Forget Facebook. The hot new topic in social and content marketing is definitely podcasting. The Social Media Examiner’s 2013 Marketing Industry report found that while just 3% of marketers are currently using custom podcasts, 24% plan to figure out how to create a podcast, and implement the practice in the near future:
If you’re hoping to gain an edge above your competition, or position yourself as a thought leader, a podcast could be just the ticket for your content marketing strategy.
For many of us, Podcasts evoke images of 2008, when MP3 players were hot, and tablets were barely a blip on the horizon. However, as social media exploded in popularity, simple sound files became almost dowdy. But, they’re definitely back. While it’s hard to say just what’s sparked the resurgence in popularity, Marketer Jeff Bullas believes it’s clearly connected to the growth of smartphones.
Additionally, today’s consumer really is more distracting than ever. Your prospects can listen to your podcast while watching Netflix, listening to Pandora, and playing Candy Crush Saga on their multitude of mobile devices. Podcasts may work because they’re background noise for a generation of consumers who are more adept than ever at multi-screen usage. To inspire your inbound marketing strategy in the months to come, we’ve compiled a start-to-finish guide on how to create a podcast.
1. Consider Your Buyer Personas
Despite the fact that podcasts are soaring in popularity, they’re not for everyone. Edison Research has discovered that approximately 16% of smartphone users listen to podcasts. According to Christopher Penn, co-founder of leading Marketing Over Coffee podcast, this means the growing market of smartphone users is wide open to becoming fans of your new production. That being said, if your primary goal in podcasts is to attract new customers, not all personas will react best to this form of content. You’ll likely see best results with tech-savvy, early adopters.
2. Create Value in Your Niche
Chances are, someone in your industry has figured out how to create a podcast. You don’t need to be the first, and you don’t need to narrow your topic for the sake of total originality, but you should add value in a way that no one else is. The Influencer Project was far from the first recorded content to discuss building digital influence, but it was definitely the first to approach the project in 60-second clips.
3. Make Sure You Love the Topic
Before you dive into the nitty-gritty details of how to create a podcast, ask yourself whether you can live with your topic. Many experts believe passion is critical to creating podcasts. Cliff Ravenscraft, the Podcast Answer Man, recommends against launching a podcast on a subject you’re not in love with. Successfully growing an audience is a big commitment, and it will be much more challenging if you hate your niche.
4. Choose Your Tool
There are a number of free and low-cost tools for recording Podcasts; and Sound Cloud is among the most popular. Using the platform, it’s easy to figure out how to create a podcast and post to iTunes. PodcastPeople is another strong option, and the website functions something like a social network, offering users the ability to network and market within the platform. Ardour and Audacity also offer the ability to record and edit your sound bytes.
5. Develop Your Voice
Authenticity matters in how to create a podcast. While it’s easy for a content marketer to adapt a given tone for written content, it’s likely going to be pretty obvious if you’re affecting an unnatural persona on a recording. Podcaster Kenn Blanchard advises new podcasters to “be yourself with diction, voice, and attitude.”
6. Be Entertaining
Even if you’ve carefully prepared notes for your first podcast recording session, the final outcome shouldn’t sound like you’re reading a script. Ravenscraft recommends approaching your podcast with enthusiasm, personality, and a mission to entertain as well as engage.
7. Introduce New Experts
While an interview with a renowned digital influencer can lend instant credibility and allure to your podcast, Derek Halpern advises against bringing on “the usual suspects.” Once you’ve taken the basic steps towards identifying how to create a podcast, feature up-and-coming experts in your niche. Try to land guests who will bring passion, a fresh voice, and new ideas to your recording. People want to hear digital influencers talk, but they want quality, original content even more.
8. Edit Carefully
Regardless of how brilliant your material is, a poorly-edited audio file can quickly destroy your credibility. Editing your podcasts is just as critical as formatting blog posts; you’ll lose the majority of your audience without it. If you’re investing heavily in learning how to create a podcast as a component of your content marketing strategy, it will pay to become an expert on sound editing.
9. Optimize for SEO
Remember, even though Google and iTunes can’t currently scroll and index your audio files, it’s still wise to optimize for SEO. Include high-potential keywords in your podcast titles and page names to ensure your website catches the eye of search engines. Creating detailed notes about the content of each show can provide additional information for search engines on your expertise.
10. Leverage the “Exposure Cycle”
The work isn’t over once you’ve mastered how to create a podcast. Pat Flynn, one of the best-known podcasters in the world, believes the principles of successfully marketing your podcast require a three-part “exposure cycle:”
- Get Discovered: SEO Optimize for search engines and iTunes, and create professional artwork to lend instant credibility.
- Be Sticky: Create the kind of auditory content that people want to listen to by using social proof, plenty of personality, relevant topics, and varied tone.
- Encourage Social Sharing: Turn first-time listeners into promoters by including social sharing buttons, call-to-actions, and exploring syndication opportunities.
While podcasting is a rapidly growing, simply sitting down to record your thoughts isn’t enough to give your content marketing strategy the boost it deserves. Invest in originality, quality, and ensure you’ve developed a solid plan to gain exposure for your work on how to create a podcast.
Are you considering integrating podcasting into your content marketing strategy?