Remember just six months ago, when so many of us rallied around our smartphones to listen to the Serial podcast explain what the deal with Jay was? Since then, podcasting has become a household phrase, with more than 39 million Americans listening to podcasts monthly, and that number is growing rapidly. Two years ago there were 1 billion podcast subscriptions to 250,000 shows. The potential for audience growth is huge, and the advertising payout can be even bigger. CPM for podcasts is 20 times higher than for web and radio, and 4 times that of TV. And the best part about podcasting is nearly anyone with access to a Mac and some software knowledge can make on. All things considered, podcasting can really pay off.
Below I've included two great infographics: the first provides some helpful stats on podcasting should you need to convince yourself or your C-Suite to invest the time and marginal money to create on. The second shorter infographic details exactly how to start and create a podcast, even for technological novices.
But before checking out the infographics, I wanted to outline a few ideas that should be part of any podcaster's concepting process.
Before starting your podcast, ask yourself:
What is your area of expertise? What does your brand or business know that others might be interested in? Can it be discussed in under 20 minutes? Can it be demonstrated by interviewing guests? Who do you know that would gladly be a guest that could widen the scope of your audience?
How would you describe your podcast in a minute? What is your elevator pitch? Make your podcast concept simple enough to grasp that quickly but offer a unique perspective that will set it apart.
Remember to always tell a story. Audiences don't particularly want to devote their time to listening to lectures or meandering discussions. Find a through-line and always return to it, even if you or your guest goes on a tangent. At the end of the episode, think about whether or not your listener has a takeaway: can they re-tell your podcast story to someone else?
Provide both concrete details and an emotional appeal. Listeners of all kinds love numbers and statistics, so don't forget to backup your episode with those. But balance it out with an emotional appeal. Remind your listeners why you and they do what they do. If they feel engaged on both an intellectual and emotional level, they will come back to your podcast.
Have a library ready to go. Before releasing your first episode, make sure you have a lineup of at least three podcast episodes to go, so there isn't a huge lag time between episodes.
Share, share, share. Use all your available social resources to share the podcast. Reach out to your networks and let them know you have a short podcast offering expertise on x subject. If you're simple in your approach but original in your content, you will attract listeners.