There are over $20 million active blogs and over 1 billion YouTube users with channels, but only 500K podcasts. Fifty-one percent of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast, equivalent to 159,593,000 people -- and marketers should capitalize on this storytelling platform.
Here are four key ways to develop a successful branded podcast:
1. Create a consistent schedule for releasing new episodes. People listen to podcasts at times when it’s hard to consume other forms of media: on commutes, driving, while cooking, etc. Your listeners need to know when a podcast is airing and on what day it’s released, in order for that podcast to fit seamlessly into their schedules.
Release new episodes on the same day each week, at the same time. If you’re releasing three episodes per week, the episodes should go live on the same weekly days and times.
A podcast’s ranking in the podcast charts is based on the velocity at which downloads, subscriptions and reviews are received, so creating a set schedule for listeners to follow is important.
2. Prioritize audio quality. Audio production doesn’t have to be expensive, but podcast listeners value sound clarity. Dedicate time to editing and mastering the audio so that every voice is crisp and clear with minimal background noise.
If you have the resources, leverage curtain soundproofing and professional mics. Create compelling intros, too (ideally with sound effects), to reel people in and get them excited to listen to the full podcast.
3. Aim for at least 30 minutes per podcast (depending on the format). The average YouTube video is 4:20, and the sweet spot for Facebook video is 60-90 seconds. But because of how we consume podcasts, they can be hours and hours long. Capitalize on the fact that people will spend up to three hours listening to a single podcast.
For brands, podcasts are the perfect platform for sharing industry insights, discussing new ideas and trends, telling stories relevant to the podcast audience, and conversations with key industry players and change-makers. There are a lot of different ways a brand can create an entertaining podcast that lasts at least 30 minutes -- or even up to 3 hours.
4. Use existing guests to help book new ones. Booking the first guest is always the hardest. If you have industry connections, it’s time to tap those. The best way to sell potential guests on a brand new podcast is to position it as a value exchange, where they stand to gain just as much from coming on your show as you do from having them.
Once you get the ball rolling, a great way to find more exciting guests is by asking everyone who comes onto the podcast to choose one person they know and admire to introduce the podcast hosts to.
Podcasts may become a brand’s single most valuable community in the near future. A shifting media landscape means that the time to create a branded podcast is now.