With the dramatic increase in podcast listening hours in the US, and the rise of mobile usage, marketing professionals are exploring the world of podcasting; how to launch a show and the strategies to attract and build a large community of engaged listeners. In 2015, Americans listened to approximately 21.1 million hours of podcasts per day, according to Edison Research. But, is podcasting right for everyone? Will you capture your audience’s attention so that they become your loyal podcast fans? There are several factors to consider before your dive into podcasting, especially when you know every media initiative takes precious time and resources.
These five tips will help you if you want to launch a podcast and create a devoted community of listeners.
Tip #1: Know your purpose. Ask yourself, “What’s my passion and what am I trying to achieve?” You should select a show theme that you love in order to commit the time and energy necessary to make your podcast a long-term success. Of course, nailing down what success looks like is a critical first step. Goals and objectives should be specific. Are you trying to reach your base or perhaps increase your community size? Do you want to monetize your podcast (how much by when)? Are you interested in creating a network that goes beyond your podcast show? Are you trying to educate listeners and use your podcast as a thought leadership platform? Drilling down the details and benchmarking over time will help you to stay on track and reach your intended goals.
Tip #2: Talk to other podcasters. When you talk to people who are already podcasting or those working with podcasters on the production side, it really helps you to understand the time, energy and resources needed for your own program. Before I decided to dive into podcasting, I spoke with several podcasters to find out how they readied their content for primetime and also formed an alliance with the Social Network Station. I needed a strong partner who could do the heavy lifting when it came to producing, distributing and promoting my show. Having an experienced partner who understands the podcasting landscape really helps a busy professional to enjoy the podcasting experience rather than stress out over the process.
Tip #3: Spread the word about your show, everywhere you go. You have to let everyone know that you are podcasting. From your networking and speaking events to your website and social media communities, get excited and “talk up” your show. Whenever I share information about Women Worldwide, the outcome varies from friends and colleagues sharing show ideas / topics, getting introduced to amazing guests, capturing the attention of sponsors and advertisers and growing my community with more listeners.
Tip #4: Measure success with numbers. Podcast measurement is easy because you can go by the numbers. We use Libsyn to gauge at any given time the shows that create the most interest by the number of downloads. We’re able to identify where the download numbers are coming from whether it’s a marketing campaign through mobile ads or via Facebook. At the same time, we can review listener demographics including country, state, city and the gender of our listeners.
Tip #5: Listen to feedback and grow. Feedback is a gift whether it’s positive or negative. I’ve learned from my listener feedback to laugh and be more relaxed, share personal stories, and to interview guests who have experienced challenges on their way to success. I also learned through feedback that I had to invest more in broadcast quality equipment to get better sound quality. I’m using a Yeti Microphone, Audio-Technica Headphones (ATH-M50x) and a Knox Pop Filter. Feedback is the only way that you will learn and grow. Plus, if you incorporate listener feedback into your show, your community knows you care and value their opinions.
If you’re interested in learning more about podcasting and you would like to review additional tips, then you can check out the article, “Jump into Podcasting: 5 Tips From the Experts” by Joanne Hague on the Likeable Media blog.