Get heard: 9 tips for starting your first podcast

To diversify your audience reach, starting a podcast could be the right move for your brand.

About 75 percent of Americans are familiar with the term “podcasting” (up from 70 percent in 2019), while about 50 percent of all American homes are podcast fans, according to compiled statistics by Podcast Insights.

Perhaps you already have an idea and are ready to jump in, but beware: It’s estimated that there are at least 1.75 million shows already (and they’re definitely not all delivering on invested time and resources). 

To help your new podcast get heard (and not get lost in the noise), here are nine tips to help you get started.

Set your purpose and goals

It’s imperative that you get specific here. Not only do you want to nail down exactly what your show is about, but you want to formalize your goals for the podcast as well.

Typically, the best way to define your niche topic is to think about the cross section of your expertise and your target audience’s interests. 

Who are you trying to reach? Resist the temptation to say “everyone.” Any piece of content that fails to target a specific group fails to reach most. This includes podcasts.

When thinking about your target audience, consider:

  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Employment status
  • Hobbies and interests
  • Social lifestyle
  • Hopes and dreams
  • Challenges and pain points

In other words, don’t be afraid to get as specific as possible when deciding what your show is about, but ideally, you want the topic to have enough potential content angles to explore as you get going.

When setting your goals, think S.M.A.R.T.:

  • Specific
  • Measureable 
  • Actionable
  • Realistic 
  • Time-bound

Think through it: Why do you want to create this podcast? Understanding what ROI (return on investment) you’re aiming for will help you not only launch it but make decisions about its path along the way.

Dive deeper into how to create achievable marketing goals.

Start thinking about a name and logo

Just like tweets, the shorter you can make the name of your podcast, the better.

If it can be just one word, that’s even better. Many of the top podcasts today are just one-word names:

  • Griefcast
  • WTF
  • Serial
  • Spooked
  • Sawbones
  • 1619
  • Radiolab

And truly, if you glance through names of top podcasts as a whole, you’ll see very few that are more than two or three words.

Brainstorm your options and present those ideas to friends and colleagues. Get feedback. Take your time settling on the best podcast name.

When it comes to designing your logo, simple and bold are approaches to keep in mind. Remember that many podcast listeners are scanning or discovering new podcasts on their mobile devices, which means: small display. 

Your logo is an opportunity to visually communicate the idea of your podcast, and it also needs to make sense at a tiny size.

A short but sweet description also will be needed to inform listeners of what your podcast is about. Be clear and concise because this is how you can snag new listeners.

Decide on your format

Your podcast has a variety of options when it comes to its format, including:

  • Conversational
  • Educational
  • Storytelling (fiction or nonfiction)
  • Interviews

Formats largely can be categorized as structured (with a number of segments potentially strung together) or unstructured (such as a panel conversation or interview that lasts the duration of the podcast).

Interviews can definitely make or break a podcast. Your interviewees could be big audience draws and add leverage to your episodic marketing, but they also could need to reschedule or cancel entirely. The more you can “bank” interview recordings before you even launch, the better. It also is in your best interest to compile a long interview “wish list.” Don’t hold back from who you would love to interview. You never know when someone might say yes.

To find more interview leads, consider joining HARO as a journalist. It’s a largely untapped source of potential experts you can interview.

In regard to hosting, there can be one host or any number of hosts on your podcast.

When deciding on your number of hosts, know that while you can have more control with a single host (possibly you), all the work can then likely fall on your shoulders. Multiple hosts can share the workload, but that does mean less control and the potential of at least one host losing interest after a while.

This is also the time to determine the frequency of your podcast. Commonly done are:

  • Weekly
  • Every other week
  • Monthly

You’ll also want to decide whether this is a serial (set number of episodes) or a recurring podcast (ongoing).

There’s no particular benefit to any of these timed formats other than what suits your resources and overall podcast format.

Frame your podcast with intros and outros

Intros and outros are 15 to 30 seconds at the beginning and end of each episode. They are an opportunity to set the tone of your podcast for your listeners.

Typically, an intro will mention the name of the show as well as who the host is. You can use the same intro for every episode or change it up by season or even by episode. Just make sure that there is some consistency so that you’re maintaining the tone of your podcast.

The outro is the wrap-up segment of each episode. You can add a call-to-action where you mention your podcast’s social media handles or a website where listeners can learn more about your brand.

