They’re all the marketing rage these days and you hear about them day-in, day-out.
Video content’s little brother - the podcast (because that’s what we’re talking about), has matured and is gaining ground. If you don’t believe us, just check out these numbers published by Podcast Insights early this year: according to them, there are currently over 1,750,000 and over 43 million podcast episodes as of January 2021 (an exponential growth from the 550,000 reported in June 2018).
1,75 million is a lot of podcasts, you might think. And therefore a lot of competition on your journey to stand out in the crowd. But compare that to the 570 million (and rising) number of blogs available around the world and that might bring on a new perspective.
Chances are, if you’re a marketer or entrepreneur, you’re already using blogging as a tool to promote yourself and your business. Having a podcast is just a natural next step.
After all, for business owners, podcasts can be an excellent way to develop a more intimate connection with their customers. They’re hearing you speak, which helps to humanize your relationship in a way that your written content can’t. Plus, offering different ways for your audience to engage with your content and your brand is never a bad thing.
In this article, we’ll share with you ten powerful podcast tips you need to know in 2021 that will come in handy when creating a podcast strategy for your business.
TIP #1 Identify Your Podcast Goal
Goal-setting is important, in business and in life.
And your podcast is no different. All the technological know-how in the world and all the best tips for how to come up with great content will not help you in creating a successful podcast if you’re not clear on your ‘Why’ behind the ‘how’. Sure, you might achieve a level of success even if you skip this step, but will the time and effort you put into it be worth it if it doesn’t really take you to where you want to go?
Do you want to generate leads for your business? Do you want to be recognized as a leader in an industry? Do you want to share an important message, or do you simply want to have (or help others have) fun?
For example, our goal behind starting our podcast here at ClickGUARD, Beyond PPC, was to spread information and stories about digital marketing and help marketers succeed.
By the way, our first-ever podcast episode will be out soon and we couldn’t be more excited about it! So stay tuned.
TIP #2 Save Your Cover Art for Last
Now that you have your podcast goals safely written down (which we strongly recommend, so you can refer back to them as you grow and develop your podcast), it’s time to get down to planning. Planning your podcast’s name, topic, format, and show length. We have some cool insights for you here as well, but we’ll come back to it further down our list. For now, we want to talk to you about one really important (albeit sometimes overlooked) piece of this podcast puzzle - the one bit of visual that people can remember you by, ladies and gentlemen: the cover art!
Everyone knows how important a podcast’s description is: it’s often THE one thing potential new listeners will judge your show on. Therefore getting it absolutely right is essential, but don’t let yourself get freaked out by that. The advantage of writing the perfect description is that you can always go back and change the wording as you get clearer and clearer on the concept of your show.
An equally important part of creating a great first impression is your podcast’s cover art. Potential listeners should be able to figure out what your show is about by just one quick glance at your artwork.
But in the early stages of preparation, you’re seldom clear on that yourself, so we suggest holding off on creating artwork right now because it's a real pain to change, especially if you already paid for it once.
TIP #3 Don’t get Side-tracked by The Ideal Everything for Podcasts
Most people don’t operate at their maximum potential under intense stress. Creating your podcast should feel enjoyable to you if you are to come up with consistent, quality content.
Yes, there are things you have to keep in mind when you create a podcast. It can’t hurt to be briefly aware of the science of attention spans for example, but don’t let your creativity be stifled by it.
Beyond that, however, most of the parameters showcased by the best podcasts are somewhat variable.
For instance, if you were to ask us what’s the ideal podcast length for each episode (22 minutes, according to Stitcher), we’d say your podcast should be as long as it needs to be. Without being any longer.Which is both vague and… not that vague. If you listen carefully and if you pay attention to your audience’s response to your podcast, the answer will eventually come to you -- in quantitative or qualitative research.
Ideal frequency to publish? The best schedule is the most frequent one that you can stick to, on a regular basis. So, instead of promising two podcasts a week and only delivering once a month, promise what you can actually commit to right now. You can increase frequency later.
