Blog posts, videos, infographics, and now podcasts: Is there any form of content that can’t be used for business? A business podcast that your brand or company creates and produces is a great way to reach a new audience that may not want to read content.
A podcast may be an easy way to connect with new people, but details still matter. Think about your goals and map out the process before you begin. Explore the following eight steps to help you put together a podcast for your company. No matter what you’ve heard, the process isn’t nearly as hard as you may think.
Make a Plan
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Before you buy a microphone or record your first episode, you need a plan for your podcast. While the format may be audio, a podcast is no different from other marketing strategies. Think about what type of podcast you want to have and who your ideal audience will be.
Make a list of potential episode topics. Will your podcast be about your product or service or about an ancillary topic tied to your business? For example, if you sell coffee brewing systems, you may start a podcast about the history of coffee or share information about coffee trivia.
Choose Your Content Format
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Once you have a plan for your podcast, think about the content and format. No single right way exists to format a podcast, and you may change your format as you learn what your audience likes.
You can read blog posts from your website or start a conversation using the posts as a starting point. You may want to interview people in your industry or have conversations among multiple hosts. Your podcast can be fully scripted or more informal with only a few bullet points to follow so that you hit all the areas of emphasis you want to make. The decision is completely up to you, but you need to decide early in the process of getting established.
Get Your Tools Together
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Now that you have an idea of what your podcast is going to look like, invest in your equipment. Many podcasts can be produced with a basic microphone and a computer or laptop. If you’re going to have guests or more than one host, you’ll need multiple microphones and advanced audio equipment.
You also need software to record each episode. The most popular is Audacity, a free and open-source program that you can download onto your computer. Mac users can use Garage Band, too. To interview people in different locations, Skype is popular.
Pick Your Podcast Host Service
Unless you’re a large corporation with servers that host all of your data, you’re going to need a podcast hosting service. You don’t want to upload your podcast audio files to your website because once people begin to listen and download, the extra traffic can slow down your site or possibly crash it.
Using a hosting or file storage service is better. Amazon Web Services allows you to host your audio files, and you pay only for the data others download, which means the cost goes up as your podcast gains listeners. You may want to choose a podcast hosting service that charges a monthly fee, typically based on the size of your audio files. Blubrry and Libsyn are two popular choices.
Choose Title, Artwork, and Music
The title, artwork, and music you use for your podcast are all important because these elements are the ways in which people learn to recognize your podcast. Spend time working on these elements so they reflect your branding. Work with a professional to create the podcast album artwork. It should be a square image of at least 1400 x 1400 pixels. You’ll also want to use music for the intro and outro.
You can find multiple websites devoted to helping podcasters select licensed music for free or for a small fee. Don’t pick a random song from the radio or an album you love because you’ll violate copyright each time you play the song.
Record and Edit Your First Episode
Recording your first episode can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. No matter what program or software you use to record, you can edit the audio later. Even if your episodes won’t be scripted, make sure your intro — what you’ll say to introduce each episode — and your outro — how you’ll say goodbye at the end — are written down.
Remember to include your website and social media information in the episode so that listeners can connect with you. Request reviews on Apple Podcasts and other podcast apps to help other people find you. Now sit down at the mic with your script and begin.
Create Show Notes
Not all podcasts offer show notes as a resource, but they’re a good idea especially for business podcasts. The show notes page offers listeners a brief look at your discussion points and links to more information.
A show notes page is a great place to include related blog post links, your social media information, and any special offers you make during the episode. Each episode with a show notes page can also be published as a blog post on your website. This publication helps new and returning visitors discover your podcast as well.
Publish and Promote
Once you have the first episode recorded, edited, and ready to go, publish and promote it. This step is the same action you should take with any piece of content you create, but podcasts come with extra tools and options. If you choose a podcast hosting service, the service will allow you to easily syndicate your podcast where people will find it, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, and other podcast directories. You can and should use your social media profiles and website to publicize episodes, too.
Since podcasts are all about the personalities and the information in each episode, be engaging, interesting, and authentic. You can’t phone in a podcast — no pun intended. But if you find the right mix of personalities, topics, and format, you will be able to reach a new audience that may never read your blog. Inform and entertain people, and they’ll be more likely to connect with you as your audience.