 

Background music is commonly used in intros and outros, but you’ll want to ensure that you’re using copyright-free music. Doing so will help you avoid any lawsuits or other issues.

Brainstorm episode subjects

Like any other content calendar you would create for a blog or social media posts, your podcast deserves the same amount of planning.

Start by writing down any and all episode ideas related to your podcast. If your format is interview-based, you’ll want to start documenting all possible interviewees. 

For inspiration, browse through related blogs and books. Even the table of contents of books can be a great seed for brainstorming.

Planning-wise, don’t stop until you can sketch out at least three months of episodes. Then, plan to revisit the brainstorming process monthly after that. This will help your consistency and organization.

Select the right equipment and software

Sound quality is everything in podcasting. There is an expectation of clear, no-background audio. Because the competition in podcasting is high, you can’t settle for anything less.

So, while you don’t necessarily need super expensive equipment to record your podcast, you’ll definitely want more than the built-in mic on your smartphone or computer.

At the bare minimum, you’ll get better audio recordings with a quality microphone and headphone set with your computer.

In addition, you can consider using a:

Be sure to find a quiet space. Consider all outdoor noise that could be picked up even through a closed window and even indoor noise that could be created by such things as an HVAC unit.

Editing your audio recordings is an obvious key component to making your podcast high-quality. Audio editing software options include (but are not limited to):

You’ll want to explore options for your podcast hosting as well. Podcast hosts are places to store and distribute your podcast’s audio files. Some top podcast hosts include (but are not limited to): 

Often, your podcasting host will help you connect to podcast distributors, such as iTunes, Google Play and others.

Repurpose your transcripts

Creating and publishing the transcripts of your podcast episodes to your website or other platform will not only help your search engine optimization (SEO), it gives you additional content to use and promote.

Check out our 13 tips for repurposing content like a rockstar marketer.

Practice makes perfect

Your first episode does not need to be your first recording.

This means that you can practice as much as you want, recording, editing audio and so on. You can record in different spaces to determine the least amount of background. You can even practice how close you’ll want your microphone while speaking. 

All of this helps ensure quality recordings the first time around when you are recording “for real.”

Your podcast marketing matters

Just like you would plan out your podcast episodes, you also want to plan out the marketing surrounding each episode.

This includes thinking through posts across all existing social media channels, as well as mentions or features within your regular email marketing.

If you have guests on your podcast, consider asking them to promote the episodes that they’re featured in on their channels.

You’ll also want to plan out a campaign announcing the launch of your podcast. This should be geared toward your target audience and can include social media ads (like on Facebook) to get the word out even further.

The question of whether you should create a separate social media presence specifically for your podcast depends on you and your brand. If you already have a well-established, branded presence where it makes sense to promote your podcast, then creating all-new accounts shouldn’t be necessary. If you don’t have any established presence that can be tied to your podcast, then you might consider creating one.

Check out our seven tips to level up your content marketing.

In conclusion

When launching a new podcast, take your time. Podcasting is a marathon sport, not a sprint.

The key is planning, consistency, quality audio and topics that truly engage your target audience. You might launch with a small audience and no advertisers, but the more consistent you are, the more you can build that follower base, and the rest will lead to your achieving your podcasting goals.

As you’re considering promoting your new podcast, let DailyStory help you level up your digital marketing process. Our platform features email automation, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.

Find your voice: 8 tips for reflecting your brand’s personality

You may hear it often these days. Your “brand voice” is everything online. 

It helps people connect with you, engage with you and (hopefully) come to trust you.

As Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said, “Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

But a brand voice is nothing more than the personality of your brand, and while we largely view this as an online requirement, it transcends to any other medium (print and broadcast included) where your brand may express itself.

See our nine tips to help build a new brand from scratch.

Here are eight tips on how to find your brand voice so that you can be consistent and engaging.

Start with your company’s mission statement

The purpose of your brand should drive the type of tone and voice you create. In other words, your personality should reflect what you care about. 

For instance, self-esteem is a big part of Dove’s mission statement, making its voice empowering and uplifting to connect with its customers and potential customers. Themes of self-empowerment and body positivity can be seen in a lot of Dove’s messaging, but Dove also delivers it in a soothing, inspirational and friendly tone.

