As podcasts increase in popularity, listeners have more choices. So while you might be ahead of the competition, you should still be thinking about ways that you can make your podcast unique and stand out from similarly themed podcasts.
Here are the top 10 tips that will get you closer to your goal of becoming a listener-loved podcast and set you up for a successful future as a broadcaster.
When making the decision and commitment to podcast, it is important to think beyond the moment. Before starting, think about the time the podcast production will take.
- How will podcasting fit into a current schedule?
- How frequently will you podcast?
- How will hosting of podcasting files be handled?
- If the podcast is excessively popular, how will fees be generated to pay for hosting?
- What is the common theme that threads all podcasts in a series together? Think not only of a broad theme, but also various episodic themes that fit into a broader theme.
- What will make you distinct or different from others podcasting about similar content?
By approaching podcasting with a little forethought, you will set yourself up for success.
Just like any media company, in order to attract and maintain an audience, you will need to provide original content, or at the very least, present the content in an original way. Think about a long term strategy that will help your show distinguish itself from others.
This is the magic of adding your voice and your style to your content. Even content topics that are widely covered by others in the industry will still have your unique spin. Your voice makes things unique by design!
Get to The Point – Stay on Point
Jibber Jabber is fun, but not to the point of excluding quality content. Listeners in today’s society don’t have time for incessant rambling. If you have a point to make, make it in a reasonable amount of time. Minimize the fluff and focus on quality content.
You also want to make sure you reel in the conversation and bring it back to the point. It’s ok to let things drift a bit as long as you can circle back to the current point and ultimately to summarize it all at the end which gives a nice sort of closure to the episode.
Do Your Homework
Not only is faulty information a liability, but incorrect information will hurt a broadcasters long term reputation–just like a journalist’s credibility is paramount to their success. It is important that the information that you provide is accurate.
While going the route of becoming a shock jock might have short-term appeal to listeners, most will remain loyal to a source that has properly vetted all of their information and doesn’t rely on shock and awe to keep a listener engaged.
The best content is consistent content. Podcasts should contain compelling content with episodic titles, that are united in common broad theme. The format of the podcast should be consistent, persistent and stable. Each show should be about the same length and contain a common format.
You’ll find your cadence and flow as you get through your first few episodes and you can use analytics to confirm whether content is hitting the mark. Be careful not to be too tightly tied to those numbers in the early days, though. It takes a while to see the gains which also reminds you of the value of keeping consistency and getting your content out.
Content that is timeless has a long shelf life. Broadcasters will benefit more from content that is timeless and can be effectively archived. “How to” content that solves problems will often have long term appeal and listening life. When choosing topics, consider the long term effects of a specific piece and determine whether it will fit with the broad theme of the show.
Stay mindful of the news cycle content you produce. It’s not that you shouldn’t have current events as part of your content, but you must be prepared for some content to age out that is based on point-in-time events.
You’ll also want to be careful of saying things like “next week” or “in a couple of weeks” for announcements and such because you may be publishing at different times than when you record.
The quality of the audio content does matter. Think of the last time you heard a good song, on a poorly tuned radio station; regardless of how much you like the song, most of us would move the dial along. Listeners will not want to strain to hear a podcast; pay particular attention to articulation. Another important item worth noting is that Podcasts have global reach and often global appeal.
You will learn about the target audience as you see the numbers come in. Localization may be important if you’re staying focused on a geographic target. The variation of content and adding distinct new voices from other geographic areas may add a few listeners. Just make sure that you’re keeping the sound and conversation clear.
Podcast titles should be optimized to incorporate data that relates to the contents of the podcast. Think about the themes when selecting a podcast channel title and description. Use critical and related keywords and phrases that relate to a common theme. The text in the feed is important for both feed optimization and for attracting listeners. It’s just like any other headline that needs to grab the reader (and listener) and make them want to dive into the content.
Many of the podcast directories index the contents of podcasts using the information contained in the channel and item’s, titles and descriptions. Use these text fields to effectively capture the interest of listeners.
Invariably listeners will come to expect certain things from broadcasters, and creators, and podcasting is no different. In order to maintain and grow a listening audience, it is important that broadcasts are consistent and satisfy the expectations of listeners. While it is okay to experiment, straying to far from what a listener expects will often disappoint and you may see it affect listener and viewer counts over time.
Many new listeners will want to review previous broadcasts. Consider ways to make older shows available through archives. Archives allow broadcasters another channel to benefit from the content. Maintaining archives of older podcasts might bring in new listeners and satisfy listeners who just can’t get enough. Podcasts require effort, but by following basic guidelines and thinking things through, podcasts can be instrumental in increasing web traffic and communications within a community.
You will also want to think about whether transcriptions are part of your plan. There are lots of tools and services out there that can add the speech-to-text option for you and that also benefits searchability and SEO.
Welcome to your podcasting and broadcasting world! I hope to see you coming back here for lots more great tips like these.