How to start a podcast for your business
Is podcasting the right strategy for your business?
Are you considering how to start a podcast to help extend the reach of your business? A podcast can be a powerful tool to enhance your business voice. And it can help deepen customer relationships. But before you add podcast to your ‘to do’ list, read on.
Why start a podcast?
People are spoilt for choice in the range of digital content they can access. And as a business, you have more choices than ever in how you could connect with potential customers.
A significant amount of content is being consumed ‘on the go’ via mobile devices. So, it’s no wonder that easy to consume audio and video is popular. Podcasts have emerged as a popular format.
According to Edison Research, Australians leads the US when it comes to monthly online audio listening. In June 2023, they shared that almost half of Australians aged 12 years or older had listened to a podcast in the previous month.
The growing audience tuning in to podcasts offers new opportunities for businesses. Starting a podcast could help you:
- deepen your customer relationships,
- grow awareness of your business,
- build brand authority and credibility and
- diversify your income streams.
But be prepared. For your podcast to be successful, you’ll need to devote time and effort. When considering if a podcast makes sense as part of your digital marketing strategy, think about–
- If you have valuable information or expertise you want to share more widely? Are you happy to offer it for free or do you want to sell it?
- If you already have an engaged audience via your social media or website presence? Could a podcast help you deepen engagement with them?
- Whether or not you have something you can truly add to your audience’s lives?
Have a solid goal and content strategy before you even start thinking about how to record a podcast. It can help make all the difference.
If your main goal is to directly promote your products or services to potential customers, then producing a podcast may be overkill. Instead, you could look at podcast advertising as a way of achieving your marketing goals.
How to start a podcast
A great podcast strategy should consider how you can create value for your business and for your audience. So, a good place to start is by defining what success looks like for you, and how your content strategy aligns to audience needs.
Learn more about how to plan an effective digital content strategy.
Define what success looks like
Be clear and realistic on what you’re trying to achieve with your podcast from the outset. You’ll be able to better track success over time if you know how to measure it in terms of clear outcomes.
If your podcast is about deepening your customer relationships and building authority in your chosen field, then set your goals in line with that. A successful podcast in a specific niche may not need to have a huge audience to meet your business goals if your focus is customer engagement.
Once you’re up and running, if you manage to build a highly engaged audience you might consider strategies for monetising a podcast. Some podcasting platforms let you offer premium content which you might set up on a pay per episode or a subscription basis.
Other ways of making money from your podcast include paid advertising, affiliate marketing and sponsorship. In these models the people paying you effectively become your customer, so you’ll need to be clear on their needs and how to meet them too.
Create a clear content strategy
You might have already thought about a topic and a name for your podcast. That’s a great start. Here are some other things to work through in detail before you press record.
- How your podcast will meet audience needs
- What already exists in the same genre
- The format of your podcast
Consider your audience
Fundamentally, your content strategy should consider what you have to offer in the context of what your audience wants. Having a clear view of who your audience is and what they already have access to underpins this. Typical listening behaviours and preferences can vary by age or by gender.
Common reasons why people listen to podcasts include for entertainment, to learn and just to have something to listen to while doing something else. Think deeply about who your audience is, what needs they have and how you can offer them value through your podcast content.
Understand what you’re competing with
There are already millions of podcasts available for people to listen to. Checking out the competition on common podcast platforms will help you understand who’s already playing there.
According to YouGov research, the top podcast genres are:
- News and politics
- Health and living
- TV and movies
Other common genres include documentary, sports, society and culture, true crime and science.
Define your podcast format
Podcasters use various formats to deliver compelling content. This can include a mix of information, fictional or real-life stories and conversational or discussion content.
Formats used by high-ranking podcasts include deep reporting, interviews or commentary formats.
- Deep reporting formats entail in-depth examination or analysis of a topic
- Interview formats involve a guest or multiple guests
- Commentary podcasts offer the hosts own perspective on a topic
Defining your format helps you plan things like who will host and whether you need to line up guests. It will also help you consider what preparation you’ll need to put in to create content for each specific episode.
How long and how often?
You’ll also need to decide on the frequency and length of your podcast episodes.
When considering the frequency of your podcast, multiple factors come into play. How often will you release a new podcast (weekly, monthly etc.)? Will your podcast be released in seasons? And if so, how many episodes will there be in each season? How long will each episode be?
There are no hard and fast rules. Some podcast episodes last over an hour and some only a few minutes. Some podcasts are seasonal, some aren’t. And some seasons contain only a few episodes whereas others might include 20 episodes or more.
Consider what will work best for your audience within any production constraints you might have. These constraints could include time, inputs to create your content and costs to record, edit launch and market your podcast.
From planning to production
Once you’re clear on what you want to get out of your podcast and your content strategy, you’re in a better position to create your production plan. Bringing your new podcast to life will involve recording, editing, publishing it on a hosting platform, and ensuring people can find it.
You might choose a DIY approach to some or all elements. Or you might engage specialists such as a media production company to help you. As you explore options, you might find production constraints mean you have to revisit elements of your content plan.
Stay focused on your main goals and what’s most important to your audience. If you’re clear on this, it’ll be easier to know where you can be flexible and what’s non-negotiable in your production plan.
Podcasts can offer a platform to connect with an audience in new and potentially unique ways. They can help you enhance engagement with customers, amplify your brand presence and help you build credibility as a leader in your chosen field.
It all starts with clear objectives, a well-defined content strategy and a commitment to consistently delivering compelling content. With this in place, you can pick up the microphone more confidently and start recording your podcast.