Nearly 79% of U.S. residents know what a podcast is, and of that percentage 62% are active listeners. That equates to 177 million Americans listening to the 1.96 million podcasts on Apple Podcasts. Since the first podcast began in 2004, the medium’s popularity has continued to evolve rather quickly.
At the Alliance 2022 Annual Conference, TJ Baskerville and I presented on how to start a podcast economically. Our knowledge base has grown significantly since that time, and we had the opportunity to expand it at a webinar that took place on Oct.19. In the Alliance webinar, “Podcasting 101 - How to Create a Podcast,” we added details on podcasting gear, hosting platforms and measuring listeners’ statistics.
One of the key factors to consider while deciding to produce a podcast is your organization’s goals. Are you attempting to improve an educational gap, increase knowledge on a certain topic or explain a relevant issue? It is important to be clear in your intent for developing your podcast. As stated above, the market is saturated with podcasts — so, what makes your content enticing to listeners? To enter this market, you must have a target audience and a way to reach them.
Next, consider in which format the audio presentations should be delivered. Some common podcast formats are interviews, conversations, solo commentary, nonfiction storytelling and news presentation. The format should be chosen based on the information you intend to share and how it will be best understood. Identifying the podcast’s name is essential not only to stand out among your competitors but also to grab the attention of your listeners from the get-go. Further research on your market area is highly important.
It’s now time to decide the average length of each episode. Recognize that at the beginning, you are just building your audience. So, shorter episodes may grasp your listeners’ attention. As you gain popularity and grow listeners, the episodes can be made longer. Then, determine how often you will release your series. For example, many medical association podcasts seem to be released weekly. For example, “Frankly Speaking About Family Medicine” is released on Sundays, while “Pediatrics On Call” and “It’s Not Brain Surgery” both release episodes on Tuesdays. Google, Apple Podcasts and Spotify notify listeners of new episodes.
Hosts set the tone! While deciding who your host(s) will be, consider whether one constant host or a rotating list of guest hosts is ideal for your content. Selecting a constant host allows continuity, while a series of them requires more planning. Neither is better than the other; in fact, they just require preparation. With either option, providing an opening script that lists your podcast’s full title, the episode title and — in the latter option's case — the guest speaker's biography will help start off each recording.
In our webinar, we provided examples and resources on podcast gear, editing software, hosting platforms and more. Just like any new product you develop, podcasts require a full plan. The more consistent and interesting your episodes are, the more your listeners will tune in. If you have development questions after watching the Alliance webinar recording, please reach out, as I am happy to assist you.