THE 5 MUSTS FOR PRODUCING AN EXCELLENT PODCAST FOR YOUR BUSINESS
DISCLOSURE: It's important to note that I work for two businesses linked below: my own (PodShaper), and Fullwrite Creative. However, I will not receive any money when you click on the links provided. All resources have been curated for your benefit. I hope you enjoy the post!
According to data collected for HubSpot's digital publication, "State of Inbound 2016", an increasing number of businesses are planning to integrate podcasts in their inbound marketing strategy. There are several reasons for this:
Today's buyer is more knowledgable and savvy than at any other time in history, which places a demand on marketing and sales professionals to generate a variety of helpful, engaging content if they hope to capture the attention and consideration of specific target audiences
Though the podcast listener pool might still be considered a niche market, it is a growing one, and an increasing number of marketing and sales teams are seeking to establish themselves in the medium ahead of their competitors [Journalism.org Podcasting Fact Sheet; HubSpot "State of Inbound 2016"]
Better analytics are available for teams looking to analyze podcast data. Platforms like Podtrac/Authentic, Acast and Megaphone are introducing more advanced advertiser metrics and technical data gathering capabilities.
Podcasting is one of the only mediums that allows your audience to fully engage with you while they perform other tasks like driving, cleaning, or exercising.
Podcasting has a low barrier to entry, so it's easy to get started and stay well within your budget. Almost anyone can start a podcast! Woo Hoo!
Interestingly, I believe that how you handle the last bullet point will greatly determine the efficacy of actions taken based on the other ones. The fact that anyone can start a podcast is an encouraging idea espoused across the web. Truthfully, the low barrier to entry for creators is one of the coolest aspects of the medium, and it has allowed anyone with some passion and a little dough to create their own platform for their voice to be heard. So, yes, the ease of getting into podcasting is fantastic - unless you're a business competing for the sustained attention and consideration of a customer base.
LOOKING AT this from A business perspective
If anyone can start a podcast, including your competitors, and more businesses are adopting this medium into their strategies, it's important that you and your team adopt a different mindset than the average podcaster (average is not meant to be an insult). If you approach the creation and implementation of your podcast while stuck in a "low barrier to entry" mindset rather than from a place of preparing to invest in excellence, you will waste your time, you will look unprofessional, and you will give up valuable engagement opportunity to the competitors who were willing to go the extra mile.
THE 5 MUSTS for producing an excellent PODCAST FOR YOUR BUSINESS
I believe there are five key factors that will determine your ability to generate longterm engagement, growth, and ROI from your podcast:
RELEVANCE TO YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
At first glance, this looks like nothing you haven't heard before. In actuality, the specificity with which you approach content creation has never needed to be so honed. Learn your audience's interests, needs, goals, etc. before designing your podcast concept and you'll be set up for capturing and keeping the attention of your audience.
This is a no-brainer. Once you have your concept planned out, brand your podcast through a quality design, copy, and theme music.
- Premium Beat is a great resource for royalty free music with a simple licensing structure. All you have to do is search their database for the best fit for your brand, pay for a license, and download your music in long, medium, and short lengths for efficient production editing.
- If you'd like custom music so that you don't hear your brand's theme played over someone else's product, Fiverr is a good place to look for someone who will write custom music for your show.
TRACS defines storytelling as 'one of our oldest artforms. It stimulates the imagination and builds a sense of community between tellers and listeners.' The magnetic power of storytelling can be seen in the popularity of podcasts like "The Inquiry" from BBC, "Serial", and "This American Life".
If you need some help getting started, below are a couple resources for you:
- Fullwrite Creative is run by an excellent written-word and visual storyteller. Reach out to him (Robert) for help with storytelling technique, storyboarding, or scripting.
- For the production side of things, which includes seamlessly connecting your audio files through professional editing and mastering techniques, I suggest asking around the office to see who's a closet audio nut or outsourcing to a professional. You can search "podcast editing" in Google and find several reputable options.
If you'd rather spend your time on something other than combing through Google, email me to get started with a free, no risk consultation. Sound design and highly technical mixing & editing are right in my wheel house!
Engaging, insightful interviews are the result of planning & research, asking good questions, and actively listening. There are several articles available online to help with prep for an interview-style episode, and I've listed a couple below:
- 9 Tips on Conducting Great Interviews (FORBES)
- Top 10 Tips for Conducting an Exceptional Interview (SMART PASSIVE INCOME)
The importance of having great sound & production on your podcast can most easily be compared to the importance of quality graphic design in establishing a brand, communicating a business's personality, and building trust with prospects. A podcast with great sound and professional-grade production will carry with it a sense of professionalism, have an instant trust-building effect, and be enjoyable for listeners. However, a podcast consisting of sudden distracting volume changes or a Skype interviewee whose recorded voice bites at the eardrums will invite a negative reaction, make you seem unprofessional, and create a poor first-impression in first-time listeners, which studies show are incredibly difficult to change [see article from NYMAG].
Below are a couple tips for ensuring this crucial component is efficiently established and ready to go from the start:
- Ask around within your business. You might have a closet editing hobbyist who will be able to do amazing things with your raw audio, and he or she will love that you asked.
- Outsource editing and production work to professionals who will be able to enhance your recorded audio and seamlessly piece together your vision at a price point that equates to a much lower cost to your business than that of hiring a full-time employee. PLUS, your marketing & sales teams can remain focused on innovation, creativity, knowing and responding to your audience, and content generation.
THERE YOU HAVE IT
Thanks for your time, and I hope you've found this post helpful!
If outsourcing is the way you'd like to approach your sound and production work, please get in touch with me for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254.640.0014. I would love to learn about your ideas and goals and see how we might help bring them to life.