Business podcasting: how do you do it?
Despite the fact that the phenomenon has been around for about fifteen years, the popularity has been increasing strongly in recent years: the podcast. A podcast – a contraction of the words iPod and broadcast – is a recorded audio recording of a few minutes to sometimes several hours in which sometimes one, but often several presenters and/or guests talk to each other. Sometimes radio (talk) programs are also offered as podcasts after the broadcast.
Podcasts come in all shapes and sizes. There are thousands of different ones in the Netherlands alone. Some podcast series have been running for years and are popular with large groups of followers. Podcasts can be listened to via your computer or of course via your smartphone. In order to easily follow them and have new episodes delivered automatically, most podcast listeners use apps that allow you to subscribe to podcasts. Such an app makes it easy to listen to the latest episode on the way to or from work, for example. As far as listening to podcasts, but make a podcast: how do you do that?
In the wake of the growing popularity of podcasts, entrepreneurs have also slowly discovered the power of the medium. Not so much as a replacement for existing marketing resources, but mainly as part of a broad, varied content marketing strategy.
This is because the podcast is an excellent medium with which you can add depth to the content with which you want to bind your (potential) customers to your company. Unlike an e-mail, or a brochure, or an advertisement on the radio or on TV, a podcast is a means for which the target group – in this case the listener – really takes the time. But of course nobody takes the time to sit down and listen to an extensive commercial message once a week. So how can you use podcasts?
Add value, demonstrate expertise, stimulate latent need
An important part of any content marketing strategy is that the (digital) content that you offer as a company must add value for your target group. This often starts with offering interesting information or insights. For example, if you have a security company, it is probably very interesting for many of your customers to listen to a podcast once a month about the latest trends in securing your home or business premises and the latest threats that come with it. .
You do not want to directly offer your products or services – a podcast is not a radio commercial – but you want to offer information by means of valuable content and also demonstrate your expertise. By discussing current events in your industry and speaking about them as an authority, you can stimulate the latent need among customers and prospects. You ensure that people start thinking about the topics that you have discussed in your podcast.
How do you start podcasting?
Okay, so you see it, incorporate podcasts into your content marketing strategy. Then the question arises: how do you start? There are four things to take care of when creating your podcast:
- First of all you have a podcast format required. A format means as much as: the recurring structure. Think of the radio news: one opens with the biggest news, then two or three smaller messages, followed by traffic jam information and finally the weather. We call this structure a format. A format helps listeners follow your podcast from top to bottom and makes your podcasts predictable – and that's a good thing. It gets people to listen to your podcast and it gives listeners an idea of how far along they are in the podcast. You can always tweak your format, but think about it carefully first.
- After that there are of course one or more good presenters required, preferably at least two. Talking through a podcast on your own is really disappointing and it is also less pleasant to listen to. In addition to regular presenters, you can also work with visitors. That is even highly recommended, because by inviting guests your network grows, your podcast gains fame and you get fresh insights with every episode. It will cost you more time, because you have to arrange those guests and you depend on their availability.
- The third step is to purchase the necessary equipment. You need good microphones and a small mixing panel, of course together with a laptop or computer with some accessible editing software. It all sounds more complicated than it is. A little online search will help you put together a podcaster starter kit and it won't cost you thousands of dollars. You can always invest in more expensive stuff later. Note: don't get too amateurish, because a podcast with poor sound quality, nobody will listen.
- What many starting podcasters forget is that you podcast hosting need. It needs to be posted somewhere online, and that's not just your company website. Your followers must be able to subscribe to your podcast, so it must be hosted on a podcast platform. There are several, but don't forget to fix this fourth step before you start.
Just start podcasting
Now that you have your format, your presenters/guests, all the necessary equipment and the right hosting, you can basically get started. Your first podcast won't be a gem (yet), and you may want to delve into tips and advice on how to create a podcast first – a good creating a podcast – does the trick, but you've got the basics in place now. Advice from the house: play and try first, and be wise through trial and error. If you like it, the quality by itself.