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Podcasts are a great way to build customer loyalty and a sense of community around your brand. They are more accessible for consumers because your audience can listen from home, from their car, on their commute to work, while working out or even while doing chores. Since a growing number of people are listening to podcasts these days, there are plenty of reasons to create one for your business. (In case you missed our previous post on the benefits of creating a business podcast, click here to read more.) In this post, however, we’d like to break the process of starting a podcast down and give you what you need to get started. 

Step 1: Outlining Your Plan

Before you start considering guest speakers, podcast length, or format, it’s essential to develop your concept first. Determine what your goals are in creating the podcast. A business podcast’s goals might be to generate leads, become a recognized industry leader, entertain your audience, or share an important message. 

Once you have an idea of what you’re hoping to achieve with your podcast, you can choose a topic or a theme. It should be something that you’ll enjoy regularly researching and discussing – if you’re not into it, how can you expect your audience to be? Not only that, but you want to make sure that you’ll have enough material to keep your podcast going. It’s a good idea to brainstorm a list of 10-15 episodes you could do.

Do some market research and see if there are other podcasts out there addressing the same topic. If you find some, listen to a few to get a sense of the angle they’re taking. Do you have a unique perspective on your topic? Determine what the other podcasts are doing well and where you might improve upon what they’re doing.

You’ll want to come up with a memorable name for your podcast. You want something that has the potential to rank for your relevant keywords. Apple recommends you create a podcast title that is specific. The more specific it is, the better chance you have of attracting subscribers. Keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo it with keywords in the title; don’t stuff, but make sure that your audience will easily find your podcast. 

Buzzsprout suggests holding off on creating podcast artwork until after you’ve done a few episodes since your concept may evolve once you get started. It can be costly and frustrating to create the artwork and then change or redo it later. 

Step 2: Format

Formatting is an essential element of a podcast. A podcasts’ format should align well with the content. There are several different formats you can consider. Think about whether you want a co-host. Common formats include:

  • Interview podcasts which generally involve a single host interviewing others within a given industry.
  • Current Events Recaps provide a summary of news within the specific industry and possibly a commentary on that news.
  • Scripted non-fiction podcasts generally have a single theme throughout a full season of episodes. 
  • Educational podcasts are a form of scripted non-fiction podcast where the focus is on teaching the audience.
  • Scripted fiction podcasts are akin to radio dramas. They tell a fictional story. 

There are numerous opinions out there about the “ideal length” for a podcast, but it’s not an exact science. Some shows are 20-30 minutes long, and then some shows go for two hours each episode. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to length. You want your podcast to be as long as it needs to be. As long as you produce engaging, quality content, the audience will stick around. 

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can always go back and edit your podcast before releasing it. If there is a section that is boring or goes on too long, you can always cut it out.

The next consideration is your publishing schedule. How often do you intend to publish new episodes? If this is something you’re doing to grow your business and you have the time in your schedule, consider publishing once a week. This can help build a connection with your audience. Keep in mind that it’s best to have a consistent schedule; that way, your listeners will come to expect new content from you each week and look for it if they know when your next episode is scheduled for release.

Podcasts are a great way to grow your business and build relationships with your customers. They can allow customers to get a peek behind the curtain, increase credibility and authority, and even place you at the forefront of your industry.