To demonstrate the podcast’s value, this article surveys the secrets and pitfalls of podcast creation, submission, and promotion. Creators should consider whether this content asset is appropriate for their marketing campaign.
In 2015, specialists named podcasts a dark horse of online marketing. By accurately predicting podcasts’ fast move from niche to mainstream, it’s clear these experts sensed the situation correctly.
Today, more than half of Americans (64%) are familiar with the term “podcasting,” and 44% of the US population (124 million) listen to podcasts.
But as a web writer working with syndicated and repurposed content for various marketing purposes, I notice that some specialists still underestimate podcasts' potential as a content asset.
Why You Need Podcasts in Marketing Campaigns
Generally, a podcast is a series of audio or video episodes of approximately the same length and topic. They’re usually released on a regular basis via websites or mobile apps.
And since listening requires less effort than reading or watching educational content — we use fewer channels for information processing here — podcasts are much easier to grasp. That accessibility contributes to the medium’s rising popularity as a portable content asset.
Approximately 70% of people listen to podcasts on mobile devices, and, according to Edison Research Infinite Dial 2018, four in ten users (40%) stream them when not at work or home.
These numbers demonstrate the wide audience—and potentially targeted audience—marketers will lose by excluding podcasts from their campaign strategy.
Podcasts are effective as a supplemental or main channel of communication, especially if the online platform is the product. What’s more, informative and educational podcasts in particular present creators as experts in their niche. Within these specific areas of knowledge, podcast creators can diversify content, which will generate new audiences and build brand loyalty.
As a result, your website gets an audience, more traffic, and better engagement. Your brand wins awareness and trust, and the product or service leads to more sales.
Prepare to Create a Podcast
Podcasts take a lot of effort and time to get going. Pat Flynn, a host of Smart Passive Income, recommends to treat podcasting as a big project if you want to benefit from it:
Key points Flynn emphasizes:
- Podcasts aren't that easy to produce
- Podcasts work best when you release them on a regular basis
- Podcasts won't bring immediate results
Before you record your first podcast episode, you should:
- Choose a topic
- Set goals
- Establish authority and trust
- Make a plan
1. Choose a Topic
You should be an expert on the subject and find the relevant issues compelling.
Not an expert on the topic? Take time to learn it inside out; otherwise, you won't be able to build a strategy and a plan for future podcast series. Then, listen to other podcasts that cover your topic to understand what the authors say and how they speak.
Consider every detail that will help with podcast creation. Make notes, pay attention to voice and tone, and keep your desired record length in mind.
Furthermore, your interest should be natural; don’t languish in finding the perfect topic. Don't plagiarize from competitors, either. If your brand genuinely has something to say, make the message original.
2. Set Goals
Think about what you want to achieve and then set specific marketing goals for your podcast.
Follow the example of Penguin Random House, which utilizes podcasts to reach new audiences and promote audiobooks. This strategy increased sales by 73% and achieved over 200,000 hours of listening.
Penguin Random House got results by investing in networking, knowing its audience, and leveraging podcasts as entertainment.
3. Establish Authority and Trust
GE Australia created Decoding Genius, a 6-part podcast series that explores six young people who try to change the world with their creations.
The podcast won an international award and successfully promoted the brand’s reputation as an innovative company. The promo is available on YouTube, and all episodes are currently free on iTunes.
As Joanne Woo, vice president of communications of GE Australia, told to BE Media Production, Decoding Genius solidified the company’s position in the “innovation space” and engages a growing audience base.
You can also use income reports to build customer loyalty.
John Lee Dumas' podcast EntrepreneurOnFire, which brings him a six-figure income each month, is a strong example here. Dumas shares monthly income reports on his website, an act of transparency that builds customer loyalty.
In addition, Dumas’ earned impressive traffic and lead numbers by listening to subscriber feedback and crafting content accordingly. He’s maintained clear goals for programming and stuck consistently to a viable marketing strategy.
