Starting a podcast could enhance your business.
Starting a podcast can compliment your marketing plan. These six steps will help get you there. — Getty Images/Pekic

Podcasts for business use have grown in popularity due to their relatively low entry cost and ease of access for both content creators and consumers through a subscription model.

A podcast can exponentially expand the reach of your marketing efforts. Here are six steps to starting a podcast to add to your content marketing arsenal.

Identify your goals

Answer the who, what and why for your podcast. Who is the target audience? What value will your podcast provide them? Why should they listen to your podcast instead of all others in this space? Aim to be an expert in the field that listeners will seek out for advice.

Ensure that the target message isn’t only specific to your product. It should also present your unique view of a more general topic with which all customers can identify. The best topics are those that change frequently and generate discussion. This will also improve your SEO rankings, as your content will naturally align with trending headlines.

Define the format

Podcasts vary in presentation. Some feature a single host who gives a brief monologue or specializes in guest interviews. Others leverage co-hosts who play off one another’s styles and entertain the listener with differing opinions and banter.

Pick a format that will remain consistent and create an outline for each episode. Episodes should run as long as they need to achieve your goal, but an outline helps ground the show within a guiding formula. No matter how you choose to present your podcast, be sure to select engaging hosts, follow a consistent release schedule and stay true to your format.

The best topics are those that change frequently and generate discussion.

Understand the process

Acquiring and using the proper equipment can often present the toughest challenge for prospective podcasters. It requires researching technologies with which you may be unfamiliar, a scalable budget that can quickly rise as you look to improve quality and the expertise to use all of these tools. The minimum purchase includes a specialized podcast microphone, additional recording components such as pop filters and screens, acoustic foam panels to soundproof a room and vocal-mixing software.

Although many of these skills can be self-taught and certain budget-friendly options are available to purchase, a simpler option is to employ a podcast recording studio. The cost will be higher, but the difference in quality between a professional and amateur production is invaluable. It will also save you and your team a tremendous amount of time and effort.

Prepare the assets

Decide how you will publish the podcast. There are many popular platforms such as Spotify and Apple Podcasts that will host your page and deliver the podcast into the devices of your listener. All will require a product description and thumbnail art.

The product description and art are your mission statement. They are the first assets consumers will see before listening to the content. The description should explain your unique offering in a few sentences. Leverage what makes your voice different and explain what value listeners can gain.

Creating the art may be more of a challenge. It may be worth considering outsourcing to a graphic designer. It is a small and often simple image, which will be unlikely to require much time or expense.

Integrate your marketing plan

The podcast is a powerful content marketing tool. Integrate the show with other functions of your marketing plan and tie it back to your other channels through cross-promotion. Social media advertisement works particularly well. It is another digital platform that promotes communication and interaction. All podcast decisions should be made with two goals in mind: Will that choice improve the content, and how can it be used to market the brand?

Call to action

All episodes should build around calls to action. Inspire listeners to engage with your company outside of making direct purchases. You can request that they subscribe to receive alerts of new episodes, comment on your other social channels or follow potential interview guests featured on the show. Guests can also bring in new audiences.

Remember the ultimate goal – provide value to your customers. After offering that value, don’t forget to complete the process. Call upon them to act. Enjoy the benefits of an engaged audience who will quickly become your brand champions and most loyal customers.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 19, 2021