Everyone’s hosting a podcast these days — from high school students chatting about YouTube videos, to household brands like Walmart using them for everything from recruiting to enhancing consumer loyalty.
Podcasts have quickly become the preferred method for consuming information because we can take audio wherever we go (phones, laptops, or cars) and enjoy it passively while we’re doing something else. Listening is also a familiar way for humans to process information.
According to a 2017 study from Edison Research, 67 million Americans ages 12+ (which accounts for 20+% of the U.S. population), have listened to a podcast in the past month. The study also found that monthly podcast audiences are growing between 21% percent and 24% annually. And if they download, they listen to at least 80% of episodes downloaded.
Marketers need a podcasting strategy to connect with targeted buyer personas, extend their brand’s reach to new consumer segments/demographics ,and provide more value to loyal customers. But rushing a podcast launch simply to maximize its potential is a big mistake.
Here are four things to keep in mind before uploading your first podcast:
Choose the message and audience for each episode. Consumers have an abundance of choices when it comes to podcasts, but limited amounts of time to listen. Choose a message and build the content around your targeted audience. If you’re off-target, you may not get another chance to win them back.
Let frequency determine length. Build a schedule and stick to it for the frequency of podcasts, determining the optimal length of each episode. If you’re uploading daily, consider short-form episodes three to five minutes in length, weeklies from five to 10 minutes, and monthly episodes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
Placement and promotion. Once you’ve recorded the podcast, determine where to place it and how to draw attention to it. Building a separate landing page is a good idea, but if that’s too costly or time-consuming for your company, consider embedding the audio on your blog. Introduce it via a blog post on your website with a “tease” about the topic and/or guest.
podcast is “live,” promote it with another post summarizing the contents and include:
-- A “Call to Action” (CTA) to subscribe/download the podcast on your host platform
-- Links to any companies, individuals, or articles referenced
-- When appropriate, links to your guest’s websites and social media accounts, and a CTA to apply to be a guest or submit topics/questions for future episodes
Next, distribute an email to your contact list announcing the episode and summarizing its content. Follow up on that with a post on your social media channels that includes a hashtag(s) to help you engage with listeners.
If you decide to have guests (they will automatically multiply your audience size), give them promotional graphics and links to the podcast landing page/site and the blog posts associated with the podcast, for easy sharing with their audience.
Go easy on the polish. Consumers respond to authenticity, and anything overly slick is considered a major turn-off. Audio quality should be optimal and your host’s voice should strike a winning balance between soothing and enthusiastic. If you choose someone within your organization to host, he/she can compensate for any lack of experience with practice and rehearsal time.