Podcasts are HOT! Should you start a podcast for your brand?
I used to think that they were a platform enjoyed by people on long commutes. Not so. The last two years has seen a dramatic increase in listeners from a broad demographic.
Podcasts in 2022
A 2021 Statista survey found that 56 percent of US-based respondents aged 12 to 34 years old had listened to a podcast within the preceding month, compared to 26 percent of those aged 55 or above. Adults in the latter age category have been increasing their podcast listening consistently for years, and the share of those who had listened to a podcast in the last month almost doubled between 2017 and 2021.
Further, there are now more than 1 million podcasts available. Topics are diverse.
A Tool for Your Marketing Mix?
Is a podcast a good fit for your marketing efforts? Here are some things to consider.
What You Offer
Is your area of expertise something that lends itself well to a listening audience. If people need to see what you are talking about to understand, or look to you for step by step demos, this may not be the right format.
If you want to monetize your effort, you might want to reconsider. Very few podcasts earn an income. In fact, the vast majority of podcasts have a negative cash flow because of production costs.
If you want to talk about topics and have a unique perspective or expertise to bring, a podcast may be a good fit. You need a voice that is easy to understand (remember, this is an audio only platform). Having a network of people you can tap as guests is a plus too.
Do you have enough material to fill a multi-episode editorial calendar? Sketch out ideas. The effort can give you a sense of how often you might want to release episodes.
How often will you publish episodes —weekly, biweekly, monthly or daily? Will your podcast be divided into seasons? Will the seasons have themes?
If you have just a few topic ideas, you may be better off being a guest on someone else’s podcast rather than creating your own.
The Right Format
What format works best for you? Will you be the sole speaker, or will you have a co-host? Will you interview others?
When planning your podcast, it’s important to think long-term. In our case, we decided to publish episodes biweekly, because monthly felt too seldom and weekly would have demanded too much time for our specialized PR firm to dedicate to the podcast.
Getting Your Podcast Started
If you get through the planning and think this is a good tool for your marketing, it’s time to take some concrete steps:
- Name your podcast. Choose a name that is related to the content. Keep the name short and catchy.
- Create a logo/brand. You will need a visual identify for your podcast.
- Gather recording and editing tools. There are lots of options, some free and some that need to be purchased. At a minimum, you will need to record, save, and edit.
- Pick a hosting platform. Your podcast must be hosted online. Again, there are several options at various costs. Be sure to pick one that will facilitate your podcast being picked up by a large number of podcast services like Apple Podcasts and Google Play.
- Develop episode outlines. You need an audience and you need them to keep listening. Plan episodes that will appeal to your target listener. They must find your podcast content interesting, entertaining or beneficial.
Share Your Passion
If you have gotten this far, you know that starting a podcast isn’t a trivial exercise. So, be sure this is a platform that you will enjoy using to share your passion. If you are excited each time you record a new episode, you will engage listeners and keep them coming back. You will create the engagement and relationship needed to make this a successful marketing effort.