Today’s guest post comes from the talented PR and marketing pro Jayme Soulati! You can find Jayme online on the Soulati website, and on Twitter at @soulati. Jayme is a veteran blogger, and is sharing her tips on podcasting with us! If you’re considering starting a podcast, you’re in the right place.
Podcasting is like the new blog. Everyone wants to podcast, and although the barrier to entry is quite high, the potential rewards are promising.
I recently launched a podcast called The Heart Of Marketing with John Gregory Olson, a peer marketer. I bring core public relations to my blended marketing approach with message mapping, while John brings a solid background in digital marketing.
We launched our podcast after about four months of discussion and planning. We went through a SWOT analysis, talked about audience persona and tacked on business goals alongside communications strategy. We wanted a lot of subscribers, many downloads and eventual monetization.
The jury is still out whether we’re going to succeed, but we’re very happy with our first three months of performance with more than 3500 downloads for 20 episodes.
Do you want to start a podcast?
How to Podcast: Tips on Launching
- Before you launch a new product or service, you need a plan. It’s always important to have the right strategy and track each milestone along the way. Podcasting is no different – it’s critical to have business objectives, a solid communications plan and a content strategy before launch.
- Like anything, consistency is key. If you start a blog and you only blog five times and then go dormant- you have a dead blog! Your podcast needs to be published consistently, as well.
- Choose a partner, as podcasting alone can be very lonely. It’s more fun to have someone join you on the airwaves than trying to go it alone. As much as I laugh through each episode, I have to have someone to banter with.
- Check out podcast hosting services. You will need to find a specific web host for podcasts due to the large file size of every podcast you publish. We use Libsyn.com, and there’s a starter package for people who don’t want to publish that frequently. We pay $15 a month to rent hosting space for our podcasts. Each 30-minute podcast is about 40 MB; when you get close to an hour, you’ll use 60 MB or more.
- Determine if you’re going to launch a brand-new website or put the podcast into your own blog on your own website. In the beginning, you don’t need your own brand new website, but make that a strategy. You’ll want to brand your episodes with your own URL, and what better way to do that than with your own website and domain.
- Get your RSS feed for the podcast and add it to iTunes and Stitcher Radio. While iTunes is the dominant player, it’s important to have a presence on each.
- Post your first rating and review yourself and strive to get others to post them for you, too. (Hint: this is really hard work and earning ratings and reviews is a never-ending objective. Say, perhaps you’ll tune in to an episode, like it soooo much and leave a review? 🙂
- When measuring results for your podcast, don’t expect to measure with the number of subscribers because that piece of data is illusive. iTunes does not reveal numbers of subscribers for podcasts so you’ll need to use your Libsyn downloads data for the stats around each episode. This is really funky, but we’ve not found a workaround for understanding subscriber base. That’s another good reason why your own website with digital marketing and email capture is a solid strategy.
- You’ll need to find a good quality microphone, and that’s the first challenge. There are many folks who use crappy mics when recording, and you can tell! Sound quality is a true differentiator.
- The technical part of podcasting is the biggest challenge. There are many ways to record, but Skype is the most reliable. You’ll need to choose Call Recorder for Mac and a different type of recording software for Windows. Editing software is also required, and you can start with a low-end product to learn the ropes or dive immediately into Adobe.
- You won’t need a mixer right out of the gate, and if you download The Heart Of Marketing podcast you’ll notice my voice in one ear and John’s voice in the other! A mixer removes the two tracks and mixes everything nicely together.
- You will need to find a great name for a podcast that no one else has. The best way to do this is to take a stroll through iTunes and see what other podcasts are called.
- Once you settle on a name, run and reserve the domain name. When you decide to publish your own website, then you’ll have the domain name in your pocket.
- Hire a graphic designer and spend $300 for a logo for your podcast. Make sure you get the social media graphics kit in addition to the iTunes logo in its special size.
- Hire an expert to develop an intro and outro for your show. That makes it professional. Use some cool soundbites in each broadcast, and ensure you plan your segment with an outline. That way, everyone stays on message and you don’t veer off into left field.
- To attract traffic, you’ll need to add your podcast RSS to Triberr and also blog about your episodes on your own blog. Like anything new, the excitement is in the production; yet, the marketing is where the tedium occurs. You MUST keep plugging away to let people know your podcast exists or you will eventually fail.
- An important aspect of podcasting is content. Build your editorial calendar and do so with your audience in mind. You should know your audience persona from your pre-launch planning phase, right? Ensure you and your cohost agree on the topic and that you’re delivering some really valuable content to your listeners.
- Out of the gate, don’t worry about perfection. You’re learning so many things and the most important tip I can share is to be yourself. When I listen to each episode for the first time, I laugh every time. I’m hoping our listeners are laughing with me, but getting engagement for each episode will only come with time.
So, do you think you want to podcast?
Are you thinking about starting a podcast? Do you have a favorite show that you’d like to share? Connect with us in the comments below and let us know!
Jayme Soulati is a message mapping master and blends core public relations with marketing for clients across industries. She is president of Soulati Media, Inc. http://www.soulati.com and is an award-winning blogger since 2010. She recently elevated her blogging experience with the Heart Of Marketing podcast available on iTunes.