Podcasting tips to build your business and your brand

22nd, Oct 2019

Do you listen to podcasts? According to Edison Research, podcasting is the fastest growing type of media and the business world is taking notice. Whether you want to start your own podcast or get attention on someone else’s, there are tremendous opportunities to maximize podcasting. Recently, I heard 2 educational programs on podcasting. With thanks to the speakers on both panels, I am sharing some of their great insights to help others interested in leveraging podcasting to build their business.

Is podcasting right for you? First, consider what is your reason for doing a podcast. Decide on your objectives and goals. Consider what you have to offer that’s unique. You should research and survey your audience to determine what they want to hear. Find a niche to help you stand out from the competition.

Are you prepared to make a commitment? You will need both time and money to produce a podcast, which also means having buy-in at the top of your organization to approve that investment. Note that this is a long-term commitment because it takes time to build an audience. Be practical and realistic about what you can accomplish.

What is your strategy? How will you accomplish your goals? You must decide on a format for your podcast, who will participate, and how to handle the work (in-house, outsourced or a mix of both). In addition, you need a brand for your podcast as well as a launch and marketing plan.

How often should you produce episodes? Weekly is best, but in that case, you can keep it short (under 15 minutes) especially if you do not need to take breaks for sponsors. If you need to produce the podcast less frequently, episodes can be longer. However, the most important points are to be consistent and focus on quality over quantity. You must commit to a regular schedule. If you are not consistent, you will lose listeners. Create an editorial calendar to help keep you on track.

What equipment/technology do you need? There are many low cost, high-quality options for microphones, headphones, stands, editing software, hosting platforms, and other technology. Some examples include Vencastr for audio recording, Yeti microphones, and Audacity for editing software. Keep in mind that good audio quality is a must.

How will you promote your podcast? Use blogging, direct mail, email, social media, video, and even press releases to promote the launch of your podcast as well as individual episodes. Ask listeners and invited guests to share the podcast with others. Offer your podcast on multiple platforms (SoundCloud, Spotify, Facebook Live, YouTube, etc.). Post preview clips to your website and social media. For SEO purposes, use relevant keywords in episode titles, descriptions and alt text.

How will you measure results? It’s important to determine what success means to you. However, podcasting is a long-term commitment with slow and steady growth. Many podcast hosting platforms like Blubrry and Libsyn provide reports which can be used in conjunction with Google Analytics to help analyze results. Note that the narrower your topic, the more likely you are to have a small audience. However, a small but highly engaged audience may be worth much more than a larger audience of sporadic listeners. Also download numbers can vary greatly from episode to episode. Tracking results over time can help you understand if you are succeeding and what to change.

Should you promote your business on other people’s podcasts? Podcasts can be a great way to get publicity and reach your target audience. You can pitch a story or speaker to a podcast as well as consider being a sponsor. Like with other media outlets, make sure your story/business is appropriate to the podcast’s brand and its audience.

What are the biggest challenges? Producing high quality, interesting content on a consistent basis is difficult. You should have 3-10 episodes completed before you launch your podcast to give you breathing room. Vary content and make it practical, simple and easy to digest. Also make sure you have a good intro/outro. If necessary, hire a professional to help. It is easy to lose people in those first few minutes.

It’s best to think of podcasting as a way to build relationships first, not as a business development tool. It takes time to gain an audience. Even the most successful podcasts need at least 6 months to get any traction. Nonetheless, podcasting offers a low investment, high value means of marketing your business. It enables you to highlight your expertise, improve name recognition, stay top of mind with clients and contacts and establish trust and credibility. Among professional service firms it also offers a unique way to market and stand out from the competition since few firms are active in this arena.

Thanks to the Public Relations Professionals of Long Island for their program on the Essentials of Podcasting, moderated by Jody Fisher, with panelists Bruce L Chamoff, Nicholas Esposito, and Dan Pashman. Also, thanks to the Legal Marketing Association for their webinar on Extending Your Firm’s Reach Through Podcasting, with speakers Marcie Dickson, CMO, Miles Mediation & Arbitration and Jansen Ellis, Senior Marketing Counsel, Ogletree Deakins.

Interested in podcasting? Contact me for a consultation.