How to Start a Podcast in 2022: A Step by Step Guide

According to research, 59% of people spend more time listening to podcasts than browsing their social media. Additionally, 66% of respondents reported that they listen to podcasts more than they watch TV. Podcasts have become a powerful and relevant marketing tool that doesn’t require huge investments of money. Read on to find out what you need to know to launch a successful podcast to promote your brand.

Types of podcasts and their marketing potential 

A podcast is an audio file that can be listened to on dedicated streaming websites and services such as iTunes, Spotify, and others. Each podcast revolves around a specific topic. Podcasts can have several formats:

  • A monologue is when the podcaster shares their knowledge and experience and also answers questions from the audience. 
  • The interview is when the host interviews one or more guests.
  • Collaboration occurs when two or more podcasters express their opinions on different topics. 

Unlike video and text, audio does not require visual engagement, which makes it easier to consume. In recent years, podcasts have evolved in a strong and fast way, growing more and more. As of March 2020, more than a third of the US adult population (104 million) were listening to podcasts daily. Most people listen to podcasts while commuting to work, doing household chores, or in their spare time.

The growing popularity of podcasts has increased their marketing potential. In 2019, 55.6% of respondents said they purchased a product advertised on a podcast. By 2021, podcast advertising revenues could hit the $1 billion dollar mark.

Launching your own podcast: Equipment and market analysis

While creating audio content is a cost-effective way to invest in your brand, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to do a thorough market analysis before releasing your audio to the world. We’ve put together a list to help you get started smoothly without feeling overwhelmed.

Buy equipment

1. Microphone. You need a high-quality USB microphone. Focus on models that allow you to play around with sound effects. 
Price range: From 350 reais.

2 . Headphones. Ideally, your headphones should have a noise-canceling feature.
Price range: From 95 reais. 

3 . Software. You will need professional software to record and edit your podcasts. You can use free programs ( AudacityGarageBand ) or subscription-based programs ( Adobe Audition ). 
Price range: Up to 250 reais per month.

Find the right niche

Why are you creating a podcast? What are the topics? Why will people want to hear what you have to say? Ask all these questions (and many more) of yourself. This will help you to niche your podcast and choose your target audience. Figuratively speaking, your niche is where your personal interests and the needs of your audience meet. We have some tips for you to discover profitable niches for your podcast.

  • List topics that interest you and that you have mastered. You can read books that are very specific to this niche, search for articles on the topic, attend conferences, talk to experts, etc.  
  • Assess your audience’s interest in each topic. Browse forums, blogs, social media groups, etc. to see how many people find this topic important. Look for podcasts that have the same theme to find out how many listeners they have. 
  • Study your competitors’ strategies. What separates you from the rest? This could be unique information, the focus on a specific topic, the way you present your content, etc. Build your promotion strategy around your competitive edge.   
  • Create the profile of your target listener (age, geographic area, marital status, education, socioeconomic level, lifestyle, habits, needs, etc.). Having basic information about your potential customers will help you choose the right way to present your content and appropriate communication style.

Determine the duration and frequency of your podcasts

When it comes to podcasting, there is no ideal size or frequency. It all depends on the subject of your podcast and the needs of your audience. Based on a sample of 10 million podcast episodes, episodes are typically 38 minutes and 42 seconds long. Here are the main factors to consider when choosing the best length for your podcast:

  • Listener behavior. Research shows that 82.4% of respondents listen to podcasts for more than 7 hours a week. 22.4% of respondents spend more than 3 hours a week enjoying their favorite podcasts. Think about whether your audience has the time to consume long podcasts. Also, choose the best platform to upload your audio content.
  • Topic. Is your podcast topic broad enough to appeal to a large audience? How often will you add new content? Will you be able to find experienced and well-known figures for your podcasts?
  • Competition. Create a trademark feature that will make your podcast stand out. Do most podcasters in your niche release 2-hour episodes? Swim against the current and delight your audience with short 30-minute episodes.

Regardless of your schedule, make sure you consistently release new content. By releasing new episodes at random times, you risk damaging your audience’s loyalty and losing listeners. To avoid any kind of guesswork, ask your audience what frequency is right for them.

The name of your podcast

Your podcast name should tell your audience what your podcast’s main topic is. Some smart guidelines for choosing a great name for your podcast:  

  • Your podcast name should be simple and revealing. Upon reading the name of the podcast, your target audience needs to know what your topic is right away.  
  • This name should contain relevant keywords to help your target audience find your content on the platform. 
  • Your podcast name should highlight your personality, unique value, or competitive advantages. 
  • Your podcast name should be easy to say. You’ll speak this name many times in your episodes, so it should be a memorable, ear-pleasing sound.

Create cover art

Your cover is responsible for the first impression of your podcast. In addition to being unique and eye-catching, your cover image should reveal the main features of your product.

  • Avoid using more than two colors and two fonts. Choose two contrasting shades that have some correspondence. Make sure the font is legible so your listeners can easily read it.
  • Ideally, you should use your logo as the cover art for your podcast. A logo is a powerful graphic symbol that helps your audience identify and recognize your brand. Have you no idea what the perfect badge for your podcast is? Use the Shopify logo maker to create the best logo for your business!
  • When designing your art, don’t forget about minimalism. Make sure the cover art is readable in different media, including smartphones.   
  • Your artwork needs to meet the requirements of the podcast directory you use. For example, iTunes and Spotify recommend that images be 3000×3000 pixels. Supported formats include JPEG and PNG.

