by Rachel Ilardi
A few weeks ago, we discussed the importance of podcasts, how to know if it’s the right platform for your brand and what you should talk about (for those who missed it, be sure to read that post first).
Once you’ve determined whether podcasts are right for your brand – and the niche market you want to communicate with – the process of starting a podcast may still sound daunting. We connected with our friends Suzanne Cheesman, owner of Triangle Media, and Christina Nicholson, host of the Become a Media Maven podcast, once again for some tips on getting a successful podcast off the ground.
Tips for Launching a Podcast
You’ve done your homework and you know that podcasts are a great medium for you and your target customers. Now what?
Cheesman recommends thinking through the podcast launch in three key phases: Creation, Launch and Promotion.
In the “Creation” stage, you get to really dig down into confirming your audience, as well as the logistics and creative aspects of your podcast, such as frequency, format, show name and promotional graphics to represent it. And, most importantly, you develop a goal statement to serve as the guidepost for your content, ensuring that it continues to meet the larger goals and objectives for your brand.
As for frequency, while there are many podcasts shared on a weekly basis, Nicholson notes that this doesn’t necessarily equate to success. Rather, the key ingredient is consistency. If you are consistent in regularly posting a new episode on time – whether weekly, biweekly or monthly – you can grow an audience.
This stage of the process is exciting and all about getting in front of your audience and garnering their attention. As you coordinate new episodes, continue to consider all the elements that will help you tell the story you wish to tell, authentically.
There’s a lot of work that goes into maintaining a podcast series once it has been launched and it helps to have someone in charge of those various project management elements, from booking and coordinating guests to feature on your podcast, to preparing and posting the show notes online.
Once your podcast has gone live, you need to alert your audience of the content for each episode – and just as with any communication plan, this requires a steady drumbeat. On a tactical level, this includes posting about the podcast on your blog and social media channels, posting it to different platforms, sending an email blast to your contacts and more.
According to Nicholson, the No. 1 way to boost your audience early in the process through podcast marketing is to be a guest on another podcast. Think of it like publishing your op-ed in the newspaper. Podcast guest opportunities are an excellent platform for your company spokesperson to share their expertise and insight through an already established series, providing an opportunity to gain followers from the other podcast’s audience.
Creating a loyal podcast following is like a crockpot, according to Cheesman. It’s a slow process to build the momentum, but the result is worth it. Industry standards – as of March 2021 – break down the measurement of success by an episode’s download numbers seven days after publishing:
- More than 28 downloads, you’re in the top 50% of podcasts (median podcast).
- More than 77 downloads, you’re in the top 25% of podcasts.
- More than 254 downloads, you’re in the top 10% of podcasts.
- More than 614 downloads, you’re in the top 5% of podcasts.
- More than 3,289 downloads, you’re in the top 1% of podcasts.
Of course, your own metrics for success can be as niche as your audience and your content itself. Set practical goals for your podcast and its growth. Reaching the right people with the right message is more important than reaching the masses.
There’s a lot of thought, planning and coordination that goes into the podcast process, however, the results can speak for themselves if you put the time into creating a quality show to effectively draw in your audience.
Now, it’s your turn! Let us know if you are looking for a partner to work on adding creative outlets such as podcasts to you marketing toolbelt.