If you're a business owner or you're responsible for your company's marketing strategy, then starting a podcast is something you should consider to help you reach a wider audience and grow your business.
You don't need to be super technical to start a podcast, and you don't need a big budget either! In this guide we'll walk you through the benefits of creating a podcast, followed by our top tips for starting a podcast, including the equipment you'll need, how to record and edit your podcast and how to promote it.
Your business might already have a successful written blog, but that only caters to people who like to read. What about those who prefer to consume content via audio?
In 2021, the number of monthly podcast listeners worldwide hit 383.7 million, and this number is forecast to grow year on year. In the US alone, it's predicted that the number of monthly listeners will hit 164 million in 2024.
That's a big market to tap into!
A podcast is a more personal way of reaching out to your audience (existing or new). Broadcasting regular podcasts with a regular host means that listeners will become familiar with your business, your presenter and your company values, and this familiarity will keep them coming back time and time again.
Starting a podcast is a brilliant way to position yourself as an authority in your industry, especially if your direct competitors are yet to create a podcast themselves! Sharing your expertise via podcasts allow you to inject enthusiasm and personality, and add an air of authority to what you're saying. Customers want to associate themselves with brands and companies they can trust, and podcasts help to build that trust.
Uploading regular podcasts will help to develop your brand and keep it at the front of your audience's minds. You can integrate information about your products and services as they tie into the different topics covered on the podcast, using the podcast as a subtle way to advertise your business.
This is probably the hardest part. Deciding the theme of your podcast can take time and a lot of thought, but the most important thing is choosing something that you're passionate about, as this will shine through and help you connect with your audience.
Once you've got a few ideas for themes, write out at least 20 potential episode topics, including what you'd discuss and who you would interview (if relevant). If you can't think of at least 20 ideas, then that theme is probably a no-go.
Consider the goal of your podcast - is it to educate, entertain or a bit of both? Think about your audience and their interests and beliefs. Also think about how your show will stand out. Ideally you'll find an interesting and untapped niche, and the style and personality of your podcast might help make your podcast unique too.
You'll also need to decide on a format. How long will your episodes be? Will your podcast be structured as an interview show, a discussion show with co-hosts, or a solo-hosted show?
Check out our guide on how to find a topic for your podcast for a more detailed look at choosing what to podcast about.
Just like we said in the intro, you don't need to break the bank to start a podcast. All you really need to get started is a computer and a microphone. In theory you could get by just with your phone, but audio quality is key when it comes to podcasts. If your podcast doesn't sound great - if it's muffled or there's background noise - then people won't stay tuned in for long.
For that reason, it's a good idea to invest in a decent microphone. USB microphones start at around $50, or you could fork out a little more for a dynamic mic that's better at eliminating background noise.
As you progress on your podcasting journey, you might want to invest in additional tecchy equipment, such as a mic mount or stand, headphones, an audio interface or mixer, and a pop filter. But to start off with, a microphone will do just fine.
Try and find somewhere with minimal noise to record your podcast, and ensure there won't be any distractions - be that from colleagues, children, pets, or your cell phone.
Minimize echo by adding soft furnishings to the room in the form of blankets, curtains and pillows. Soft objects absorb sound and help to create a cleaner recording that'll be easier to handle when it comes to editing.
To record your podcast, you'll need to decide which audio recording software to use. Audacity is an audio recorder and editor that's super easy to use. The best bit? It's completely free. If you have a budget to work with, then Adobe Audition is a more advanced option, and costs $20.99/month.
Both of these options allow you to record the audio from your microphone and save it as an MP3 file.
You can also use this audio recording software to edit your recordings, which might include stabilizing the volume, reducing background noise and cutting out elongated pauses or tangents.
After you've finished recording and editing your podcast, you can upload it to a hosting platform like Buzzsprout, Transistor or Anchor. They'll generate an RSS feed for you (an RSS feed is the standard way to syndicate content to podcast directories), which you can then submit to your chosen podcast platform!
Apple Podcasts is the largest podcast directory, followed by Stitcher. Spotify is a great place to submit your podcasts too, because of its popularity with music streaming. Other platforms include Google Play, Soundcloud and YouTube.
Use tools such as repurpose.io and wavve.co to create little soundbytes of your audio in video format to share on your social channels. Short quotes can also be written up and shared with eye-catching graphics.
Inviting guests on to your podcast means you can leverage their audience and get new listeners. Make it easy for your guest to share your podcast by providing them with pre-written templates and graphics that they can use on their social channels.
An audio-to-text transcript of your podcast, published alongside your podcast on your chosen platforms, will help to improve the visibility of your website in search engine results. You can also repurpose the written transcript, using it to create blog posts that you can publish on your website.
Not only will it work wonders for marketing, a written transcript also makes your podcast more accessible for those who might be deaf or hard of hearing, as well as members of your audience who prefer to consume written content.
And there you have it, a beginner's guide to starting a podcast for your business! Once you've recorded your first episode and you're ready to start sharing it far and wide, check out our guide on how to transcribe a podcast to take your podcast promotion to new heights.
Written By Katie Garrett and Irina Serdyukovskaya
There are plenty of reasons to transcribe your podcast to text. Find out what they are and discover how to transcribe your podcast quickly and easily with our guide.
Looking for an interesting podcast topic for your business' new show? Check out our guide, full of top tips and ideas to help you find the perfect podcast topic.