Over the coming days, we’ll be sharing new resources that can empower you to continue creating impactful, “at-home” marketing content for your organization during this unusual time. Welcome! Today is Part V, “5 Tips for Launching Your First Podcast.”
See Part I: Tips for Shooting Smartphone Video, Part II: When to Consider Animated Videos, Part III: Repurposing Your Content Library and Part IV: Looking Great Via Webcam
As unsteady as this current moment in marketing may be, it presents a unique opportunity to connect with your audience in ways that are new and novel. Podcasts aren’t just for celebrities, comedians and solo entrepreneurs anymore – and haven’t been for some time. No matter your industry or size, podcasts can help position your company as a thought leader and are proven to boost brand awareness, affinity, SEO, favorability and purchase intent. And with every day that passes, the chances your competition has launched one increase.
Launching and running an impactful show on your own or as part of a small team certainly has its challenges, and you may not have majored in sound engineering. While there are some helpful playbooks out there, podcasting is the wild west relative to established mediums like blogs and videos. Whether you’re looking to try it on your own – or work with a podcasting partner like Matter – these tips can help get you up and running!
#1: Get The Right Recording Equipment
Recording a podcast doesn’t have to be expensive, but a small upfront investment pays off in the quality of your show. Since all your other marketing initiatives are professionally polished, why shouldn’t your podcast?
This post from the sound specialists Artlist.io can help you select the right recording components and editing software. The main piece of equipment you’ll need is a better microphone than the one already in your laptop or phone. Those work in a pinch, but you’ll want a professional mic (like the capable, reasonably priced Blue Yeti Nano, for instance) if you’re serious. The difference in quality is stark, and you’ll save your listeners the frustration of constantly adjusting their volume slider… Or dropping out entirely.
#2: Be About Something, Not Everything
Drill down into what you’re passionate about discussing and what kind of content your target audience’s ears are burning to hear. What’s the big reason you’re starting a podcast? Who comprises the niche audience for your show? And what’s not already being talked about to death? As Tim Ferriss advocates, “create a category and own it rather than trying to dominate an existing category.” Go into podcasting with a gameplan to stand out instead of being one more voice shouting into the wind.
#3: Have a Plan and a Personality
You should have an outline for each episode that’ll help to keep you focused and on topic, as it can be easy to get sidetracked in the middle of recording — that “what were we talking about, anyway?” feeling. However, there’s a balance to be found between following your outline and being open in the moment. Unexpected subtopics and funny anecdotes breathe energy into your show. And audiences can feel it when a show is too scripted. Remember, people like listening to people, not robots – so don’t just read a script verbatim, or worse, recite an existing blog post. Talk like a real human, whether you’re conversing with a guest or flying solo.
Also, it’s critical that you treat your podcast like a TV show, with a consistent premiere date and time — e.g., Wednesdays at noon — because you want to inject some fresh ideas into your listeners’ work weeks. As you experience success and grow your listenership, this consistency is key to cultivate dependability and trust with your audience.
#4: Ensure Quality Recordings
Reverb, hisses, hums and hiccups – yikes! While editing can enhance good audio and mitigate some mess ups, the old “garbage in, garbage out” adage applies. Here are some common issues that are better addressed up front:
- Always record in a quiet, sound-dampened environment, like a carpeted room full of objects and furniture to keep echo down.
- Be mindful of interference caused by outside office activity and HVAC.
- Avoid wearing jingly jewelry that makes noise as you gesture or move around.
- We know it feels good, but don’t pound on the table to make your point — it interferes with recording big time.
- Pauses can be fixed, words that run together cannot. If you or your guest mess up, simply take a breath, start again, and fix it in post.
- Capture 10 seconds of room tone. Room tone is dialogue-free silence that can be edited in to ensure seamless transitions between takes.
#5: Get in It for the Right Reasons
If you get into podcasting to provide deep value for your audience, the increases in engagement, favorability, affinity and purchase intent can be staggering. But it has to be genuine. If you think you can immediately start driving revenue with a podcast, you’re likely in for a rude awakening. Podcasting is a resonance medium, not a reach medium. It can be helpful to see that there are essentially six possible ways podcasts drive revenue:
- Turning listeners into customers and advocates
- Turning guests into customers and advocates
- Brand sponsorships
- Putting it behind a paywall, like Luminary
These revenue streams take time to bring to fruition. While you have to start somewhere and experimentation is good, you can’t expect to see massive results if you’re not in it for the long haul. As Gary Vaynerchuk notes, “It may be episode 93 that takes off.”
Even while we’re physically apart, making that human connection with your audience is as important as ever. Podcasting provides a unique opportunity to reveal your brand’s bright ideas and humanity, which can ultimately help you stand out and achieve your business goals. If you’re looking for some extra creativity and expertise, fill out the form below to schedule a free strategy call with our team or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.