Written by StreamYard
A Beginner's Guide to Podcasting For Business (Why and How)
We feel the best way to start this article is with two truths. The first one is that podcasts have become incredibly popular in the last few years (as of July 2023, Apple alone had almost 2,600,000 of them). The second is that creative content marketing is the marketer’s new favorite tool.
So, it’s no surprise that podcasts are now considered an excellent choice for businesses that want to spread awareness of their products and services. In a way, if blog posts were all the rage ten years ago and videos rose to the most popular option more recently... a new player is threatening to steal the crown.
So, is your company ready to embrace podcasts, too? If the answer is no, don’t worry. We’re here to help. This guide will, in fact, tell you everything you need to know about high-quality podcasting and how to use it as one of your marketing channels.
First, The Basics: What‘s a Podcast?
If we keep things simple, a podcast is sort of your own personal radio show or one that you can listen to whenever you want. Instead of waiting for it to air on a specific schedule, you can play it whenever it suits you. Moreover, you can listen to them on your phone, computer, or other devices, usually through streaming apps or downloading episodes.
People create podcasts about all sorts of things – from true crime mysteries and cooking tips to in-depth interviews and hilarious comedy sketches. So, as a listener, whether you're into learning new stuff, having a good laugh, or just passing the time during your daily commute, there's probably a podcast out there that feels it was made right for you.
The Benefits of Podcasting
Podcasting offers some pretty impressive benefits, the most popular of them being flexibility. As we mentioned, someone can listen to podcasts whenever and wherever they want.
Podcasts are also a treasure trove of knowledge and entertainment. You can find them on just about any topic under the sun, usually shared by some of the best experts out there.
If we had to sum up the advantages of this format, we would say:
- Podcasts offer on-demand content that listeners can access anytime, anywhere.
- They can reach a broad and varied audience, significantly expanding a person’s or brand’s reach.
- They help establish expertise and credibility, positioning people as a thought leader.
- The personal and intimate nature of audio fosters deep audience engagement.
- Podcast content can be repurposed for various other marketing channels.
Why Businesses Are Using Podcasts as a Marketing Strategy
Podcasting has become a great marketing strategy for businesses to connect with their audience in a more personal and engaging way.
Firstly, podcasting allows brands to position themselves as experts and thought leaders in their industry. So, by sharing valuable insights, knowledge, and industry trends, you can establish trust and credibility with your audience.
Podcasting can also foster a deeper connection with your audience. People can hear your voice and personality and attract a wide range of listeners who prefer audio content over reading.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, unlike social media posts or some types of advertising, podcasts have a longer shelf life. Podcast listeners can, in fact, discover and listen to your episodes long after they are released! And, of course, podcasts are very cost-effective. But this particular topic requires its own little section.
Reason 1: Podcasts Are Cost-Effective
Did you know that podcasting is considered one of the cost-effective mediums for creators and advertisers? And that’s not all. Thanks to targeted loyal listeners and engaging ads, revenue trends actually predict an annual growth of 9.8% and a projected market volume of USD 5 billion by 2027.
Podcast ads are quite effective and engaging because they feel more authentic and natural. So, as more people turn to podcasts to consume audio content, advertisers can target this audience based on listening habits and interests.
The bottom line is that while social media advertising performs well, podcasts keep people coming back (for stories, interviews, and interesting discussions). And, as a podcast creator, you don’t really need a big budget to get your words out there. All it takes is about USD 100 or so, and you can have your own series.
More importantly, podcasts can help you develop a relationship of trust. This translates into an audience that connects with your topics, personality, and delivery and is more interested in the products you recommend.
Reason 2: Podcasts Can Help You Repurpose Your Materials
Businesses often have a wealth of content resources available to them. For example, blog posts, whitepapers, presentations, webinars, and recorded seminars. Repurposing these materials into podcast episodes is a great way to extract more value from your existing content.
The first advantage of repurposing is the chance to reach a different segment of your audience. Some people prefer audio content over text, so using more materials broadens your reach.
Podcasts also offer a convenient and accessible way for your audience to consume content. For instance, busy professionals can engage with your business's insights and knowledge while multitasking or during their commute.
Now, if you're considering repurposing your posts, videos, or other content into a podcast, you should always add a personal touch. The goal is to make the content more relevant in an audio format. A few ways to do this are by providing context, sharing personal experiences, or offering updates to keep the content current.
Reason 3: Podcasts Are Great For Networking
The format of a podcast is ideal for engaging with other experts and players in your industry or field. For example, through interviews and guest appearances. In fact, many podcasts are designed to feel like a conversation.
