Podcast listenership is at an all-time high, with an estimated 464.7 million people around the world tuning into their favorite audio shows regularly–and by the end of 2024, that number’s projected to exceed 504.9 million.
Podcasts can be an excellent way for brands to connect with their audiences and get their core messages across in a medium that feels more intrinsically casual than blogs or other forms of content might typically – but while the concept is simple, deciding to launch your own podcast is a more complex commitment than it might initially seem.
Here are a few considerations to account for as you debate whether a podcast is the right next move for your company.
Identify your ‘why’
Podcasts can fulfill many purposes, and there’s no point drawing blueprints for your own until you know what you want to get out of it.
Are you looking to break into a new audience segment or market? Maybe you want to ramp up your efforts to promote your company leaders as thought leaders in your industry. You may have a strong performing content ecosystem already in place and would like to round out your production of blogs, social media content, contributed bylines and more by adding audible (or even visual) commentary into the mix.
No matter what you’d like to achieve by launching a podcast, identifying your goals early on can help guide your preliminary research and ensure you’re well and truly prepared when you finally commit and sit down to record.
Do you have the right team in place to go the distance?
Many companies run into trouble when they start a podcast on a whim and discover they’ve bitten off more than they can chew.
The first place to double-check that you have the wherewithal to produce a strong podcast is through your current team – ensuring you have someone on your team with the right level of interest, expertise, and personality to engage through a vocal medium. Sometimes someone has a lot of one of these things, but no knowledge or enthusiasm for a particular topic can make up for lack of charisma – and vice versa. No one expects anyone on your team to be Ryan Seacrest straight out the gate, of course – practice will breed improvement. But interest, expertise, and an engaging vocal presence are nonnegotiable starting points.
Building a podcast team you trust will be with your company for years to come is essential. The last thing you want is to find your perfect, charismatic host only to have them depart from your organization three episodes in.
Does your internal interest align with external demand?
If the company representative you select as the host for your podcast isn’t happy to be there, your audience will pick up on it – and they’ll mirror that lack of interest.
Maybe an interesting enough topic can attract listeners for a particular episode, but if you’re looking to launch something that will resonate with your ideal audience and keep them coming back for more, you need to go in with a team that matches the enthusiasm you’re looking to build externally.
Identify which areas of your industry present opportunities for riveting conversation and authentic engagement and try aligning those points with your hosts’ and guests’ unique expertise. This makes the difference between a podcast that extends your brand’s reach and pushes the boundaries of industry-wide conversations and one that merely sounds like a bunch of folks reading from a script. If you’re uninspired, head back to the drawing board – not toward the recording equipment.
Could a podcast help elevate your thought leadership efforts?
Over the last 12-18 months or so, podcasting has emerged as an increasingly popular method of advancing brand credibility. The straightforwardness of establishing your company leaders as experts in their respective fields by simply recording them conversing about their expertise makes this approach more accessible than some other types of thought leadership tactics.
Just as the best byline articles approach trending industry topics with tangible, tip- or solutions-based insights, podcasts can assume a similar structure and fulfill a profound purpose in addressing issues that matter to your audience. Therefore, if promoting your company through establishing thought leadership in various industry topics is part of your media strategy and you have some well-articulated spokespeople on staff who might deliver in an audible environment, podcasts might be a valuable addition to your plans.
Does the potential for success outweigh the guaranteed costs?
Finally, consider the various costs associated with launching a podcast. Is it realistic to expect your newly assembled podcast team to have the time to dedicate to producing it against all their other responsibilities? Is investing in recording equipment, such as microphones and soundproofing technology, a reasonable expenditure for your company at this moment in time? Are you equipped to edit the audio together once you have all the other pieces in place, or to outsource this task if not? No matter what you decide, engaging an agency partner is always a great first step to ensure you’re embarking on this journey with the right team, strategy and plan in place.
Ready to take the plunge and expand your brand into podcasting? Contact Airfoil today – we’ll help get you across that finish line.