Best Style for a Podcast
There is no correct style for a podcast, each business and audience will have their own preference. However, there are three main types which you might want to consider:
1. Blog post style – a single individual talking for a set amount of time on a single subject.
2. Conversational style – two people having a conversation or a debate about a particular subject.
3. Interview style – similar to the conversation but more like a radio interview.
Whichever style you wish to create there is a set process you can use in order to create a professional podcast.
Getting the Right Equipment
For the best professional podcasts you need to ensure you have the right equipment. Simply using a laptop or a basic microphone will not create the best impression – although they will get the job done they may generate a high level of background noise.
There are a lot of options available on the market to solve this problem. Two of the most popular options are the Logitech ClearChat Headset and the Heil PR-40. You will also want to buy some good editing and mixing software to ensure the finished product is of high quality. There is free software available for both Mac and PC users.
If you want two people to speak who are on opposite sides of the world, you can use programs like Skype to record the conversation.
One thing that technology can’t solve is the voice. Ensure you have someone speaking who is clearly audible on the podcast. Not everyone is suited for podcasting and therefore you should audition a few voices to make sure you have the right voice for your audience.
If you are using the interview style, you might want to hire in a freelance voice artist to be the host.
Once you have obtained the equipment and set it up you need to plan your podcasts. This should be rather simple and run much like a blog schedule. You need to determine how often you are going to release a podcast. Once or twice a month is normally expected.
You will need to design a production schedule. This should include when each blog post is to be recorded, edited and published. It is important that you clearly stick to this as audiences like consistency.
Then you’ll need to assign topics for each schedule. You need to ensure that each podcast provides information of value to the listener while also demonstrating your expertness – much like a blog post.
You might also want to create a script. If you are doing a blog style post you can script the whole episode and simply read that, ensuring that you make it seem natural. If you are using a conversational or interview style you could script the introduction, ending and perhaps a few prompts / questions depending on the topic at hand.
Another thing you may wish to consider is the structure, which depends on the style you use. For those who want an interview style you may consider this:
Introduction – Question 1 – Question 2 – Break – Question 3 – Question 4 – Close
You could also use this approach for a conversational podcast. However for a blog post style, where you are talking more like a lecturer this would need adapting. You would need to have a structure with pauses at natural points (i.e. at a position where you would put a subheading in a blog post) but would still need a clear introduction and conclusion.
The length of time your podcast should last is debatable. Some podcasts are as short as 5 minutes, whereas others are longer at 20 minutes. It is entirely your choice. The one thing to remember is that you should consider your audience. Concentration spans have sharply decreased in the past decade. If you want a longer podcast, it would be best to provide a mini musical break in the middle.
You will also want to include the creation of some artwork to put on any distribution sites and perhaps create a blog post which describes the podcast to direct audiences to it.
Record and Edit the Podcast
Recording the podcast should be the easiest part of the podcast production. Once the podcast has been recorded it should be edited. Any awkward pauses, ‘ums’ and background noise should be eliminated from the recording.
Finally it is always good to add some music to the podcast. You will need to obtain permission if you are using someone else’s creation, although there is plenty of free content out there you can use.
Music could be added at the beginning to create an introduction and at the end for the close.
Distribution is an important part of the podcasting process. You could host the podcast on your website; however this will slow down your website and give it an awkwardness which visitors may not like. Alternatively you could submit it to other distributors such as LibSyn and iTunes.
These sites do incur a monthly charge but it does mean that your website is not affected.
Ensure when you have uploaded the podcast that you properly tag it. Tags aren’t just keywords they include the artwork, title, description and copyright information. This is all used by Google and Bing to find your podcast when people are searching for relevant terms.
Once you have uploaded and published your podcast it is essential you market it. You could use all the common techniques including social media, blogging and email campaigns. You could also try advertising your podcast on other podcasts.
Some platforms, such as Spreaker, allow this. It can drive some really good traffic to your own podcasts by introducing your podcast to audiences with similar taste in content to what you are offering.
Podcasting is going to be a strong and important part of internet marketing. It is always best to be on the forefront of these revolutions so you are not catching up. Therefore learning about, designing and publishing a podcast should be something you plan to do soon.
- Write down what topics you could discuss in a podcast.
- Decide what style of podcast you would like to create.
- Record and edit a podcast.
- Publish and market your podcast.