Podcasting Your Business to New Heights – How to Start a Podcast
According to podcasthosting.org, half of all households are podcast fans. For businesses, taking advantage of this trend could put your brand in front of new audiences and build deeper relationships with existing customers. Here is what you’ll need to consider when launching your own podcast series.
Set Your Podcast Up Right
Podcasts are a great way to engage with new audiences and even expand current customer relationships. However, before you get started, it’s important to conduct some market research. First, you’ll need to understand if podcasts are the right channel to reach your target audience. Industry research will also reveal other important factors, such as topics you could cover and how long your podcasts should be.
If you find that podcasting presents an opportunity for your business, there are several factors you’ll want to take into consideration before launching your first episode:
How to choose the right host for your podcast
While you might consider hosting your podcast yourself since it represents your business, that isn’t always the best solution. To draw an audience, you need someone who has a particular appeal. For example, when we launched our podcast at FNBO, we selected an employee who already had her own podcast and audience. When choosing your host, consider finding someone who will have audience appeal as well as industry knowledge.
What equipment do you need to start a podcast?
While it’s possible to record a podcast using nothing more than a smartphone, you’ll realize better results if you invest in some basic equipment, such as a microphone, stand and headphones. This will make it easier for your host and podcast guests to communicate and provide you with professional results for a minimal outlay.
For the best outcomes, you should also consider investing in a mixer or at a minimum, editing software that can be used on your computer. This will allow you to eliminate unwanted background noises or parts of the conversation that may go off track.
What topics will your podcast cover?
To gain a following for your podcast, you need to cover topics that interest your audience. At FNBO, we performed extensive search engine optimization research to discover the questions our audience was asking. We used this information to guide topic selection and to ensure we were creating valuable content for our listeners.
Once you know your topics, you can identify experts to join in your podcasts. Be sure to look internally, as you likely have employees who are engaging and well versed on the topics you will cover.
Don’t forget to create a podcast calendar
You’ll lose essential momentum if you can’t launch your podcast episodes on a regular schedule, so it is important to establish your calendar before you launch. Know what topics you will cover and line up your guests to ensure you can consistently record and launch your podcasts.
Where to host your podcast
To be successful, listeners need to be able to find your podcast. This means you’ll need to invest in a hosting platform or streaming service. Choosing the right platform to publish your podcast is just as important as choosing your host. It’s important to know your audience and pick the platform they already use. While there are many free services, you should also look into paid options, where you will gain more in the way of storage space, speed and features. Free options may also run advertisements that could be intrusive to your audience.
Once you have the pieces in place, it’s time to record your first podcast. Just remember not to launch until you have a few episodes finalized. Having a finished queue of podcasts at the ready will ensure that you can keep to your schedule should any production issues arise down the line.
How to Drive Traffic to Your Podcast for Impactful Outcomes
Producing regular podcast episodes can increase brand awareness and audience engagement by offering your customers and potential customers valuable information in a new format. Podcasts allow you to explore issues at a deeper level and also afford you the opportunity to elevate your own internal experts as industry thought leaders.
However, to realize these outcomes, you’ll need to attract listeners to your podcast and gain a loyal following. This might be the trickiest part of hosting a podcast series, as it requires you to find the best channels to market your efforts and then follow through with promotions.
At FNBO, we have found that social media channels are a prime method for promoting our podcasts. We first use our private employee Facebook group to alert our FNBO community to the launch. Our employees and brand ambassadors then share it across their own business and personal channels, helping us to gain interested followers. We also reach out to our customers directly, sending emails to those individuals or businesses that we think would have an interest.
It’s important to create incentives to drive traffic to your podcast. For example, FNBO gave away Apple Airpods during the launch of the first show, and we continue to look for incentives to drive traffic.
We also continuously evaluate audience reactions to inform our future strategy. Our episode covering the cost of pet ownership is currently our most downloaded episode and an example of how timing is key. Launching this episode during the holidays, when many people were considering the purchase of a new pet, ensured that we were solving an immediate need as well as hitting on a topic that would continue to generate listeners over the long term.
Overall, a podcast can help you get your business in front of new audiences while providing valuable information that answers critical questions. By finding new ways to engage with your target audience, you are expanding your brand awareness and keeping your business top of mind when future needs arise.
If you are looking to save more, budget effectively or make better money decisions, we're here to listen and provide guidance. Check out our podcast today.
The articles in this blog are for informational purposes only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations. When making decisions about your financial situation, consult a financial professional for advice. Articles are not regularly updated, and information may become outdated.