Chances are you listen to podcasts, have listened to one, know people who listen, or at least have heard of podcasting. Podcasting is a rapidly growing area of media. Per Edison Research, 21% of American 12 years and older listened to a podcast last month. That number is up from 17% in 2015, with the overall monthly listeners increasing around 75% since 2013. As someone, who loves podcasts and podcasting as a hobby I can say that it is certainly a growing area with supply and demand increasing each week. People want content and podcasts are on the rise.
Now, while most businesses will never experience the same kind of impressions and engagement from their podcast as Anna Faris’ Unqualified, they could certainly better their online efforts. If you’re having trouble deciding if you should start a podcast for your personal brand or business here’s what to ask yourself:
- Do you have valuable information to share?
- Does your brand or business care about itself enough to talk about its products, services, and/or industry related news on a regular basis?
- Do you want to build a relationship between your brand and your audience?
- Are you looking to give your business a voice?
- Does your audience listen to podcasts?
- Do you want to take the time to learn the technical details of podcasting? And if not, do you want to pay someone to handle the technical details for you?
If you answered yes to most of the questions above, it’s time you consider podcasting – continue reading to find how you can use it to drive your social media and marketing results to the next level.
How to Get Started: Mindset and Knowing What You Want
Podcasting is technical. There’s no easy way to say this but you’ll have to stop and teach yourself a lot to get started or get someone who already knows what they’re doing. When I first became interested in podcasting I went through a lot of trial and error, even after researching everything I needed to get started, and that’s just the way the game is played. With that in mind, do not get hung up on wanting everything about your podcast to be perfect from the start, you will have to change some things as you go, everyone has to, even Anna Faris (can you tell I adore her?).
Once you’ve entered the right mindset and decided who will be tackling this podcast, you can figure out how you want this machine to run. First off, decide what this podcast is going to discuss? Who’s going to be doing the talking? Will you or someone else be representing your brand? Will you have expert guests on the podcast? Will there be interviews? What’s the goal, both upfront and long-term? How do you want your audience to interact with your podcast?
I know, that’s a lot of questions but the better prepared you are to answer all these questions that come up, the better prepared you’ll be to start a podcast and see it succeed.
Technical Stuff: There’s a Learning Curve
I mentioned this before but I’ll say it again, podcasting is technical work. You’ll need to get equipment, editing software, set up an RSS feed on your website or find a third-party storage alternative. You will have to decide what podcast apps you want to appear on (more importantly where your audience is listening to podcasts). Oh, and did I mention that you’ll want more than just a microphone hooked into a laptop when I say equipment? Because you will and it makes such a big difference that there’s no time to even go over all the reasons in this article. But, what I will go over are each of the above-mentioned items, briefly getting you started on locking down the technical aspects of your podcast.
- Equipment – Personally, I would go with a sound mixer (with multiple microphone inputs if you’re going to co-host and/or have guests on the show). But, this is not the only route. You need to keep in mind the sound quality and make sure you have a good microphone(s) to make the audio editing process as easy as possible. I would check out some options for condenser microphones on Amazon and local music shops to find the best deals. If you are going with the mixer, it would be wise to visit those stores to make sure the microphone(s) you get are compatible or can be with the right adapter.
- Editing Software – there are a lot out there and many of them are free. Do not make the same mistake that I made by using Garage Band out of convenience, and using my sound mixer which left no impact on the quality of my sound. A lot of people swear by Audacity, which is free to use. Personally, I’m currently in love with Adobe Audition and think it has everything I need and is totally worth $19.99 a month. If your business is already a creative cloud subscriber, then you only need to download Audition and you’re good to go.
- RSS Feed – Okay, so an RSS feed (Really Simple Syndication) is just fancy talk for saying that you have a way to distribute your podcast recordings to places like iTunes and other podcast listening apps. If you have a basic blogging website or anything more advanced, you have an RSS feed there. There are tutorials on how to set it up based on what web management tools you have, so after a few minutes you can become an expert on RSS feeds.
- Third-Party Storage – An alternative to hosting your podcast on your website is hosting it through a third-party. This can get tricky as not all, but some third-parties can take full ownership of your podcast if you do not read the fine print on the terms and agreement. A nice third-party storage option that won’t steal your hard work from you if it ever gets popular is BluBerry, which will NOT own your RSS feed like other hosting sites.
- Apps – You want to be where your audience will be listening. A safe bet without doing any research would be iTunes. It’s still the largest place to find and listen to podcasts, it’s also free to stream through iTunes, which is not true for every place. That being said, it’s worth looking into other podcast apps like Stitcher Radio, Google Play, Overcast, BluBerry, SoundCloud, Pocket Casts, and Spotify, just to name a few.
Leveraging Your Podcast for Your Social Media Results
Okay, are you ready to finally get to it? Good, then let’s begin.
First off, repurposing content. Repurposing content is how almost every brand out there gets by and stays relevant in the public eye. If you have a blog post, turn it into an infographic and share that on Pinterest! If you have a video, make a GIF from it and share that on Twitter! The same applies to podcasting. Recording a live segment allows for a lot to happen, including the possibility of someone saying something so perfect and unplanned that the only thought should be to make a visual quote of it and share it across social media. You can write an entire blog post about key takeaways from the latest episode of the podcast. There are so many ways you can leverage and repurpose the great stuff that comes out of a podcast, and your other social properties will thank you for the additional boost in quality content. Bonus points if you convert the audio of a podcast into a YouTube video, which is awesome for SEO and gives you another bit of content to share and another free channel/app for your audience on which to listen.
Secondly, if you have guests then you should be doing the most to leverage their audience. Make sure the guests you have on the podcast have a similar or overlapping audience with yours and make sure to promote them, highlighting their contribution in social posts by tagging their profiles. Depending on your guest’s audience size, you can double, triple or quadruple your impressions on social posts, as well as your podcast. Additionally, seek out partners that will mention you and vice versa, sometimes you only need to start mentioning them for it to be noticed and a partnership to arise. Look for podcasts to be a guest on yourself! There’s a lot of ways to expand your audience, you must be willing to make the effort (and make friends!).
Third, you can use social media to fuel the podcast and then use the podcast to give your social followers the content they want. Set up Twitter polls, create/share polls on other social channels or even just simply ask your audience in social posts what they want to hear. Get your social followers involved in the content you make and it makes your content creation job easier while increasing the richness of the engagement you’re getting on the Podcast and other social channels in return. Let your audience tell you what guests to have, what topic to discuss and more.
Lastly, get creative with your podcasts as a focal point to your social strategy. Create a subreddit that covers the topics you discuss on your podcast, transcribe the audio for blog posts (they have people on Fiverr that will do it for you), make announcements of podcast milestones, host giveaways through podcast (bonus idea, have them enter in part by leaving a review on iTunes or whatever podcasting listening site/app you want) and much more!
Now you are ready to start creating podcasts to drive your social media and marketing results!
If your brand is looking to get into podcasting and improve their social media marketing efforts, then contact us today! Anvil is your one-stop, measurable, digital marketing partner. Let us move your purpose-driven business forward and you can reap the benefits of working with a premier digital marketing agency!