Make a podcast: Three tips on what to do when creating a podcast that works as a marketing tool

Research from the United States suggest that many of the most successful podcasts resemble a cross between a regularly published email newsletter with several interesting articles, a personal blog with a strong individual tone and a radio talk show with must-meet guest stars. 

So qualities to look for and be aware of are…

  • Strong voice – not just the sound but the style 
  • Steadiness of publication – not a one-off, but a continuing series
  • Variety – different guests-stars, different “articles”

According to Rob Walch, co-author of the book, ‘Tricks of the Podcasting Masters’ you should avoid three common mistakes:

Mistake #1. Shovelware

Every time a new media is invented (TV, the Web, and now podcasting) at first creators try to shovel up the same content onto the new medium that worked in the others. Don’t just read your Web site content or email articles into a microphone. If your listeners wanted that, they could go online to see it.

Your content should be new, fresh, specifically created for this medium. That’s why guest interviews, music, co-host chit chat and even rants do so well for podcasts. 

Mistake #2. Sales pitch

You may get a few people to download a podcast that’s a lightly disguised sales pitch once … but chances are none of them will bother to download or listen to the next instalment. Just as with email newsletters, the best-loved podcasts offer content the listeners find valuable and/or highly entertaining. 

Mistake #3. Testing just one to start

We’ve heard of many, many marketers producing one podcast as a “test” campaign. you should invest considerable energy and time into initially creating and promoting your podcast. 

As with email newsletters or good radio shows, the most successful podcasts build brand impact from listener relationships over time. It’s not a one-off medium. Once you start continue for a set and planned period, then evaluate

Four content and production rules

Rule #1: Keep it short

The ideal length of a podcast is 10 to 20 minutes. “If you go more than 25 minutes, you’re asking someone to take a large chunk out of their day. If the content is really interesting and well presented of course longer podcasts work but they do take a lot longer to produce and remain consistent.

Whatever length works for you, remember to break up that time into smaller bites of content. Listening to one person drone on and on for 20 minutes can be very boring.

Rule #2. Don’t drone from a script

Podcasting like radio is one to one communication. Unlike today where you can see my facial expressions and body language to help emphasize my words, podcasting is all about using the voice. The Voice doesn’t have to be all about golden tones. The voice should place light and shade into the script, have a good degree of pacing, good inflection tones and above all be interested and passionate in the subject matter and delivery.

Rule #3. Copyright your podcast title carefully

Pick a name for your podcast that matches your content topic. People are likely to search for a particular subject (rather than a brand name) when they visit a podcast directory. (I’ll discuss podcast directories shortly)

Rule #4. Schedule a calendar (ongoing or limited-series)

Many podcasting experts say the best frequency is weekly. However, if you’re not sure if you’re up to the work, nor if the audience demand will be there, you probably should start with a slower calendar. As with blogging and email newsletters, podcasting can be exhausting for the long haul. 

As Rob Walch said “Whatever timing you set, try to stick to it to capture habitual listeners. You want to get in people’s ruts.”