Podcasting: essentials for broadcasting your business brand

Doctor Digital, I want to podcast, but don’t know where to start! Can you help?

Doctor Digital Says

There’s so many good reasons for starting a podcast. It’s a great way to grow your business, connect with other leaders in your space, deepen your relationship with your audience and much more. Taking your business brand message out of text or image and into voice is a new frontier, but a great one to explore and a direct way for your customers to get to know you. A few tools, some compelling topics, a little technical know how and you’re on the air.

I don’t want to gloss over the technical complexity, there isn’t enough room in a blog for the depth you’ll need to start, but there are some awesome experts with detailed free tutorials on how to bring all of the tech, content, hosting and feeds together. Click over to how-to experts Cliff Ravenscraft or Pat Flynn when you are ready to get serious, but let’s have a look at some of the things you will need to consider when planning your podcasting future.

As with all things audience focussed, who is listening to your podcast will largely determine content decisions. The topics you decide on will direct your brand and what you stand for, so your podcasts should be in line with your business offerings and values.

Think about the format. Are you going to be the solo voice, interview guests, or a combination of both? The latter is a good way to bring other experts into your discussion and subtly endorse you at the same time. Reaching out to industry specialists can help you develop your networks too. It’s best to have a few topics and guests sorted, and record several podcasts so you can release a series when you first start, giving momentum to your audience who won’t have to wait once they enjoy the first one to get another taste.

Good tools make better podcasts, to start off get a decent USB microphone, or headset microphone, and a skype recorder for interviews that aren’t face to face. When you decide to get serious about podcasting, you can move up to a sound mixer and all kinds of kit to make you sound like you have a golden microphone. There are plenty of review sites to help you make the right decision for your podcast, like this one.

You must host your media files on a server outside of your own server so your bandwidth isn’t slowed to a halt and your listeners put off. Your podcast will need a feed to syndicate content to iTunes, if you’re using a Wordpress website you will automatically have one. This is one of the more technical parts of the process, so definitely consult the expert tutorials to get it right.

Linking your podcast name to your name or your business brand and your area of expertise is a no-brainer. Choose a name and title that speaks to your audience, and clearly demonstrates what you do. You’ll also need a subtitle, some tags for your feed to identify the type of content it is for iTunes, and some artwork. Your image is the first thing people will encounter when browsing podcasts if they have stumbled upon your rather than been driven via your social media channels or website, so get something that is visually compelling and represents your brand. This needs to be a 1400x1400 pixel image in .jpeg or .png format. You can use Canva to make this if you don't already have suitable artwork.

And don’t forget you need a commitment to your audience to regularly bring them new episodes and great content. Podcasts are exponentially growing in popularity, especially with the rise of mobile devices - podcast listeners chomp through an average of 5 podcasts a week. If you can connect to your audience, your message, brand and business can go with them and be shared with their friends wherever they go.

For more information check out our podcasting factsheet here.

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