Two years ago, podcasts regularly influenced more than one in five people. A year later, a full 25% of the 12-and-over market turned to this growing sector of the broadcast world for information and entertainment.
Podcasts are a favorite of young professionals and older adults. According to the Pew Research Study in 2013 that provided these statistics, this form of communication is one of the best ways to get your message out to millions of people around the world.
If you need an advertising and communications tool that’s simple to set up, inexpensive, and even fun to use, podcasts are your answer. Not too long ago, it was nearly impossible to create and distribute video and radio broadcasts at home, but today’s podcasting technology has brought professional-grade recording and distribution capability to anyone with a good microphone and high speed internet connection.
However, just because something is easy to use doesn’t mean guaranteed success.
Here are the 7 secrets to a successful podcast:
1. Choose a topic you will dominate
This is not about becoming successful without trying hard, but about offering something of true value to your target market. If you still do not know what your niche will be, consider these three things:
- Your niche should be something you’re passionate about
- You must have deep and comprehensive knowledge of that niche
- You must be able to contribute something unique and different that sets you apart from every other podcaster on that topic
Choose a podcast niche based on what you want to achieve.
If your goal is to help young women create their own startups, your priority should be to create insightful podcasts with practical advice, case studies, and interviews of women entrepreneurs that have done it well.
Understand your niche, set clear and feasible goals, and determine your ideal audience before you write the first script.
2. Brand your podcast
Just like your business or product, your podcast has to have a brand in order to be marketable and appealing.
Once you select your podcast category, start thinking about the values and mission your podcast will serve. This will help you build a brand out of your podcast.
Make sure you choose a complete brand identity kit that you will use in every promotion you will do to achieve a coherent and results-oriented impression. Make sure you have a podcast branding strategy that answers basic questions such as:
- Why are you doing it?
- Who’s your audience?
- What’s your goal?
- How will you measure the podcast’s success?
These 4 things are a very important aspect of your podcast channel.
3. Tell a story and tell it well
One way to make your podcast successful is to make it easy to listen to – and what better way than telling it with a story?
Podcasts that lack an underlying story are boring and nobody likes them. You might be sharing fantastic ideas through your podcast, but if you’re just blurting out fact after fact without a story to bring them all together, you’re not engaging your easily-distracted audience.
Prepare a story around every podcast you are about to create. Look for a theme that can tie it all together. Stories not only make what you’re saying more impactful, they also make your ideas stick with your audience. If you have a memorable story, people will come back to hear the next chapter.
4. Get good equipment
Invest in a good microphone and and pop filter. But before spending a small fortune on fancy equipment make sure podcasting is something you really want to do. If you’re not sure, borrow equipment or use inexpensive gear and do a few to test out the process.
Complete at least 10 podcasts using average quality equipment. By then you will be pretty sure whether you want to continue with podcasting or not. If your subscriber list is growing and you have a great time doing your podcast it’s a sign that it’s time to invest in a good microphone, pop filter, and headset.
5. Podcast to help, not to boast
For your podcast to be successful it must focus on your audience and not yourself. Don’t start a podcast for the sake of having one. Understand your unique expertise and see what problems it can solve for people out there. Then make it the focus of every podcast helping solve those problems and providing tips to make the lives of your listeners a bit easier.
Ensure you engage with your audience by encouraging them to comment and ask questions. Building a community around your podcast will ensure you get more ideas as to what kind of answers and solutions your audience needs, and it will help you remain focused on what they seek from you.
Get your audience to be part of the podcast. Have Twitter Q&As after a broadcast or let people share their ideas and thoughts in an email response to you. It’s all about real-time interaction with your audience and the ability you give them to be heard and understood.
6. Build momentum early on
Podcasting, just like blogging, is becoming more and more competitive. To get your podcast to stand out make sure you have a momentum-building strategy for your podcast’s launch.
For example, you should reach out to your network of existing clients, friends, and colleagues to give your first couple of podcasts a boost. Ask them to download, comment, and rate your podcast to make it easier for others to join in.
Needless to say, you should promote your podcast on social media and your website just as you do with every other information product you’re putting out there. This will help increase awareness on your podcast and will lead up to a successful launch.
“Success is like a snowball; it takes momentum to build and the more you roll in the right direction the bigger it gets.” – Steve Ferrante
7. Don’t wait to get started
Starting an audio or video podcast may not be as easy as starting a blog or a Twitter account, but that is no reason to hesitate. Just keep in mind that it’s a more personal and more demanding process. You will be investing a lot of time, effort, and your own personality and energy into it. Because of these factors, it’s normal to feel as if you’re getting cold feet about it even before you start.
However intimidating the podcast process might be, it shouldn’t put you off. Focus on all the expertise and knowledge you can’t wait to share through this entertaining and personalized communication channel.
Getting started is the hardest part, so by jumping right to it without too much time to over-think the process will get you one step closer to creating a successful podcast. There’s no better day than today!