Five elements of a perfect podcast
In 2014 iTunes reached over one billion podcast subscriptions — quite a feat for a medium that’s been around for just over ten years. As listenership continues to grow, so do the number of businesses and brands which have come to acknowledge podcasting as an effective medium to reach and engage with people on the go. Whether you’re creating your first episode or looking to revamp an existing show, here are five essential elements of a perfect podcast.
- Material that resonates
Determine exactly what the podcast is meant to accomplish and develop purposeful content that mirrors that intention— will the host share a marketing tip in each new episode? Will there be guest speakers once a month? Develop a clear storyline that resonates with the target audience, that is evident across each episode, and makes people want to download more or share with their friends. Listeners appreciate consistency and useful material.
- Quality recording tools
Muffled audio is more likely to deter than entice listeners. Buy a recording device and microphone that can capture high-quality sound. Today there are a variety of devices that make for great podcasts, like those by Zoom. Be mindful about where episodes are recorded — a room with bare walls is most likely to cause an echo over a room with bookshelves, curtains and pictures on the wall.
- Well-edited audio
Imagine listening to an episode where a guest sniffs for 15 long minutes. Take the time to scrub raw audio of excess noises like coughing, dog barking, paper shuffling and other nuisances. These sounds can distract listeners and take away from the episode. Editing can be long and arduous but a clean, well-edited podcast speaks professionalism. There are many editing tools available online, like Audacity, that are easy to use and can handle the job.
- Regularly-scheduled content
To grow engagement and keep momentum as episodes are published, create a rolling calendar that outlines publish dates, upcoming interviews, potential storylines, etc. Try to stick to publishing episodes on the same day – once a week or bi-monthly, for example. As an audience builds, people will grow to look forward to each new episode and will know when and where to look for it.
- A targeted promotion plan
Building a podcast listenership takes time. Unlike developing a base of viewers, podcasts lack the visuals that so quickly capture peoples’ eyes. Develop a targeted promotional plan that fits with a detailed content calendar. Identify where the podcast will live (i.e.: a blog), what hosting service to use, how to add the podcast RSS feed to iTunes for maximum reach, and the social media platforms that will help reach the right audience. A paid promotion plan will help boost content to a broader, yet much more targeted, group that is likely to identify with content.
Have a listen to the podcasts on this list for some inspiration.