As a business owner, you are constantly looking for innovative ways to reach an audience. Podcasts are fairly common nowadays, but they still represent a way of building a solid relationship with a large number of potential customers. While many people will be reluctant to begin podcasting, this article details a simple plan to get your podcast off the ground.
Podcasting is far from a new concept, but it continues to remain a compelling way for people to consume media and content. A recent study by Edison Research showed that, based on a national sample of over 2000 people, almost 2 percent of audio consumption in America came from podcasts. Bearing in mind this includes competition from radio, CDs, MP3s, and music television channels, we can see that podcasts gain a considerable reach. For business owners, a podcast represents a unique way of reaching customers and gently making them loyal fans of your brand. Podcasting requires careful planning and consistency, but is not difficult to get going if you follow a plan.
Map Out Your Content
The first stage is to think about your editorial and broadcast styles. Many podcasts have 2 or 3 contributors, playing on a chemistry that already exists between the hosts. If you are doing the show alone, bringing in new guests can prevent the show becoming a monologue. You also need to consider the tone of the broadcast. Many podcasts often taking a more laid-back approach than radio, but you can decide what tone will best resonate with your audience. There is no right or wrong way to approach a podcast, and you can always experiment with format and tone in the earlier episodes.
Brand Your Podcast
Your branding should reflect your industry and tone. Many podcasts use insider terminology that industry buffs will understand, and this is a way to gain an instant audience of people who listen to every podcast in your niche. Try to create a unique selling point that allows you to differentiate yourself slightly from your competition.
Recording a podcast is far easier than in the past, but you still need some software and hardware to get started. For best results, use a quality microphone to ensure the sound is of the highest quality. There are plenty of reasonably priced USB microphones, along with various headphone options. For recording, you could use the free options like Audacity, Skype, or even just record a Google Hangout.
You might feel self-conscious at first, but broadcasting to an audience gets easier with time. As you progress, you should find you develop a style, routine, and rapport with your contributors. Typically, the initial podcasts you record only vaguely resemble the later versions, unless you are dealing with professional broadcasters who already have a distinct style. You might like to record a lot of content and edit it later, but some people prefer to record as live. For theme music, stock sites like Audio Jungle, Premium Beat, or Shutterstock can provide plenty of options.
Release the Podcast
Firstly, you will need to publish your finished audio file. Some people like to maintain complete control by publishing to their own server, but the majority will prefer to use an audio hosting site. Some respected sites include Soundcloud, Podbean, Libsyn, and Podomatic, with most allowing you a free service until you require more bandwidth. After publishing your podcast, add it to iTunes and you can look to reach some of their millions of users.
Recording and publishing your podcast is a big achievement, but it will require some promotional work before you can build an audience. If you have interviewed any experts, ask them to inform their followers or blog readers. A recommendation from a known figure can provide a lot of interested listeners. Start to promote your podcast on social media, getting involved in relevant conversations and contributing to the community. If you have a budget, Facebook ads can help you reach your target audience immediately.
What Are the Benefits?
For a business owner, creating a successful, consistent podcast can do wonders for your reputation. Whether it is with your own knowledge, or through associating with other knowledgeable people, you can be regarded as an influential and valuable part of the community. This additional exposure can lead to more sales of your product or service, and you may even receive sponsorship on your podcast. Podcasting involves hard work and consistency, but a successful podcast will inevitably lead to doors opening within your industry.