Setting up your podcast from start to finish

Tracy Steffensen

Podcasts were trending even before the pandemic, so when the pandemic hit and people started spending more time at home, podcast consumption and awareness skyrocketed, giving rise to the 'podcast boom'.

A recent study from Team Lewis revealed that, on average, consumers globally listen to 94 minutes of audio on streaming services and 55 minutes via podcasts. Locally, podcast listening has increased significantly, with about 5.6 million Australians, that’s 26% of us, now weekly podcast listeners. That’s a 53% increase over the 2020 study conducted before the pandemic lockdown. 

As a result, podcast advertising is also on the rise, and it’s predicted to take money from traditional and digital vendors and carve out its niche for advertisers. What’s driving this investment surge is that Australians are hugely receptive to podcast ads. Podcast audiences say they are more aware of brands they’ve heard advertised on podcasts (77%) and take action after hearing an ad (25%) and are more likely to recognise the brand in the future (24%).

These numbers are good news for those in the audio space and those brands planning to join this growing market to help them move their businesses forward in 2022 and beyond. 

Who should do podcasts?

Anyone who starts a podcast will tell you it can be a lot of hard work. Creating regular content can be a difficult task. It requires commitment and consistency. Adding podcasts to the mix is a whole new ball game requiring extra time and effort. You also need planning and a sustainable strategy to ensure you get the most out of it.

Having said that, here are a few things to keep in mind before you jump into the podcast trend:

  1. Do you have the time and resources to produce a podcast series consistently?
  2. Are most of your existing or potential customers early adopters of technology who might be difficult to reach using traditional advertising channels?
  3. Do you need a new approach to introduce your brand, product, or service to your target market? 
  4. Do you want the one-on-one exclusivity of sharing new information about your brand/product/service with your customers?
  5. Are you confident you can establish yourself as an industry leader?

How to get started

Podcasts can be a fantastic channel to reach your target audience. They can build loyalty and positive sentiment towards your brand. Here are some essential steps to help you launch your very own podcast.

  1. Determine your goals. Why do you want to make a podcast? This is important to keep in mind to stay motivated, even when you’re finding it difficult to get a show out.
  2. Decide who you are making this podcast for and how it will help them. Then, create your listener personas. It’s a good idea to know exactly who you’d like to listen to your content. That persona is something to remember every time you plan an episode and is crucial when you want to grow your audience.
  3. Choose a Name for your Podcast. And, be sure that it’s searchable. People need to be able to find it when they’re searching for information about your topic. If you opt for a clever or catchy title like a newly coined word, make sure to include a tagline explaining what your podcast is about (e.g. Mixergy: Startup Stories). You can also be descriptive with your name so it’s searchable for your target audience (e.g. The Fitness Podcast). Or, you can use your own name (e.g. The Oliver Show), which is great if you already have an audience. You might want to add a description to go with it for those who don’t know you.
  4. Choose the best format for your content. Will it be a solo show, co-hosted, interview, documentary, or something else? Know the pros and cons of each. Once you’ve made your choice, stick to it. You can also ask your audience (or potential audience) what they prefer. 
  5. Decide on the length of each episode. Ask yourself how long does it need to be to get the message out? Podcast lengths depend solely on content. It can range from a short 15 minutes to over an hour. But anything from 20 to 45 minutes seems to be within the “sweet spot” for an episode length – just enough time to learn and be entertained. Choose what’s best for you, your message, and your audience. Eventually, your listeners will tell you if they think your episodes are too short or too long.
  6. Plan your episodes. Planning your specific topics, guests, scripts, and so on is a good idea if you want to produce quality content. You should launch with multiple episodes, ideally 3-5, so your listeners will get hooked on your show while also boosting total downloads. This sends out positive signals and, hopefully, a chance to get featured on the first page of Google. 
  7. Figure out the frequency of the release of an episode. If you can only manage it once a month, that’s fine. If you can manage fortnightly, even better. If you can manage weekly, then that’s great. The key here is consistency and making it a routine for your listeners.
  8. Get the right recording equipment, editing software, and podcast hosting. Sound quality is essential with podcasts — research top quality and affordable microphones. Choose the one that will last you years. The same goes for your recording software. When it comes to editing software, there’s Audacity, Adobe Audition, and Alitu. But ask around what others are using. If your budget can afford it, you can have a third party edit your content for you. Finally, don’t self-host. Instead, use a reputable podcast hosting platform like Buzzsprout, Podbean, Libsyn, Captivate, and others. A podcast host provides you with a means to upload your podcasts so that they are all available in the same central location. It also automates the generation of RSS feeds and then automatically submits these to podcast directories, such as Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and others, so that you can reach a wider audience.
  9. Decide what website you put your Shownotes & Players On. When you sign up for media hosting, you often get a free website. This is usually a simple but decent-looking site for your podcast. However, if you want more control, want to use other tools, use your own branding and own the space where your podcast lives, then you’ll want to create your own website for it. You don’t need extra web hosting if you’ve already got a website for your business or brand. You can just set up your podcast on your main website. Your other option is to set up a brand new WordPress website as a home for your podcast.
  10. Plan your launch and promotion. Generate buzz before and on the day of your launch. Announce the launch in advance to your business network via email, an e-newsletter and social media. Do a countdown on your socials and website. You want to build an audience before your launch. To improve your chances of being noticed and possibly featured, encourage new listeners to subscribe to your podcast and leave a review.

Audio content through podcasting is a powerful content marketing strategy that connects businesses directly to their audience more intimately. Anyone can try it as long as you know why you are doing it and what you are trying to achieve. As Bryan Barletta of Sounds Profitable said, “If podcasting is a passion, focus on that. If it’s a business, invest in it like one. People who don’t choose a lane are the ones who find themselves most frustrated by the industry.” 

There’s a learning curve to doing podcasts. Your first few episodes might not be that great, but keep doing it. Subscribe to all podcast industry and podcast recommendation newsletters to know what else is out there. Be consistent with both dropping episodes and promoting them to stand out. Use organisational tools to manage your workflow to make it as easy as possible to devote time and energy to your podcasts. Finally, listen to your listeners. They’ll be the ones who can tell you if you’re doing a great job or require some improvement.

Contact us for a free consultation if you want to know more about podcasts and how you can use them in your business today.

Also read: Discover how to craft the ultimate influencer strategy for results.

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