Best day of the week to publish on? Any day between Monday and Sunday, as long as you stay consistent. See the pattern here? 😉
TIP #4 Find Your Niche
Even the best podcasts in the world will not be appealing to everybody. So, instead of trying to go broad, perhaps start by finding your niche. Think about who your core audience is, and work on attracting those listeners first.
For some, it’s obvious. For others, they have to get creative before they decide on a topic.
If your business idea is to sell beach towels, you might not want to start a podcast all about beach towels. Instead, a podcast about international traveling could be good.
Whatever you decide on, remember to pick something you’re passionate about or an expert on.
Step 2 is to check if there’s enough for you to speak about. The first thing we recommend is coming up with a list of 8-10 episodes. You can then look for similar podcast episodes on iTunes and Spotify. Look at their popularity, the number of followers on social media, and the number of reviews – it can tell you whether or not the topic is worth discussing. Which brings us to tip number 5.
TIP #5 Learn From Other Podcasts
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel in most things these days, and podcasting doesn’t make an exception from this rule. Yes, original, quality content is a must. But look at your competitors and see what works best from what they’re doing. Chances are, you’ll have something valuable to add on the subject, something that you might have learned through your own personal experience and expertise that might be of interest to your potential audience.
Better yet, find someone whose podcasts inspire you. See how they evolved and what mistakes they made that you might avoid and thus save yourself a lot of time and headaches.
TIP #6 Create Show Notes
Show notes can be a simple summary of what you talked about or full transcripts of the entire show.
Transcriptions have great SEO benefits. They are an excellent way for search engines like Google to “read” your podcast episodes and they also give your audience another way to look something up quickly. You can use one of the multiple online tools to help get your shows transcripted if your budget allows for it.
If you’d rather save time and money on doing full transcripts, you can opt for pulling out highlighted portions from your episode outline (any podcast pro has one) and using those.
But no matter if you decide to go the long (full transcripts) or short ( highlights) way in your show notes, remember to incorporate lead capture forms and links as they can be a great place to collect leads.
TIP #7 Build the Buzz
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and just about any social network you’re on can be used to promote your new podcast ( as well as sharing cute videos of your cat).
Start by working backward from your launch date and determine which days to concentrate your marketing efforts on, based on your broader social media strategy. Having a calendar will help keep you accountable, but don’t forget to also have some fun with it.
And if we could give you one more piece of advice, it’s to always include a call to action! Encourage your followers to share news of your upcoming podcast episode and they just might.
TIP #8 Submit Your Podcast Early to iTunes
Imagine this: your launch day is finally here and people are buzzing with excitement to listen to that first episode. But oh, no! Your show hasn’t yet been accepted by iTunes. This is pretty much a launch date from hell in our view, but believe it or not, it does happen.
To avoid it happening to you, submit your podcast to iTunes before your launch date (allow at least 48 hours for it to be approved).
That way you can rest easy knowing that when your launch day arrives, everything is fired up and ready to go.
TIP #9 Launch with Multiple Episodes
When people love your stuff, they’re gonna want more of it. There probably isn’t anyone around not familiar with the uber-famous quote attributed to P.T. Barnum “Always leave them wanting more”. And we fully agree, but in the case of podcasts, having more than one episode published on your launch day is a good thing. When people have more than one show to listen to, it makes for better feedback at the end and it can also spark a great deal more conversation on social media.
As a rule of thumb, the minimum number of episodes you should start with is 3, but the more, the merrier.
TIP #10 Just Start!
If you wait for everything to be “perfect” or in place, it will never feel like the right time to start.
“My voice sounds weird.” “I hate public speaking.” “I don’t have the technical skills needed to record.” “I don’t have the right equipment.” If you’ve ever surprised yourself saying one of the above phrases (out loud or to yourself) to justify not having started your podcast yet, know this: many of the best podcasters you listen to today began with the same fears. But they started doing the stuff regardless, or else they never would have climbed to the top of that ‘Best Marketing Podcasts’ list.