Podcasts. You’ve heard of them, you’ve probably listened to some of them, but have you considered starting your own? According to a 2019 report, an estimated 22% of Americans listen to podcasts on a weekly basis—that’s 62 million Americans who are sitting back, relaxing, and listening to what someone has to say with open ears.
It is this ability to gain consumer trust and build organic relationships with listeners that makes podcasting such an amazing marketing tool. However, not every podcast is necessarily successful, and walking the line between information and advertising is a delicate art, which is why TAE has compiled a 4-part checklist for successfully jumping into the podcast game.
Step 1: Be Honest with Yourself
This may seem obvious, but hosting a podcast is not for everyone. If you don’t genuinely enjoy talking with others—key word: with—then starting a podcast may not be the best use of your time. Whether you have guests on or not, podcasts are an interactive medium that require a great conversational tone. If that sounds like you, then keep reading on.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have the best personality type for a podcast host but still want to be one, team up with someone else for a multiple-host podcast.
Step 2: Understand Your Capacity
Starting a podcast may seem easy enough—and in a way it is—but maintaining one is much more difficult. With starting a podcast comes the responsibility to produce intriguing and original content on a regular and seemingly endless basis, and this responsibility can quickly become overwhelming. This is why before you commit to creating a podcast you need to be realistic about the amount of time and energy you will be willing and able to devote towards its success.
Pro Tip: If you want to start a podcast but fear you may run out of episode ideas, incorporate interviews into your show—that way the content makes itself; you just have to ask the right questions.
Step 3: Differentiate Yourself
The world of podcasts is quickly becoming over-crowded, and for good reason. The number of people listening to podcasts has been steadily increasing every year—in just one year the amount of weekly podcast listeners has increased by 14 million. As you can imagine, then, standing out from other shows is becoming more difficult and thus more important than ever. Once you figure out the genre of your podcast, look at your competitors, figure out what they are not doing, and then do that.
Pro Tip: One effective strategy for setting yourself apart from the competition is to place yourself in the shoes of your target listeners. From that perspective you can figure out what is missing from the current podcast landscape and supply that demand yourself.
Step 4: Don’t Make it About Your Brand
Podcasts are a great marketing tool for your business, but only if they are not about your business. In other words, your podcast should not just be an advertisement—that is what advertisements are for. Even if your underlying aim in starting a podcast is to raise awareness for your brand, always remember that the best way to achieve this is by keeping your brand in the background. As soon as you betray your listeners’ trust by plugging your own brand, there is no going back. With that being said, podcast wisely.
Pro Tip: To indirectly raise brand awareness through a podcast, try to make the topic of your show relate in some degree to the industry of your brand, without explicitly drawing the connection.