How to Start a Successful Podcast
Been thinking about dipping your toe into the wonderful world of podcast creation/hosting? Or maybe you’re a marketer who would love to tell your brand’s story via this immersive medium? Australia has taken over the US as one of the most advanced podcast markets in the world, with Aussies spending up to 7 hours a week listening to their favorite shows. We’ll walk you through the top tips you’ll need to create a brilliant podcast – and get people listening!
1. Choose a topic you’re fanatical about
Passion is compelling. Make sure that the topic you’re focussing on – whether it is dog training, drag queens or the recruitment industry – is something that you will want to explore, be able to bring to life and won’t get bored of. This will ensure you can fill the episodes with enthusiastic content and appeal to your audience.
Our Co-founder Nick Randall advises: “Be honest here, if you want to eventually make a living from commercials - put that in your 'why'. It needs to be something that motivates you and is authentic.”
We know the power of great storytelling. There’s plenty of data to back up how our brains react to a good story. Great stories produce the kind of neurotransmitters that make us binge through the next episode, then the next, and the next. When processing facts, only two areas of the brain are activated. But a well-told story can excite multiple areas of gray matter – including the motor cortex, sensory cortex and frontal cortex.
Research shows that brand stories told just audibly inspire an average 50% more positive emotional peaks than brand stories told just visually. This means podcast memories are likely to sustain over time, given their strong emotional component. This is why you need to choose super compelling and rich stories to launch a successful podcast that will keep listeners coming back.
2. Know your goal
Do you want to have fun and make people laugh with your pod? Educate on important issues and make a change? Or go deep on your brand story and raise awareness of your businesses’ point of difference? Make sure you are working towards a specific objective to stay on track.
“Podcasts are built on niche audiences,” says Kathleen Moroney, Global Head of Content at production house Red Apple Creative. “That builds an incredible amount of loyalty.”
3. Get the right tech
You don’t have to invest thousands to sound professional. A microphone is essential, and you’ll probably want decent headphones and basic software editing software. We love Omny Studio for audio management. If you record on your phone, it will show!
4. Be consistent
Planning your content well, with a strong format is key in building a successful podcast. You want to sound organised and professional. This may mean that you’ll benefit from a script, or work better on the fly with bullet points, depending on your style. Make sure you have a regular posting schedule to keep your audience engaged and interested.
5. Experiment and be open to feedback
There are many options for style, length, content and format and it may take you a while to figure out what suits you best and what resonates with your audience. Don’t be afraid to test and learn! As you grow your podcast, you should start getting requests and feedback – listen to your fans and tweak your approach. Let your audience shape your approach and you will be rewarded. Social media is a great way to do this – read more on how to promote your podcast online here.
You may wish to consider recording a shorter podcast - a rising trend in the industry. Bite-sized audio snippets are helping podcasters reach a wider audience, as creators lean into the growing trend of ‘minute briefings’ and other mini-podcasts.
6. Podcasts to learn from
Get some tips, inspiration and guidance by listening to creators leading the format, those responsible for some of the most successful podcasts available.
Fear and Greed (Fear and Greed is Australia's most popular business podcast. All the business news you need to know, every day, with business journalist Sean Aylmer and Michael Thompson)
Serial (A pioneering podcast for the medium. It was the start of a new genre in crime storytelling.)
The Daily (With over 4 million listeners per day. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.)
Additionally, here are a few of our favorite local podcasts, featuring some excellent local talent:
Motherlode (The gripping story about the birth of computer hacking from an unlikely centre - Melbourne Australia.)
The Long Haul (Look beyond the bright lights and cheering crowds, into the reality of professional sport.)
The Mind Muscle Project (Bite-sized, eyebrow raising fitness Industry news & sports media)
Single Minded ( the podcast flipping the script on being single. It's for independent thinkers who are forging their own paths, with a healthy dose of dating chat & lols)
There are a few options to make money from your podcast once it is established and you have a strong following. You can engage in sponsorships, referrals, ads, selling merch/a service or product, coaching and consulting or listener donations to name but a few options.
Once you’ve got to the stage where you can start featuring advertising in your podcast, make sure you align with ones that make sense for your brand. If you’re a fitness podcast, featuring a chocolate brand is going to be jarring and confusing for your audience. The best ads speak to personal experience, capitalising on the intimacy between host and audience. There needs to be a benefit for the audience. If you genuinely like the product, chances are they will too.
Click here to contact us for more insight and advice, we love to chat anything podcasts!