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Six Questions to Consider Before You Launch a Podcast

Feb 28, 2018 Samantha McGarry

So you’re thinking of creating a podcast for your brand, and why wouldn’t you? Podcasts are in. Twenty four percent of people listened to podcasts monthly last year, up from 21 percent in 2016, per Edison Research. But before you hop on this shiny new storytelling medium, consider these important factors:

  1. What is your goal? Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should, right? Before diving in, consider how a podcast is going to help you meet your business goals. For example, if lead gen is a priority, a podcast is a great way to generate awareness and drive industry dialog, helping to reach and engage new audiences.
  2. How does your audience prefer to consume information? If your customer is someone who prefers to read text or watch videos, maybe podcasts aren’t a great fit for your business. But on the flip side, podcasts are great for catching people at times when other media formats don’t, for example, in the car or at the gym. A quick poll to gauge your audience’s appetite for audio could be worth your time.
  3. Which format is best? I listen to many podcasts and enjoy the variety of formats. There are a lot of options to choose from: monolog, Q&A, panel, one topic or multiple segments. Which will work best for yours? Will you stick to discussions with your internal staff or invite guests from outside your company? There’s no right or wrong way to do this, and you certainly don’t have to stick with just one format, but it’s good to consider which format(s) will help bring your stories to life – and make for enjoyable listening.
  4. Can you commit to a schedule? Remember when you launched a blog? Remember the fear about how many times a week to post and how to plan for and manage your content pipeline? A podcast requires the same commitment – less frequency – but still, once you start, you need to be able to plan for and produce new episodes with regularity. Your audience will be expecting fresh content.
  5. Who is going to be the “voice” of your podcast? The best podcasts have a regular host who acts as emcee and interviewer. Maybe your subject matter expert knows an awful lot but doesn’t have a voice that works well for audio. You need to find someone with a clear, vibrant and approachable voice, and who can work well live, driving an interesting and unstaged conversation. This requires thinking on your feet, knowing how and when to ask good questions, and when to stay quiet and let someone else do the talking.
  6. Do you have branding and marketing support? Your podcast will need a name and visual branding. It will need some oomph at its launch, so you’ll need an integrated digital marketing plan in place and also the tools and tactics to promote every new podcast episode.

Alistair Cooke, the famed British-American journalist and broadcaster once said, “I prefer radio to TV …. the images are better.” The same can be said of the power of podcasts for telling stories and discussing the issues that matter to you and your audiences. If you’re anything like me, listening makes me think, sometimes even more than reading or watching. So go ahead, think through these six questions and then create an amazing podcast. I can’t wait to tune in.

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