Podcasting is one of the world’s fastest growing and most popular content mediums. Listeners rely on podcasts for news, education, intellectual stimulation, emotional engagement, entertainment and a feeling of community connection. Podcasts are portable and convenient; anyone with a smartphone or computer can listen whenever and wherever to their favorite content, which can be informative or inspiring, life-enhancing or just plain fun.
For content creators, the medium is highly versatile; nearly any topic people are interested in can become the basis of a series. For businesses, the medium provides a low-cost way to target and connect with audiences. As a result, companies use podcasts in myriad creative ways, from educating listeners about their industries in news segments to hosting entertaining interview shows with subject matter experts.
Considering Starting a Business Podcast? Data Says You Should
As of May 2022, there are currently nearly 2.9 million podcasts in production, according to ListenNotes. Statista forecasts that the number of podcast listeners will surpass 160 million in 2023 after increasing by approximately 20 million each year. Statista research also reveals that
- In 2022, 62% of the population ages 12+ has listened to a podcast
- Seventy-three percent of the U.S. population 12+ have listened to online audio in the last month
- Thirty-eight percent of those ages 12+ in the U.S. are monthly podcast listeners and 28% are weekly podcast listeners
Benefits for Businesses
Podcasting offers businesses the ability to target audiences, build engagement and position key personnel as industry or topic authorities. Once a podcast finds its niche, the medium enables content creators to build active communities through the podcast and other channels that can be extended outside of the medium. Many podcasters forge such a loyal following that they can create Facebook groups and Twitter audiences, sell merchandise, host live events and tour the country. Successful podcasters are influential brand ambassadors who can accomplish all of this with very low startup costs and a quick ramp-up to production.
Given these possibilities and the ease and low cost of getting started, most businesses have begun their podcast plans or plan to create a series soon.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Podcast
Getting started involves a simple, 10-step process:
- Determine your audience: What is the intersection of your business or segment with a topic that has a substantial potential audience? Research your audience’s interests to discover underserved content areas.
- Focus on a central purpose or idea: Play to your audience with a promise of the content they can expect in your podcast series. Consider your core ideas and the main reason the podcast should exist. Develop a resonant theme that will capture your audience’s interest and allow you to keep on producing compelling content.
- Decide your format and style: There are many popular formats to consider. Among them are solo monologue shows, conversational co-hosted shows and panel formats. You may decide to make regular interviews of industry players a key feature or cover industry news and events. Your episode lengths should be consistent and allow enough time to deliver on your central purpose.
- Determine your brand: Your podcast’s brand may be your host’s dynamic personality, audience engagement or educational content. What can you offer that no one else does? How does your show stand out? This is your why for doing the podcast that will help you build traction and momentum. Make sure your title is succinct, reflects your brand and intrigues your audience.
- Invest in equipment: High-quality recording and editing equipment — including audio interfaces, recording software, microphones, filters and headphones — will help to establish credibility above amateur competitors. Superior sound and editing equipment also make production more manageable and help you retain a discerning audience.
- Find a host: Podcasts are not directly uploaded to podcast platforms. Instead, choose a host like Buzzsprout or PodBean and submit your shows to all major directories, including Apple Podcast and Stitcher.
- Be authentic and vulnerable: Though podcasts are similar to radio, successful podcasters often have an even more empathetic mindset. They are typically very conversational and allow audiences to connect with them through social channels.
- Master the production details: Hallmarks of a well-produced podcast series include music, editing, sound effects, cover art, voice-overs, show names and descriptions. Research best practices. For example, cover art should be a minimum of 1,400 by 1,400 pixels.
- Structure and outline your shows: While you should not read from a script, audiences appreciate a tight structure and organization. Consider elements like your intro music, hook, overview, interviews, calls-to-action and outros. Polishing these details is essential to brand-building.
- Follow a regular show schedule: Just like television and radio audiences, podcast audiences want to know when new shows will be released and what content is upcoming. Consistently delivering on expectations — whether you are providing a daily, weekly or monthly podcast — establishes your professionalism in the sphere.
Does the idea of launching a business podcast appeal to you? Whether you aim to be a host or a producer, earning a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Creative Media Production with a Concentration in Corporate Media online can give you the expertise you need to become an asset to any organization in the ever-expanding world of podcasting.