4. Make a Plan
Finally, think of titles for several episodes — as well as outlines for every episode — to keep a congruent plot thread while recording. And last but not least, make sure you have all necessary equipment for podcast creation.
How to Create a Podcast
Once you see everything works well, it's time to start your podcast creation.
There are 5 key steps in creating a podcast:
- Create intros and outros
- Record the first episode
- Edit and save
1. Create Intros and Outros
Start with intros and outros of your podcasts. They are short recordings with music and an offscreen voice announcing the topic, subtopic, episode number, and guests. You'll need to create those for each new episode to provide takeaways as well as any calls-to-action.
When ready with these two parts, start recording a body.
2. Record the First Episode
Don't get scared of your voice and avoid imitating other speakers you know. Keep on recording even if you forget some words or make bloopers — you'll have a chance to edit it later.
Introduce your brand and product to the audience along with the podcast’s release schedule. Make it a promo and call it Episode 0.
One more detail: Don't read from paper. It sounds artificial, and listeners feel that. They want to hear a vital dialogue or monologue rather than a boring audiobook. Also, decide on your podcast duration. Don't make episodes too long or short: 3-20 minutes are OK, as people have an opportunity to set aside some time for listening and won't get bored.
It’s also a good idea to plan the first 15-20 episodes when you start the podcast.
3. Edit and Save Your Podcast
You’ll need to edit out bloopers, erase background noises, and adjust the audio to an optimal volume level. Once ready, save a podcast in MP3 and add ID3 – the title, episode number, cover, and speaker’s name. This is what it looks like in Audacity:
Such tags give audiences valuable information before they start listening.
4. Submit Your Podcast
First, publish the podcast on a website or blog—in some cases, a secondary one to distinguish them from other content assets. Next, consider listing the podcast with a directory. For example, @PodcastHelper helps content creators choose from the over 100 directories currently available. SoundCloud and Fireside are great hosts for your podcast, too.
With this infographic, you can start submitting podcasts to directories popular among users to ensure fair coverage and enhance their promotion.
5. Promote Your Podcast
There are two main ways to promote your podcast:
- Ask listeners to leave feedback and subscribe. The more subscribers you have, the easier it is to attract a new audience. This simple step helped Sleep With Me jump to the top of iTunes.
- Share your podcast on social media channels, like Nat Eliason does on Twitter.
Instagram is another great channel to promote podcasts to the target audience. The Art of Charm uses it to share its content:
As evidenced by followers' reaction, The Art of Charm was right to choose Instagram for podcast promotion.
When advertising your podcast, don't forget to network with other podcasters in your niche. Follow experts, leave comments, help them with promotions — and they'll do the same for you in return. Consider interviewing guests whose networks are in your niche. That's what Millennial Money Minutes did:
Its interview with Jacob Perez, a popular American singer with more than 200,000 active followers on Twitter, generated approximately 3,500 downloads.
Also, involving new subscribers by growing your email list is a part of the strategy behind Sujan Patel’s Growth Mapping Podcast: The host's website asks listeners to join his email list.
Once they've subscribed, Sujan starts sending his podcast updates to listeners via email, inviting them to the website and promoting his content this way.
To recap, promote podcasts where your target audience is active. And whichever social media channel you choose, be consistent. If you plan to release podcast episodes weekly, then do that in a particular time and weekday. Keep your word; no one wants to subscribe to those breaking a promise.
Ready to Hit REC?
Podcasting will help you attract a new audience — those who prefer listening over reading or watching content. It's a godsend for marketers wanting to build brand awareness and trust and, ultimately, increase conversions.
With the right people, strategy, plan, and commitment, a podcast can enhance your content marketing campaign and influence it drastically. Give it a chance and results will surprise you.
About the Author
Lesley Vos is a seasoned web writer, blogger at PlagiarismCheck.org, and regular contributor to publications on business, marketing, and writing craft. With 7+ years of experience in data research, article writing, and content distribution, she helps peers develop the confidence and skills for better content creation and promotion. Connect with Lesley on Twitter.