This blog will help you consider the advantages of starting a podcast, and give you some advice about how to get started. We’ll look at how to plan your format and content, what sort of recording and editing kit you’ll need, and how to get your podcast live on the right channels.
What are the benefits of starting a podcast?
Podcasting is a fast growing medium. 6m UK adults currently tune into a podcast every week. This is double the number that was listening five years ago, and this growth shows no sign of slowing down.
Businesses have been a little slow to jump on board this trend, and many have been missing out on the opportunity to connect with new audiences.
12% of UK adults listen to a podcast each week
21% of UK 25-34yr olds listen to podcasts each week
Podcasting also helps you reach your audiences in more fun, personal and immersive ways.
89% of podcast listeners listen to all or most of the episode.
That’s an impressive stat, considering that many podcasts last up to an hour. That’s a lot of time to be in someone’s ears. And this personal and natural way of communicating builds trust in you and your company. You can show off your expertise and throw in a bit of personality that you simply can’t replicate in an advert or blog article.
It’s even possible to make money from your podcasts by selling advertising space.
Sounds good, so how do I get started?
Firstly, you’ll need to do a bit of strategizing. Have a look at your company objectives and consider how a podcast might support them. Are you trying to drive traffic to your website? Find new customers or build deeper relationships with existing ones? Are you trying to promote an event or cause, or build a following you can advertise to?
Also, you’ll need to think about who you’re trying to reach. Dig into any data you hold about your customers. You can find some great insights on social media, or by looking at who your existing online customers are. You can even just take note of who walks into your store or establishment. Maybe even ask your customers what they’d be interested in hearing about. They know best, after all.
All of this will inform the content and style of your podcast. Think about the tone of voice your company should have – educated and authoritative? Fun and friendly? Bear in mind that whatever you choose has to be authentic to your character too.
How do I turn my ideas into podcast content?
You should decide on your podcast format. Are you going to be recording on location or in a studio? Will it be just you or a group of people?
Think of a theme. It’s important your audience gets to know what you’re about – it rarely works to just talk on a completely different topic each week (unless you’re on Stuff You Should Know).
Also, think about what you have in the archives – you might already have some content that could be repurposed.
A good way to start is by inviting professional friends to be interviewed. You’ll naturally have a good rapport with people you already know, and this comes across in the recording. It’ll also help you build confidence at the beginning.
5 steps to take before recording…
- Assemble your cast – invite guest speakers, colleagues, professional friends
- Book a space – somewhere quiet, private, ideally a small space with soft furnishings
- Identify & allocate topics – for guest/panel podcasts
- Research & rehearse – master your topic, add your own ideas and voice, leave time and space for discussion
- Plan introduction/ending – script and rehearse standard introductions, endings and mid breaks. This is your chance to promote your company or cause.
What about the technical setup?
This will depend on the format of your podcast. Do you need to record multiple people? Do you need to be mobile?
You’ll need to consider three main areas…
- Microphone(s) – can be single omnidirectional USB mic (like the Blue Yeti), multiple studio mics (Neewer NW-800), or simple clip mics for smartphones (TONOR Lavalier Lapel Mic)
- Accessories: Cables, microphone stand, pop shield, shock mount
Interface & monitoring:
- Audio interface: (for recording multiple microphones) e.g. Focusrite Scarlett
- Headphones: Studio (Sennheiser) or inner ear pods.
- Handheld recording device (e.g. Zoom H6)
- Audacity (Mac & PC) – free
- Garageband (for Mac) – free
- Adobe Audition (Mac & PC) – subscription
- Anchor (iOS & Android) – free
As you start to see results you may then wish to invest in better microphones and devices.
How do I get my podcast live?
Firstly make sure you have:
- An Mp3 audio file
- Artwork (between 1400 and 3000 pixels square)
- A good title and description – something engaging, unique, descriptive and clear
These usually charge monthly fees for hosting your files and serving them to podcast providers. The Anchor service is free so I’d definitely recommend that.
Once you’ve uploaded your audio, artwork and description to your podcast host, you’re ready to distribute to the Podcast Providers.
The players are Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts (currently only in US & Canada)
Most podcast hosting companies push directly to these companies but some (Apple for example) require a bit of setting up.
Keen to begin podcasting?
If you’d like to know more about how to start a podcast please do sign up for our full-length Podcasting Course at www.socialbrighton.com. We’ll be going into all of this in a lot more detail, plus getting hands-on with recording and editing so you can start to make your very own podcast.