Review your current messaging

If you’re not starting from scratch and already have content created, it’s a good idea to perform an audit. You’ll want to look over your website, any blog posts, social media posts, videos, etc. 

Is there consistency among the tone and messaging? Or, is it a bit all over the place? Take note of the best-performing pieces because they could be a signal of what is already connecting with your audience.

Deep dive into your audience

Begin with the tools already available to you, such as Google Analytics (or any other website performance tool), social media analytics from the platforms you’re using and any customer database information you already have in-house.

How old are there? Mostly one gender or evenly split? Where do they live? Education? Occupations? How did they hear of your business? And whatever other data you have is helpful.

While not all of those questions might be answerable, you’ll want to gather as much as you can to understand who you are reaching. Once you do, you should compare this to who you want to reach, your target audience. This will help you decide whether what you’re currently doing is on track with what you should be doing in regard to brand voice. 

If you’re looking to reach more middle-aged women, this voice looks a lot different than if you want to reach more college-aged men.

See our seven tips to help you determine your target audience.

Play the ‘We’re this, not that’ game

Okay, it’s not exactly a game. But it’s a great exercise to narrow down what your brand is about.

Simply fill in the blanks: “We’re ________, but we’re not __________.”

You’ll want to do this at least a half dozen times to drill down to the essence of how you want to sound. For example: “We’re laidback, but not lazy.”

You can and should take your audience research and most successful content into consideration while working through this.

Choose three words to describe your voice

If you let yourself go on the “We’re this, not that” exercise, there hopefully are a few keywords that now stick out to you. 

If your brand was a person, ask yourself which three words you would use to describe this person’s personality. And how do these traits make you different?

Make a ‘brand voice chart’

Once you decide on the three traits that best represent your brand’s personality, you can build a chart so that you can flush out how each one should be used in your messaging moving forward.

Create a table with four columns. The first column is the list of brand characteristics you’ve already decided on. The next column is a description of how that trait relates to your company or brand. The third column are all the “Do’s” related to accomplishing that (such as using strong verbs if you’re passionate or being playful if you’re irrelevant, for example), whatever actions will reflect that trait. Then, the last column should have all the “Don’ts.” These are the actions you’ll want to avoid in the pursuit of reflecting that trait (such as using too much slang if you’re quirky or over-promising if you’re authentic, for example).

You’ll want to work through that chart for each personality trait, essentially creating your road map for your brand’s voice and tone that can be referenced moving forward.

Translate your ‘brand voice chart’ into guidelines

While a “brand voice chart” is incredibly helpful and definitely an asset you can present to your team, consider taking it a step further. You can create clearly documented guidelines to help enforce consistency well into the future.

Because as we all know, it’s one thing if it’s just you communicating as your brand. It’s a whole other world when bringing a team together to share and express a single brand voice.

It’s great if your guidelines can be boiled down into a one-pager (or have a Cliff Notes version that’s accessible on the fly), but it doesn’t have to be. This is especially true if you’re including:

  • A deep dive into your brand’s core personality
  • A reflection on tone (how you’re communicating that personality, especially on different platforms)
  • A look at the specifics (that can be formatted as a “do this, not that” and even include recommended spelling, grammar and jargon use)
  • A description on multimedia use (ranging from videos to emojis)

The power of your guidelines does come from the time you invest in it to make it the “holy grail” of communication for your team.

Be ready to evolve as your brand does

Just like people, brands can grow and change over time. Be nimble about what this could look like for your brand and ready to adjust your ‘brand voice chart’ and guidelines as needed.

On the flip side, you don’t want to change too many things too quickly. It could confuse your team and your audience.

If you’re looking for a little inspiration from brands doing it right, take a look at Wendy’s, MailChimp and Red Bull. Check out their websites and social media pages. They’re all very different brands but extremely consistent, as well as creative, in how they project their individual brand voices. 

And above all, know that discovering and conveying your brand voice will be filled with some trials and errors no matter how much planning you do. Just keep an eye on your content’s performance across platforms and pivot as needed.

While you’re examining your brand voice, consider these seven tips to be more conversational and relatable in your marketing. In addition, see our 10 tips to build up your personal brand and grow your business.

Plus, check out our Digital Marketing 101 Guide for Beginners to get inspired about your own brand’s marketing efforts and focus.

As you begin to find your brand voice, consider optimizing your digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.