By Aimee Stern, Brave Now PR
I went to a well-attended podcasting seminar at George Washington University’s Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration recently. Sponsored by PRSA-NCC, speakers included journalists, GWU professors, production companies and other types of professional podcasters.
They discussed how to create a successful podcast and offered a multitude of tips for how to find your audience, improve marketing, audience engagement and other areas. I sat in on two sessions: “Production Strategies and Post Production Tips,” with Molly Ruland, CEO and Founder, Heartcast Media and Ian Enright, CEO & Co-Founder, Goat Rodeo; and
“Launch Campaigns and Promotion” featuring Jenn Sherman, Founder and Chief Strategist, The Influencer Collective and Michael Hempen, of the Associated Press and the National Press Club. Tips are highlights from their talks.
My favorite tip? If you want to learn about podcasting do not read stuff on the Internet. Go to your local music store and talk to them. They know a lot more about sound and can tell you about the podcasts they listen to.
Find Your Audience
You are nothing without your audience. Building it quickly will help you get feedback and make continuous improvements.
- Get their emails. You can ask for emails when a listener signs up or during the podcast. Experts say that if someone listens to your podcast for more than 20 seconds odds are they will give you their email.
- Be a guest on other people’s podcasts that have big audiences. That way you can boost your audience through theirs.
- Invite guests with large followings to be on your podcast and cross-promote their appearances with them.
Engage Your Audience
Some episodes will be more successful than others. Measure everything. Google Analytics can help.
- Your friends and families will be your worst critics. Don’t take it personally.
- Ask “Do I really have to be funny?” If you are trying too hard, chances are you should not. Engagement does not always mean humor. Tell a compelling story.
- Determine what makes your podcast engaging to listeners and how to do more of it. A great way to figure this out? Ask.
- Your audio needs to be good but not perfect. Since podcasts are listened to in so many different settings there will be interference with sound. If you are engaging you will keep your listeners.
Keep Your Audience
I was struck by how marketing-driven the podcasters and even the professors were. Marketing can help you find your audience and keep them.
- Have an ask. If someone sits through your entire podcast you can ask them to share it and you should.
- Brand your first group of shows as your first season. Many podcasts don’t make it after a couple of shows and saying its season one of yours sends the message that you plan to stick around.
- Use Facebook Watch. Facebook has a rule that you cannot advertise a podcast while it is live. But you can preview your podcast and promote that – giving snippets of what is coming on your next how.
About the Author: Aimee Stern is a writer and PR consultant who loves learning. Her company, Brave Now PR, works with thought leaders to help them shape and share their great ideas.