You can, for example, invite industry experts, influencers, or professionals as guests on your show. It's a win-win as hosts benefit from your valuable contributions while you gain exposure and credibility.
Another reason why podcasts are great for networking is because they usually help hosts and guests form strong bonds during episodes. The camaraderie built through shared discussions and the mutual goal of producing engaging content can extend beyond the recording studio. So, collaborating on a podcast can lead to lasting professional relationships - and personal ones, too.
But also, let's not forget the audience. Podcast listeners are typically engaged and passionate about the subject matter. Both hosting or participating in podcasts will then allow you to connect with an audience that shares a common interest or industry. This engagement can lead to meaningful interactions, feedback, and networking opportunities through social media, email, or community forums.
Reason 4: Podcasts Can Position You As An Authority
Many small businesses, business owners, and content creators want to demonstrate they are experts in their field. With a podcast, you can do just that. Through discussions, explanations, and insights, you can showcase your comprehensive understanding of your subject matter.
Making high-quality content on the regular can really help you become the go-to expert in your field. When people trust what you're sharing, they're more likely to hit you up for advice, teaming up, or working together.
What's more, publishing podcast episodes on a schedule shows you have a commitment to sharing valuable information with your audience. And when you present thought-provoking ideas and forward-thinking solutions, you naturally position yourself as a thought leader within your niche.
Lastly, hosting a podcast can also contribute to developing your personal brand. You can use it to define your identity, values, and expertise, which will then become associated with your name or brand.
Reason 5: Podcasts Get You Sponsorships
Although many businesses use podcasts to promote their own products and services, there’s no reason why you can’t share the limelight with their brands, too. In fact, podcasts are as much an excellent marketing tool as they are a perfect opportunity to increase your revenue.
Most industries will have companies interested in a partnership with a good podcast (many of the potential customers might be shared). This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to add an ad within your podcast. You can, for example, offer paid interview segments from brands that have similar interests to yours.
We have gone through the benefits of podcasts in terms of marketing and brand awareness. But one of the strengths of this format is that you can make advertisements feel much more organic. You don’t need to read an ad. You can instead mention a service as part of a conversation or review, mention social media channels, etc.
A Comprehensive Guide To Podcasting for Business
We've covered the reasons why podcasts are such a great idea for businesses. So, are you ready to dive into the dynamic world of podcasts? If the answer is a resounding "Yes!" (a "Sure... Maybe" will also work), this guide should come in handy.
Getting Started: The Planning Phase
Planning a business podcast involves a few steps we should cover in a little more detail. The most important considerations are roles, topics, and presentation.
Define Your Podcast Roles
First things first. Who will manage your business podcast? Who will host it, and who will edit it? These are essential questions you should keep in mind before you even think of topics or formats.
If you are a small business owner, you will probably want to be the face (actually, voice) of your podcast. If you are a company, though, you might have to select someone to fill this important position.
You should also decide who will be in charge of editing your audio files, post-producing, and publishing your podcast episodes. Can you hire a professional producer? Maybe rely on a freelancer from a platform like Fiverr or Upwork? Or is there someone in your internal team who can handle these responsibilities?
Remember, a podcast is a commitment. So, make sure the person or people you put in charge of it have the skills, motivation, and time to handle it.
Choose a Tone and a Topic
Finding the perfect tone and the topic of your business podcast are also essential steps when it comes to the planning stage. Specifically, what you want your show to sound like and what things you hope to talk about.
In terms of tone, you should decide on the vibe you want to convey. Are you going for a fun and light-hearted tone, a serious and informative one, or maybe a mix of both? Your tone should match your content and your personality.
Picking the right tone and topic for your podcast is a bit like finding the perfect playlist for a road trip. For one, it's got to match your vibe and keep you engaged. A good idea is to start with what you're passionate about. If you love a topic, it'll shine through in your podcast, and your enthusiasm will be infectious. But also, think about who you want to talk to. Your topic should resonate with your target audience's interests and needs. What keeps them up at night? What kind of info or entertainment are they craving?
Whatever topic you decide to go for, you should always try to find a unique angle or perspective within it. There are tons of podcasts out there, so standing out is crucial. Put your own spin on it; think in terms of what makes you a unique host or producer, and stick to subjects you know well or are eager to learn about.
Don’t Neglect Your Presentation
Although your tone, topic, and voice are essential to making your podcast a success, you should know that the audience cares about the presentation, too. What do we mean by this? Simple. Your logo and your podcast artwork or cover should be attractive and represent your business. And, of course, the music matters, too!