Add a description

In your podcast description, tell your audience about your product. When creating a compelling description, consider the following factors:

  • The interests of your audience. Your task is to stimulate the interest of your listeners by showing the value of your product. Convince your audience that your product can solve their problems and satisfy their needs.
  • Key words. Spotify and iTunes sort podcast descriptions by keywords, so be sure to use relevant keywords to increase your outreach.

Choose a song(s)

Music is an essential part of any podcast. You will need soundtracks for the intro and for different intermissions during your episodes. Use songs that are available for public use for free (Creative Commons license).

  • Explore free music libraries, eg Dig CCMixter.
  • For more possibilities, go to paid platforms like WistiaPond5, Syncly, and others. 
  • If you want to have a unique song on your podcast, contact a freelance musician to have them compose a unique song for your show. Explore the most popular freelance platforms like FiverrUpwork, etc. 

Podcast recording and launch: important information

Now that you’ve purchased the necessary gear, chosen the right topic, and outlined your placement strategy, it’s time to start your first episode.   

Planning

A podcast starts with a script. Create a script for each episode. This way, you won’t have to pull rabbits out of your hat while recording an episode. 

  • Plan ahead. Write down the main topics you want to cover in your episode and list them all in a logical order. Also, think about smooth transitions between different segments within the episode. 
  • The intro is the most important part of your podcast. Prepare a detailed plan of what you are going to talk about during the first few minutes of the episode. Your task is to grab your audience’s attention and engage them as much as possible.   
  • If you have a guest, think about how you will introduce them and prepare great questions for them.
  • Create a list of recurring segments for all your episodes. It could be “Area News” or “Questions from Listeners”, things like that.  
  • Plan the final part of your episode. Summarize everything said, thank interviewees and teammates, and plant the seed for the next episode.  
  • Remember to incorporate a call to action. For example, you can ask your listeners to subscribe to your podcast, buy your product, leave feedback on social media, etc.     

Recording

One of the coolest things about a podcast is that it’s a pre-recorded audio file. You can practice as much as you like by recording the same episode over and over and then choosing the best version.   

  • Find a quiet and peaceful place to record your podcast. It could be your apartment, office or a professional studio. Turn off your smartphone and all your gadgets to avoid distractions. Record a few seconds of silence and then listen to this recording to ensure there is no unwanted noise. 
  • Open the recording software, turn on your microphone and customize the audio settings. Say a few words into the microphone to test it. As you do this, watch the amplitude indicator. Remember that it cannot oscillate too much.
  • It’s best to record your first podcast in short snippets. Listen to each snippet right after recording it to ensure the highest quality possible. 

Edition

To edit your audio file, you can work with the same program used to record it. Merge different parts of the recording into a single file. Add music. Cut out awkward pauses, inappropriate phrases, and repetitions. Use the settings to adjust the volume and remove background noise. Once that part is ready, customize some technical parameters to ensure the smoothest experience ever for your audience.

  • Choose the correct bitrate for your audio stream. This is a crucial parameter that affects the audio quality of your podcast. A high bit rate ensures clean, crisp sound. The higher the bitrate, the heavier your audio file will be. The default bitrate for podcasts is 128 kbps.
  • Adjust the LUFS. In Portuguese, LUFS is the unit used to measure the intensity of an audio. Professionals recommend 16 LUFS for stereo recordings and 19 LUFS for mono recordings.
  • After finishing editing your audio file, save it in MP3 format.
  • Add ID3 tags with your podcast and episode name. This information will be displayed on the screen when your podcast plays.

Publication

It is not possible to play your podcast directly on iTunes or Spotify. First, you need to upload your audio file to cloud storage and create an RSS channel.

SoundCloud is one of the most popular platforms for audio files. Upload your episode to SoundCloud, enter your name and description, and add it to the RSS feed. Then copy the link to your file, log in to the platform you choose to publish your podcasts on, click “Add” (or any similar button, depending on the interface) and enter the link.

Promotion

To increase your sales in a way never seen before, think about how you will attract more listeners and monetize your product. Research shows that people discover new podcasts in the following ways (in order of relevance): on other podcasts, friend recommendations, social media and websites, mobile apps, and influencer promotion. For better results, use more than one channel to promote your podcast. 

  • Find other podcasters with similar audiences and cross-promote.
  • Be active on your social media and never be too aggressive when selling your fish. Instead of creating sales-focused posts, find subtle ways to mention your product to your audience. Focus on showing your authority and sharing your experience. It’s a great way to provide value to your brand advocates and build trust. 
  • Add a link to your podcast on your website, email signature, and social media pages.  

In short

Podcasts are a great way to market your product or service through audio content. The time has come for you to harness the potential of this method of promotion! Think of compelling topics for your podcast, highlight your competitive edge, and start engaging your audience! We wish you lots of inspiration and listeners for your podcast!

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