To Podcast or Not To Podcast – That is the Question

If you’ve been toying with the idea to start a podcast, now is a better time than any. And if you’re wondering just what the rush is, the exciting news is that Google has announced they will now begin to include podcasts in search results. 

It gets far more interesting, as Google has also said that they will soon be indexing podcast content and providing audio clips in search results. So, just when you thought it was a good idea, this confirms it. Podcasting is the present and the future. 

However, as with any piece of content, we strongly recommend following a strategy to ensure you’re not just churning out a podcast for the sake of a Google update. As always with Google, it’s got to be quality over quantity. 

According to Ofcom, around 7.1 million people in the UK listen to podcasts each week. That’s one in eight people, and an increase of 24% over the past year. 

Podcast listeners are a growing, highly engaged audience; which means no matter the topic you want to share, there is no doubt going to be a group of people who will be attracted to your podcast. 

To help get you into the full swing of setting up your podcast and boosting your search visibility, we’ve revealed the essential areas you need to cover before you put your voice to the microphone.

Knowing Your Audience 

As with any form of content that you create, you need to have your audience in mind. Who are your listeners going to be? 

Recent insight from Ofcom has found that half of the podcast listeners are under 35. Choosing podcasts as entertainment and insight on a commute from work, or while at home conducting chores, has been found to be the key areas for podcast consumption. 

With these insights in mind, it’s important to put together an audience insights strategy to ensure that your format and topic can be driven by listener needs. 

Why should they listen to your show? 

Choosing Your Format 

From solo presenters, interviews to panel discussions, there is a range of formats that podcasts can take. 

While this may feel overwhelming at first, the best advice is to find a format that works for you. 

When you invite guests to be interviewed on your podcast, be it remote, or local, this can come with its own difficulties, including scheduling conflicts, quality of internet connection, and travel. 

Consider how often you want to put out your podcast and let this help lead your format. 

If you want to interview people every week, this can be time-consuming. Finding the person to interview, setting an amicable recording date, recording the podcast and then editing. There are many hoops you’ll have to jump through before it can go live. So consider the process, and just how much time you’re willing to use for your podcast. 

Choosing Your Topic 

Data from Ofcom surrounding popular topics for podcasts has found that comedy is the most popular genre, followed by music, TV and film. However, don’t let this stop you from talking business, or niching it right down to your industry or sector. The more valuable you can make your content to your target audience, the better. 

Rather than be swept away with what’s trending or popular, these early days of podcasting can help you carve out your own audience and create a unique following. Don’t be afraid to be the first. 

Finding the Right Tech 

No doubt the biggest question running around in your mind is, how do you start a podcast? 

The fact is since podcasting has risen in popularity, more platforms and systems are now available to support you in getting your show out there. 

Ask ten podcasters, and they’ll probably all tell you a different system they use to record, edit and publish their content. 

It’s just the same with websites; not everyone has a WordPress website. So you need to find the right piece of software for you. 

In regards to user-friendly systems that can help you record interviews, Zencastr has had some rave reviews. This cloud-based platform enables you to record interviews remotely, so your guests could be from anywhere in the world. 

Many people still edit using iMovie; there are many tutorials on YouTube to help you edit and cut your audio tracks. 

Publishing is simple across multiple channels thanks to Anchor FM. They distribute your podcast on all the platforms, including Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts, so you don’t have to do any of the hard work. Anchor FM has recently been acquired by Spotify, so they have a team who really know what they’re doing. 

Many of the platforms available are free or come with a small subscription fee. It truly is a case of doing your research and finding a system you can enjoy using. 

Making it SEO Friendly 

As with any content that’s going online make it easy for your audience to find it. Categorising it correctly on your publisher, and ensuring you fill out headers and descriptions is essential to help your audience know what your podcast is about, and what insight you can offer them. 

The ‘show notes’ as they’re often called is also the perfect place to add links to your website, social media channels and any resources you’ve shared with your audience. 

Spreading the Word

Once your podcast is alive, it’s time to do the hardest part and get people listening in. 

Add a link to your podcast on your website, so your visitors are aware that you also share your knowledge in another form. 

To give more intrigue and insight into your podcast and topics you’re talking about, create some bold graphics or mini clips to share so that you can draw people in with a tease of the show. 

Pushing your podcast across your social channels is also essential, and tagging in people who may be interested in the topic you’re discussing. 

While the groundwork certainly lies in the recording and editing, the marketing side is where it becomes all-important. After all, the reason for your podcast should be to engage with people and increase your brand awareness. 

Even if you think there are ‘too many’ podcasts in the world now, there is ample opportunity for many different businesses to leverage more exposure and raise profiles with a podcast. It could be your new marketing tool for 2020!

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