Wondering if podcasts are the best way to build brand awareness and get people engaging with your brand? We think so, and so does the BBC. According to its recent study, 94% of listeners consume podcasts while performing other tasks. Surprisingly by listening in this way, engagement with the brand was actually elevated and brand awareness grew 89%. It also found that brand mentions in podcasts resulted in 16% higher engagement and 12% higher memory than the content that surrounds it. This is substantial compared to when brands were mentioned on the radio where they ranked 5% lower than the content around it.
Interested in joining the growing hordes of people — and brands — launching and running a podcast? Here’s some handy hints to get your own podcast off the ground.
1. Choose a podcast theme
If you have a great idea, start with a competitor audit. See what’s already available and what will make your podcast stand out from the rest. It’s important to find your niche. Check Apple Podcasts or Spotify to see what’s already playing.
Some of the most popular branded podcasts of all time include Hackable by McAfee, which won the 2018 Shorty Awards, as well as Sauce by McDonalds and Rise and Grind by ZipRecruiter. What did they all have in common? Great content!
One popular podcasting theme of 2020 has been focused around escape. Could you tie in your podcast to fit to this theme? McDonalds did it with their Sauce series which played on the popular ‘serial’-style theme of the time. Could podcasting be a way for you to differentiate your content marketing from your competitors?
2. Who is the audience for your podcast?
Research your target audience and develop a plan around how you will reach them and keep them engaged. The great thing about podcasts compared to traditional radio is that you don’t need to be in the same geographic area as your audience. With podcasts, audiences can access your show from just about anywhere in the world there is an internet connection.
Think about the topics your audience is interested in; if my business focuses on property management, maybe my audience would be interested in listening to how the local real estate market is doing, how technology can assist them, what resources work better than others, changes in current regulations and so on. The key is to understand your audience and what they are most interested in.
3. How long should your podcast be?
This really depends again on your audience. There isn’t necessarily a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to look at when you want to reach them. If your aim is a morning show, how long do your listeners likely have on their commute? You also need to look at the practicalities of your business creating a podcast, which will also determine the frequency. How much content can you create regularly to reach your length goals for your target audience? If you’re getting mixed results regarding the length of your shows, try doing some polling on your audience. If they engage with you on social media, such as Instagram, it’s quite simple to ask them some questions and get the results quickly.
4. Plan your podcast episodes in advance
Work on putting together an episode line-up several weeks in advance. Just as you would plan out a campaign or magazine, you need to map out your podcast content. Think about themes, book suitable guests, plan out episode structures, interview questions and talking points. Depending on the format of your podcast, you may even want to rehearse or pre-record certain sections in advance, or even have pre-prepared clips or sound bites ready to play. Be sure to always have a backup plan and multiple time options for recording as you don’t want to get stuck without an episode one week.
5. Talking tech: podcast hosting services
There are several hosting services available — where you can store and eventually distribute your podcast online — each with their own pros and cons. With most, there is a fee to pay depending on how many hours of podcasts you plan on recording each month. Some services offer a free trial or even free service if you use less than a set amount of time each month. Most hosting services will also help to get your podcast listed in directories such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts. This is important as it’s where most people go to listen to podcasts. If you’re not on here, it’s much more difficult to be found.
One of the most popular hosts to use is Buzzsprout. A few services such as PodBean even offer a video recording service, so you can publish the video on a video platform such as YouTube or even on your own social media and website. James Harris of the TV show Million Dollar Listing does this extremely well on Instagram for his weekly podcast, Positively Chaotic.
6. Talking tech: podcast equipment and software
Many podcasts can be done by simply using your computer’s microphone, speakers, and if recording video, then the built-in camera. However, it is probably best to invest in better equipment, such as a Shure SM7B Cardioid Dynamic Vocal Microphone. Also think about renting a recording studio or creating an appropriate soundproof room or recording space in your home or office. Foam wedges specifically made for studios can help with soundproofing. There’s nothing worse than a podcast with horrendous sound.
Hosting sites will also have editing software, so you can get your audio and video clips just right before publishing. If you want an editing suite that offers more than basic features than you can check out software such as Soundtrap. However, the higher the quality equipment, the better audio and video you’ll be able to produce. For those thinking about taking this on full-time then having a crew, studio and editor will provide optimum results.
7. How to grow your podcast audience
If you have an existing customer database, regularly update your customers/listeners via email of upcoming shows. Use social media such as Instagram and Facebook to share pre and post-episode content. Remember that podcasts are on-demand, so there’s no need to include entire clips of podcasts on your social media. Instead, keep to short clips or written posts that will entice your followers to listen to the entire show.
Create an editorial schedule and promote specific episodes as well as general branding. And remind people to subscribe at every opportunity. Although podcasts are on-demand, people still like to listen or watch shows when they are first released. If your audiences subscribes, they will be notified or even have the latest episodes automatically downloaded
8. How to promote your guests and your business in your podcast
Always remember to shout out about your guests. Mention what that person does and where people can follow him or her online. Also take note that podcasts are a great way to show your expertise and connections in a certain area. This in turn may drive more potential business to you. Let your listeners know how they can follow you or get in touch. Many shows will feature this at the end of the episode as a nice sign-off.
It’s also important to create content on your website to promote your podcast. This could be blogs that introduce or summarise each episode as well as an introductory to the podcast blog. Then link each blog to the podcast to help generate traffic.
9. How to make money from your podcasts
By creating the podcast you will in turn help to drive people to your business. If done properly a podcast will help increase brand awareness and engagement. Think of a podcast as another prong on your marketing strategy. It’s there to promote your business.
It’s possible to run advertisements during your show; they can either be recorded by you during the show or inserted during editing. If you decide to run an advertisement, do be careful not to drive people away, as many podcasts connected to a business tend to just promote that business and their guest.
Media companies such as The Economist and Monocle have many podcast shows surrounding different topics that their publication focuses on. While they will sometimes feature an advertiser during a podcast, they will always promote their publication subtly within each episode. The podcast acts to supplement their business and get listeners to want to purchase their products. This same strategy can work for other non-media business as well.
The bottom line
Podcasts are a fun and informative way to grow public awareness of yourself and your business. Grocery store Trader Joe’s is a great example of this. Their Inside Trader Joe’s podcast uplifts their team members and talks about their products in a fun way that makes you want to run to one of their 508 stores immediately after listening to an episode. Podcasts are also not too complicated to get started and the cost is relatively low, making it a great addition to your marketing efforts. If it becomes a popular show, who knows where it might lead to. Why not take the leap and enter the exciting world of podcasting?
Speak to us today about how we can help you create and amplify the perfect content for your business.