Let’s start with your visual identity. Both your logo and your artwork are the first impression on your potential listeners. So, they should be eye-catching, memorable, and, most importantly, aligned with your brand or podcast theme. When people see them, they should instantly associate it with your podcast and what it stands for.
Your choice of music and sound effects can also enhance the overall listening experience. Your intro and outro music, transitions, and background music during episodes should always compliment your content and create an 'atmosphere'. Of course, make sure you have the appropriate rights and permissions to use any copyrighted music!
Remember: A cohesive and well-designed identity reinforces your brand's professionalism and reliability, making it more appealing to potential listeners and sponsors.
Identifying Your Podcast’s Target Audience
No podcast is ever ‘designed for everyone.’ If they were, it would have no personality and be rather... well, uninteresting! Think in terms of marketing, too. If you wanted to attract every single listener under the sun, how well do you think your advertising would convert?
Once you’ve decided on your company podcast’s topic and tone, it’s time to specify your desired audience. Usually, this will be a group of people that’s interested in your industry, products, or services.
The best way to go around targeting potential listeners is to define a niche. You can do this by determining, first, the type of people that would be attracted by your content. Of course, this is easier said than done! So, let’s see a few examples.
Say you want to offer insights, advice, and strategies for launching and scaling new ventures. Some of the topics you might cover would be things like funding, marketing, growth hacking, and innovation. And your audience? Probably entrepreneurs and startups. Or, if you want to address challenges like managing finances, building a team, marketing on a budget, and navigating local regulations, you could focus on small business owners.
As you can see, defining your topic and your target audience go hand in hand. Finance and investment podcasts cater to individuals interested in personal finance, investing, stock markets, and financial planning. Tech-focused podcasts target tech enthusiasts, IT professionals, and those interested in the impact of technology on businesses. And so on.
Asking Your Listeners
If you already have people listening to your podcast, it’s actually a great idea to ask them directly what they like. Many podcasts, in fact, run regular surveys to make sure the content remains interesting!
You can collect surveys using platforms like Survey Monkey and Google Forms, both of which are free to use and require no registration.
Choosing the Right Recording Equipment
Making sure your podcast sounds professional is definitely important if you want your content to stand out. New audiences, in particular, will quickly judge whether they want to follow you or not based on the quality of your audio.
Luckily, as we mentioned, you don’t need expensive equipment or programs to record your own business podcast. All you need is a microphone, some headphones, and a platform to put everything together.
Let’s start with the hardware.
No matter the type of podcast you want to do, the microphone is the single most important piece of equipment. It is, after all, the one instrument that captures your voice and turns it into audio bytes.
The first decision in terms of mics is whether you want a dynamic or condenser model.
Dynamic microphones are especially good for reducing background noise. So, they are ideal if you're recording in less-than-ideal environments or have multiple people in the same room. Condenser microphones, on the other hand, are known for their high sensitivity and clarity. For this reason, they make a great choice for studio-like recording environments with controlled acoustics.
You should also consider the type of cable you will use. There is XLR and USB. If you decide to use an XLR microphone, you will also need an additional kit or mixer. USB mics, though, work right out of the box.
Here are a few good options:
A pair of good headphones can truly make a difference when you’re recording a podcast episode. Why, you ask? Because they allow you to constantly check your audio tracks just like your audience will.
Now, when it comes to picking headphones, one of the most important considerations is comfort. When creating your own podcast (for business or personal purposes), you should expect to spend a long time recording. This piece of equipment doesn’t just block ambient noise but also ensures you can reproduce dialogue accurately.
Here are some of our favorite headphones for business podcasting:
- Best budget headphones: Audio Technica ATH-M50X
- Best mid-range headphones: Sony MDR7506
- Best premium headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro
You might also need some of the following accessories to produce a high-quality podcast:
- An audio interface to connect your microphone to your computer. Just look for one with good preamps and audio converters to ensure clean, high-quality audio input.
- Pop filters to help reduce plosive sounds (like those of the letters "p" and "b") and shock mounts to isolate the microphone from vibrations and handling noise.
- A sturdy boom arm or microphone stand to keep your microphone in a fixed position, minimizing handling noise.
About Editing Software and Post-Production
Because podcasts have become such a popular medium, there are plenty of software options to choose from.
For recording episodes, we recommend StreamYard.
For editing, check out Audacity (a free & open-source DAW) or Adobe Audition.
Post-production is, in fact, the secret sauce that makes your podcast episodes shine. You'll want to consider chopping out those awkward pauses, trim any rambling, and make sure everything flows seamlessly. So, one part of it is definitely having the right tools. The other, though, is all about working on sound, mixing, and mastering.
