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How to make a Podcast

June 2, 2016 - fifteen

If you’ve started a content marketing campaign as part of your digital marketing strategy, you may have considered creating a podcast at some point. Especially if you’re already creating content, such as infographics or videos, a podcast can be an intriguing and interesting prospect.

But, when looking at creating your first podcast, it can also be a daunting prospect. There are many things to consider before making a podcast, so we’re here to help.

Plan. Plan. Plan.

As with everything, you need appropriate planning before proceeding with your first podcast. In order to ensure that it is of the highest possible quality, you must first consider the following.

  • What? – What is your podcast going to be about? How will it be different from others that are out there? You could go down the route of giving industry related news to your listeners, and pass comment on said news. You could cover news within your own business, or talk about recent projects. You can make it a bit more fun by devising games for your podcasters to play. You could even interview some industry influencers in order to get their opinion on things.

In short, there are lots of things your podcast could be about. As with radio shows, each has it’s own unique style and “gimmicks” which make it instantly recognisable. You need to give your listener a reason to keep listening.

  • When? – How often will you post your podcast? How long will each one be? It is important to retain consistency whilst creating and uploading podcasts, as you are more likely to gain a listenership. Users are more likely to tune in to a consistently regular podcast, as opposed to a one-off show.

That’s not to say that you can’t do a one-off, but you have to be aware that this won’t allow your audience to grow. You have to weigh up how regularly you want to make your podcast, with how frequently you can realistically keep up with the demand of podcasting. We’d recommend monthly, or bi-weekly, to start. Once you get a feel for it, you can easily increase your output to weekly, or even more regularly.

  • Who? – Who will work well within your podcast? Who has the necessary expertise to talk about the subjects you’ve chosen? If you’ve already considered creating a podcast, there’s no doubt that you’ve also had someone in mind to star in it. But, will you bring different people in for each episode? As well as the expertise within that field, is that person charismatic enough to lead a podcast?

Overall, you need people that can correctly and coherently comment on the subjects within your podcast. Whether that’s different people each time, led by a host, or the same group of people each time.

  • Where? – Where are you going to share your podcast? How will you make it available for your listeners? Where are you going to advertise it? This is one of the most frequently overlooked parts of planning when it comes to podcasts. With the huge array of audio sharing sites out there, it’s easy to leave this until after the podcast has been recorded and edited, but you should pay consideration to it before starting. If you’re using the podcast as a marketing strategy, you need to know where you’re going to share it.

Exclusivity is a great marketing technique, but too much of it can make your podcast inaccessible. Try looking at similar podcasts within your industry, and where they share their own podcasts. Some of the most popular channels include iTunes and SoundCloud. Now, you can choose to follow your competitors, or if there is an over-saturation of your industry on a particular channel, go in another direction entirely. The choice is yours, but it is one that you need to make sooner rather than later.

  • How? – We’ll cover this more throughout this blog, as it covers most of the points above too, but before starting your own podcast, you must be certain on how you’re going to achieve this.

Script. Script. Script.

Ok. So you’ve got a plan for your podcast as a whole, but now you need to start planning your first episode. For this, you need a “script”, in order to keep yourself on track, and ensure that you cover all of the points you want to.

Now, unlike a video (or any other kind of script), you don’t want to actually write down every little thing you’re going to say. With a podcast, it is important to sound natural whilst speaking, which is impossible to do when you’re reading word for word from a pre-written script. A podcast should also offer a chance for discussion amongst your speakers, which is almost impossible to do whilst reading a script.

Instead, you need to create the structure of your podcast, with detailed bullet points of the important factors affecting each subject. There may be some scripted elements (such as the intro and outro of your podcast), but for the most part, your speakers must be able to speak freely for a podcast to be a success.

Here’s an idea of what your overall structure/script may look like:

Introduction to podcast

Introduction of speakers/topics

Topic 1 (10 minutes)

  • Bullet point 1
  • Bullet point 2
  • Bullet point 3

Topic 2 (15 minutes)

  • Bullet point 1
  • Bullet point 2

Topic 3 (10 minutes)

  • Bullet point 1
  • Bullet point 2
  • Bullet point 3
  • Bullet point 4

Conclusion (5 minutes)

Outro of podcast

As you can see, we put time constraints next to each topic, which will be very important whilst recording your podcast. The “script” above would be for a podcast that is approximately 45 minutes in length, with the introductions and outroduction adding roughly an extra 5 minutes to the whole run time.

With this in place, you may also want to create more detailed cue cards for each topic, allowing the speakers more information on the subject at hand. In order to prompt naturalistic discussion around your subjects, encourage each speaker to make their own notes on the topics that are going to be discussed.

Record. Record. Record.

We could bore you with a long list of possible ways to record audio, but that wouldn’t be much help. There are many ways to record audio nowadays, from USB microphones to professional equipment. You can even record audio directly to your computer with the in-built microphones, nowadays.

Instead, here are some tips to ensure that once you hit the record button, your podcast is a success.

  • Host – Before you start recording, you must pick somebody to lead the discussion. Allowing your speakers to begin without any clear direction, or driving force, will result in your podcast becoming a bit of a disorganised mess. Whilst the host may not contribute much to the conversation, they are in charge of indicating who should speak when, and what topics are being discussed. This should prevent people talking over one another (which sounds absolutely awful in the headphones of your potential listeners).
  • Time – Make sure there is a clock in the room in which you are recording, and make sure that it is a big clock. The host of your podcast will need this to ensure that everything remains on schedule, and that an appropriate amount of time is allocated to each subject.

This will also help all of your speakers look out for how quickly they need to wrap their discussion up.

  • Contingency – Chances are, before you master the art of the podcast, you will run out of time to talk about certain topics. There will be points that aren’t raised that could’ve been, and you need a way to address those. This is where the rest of your content marketing comes into play.

If you do run out of time on a particular topic, just relax. The host should move the conversation on to the next topic, and prompt the user to visit another piece of content if they’re interested in finding out more about the subject just covered. Whether that is a blog, a video, or another podcast, is entirely up to you.

So, there we have it. Follow this simple tips, and you’ll be on your way to creating a successful podcast.

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