November 30, 2023

Podcast marketing: how to reach (and grow) your audience

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In an increasingly crowded world, finding new and different ways to reach your audience effectively requires the use of a multichannel approach. Considering which channels are right for your audience and your content is therefore essential in developing a powerful and engaging content strategy.

In this blog, V Formation’s director Sue Carr discusses the merits of including podcast marketing in your content strategy and provides some top tips to help with planning, producing and launching a podcast series.

Podcast marketing: image shows a microphone in focus, with a table and podcast recording equipment blurred in the background.

Why choose podcasts as a marketing channel?

The growing popularity of podcast marketing has led to a wealth of easy-to-access content on a wide variety of topics and themes. With over 4 million podcasts registered around the world and around 500 million global listeners, impactful podcasts can help to build large, engaged communities of followers.

Podcasts can be used to showcase your areas of expertise, promote your company (and personal) brand, and raise the profile of key individuals within your business who are specialists in their field. Depending on your interests and goals, and the content you want to share, there are many advantages and benefits to using podcasts as an alternative or additional marketing channel. These include:

  • Accessibility: podcasts offer a unique platform for reaching a wide audience, and are easily accessible, allowing people to listen to content at their convenience.
  • Thought leadership: podcasts also provide a different medium to showcase and share expertise and knowledge. They can therefore be a great tool to help strengthen your position as thought leaders within your field.
  • Connecting with and building your audience: podcasts provide an alternative way in which to connect with a dedicated audience. The consistent delivery of valuable and engaging content will help to ‘lock-in’ your audience and build a loyal community of followers.
  • Engagement: a successful podcast is one that engages and resonates with the audience through lively discussions, sharing experiences and telling stories. This will help to drive a meaningful connection with your audience.
  • Networking and collaboration: by inviting guest experts and specialists from your industry you can expand your network further, and help to draw in more listeners and followers.
  • Stepping outside of the comfort zone: where podcasts are new to your organisation, they can provide members of your team with the opportunity to develop and improve their communication and interviewing skills by getting involved.
  • Integrated content strategy: podcast marketing can complement existing, and possibly more traditional, content channels (such as blogs and case studies) and provide an opportunity to repurpose content across different platforms to reach a wider audience, enriching your overall content strategy.

How to plan your podcast

As with all pieces of content, before starting a podcast, it’s important to spend time planning what it is you want to say. A good place to start is to clarify your goals – don’t just ‘podcast’ for podcast’s sake!

Is a podcast right for your audience? Would your content work well in a podcast format? Does a podcast series align with your broader marketing objectives? How might it add value? These are questions worth thinking about before getting started. Keep in mind that planning, recording, editing and producing can be time intensive, and it may be that you lack the resources or technical expertise to get started (that’s where we can help!).

As part of the planning process, you should also identify your target audience and think about how best to reach them. This is particularly important to note when deciding which platform to host your podcast on and where you will advertise it. Knowing your audience will also help with getting the tone right, so that you can engage with and build your community of listeners more effectively.

Once you’ve determined that podcast marketing is right for you and your audience, it’s time to start to plan the content itself. Are you looking to share knowledge, connect with others, or build your brand?

When planning an episode, while it may be tempting to write out a full script of what you want to say, preparing a few notes with key points you’d like to cover, or drafting some prompting questions instead, can be a much more effective way to create and maintain a natural and conversational flow throughout the recording.

Timing wise, you may want to consider setting out a rough idea of how long each topic or question you’re planning on discussing should take. This can help keep you on track, and also cut down the editing process. The optimum total length of the podcast will vary depending on the sector you work in and the subjects you’re discussing, but generally speaking, we’ve found that 30 minutes or less is ideal to keep the listener engaged.

Top tips for recording great podcasts

  1. Use the right equipment. Chances are, you don’t have to access a professional recording studio (although that will work well!) to record a high-quality podcast. But by selecting a decent microphone and headphones, you can still achieve good quality recordings.
  2. Choose the right location. A quiet, distraction-free location with good acoustics is the ideal choice – somewhere with as minimal background noise as possible.
  3. Stay connected. It might seem obvious, but make sure you have good internet connection to avoid any ‘chopping-out’, especially if you are recording and streaming live.
  4. Be a ‘one take wonder’. Recording podcasts in one take helps to maintain the natural flow of the discussion or conversation. There are plenty of accessible tools to enable straightforward editing, so don’t worry about the ums and ers.
  5. Warm up. Just like an opera singer or a stage actor, you need to stretch your vocal cords, and get used to the microphone or equipment that you will be using before you hit the record button.
  6. Don’t forget to breathe. It might sound strange, but remembering to control your breathing will help avoid any heavy breathing into the microphone, and can prevent you from struggling for breath when you are in mid flow.
  7. Microphone etiquette. Keep your body still and don’t move around too much while recording. If you are wearing a mic, don’t fiddle with it as background sound is easily picked up.
  8. Take your turn. For conversational podcasts, let others take their time to speak, to avoid talking over one another or resorting to one word responses.
  9. Hydrate. We have all experienced that ‘dry-mouth’ feeling when presenting. Have some water on standby.
  10. Have fun! If your content and style is meant to be light-hearted, fun and engaging, remember to smile and have some fun. It will help the podcast flow and sound natural.

How to launch your podcast

You’ve planned your podcast marketing strategy, you’ve recorded and edited your episodes, but how do you get your podcast out into the world?

Step 1: Choose the platforms you want to use. This could be as simple as sharing it on your website and social channels, to uploading it to one or all of the many podcast platforms out there.

Step 2: Let your audience know. From the initial launch to sharing behind the scenes footage with your followers, sharing your podcast regularly on your social media platforms it a great way of getting your podcast in front of your existing clients and audience.

Step 3: Have future content ready. If you are aiming to grow your audience, we’d recommend having a series of podcasts ready to go and to publish them on a regular basis, so your followers don’t have to wait too long for the next instalment.

How do you know if it is working?

Many podcast platforms allow you to access a wealth of data about your audience, from the number of listeners, downloads and followers to information about where your listeners are and what time they like to listen. Audiences can rate your podcasts, and add comments or feedback.

Furthermore, several platforms also provide an opportunity to run spot surveys to your audience, allowing you to gather useful feedback and insights.

Taking time track performance metrics can help you work out what content is popular with your listeners (and what isn’t!), and is therefore useful to look at when planning future topics.

Podcast marketing in action

Following a decade of collaboration with our client Boyds and delivering strategic marketing support, we decided it was the perfect moment to dive into a new venture by helping the Boyds team launch a brand-new podcast series.

Conversations in Drug Development’ was officially launched in October 2023, and is aimed at their fellow community of scientists and clinicians working in the world of drug development. Listeners are treated to candid conversations from the expert team at Boyds each month. Find out more about how we utilised the power of Podcasts for Boyds here.

How we can help

At V Formation, we understand that generating content, whether it’s for a podcast, blog or social media, can be a real challenge and take up a lot of your valuable time. We are passionate about writing and promoting great website content that appeals to your audience as well as promoting your brand and company values.

To find out how V Formation can help with your podcast marketing strategy, click here.


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