A podcast can be an excellent way for businesses to market to their target audiences. However, without a strategic plan, creating a branded podcast can quickly become a complicated and frustrating pursuit.

Once you’ve outlined the objectives that a podcast will help you achieve, you need to map out next steps, from defining how to stay on-brand and how you will market it to what success will look like. Given the many moving parts involved in podcast ideation, production and distribution, all of this is easier said than done.

To give you a better understanding of how a successful podcast is built, I talked to experts from different industries and below, you can find their 12 most valuable tips.

1. Know Your Audience

My biggest tip for companies creating a podcast is to know their audience. You won’t be able to create a podcast that pleases everyone. Narrowing down and focusing on a specific group of people is the best thing to do for a new podcast. This ensures that your audience is interested and enjoys what you have to say.

2. Keep The Branding Active

One of the most important things is to make sure that you are able to keep the branding active. What that means, as well, is that you need to ensure that you are always touching base with the podcast. When thinking about all of the content that you are putting out, you need to ensure that everything is ready to go and aligned with the mission.

3. Revisit Your Product And Service Mix

Revisit your own product and service mix first. Narrow your target market to differentiate your company and offerings. Wrap the podcast around highlighting and solving the problems of your prospective customers. Addressing a mix of industry issues will help your customers and prospects and let you show your value. The issues could be competition, regulation, pandemic or customer expectation.

4. Lead With Your Brand’s Passion

We tell all of our clients that passion drives success. This applies to almost any digital tactic used in the marketing mix, including podcasting. When you’re in the midst of creating a podcast, ensure that you’re connecting with your audience and building a narrative that speaks to their interests while driving your brand’s mission and passion. Doing so will only drive listeners to tune in again.

5. Lower Your Expectations

When starting a podcast, you first must lower your expectations because your first podcasts are not going to meet them. Creating a podcast takes time and practice. Awesome lighting and audio will do a lot to mask the pregame jitters, but having great content and production is key. Practice, practice, practice.

6. Consider Your Format

Consider not only content, but also format. We did this exercise with a client whose brand promise is to simplify security for customers and channel partners. To stay on brand, the podcast focuses on explaining security threats and solutions: “No Jargon Allowed and No IT Degree Required.” We also simplified the format with 15-minute Q&A-style segments, so it’s simple to consume as well as understand.

7. Do Not Attempt Perfection

Instead, focus on being relatable and genuine. Your podcast can have goals and tone, but listeners want to hear how you, as the host, and your guests really feel and truly speak, not how you’ve edited yourselves to sound “perfect.” Make mistakes, laugh at them and invite listeners on a real—not staged—journey.

8. Focus On Cadence And Consistency

The key to podcasting (and really, all content strategy) is cadence and consistency. Finishing the first episode is not the hard part; it’s making the second one and keeping at it. Podcast audiences are built slowly and upon reliability. It’s a long-term play, but if done right, podcasts are unrivaled as far as capturing the attention and mindshare of your target market.

9. Do Media Training With A Professional

Do media training with a professional before hitting the “record” button. People think it’s easy to just open up a microphone and go. What they often end up with is a podcast that meanders all over the place. Participants should create an outline, rehearse with sample questions and then listen back to their answers before going live. It can be a huge difference-maker.

10. Cover Topics That Answer Listeners’ Questions

Make sure that the topics that you cover actually answer your listeners’ questions. That’s the whole point of having a podcast if we’re talking about businesses. Check in with your audience and align your podcast with your marketing strategy because it can become a very powerful tool for growing your business.

11. Share Personal Experiences

Anyone can provide tips on how to sustain your brand, which are a dime a dozen and can often be too generic. However, users want more personal content that can be relevant to them. Sharing personal experiences of how your business remains successful and unique tips that helped you along the way will make your brand more relatable and help you stand out.

12. Develop A Content Calendar

Developing a content calendar for your podcast ensures that you can promote what’s happening throughout the year for your podcast. That can drive subscriptions when listeners come across your podcast. If you really want to drive engagement, publish a calendar of the topics that you’re going to record throughout the year, providing a library of content of interest.

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