Let’s see each of these steps in some more detail:
- Noise control: Background hums, sirens, or that sneeze you didn't catch during recording can be a real mood killer. Noise reduction tools, then, are a lifesaver.
- Audio enhancement: You'll also want to balance your audio levels. After all, you don't want listeners straining to hear one person while another blows out their eardrums. A bit of compression and equalization can make everything sound smooth and professional.
- Adding some flair: Consider adding intro and outro music to give your podcast that polished feel. Just make sure you have the right to use it to avoid any copyright woes.
- Sponsor spots and ads: If you've got sponsors or ads, this is where you seamlessly weave them in. Make sure they fit naturally into the episode without disrupting the flow.
- Quality check: Before you hit that "publish" button, give your episode a thorough listen. Pay attention to every detail – from audio quality to content flow. It's like a final taste test before serving up your masterpiece.
- Show notes and metadata: Oh! Also, don't forget about the episode description, show notes, and metadata. These elements help your episode get discovered and provide context for your audience. They're like the appetizer that makes your audience hungry for the main course.
Adding Your Show to Podcast Directories
You can think of podcast directories as... sort of your restaurant listings. You want to be everywhere people look.
The best strategy is to start with the big ones like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher. But don't stop there; there are plenty of smaller, niche directories catering to specific interests. A reliable hosting platform will also ensure your podcast episodes are available 24/7. Popular hosting services include Libsyn, Podbean, and Spotify for Podcasters. They make sure your podcast is ready to be served whenever someone hits "play."
Your podcast's metadata should be enticing and informative. Craft a compelling podcast title, write a mouthwatering description, and choose eye-catching cover art. Also, remember that keywords are your secret spice! So, use them wisely to make your podcast discoverable.
Once you've recorded your first episode, submit your podcasts to directories one by one. Each directory has its own process, but it will typically involve providing your podcast's RSS feed URL and metadata and verifying ownership.
Once you've joined all the platforms, announce your podcast's grand opening with some fanfare! Share it on your social media, website, and email list. And, of course, don't forget to encourage your listeners to leave reviews and ratings!
The Importance of Checking Your Podcast’s Analytics
Adapting and growing is also another important aspect of running a successful business podcast. Pay attention to listener feedback and analytics - and use this information to adapt your podcast and make it even more appealing.
Remember, getting your business podcast into directories is just the start. The real fun is in creating the best episodes that keep your audience coming back for more. And the best way to understand what they like is to look at the numbers (and ask questions! As we’ve covered above, surveys are your friend!).
If things go slow, don't worry. Building a podcast audience takes time, as it's like growing a loyal customer base. Be patient, keep cooking up great content, and persist in your efforts.
Now Start Recording!
As we’ve seen in this article, if you have a business and you’re looking for new ways to promote your products or services, podcasting can be an excellent option. The industry is booming, and you don’t need much to get started! Just a microphone and some ideas.
Now, we have some great news. Did you know that there’s a recording and streaming platform that works directly from your browser? That’s right. You don’t need any licensed editing software. What’s more, you don’t even need to worry about distribution!
StreamYard is, simply, the best way to record your podcast. And you can do it right from your browser on any device.
So, give it a try! You can get StreamYard for free and start sharing your podcast today.
And if you work at a large company and are looking for a plan tailored to your needs, learn more about our business solutions.
Business Podcasts FAQs
How Do You Determine Whether Your Business Should Have a Podcast?
Starting a podcast for your business can be a great move, but it's essential to consider a few factors. First, ask yourself if your target audience would benefit from audio content. Then, determine if you have enough valuable content to sustain a show. Ultimately, if you can create valuable content that resonates with your audience and aligns with your business goals, a podcast can be a powerful addition to your marketing strategy.
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Podcast?
The cost of launching a podcast varies depending on your specific requirements. For those on a tight budget, a basic setup can be quite economical. All you need is a computer and a smartphone. For a more professional setup, including high-end microphones, audio interfaces, acoustic treatment for your recording space, and premium podcast hosting, the cost can extend into the thousands.
Are Podcasts Profitable?
Yes, podcasts with business goals in mind have the potential to be profitable, but it's important to recognize that profitability often takes time and a well-thought-out strategy. You can generate income from various sources, including sponsorships and advertising, product promotions, premium content, and affiliate marketing. To make sure you can achieve profitability, always have a monetization strategy aligned with your goals and audience.
Do You Need to Register Your Podcast?
Registering a podcast is not necessary in the traditional sense, like registering a trademark or a business entity. If you create an RSS feed for your podcast on the most popular platforms, people will find them. However, you should always consider copyright protection for your podcast's content to safeguard it from unauthorized use.