Podcasts are a fantastic way to create owned content that is unique, accessible, and showcases the people behind the business. Many of the benefits of using a podcast can be seen in the consumer world, with Serial, S-Town and This American Life drawing in millions of listeners. Podcasts are also not a huge production effort – some of the most successful ones are simply a few people sitting down and speaking for half an hour. However, making sure your podcast showcases a professional edge that positions your messaging correctly is not always easy. As such, we’ve outlined some key considerations to think about when making your own show.
Podcasting in the time of Covid
First, it’s important to address the elephant in the room. Covid has made the traditional methods of podcasting harder if not entirely impossible. It’s less likely you will be able to sit in a room with people to record and may have to rely upon video chats such as Zoom to record an episode.
While the built-in record feature with these applications does make life easier, it also creates certain problems. Internet stability is often a major drawback to recording, with audio dropping and key points being missed out by a poor connection. Background noise, static and poor microphones can also make an otherwise engaging episode fall flat.
But all is not lost. There are a few things to consider when recording online. Firstly, changing your settings to recording ‘individual audio’ is an absolute must (a handy example can be found on the Zoom site here). Doing this will help limit any issues caused by speaking remotely and make editing a breeze. If you wanted to take this a step further, make sure everyone hits record on the chat and shares their own audio file afterwards – this will keep the quality is crisp and removes the potential for audio to drop out if the internet connection is poor.
Finding your format
With technical issues aside, it’s now a case of making sure you have a good idea for a show. With the topics under discussion, it’s very easy to end up with a lengthy episode that goes into extreme detail. Instead, think about keeping the recordings shorter and more focused, with 30 to 40 minutes being an ideal length to aim for. This will not only make sure your listeners remain engaged with more digestible content but also allow them to download the show onto their phone without taking up too much space. Don’t worry if you have more to say on the subject – you can always revisit it in a later episode or split the show into a two-parter.
Length of episode aside, another important factor is balancing structure with the freeform conversation. An engaging aspect of all podcast is the organic, natural way of speaking, but this needs to be balanced with a clear introduction and sign off to each show. Having a designated host will also ensure the conversation keeps on going at a reasonable pace and maintain a structure around the open dialogue of the show.
Getting it in post
The edit is perhaps the most important part of the podcast. This will remove any issues with the audio, sync up the conversation and put in transition music and the general dressing that makes the podcast feel professional. While you can simply publish the audio from the show, the added steps through good editing will bring your podcast to the next level.
In the same way, you should also consider how people will listen to the show. While putting the audio file on your company website is always an option, it can limit accessibility for users – as they will have to download the file and open it in an audio app on their phone or computer. Instead, a hosting platform will create a dedicated page for your podcast, allowing you to link the show with your website and social channels, as well as distribute it to key channels such as Spotify, Castbox and Apple Podcasts.
Creating a podcast is a different and exciting way to engage with your audience, and while there are many other considerations to take into account (we haven’t even begun to speak about which microphone to use), these key factors will help elevate the planning and production of your show. If you’re interested in learning more or want to see what other things you should be thinking about when making your show, get in touch – we’d love to help.
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