If you're thinking about getting into the world of podcasting as part of your business marketing strategy, then the first and most important step is choosing a podcast topic.
The theme you decide on should be one that will attract the right listeners, engage your audience and keep people coming back for more. Not only that, it should keep you feeling motivated and inspired to keep creating new content.
But where do you start? In this article we outline the steps you should take to pick a good podcast topic, along with a list of podcast topic ideas to inspire you.
To get started, ask yourself these three important questions...
First things first, think about who the intended audience of your podcast is. Is it your existing brand audience? Or is the aim to broaden your horizons and target a different audience through this medium?
Spend time deciding on your target audience and create a persona for your typical listener to help you come up with ideas suitable for them. How old are they? Where are they from? What are they interested in? What are their hobbies? What are their goals? What are their struggles (and how might you be able to help them)?
A well-defined listener profile will help you to narrow your focus and hone in on podcast topic ideas that will be of interest to your specific audience.
Perhaps the most important part of the process is choosing something that you're passionate about and genuinely interested in. You want your content to be authentic and engaging, and if you're not that interested in what you're covering then your audience will pick up on that, as the enthusiasm won't be there.
You want your podcast to have longevity, so the topic you choose should be one that will keep you inspired and motivated so that creating new episodes is always a pleasure and never a chore.
With so many podcasts out there (there's more than 2 million on Apple Podcasts alone!), you need to find a way to stand out. That's not to say you need to find a topic that's never been done before - that's unrealistic - but the way you approach your topic should be unique.
Take time to research competitors, looking for shows and episodes that cover the topics you're considering, then think about what you can do better, what gaps you can fill, and the unique angles you could take to stand out.
Carve out your niche - perhaps it's the type of guests you have on the show, the format of your podcast or the perspective you take - as this differentiator is what will keep listeners coming back for more.
Your brain is a powerful resource, but you can give it a helping hand with tools to get the cogs turning!
AnswerThePublic takes the data from billions of daily Google searches, collecting every phrase and question people are asking about virtually any topic you can imagine. It's an excellent tool for podcasters as it helps you to find ideas for fresh, ultra-useful content.
Simply enter a keyword into the search bar that relates to your topic, for example "entrepreneurship", "restaurants", or "DIY". The tool will then break down your topic into questions, comparisons and an A-Z list of common searches. These are real questions that real people are searching for, and you can use your podcast to answer some of these questions.
Social media polls are a great way to ask your audience what they want to hear from you. All you have to do is take a photo or video for a "story", select the "poll" icon, and add a question that you want your audience to answer. You could ask something like "What content do you want more of?" or "What's your biggest challenge right now?".
The answers you receive can help to influence the topics you cover and the episodes you create, knowing for a fact that this is the type of content your audience wants.
Online communities like Reddit and Quora are a brilliant place for you to get inside the brains of the public. They feature forums around all manner of different interests, and these forums are a goldmine of information and insight for podcasters.
They're filled with questions and discussions, and they attract people who are passionate about that particular topic, so you're bound to uncover some gems.
If you end up creating a podcast that answers a question you've found on one of these forums, then you can even promote your podcast here to attract new listeners!
Start a podcast keeping listeners up to date with the latest news in your specific industry. Find an interesting way to deliver the information to make it the go-to place for industry news.
Interview experts related to your industry (and get them to share your podcast with their followers to grow your listener base).
Ask listeners to send in their questions for you and your guests. This is a great way to involve your audience, increase engagement and make highly relevant content.
Create tutorials on a topic that you're an expert in. This could focus on one topic for the entire series, or you could change it up every episode with different experts presenting each week. Just make sure there's a common theme that links them!
Start an advice-column-style podcast focused on your area of expertise, whether that's relationships, DIY or starting a business.
Started a successful business? Share what you've learned along the way to help budding entrepreneurs follow in your footsteps. You could also invite other successful founders on to your show to share their tips for business success.
Break down a complicated topic in short, information-packed 10-minute episodes that get straight to the point.
Give your audience insight into what goes on behind the scenes in your industry.
Publish tutorials, compare products or provide the latest updates in a particular area of tech, whether that's gaming, photography, AI or energy.
Start a humbling podcast that shares funny stories of failure. You could invite guests on to the show to share their own funny failures (and what they learned from them), or ask listeners to contribute their own failures that are then shared and discussed on the show.
Once you've chosen your podcast topic and recorded your first podcast, it's important to promote your podcast via social media, mailing lists and your guests' audiences. Getting a transcription of your podcast can also help with your promotion efforts in more ways than one...
Publishing a written transcript alongside your podcast willI help improve accessibility, meaning that more people can access and enjoy your content. It'll also help improve the visibility of your website in search engine results, and you can repurpose the transcript to create blog posts and social media assets to advertise your show.
Find out more about podcast transcriptions and how they can benefit your business.
Written By Katie Garrett and Irina Serdyukovskaya
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