Podcasting was once a niche audio platform, but it has emerged today as a powerful marketing tool. Just like people grew accustomed to cable TV and DVRs, they are now used to consuming on-demand audio content.
I hosted a morning radio show in Australia for 10 years. In the early 2000s, FM stations began taking my celebrity interviews and putting them on iTunes. I noticed tons of downloads on those iTunes episodes, but not many live listeners. So, in 2015, I stopped working at my radio station and started my own podcast.
To help you publish your own marketing podcast, in this article I’ll share some tips we use at Ginni Media.
1. Define a clear purpose for your company podcast
Consider the purpose of your podcast and the audience you want to reach. Start by looking at what you do better than anyone else as a business.
Think about a unique way you serve your community. If I were a mechanic, for example, I would talk about the topics my customers ask about in the shop. I would do a podcast about why you need to change your oil or why continued servicing is essential. Your clients can google that information, but a podcast provides engaging content and brings experts on the show to broaden their knowledge.
You already know your audience. Your listeners are your potential clients. Podcasting is a vehicle you can use to reach out and build a relationship with them.
2. Design your podcast’s length and frequency
If you want to develop a relationship with your podcast listener, make it easy for them to experience your podcast. Keeping your episodes concise and consistent is the key.
Scheduling at least one episode each week allows listeners to know they can listen to you on a particular day. If you are consistent, you will become part of your listeners’ routine. On their commute, they will be expecting you to keep them entertained.
If you don’t put up an episode when you say you’re going to, you lose trust with your listener. It’s like having a friend say, “Hey, I’ll catch the train with you tomorrow,” and then not show up.
Keep your shows to 30 minutes or under. One of my favorite podcasts is an hour long, but I can’t listen to it all at once. An hour is too much of a time commitment. Listeners can digest 30-minute episodes in one sitting.
3. Tell your company’s story, showcase its expertise, and familiarize listeners with your brand
Use your podcast to tell your story. You don’t have to be a professional speaker to craft podcasts that hook your listeners. Talking to your audience in an authentic, conversational style makes a podcast relatable.
A lot of clients come to me saying, “I’ve got this great product that I want the world to hear about.” A podcast isn’t the place to talk about your product, though. When you’re talking about a product for 30 minutes, it sounds like a half-hour ad.
Rather than making listeners feel as if they’re being talked at, we want to make listeners feel as if we’re having a conversation with them. Focus on the story behind the product. What’s the journey of your product? Why was it created? What problem does it solve? How has it changed people’s lives? That’s what will hook your listeners.
4. Improve brand credibility by inviting diverse experts and clients as guests
Business leaders look to other experts before making informed decisions. Inviting subject-matter experts to your podcast offers variety in voice and casts you as a thought leader who can attract major influencers in the field.
As the host, you curate and guide the conversation, but there are benefits to sharing your mic with expert guests. They will not only provide insight to your listeners but also bring new listeners to you.
When searching for expert guests, your podcast can be your press pass. Use your podcast to build relationships with major players in your industry. One of my clients uses his cryptocurrency-related podcast to get into blockchain events. He travels to these events and says, “I have a podcast. Can I interview speakers at your event?”
5. Ensure high-quality production
High-quality production will inspire trust. As a podcaster, strive for high quality in your audio and content.
The biggest differentiator between professional and amateur audio quality is a decent microphone. It can range from $60 to $500+, depending on the kind of microphone you want.
For podcasting, two types of microphones are typically used: USB and XLR. This video we recorded at Metro Podcast Studio (which I cofounded) explains the differences between the two.
My choice of microphone is the Shure SM7B. XLR microphones require additional equipment, such as an audio interface that can be plugged into a computer. In some cases, you can record directly to the board or panel from an XLR microphone.
USB microphones are a great option for a starter microphone and if you’re on a budget. You simply plug the mic into your computer via a USB port and record straight to your computer.
I also recommend you hire a producer. A producer starts by consulting with you to brainstorm questions and a storyline. The producer crafts the episode, and you record it. Finally, the producer handles the post-production process. Your producer takes care of the legwork so that you can focus on recording and building relationships.
6. Promote your business podcast
When you record an episode and you are ready to send it out into the ether, you want people to find it.
First, using a media distributor is crucial. The media distributor generates an RSS feed. That feed enables pod players, such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Podcasts, to recognize your show. After setting up the RSS feed, you have only to upload your episode to one place for syndication to all the podcast apps.
To promote your podcast, I recommend using snackable content to create a trailer just like those that entice you to watch movies. I take audio snippets from a finished podcast and back them with visuals. I use those teasers to promote podcasts on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook. Snackable content is a hook that lets people preview the episode you’ve published.
Repurposing your podcast as written content is another way to promote each new episode. Turning a podcast into a transcript or blog post is almost effortless thanks to transcription software such as Trint or Otter AI.
If you capture video while recording your podcast, you can promote it through YouTube.
Now, people can consume your content in three ways: they can read it, watch it, or listen to it.
* * *
Before the pandemic, there were one million podcasts on Apple Podcasts. Now there are over two million. The popularity of podcasts has doubled in the last 12-18 months. Don’t let your brand miss out on the marketing benefits this influential medium offers.
More Resources on How to Start a B2B Marketing Podcast
Three Tips From Basecamp for Launching and Running a Successful Podcast
The Business Podcast Primer: The Right Way to Do What Is So Often Wrong
Why Podcasts? Why Now? How to Leverage the Power of Podcasts for Your Brand