How to Start a Podcast
Podcasting is more popular today than ever before—and it’s going nowhere but up. Statista estimates that there could be more than 100 million podcast listeners in the U.S. by 2024, up from 75.9 million in 2020.
What does that translate to for businesses? Your members and customers are podcast listeners, and it’s a prime channel for reaching them—whether they are on the go or working from home.
Before you hit record, ask yourself these five key questions when launching a new podcast.
1. What’s the goal of the podcast?
Put simply, why are you starting a podcast? How can it be differentiated in a sea of podcasts? And how will it be differentiated from the other content platforms your organization maintains?
Understanding your answers to these questions will help you identify the right voice and tone for your podcast, as well as the topics to cover and format.
2. What is the best format for the podcast?
In order to create a consistent listening experience for your members, you need to nail down a format that is used for every episode.
Determine who you will feature on the podcast:
- Will you have one or two consistent hosts?
- Will you have a standing host who interviews one or two guests each episode?
- Will you gather a roundtable of subject matter experts each episode?
Decide on the type of content you’ll provide and the appropriate length for delivering that content:
- Do you want to provide a short, snappy tip of the week? In this case, you might opt for 10-minute episodes.
- Do you plan to deliver the latest industry news bits? Episodes might be best suited for 20–25 minutes.
- Are you going to provide in-depth thought leadership on a timely topic? You might lean toward longer episodes of 45–50 minutes.
3. How frequently will you produce new episodes?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. What’s crucial, though, is that you deliver new episodes on a consistent schedule—whether that be every Tuesday morning or the first Wednesday of the month.
Make sure you properly estimate the resources you can give to this, and create a schedule that reflects that. It’s fine to start small—producing once a month—and then increasing as you are able.
4. What equipment should you invest in?
You don’t have to make an enormous investment in a professional sound booth or recording studio. In fact, it’s likely at least some of your guests or hosts will be recording remotely.
Even moderately priced podcast kits, consisting of headphones and a mic, can go far in delivering professional-quality audio.
When it comes to a recording platform, you can demo services to find the one that fits your needs and budget.
5. How will you promote the podcast?
Promote your podcast on your website, but also list it on all the platforms where your members get their podcasts (i.e., Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts). The key is reaching them where they are. You will need to host your podcast somewhere, so choose a hosting service that gives you access to the listings platforms you want to be on.
Your audience needs to discover, subscribe to and engage with your podcast to make it worthwhile. Audiograms—essentially visual soundbites—can be a valuable part of every podcast distribution and promotion strategy.
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