Understand what a podcast is and how to create successful audio content! – WAU
Podcasts are audio content divided into multiple episodes that are made available on online platforms. These episodes are usually in the form of an interview, chat or individual recordings in which specific topics are discussed.
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Audio marketing revolutionized the digital market in 2019, this is because consumer behavior, which is constantly changing, requires companies to adopt new marketing strategies that are relevant to their behaviors, such as creating podcasts.
If yesterday reading a five minute article on a blog was something much more accessible than reading a physical magazine, today, listening to this same audio content can be more accessible than reading.
We are inserted in a scenario in which consumption is fully connected with technology, accessibility and practicality. That said, podcasts appear as an option that guarantees the listener the connection with all these points.
Today, we’re going to show you how to create a podcast from start to finish! With this guide, it will be very easy to create programs and make them available online. Check out which topics will be covered:
What are podcasts?
Podcasts are a series of episodes recorded in audio and broadcast online. These episodes can be recorded in several formats, the most common being interviews between guest and presenter and individual recordings where the presenter comments on a specific topic.
Anyway, for any format, these programs must have a theme and someone to perform the presentation (usually called hosts). Despite being made available online, one of its fundamental characteristics is the possibility to download episodes for listen to them even offline.
In fact, the word podcast is the result of the combination of the words iPod, referring to that this content is portable and Broadcast, referring to the fact that its transmission follows the same model as radio transmissions.
Why make a podcast?
Companies that adopt Digital Marketing strategies are always updated on how to adapt to the behavior, goals and pain of their personas. That is why we develop numerous types of content that meet these criteria.
In London, about 50 million people have already listened to a podcast program. This data points to a reality that directs content producers to this new market opportunity.
The increase in the audience of podcasts, as well as the investments in the area and the emergence of platforms that host and distribute this type of content, can be considered great indicators to start a podcast strategy.
However, it is always important to evaluate the needs of your persona, the objectives of your business and also if you have the necessary structure for the production of quality audios.
What are the types of podcast?
Podcast formats are diverse and each has different goals. Let’s get to know some of these formats.
In this format, in each episode a different interviewee is invited and the themes can be different. One of the most positive points of podcasts in an interview format is that your episode reaches not only your network, but also that of the person interviewed.
Besides that, is a space where the exchange of experiences takes place very naturally. We recommend that you always have a script available, however, in conversations of this type there will always be a time for a new comment or topic.
When choosing your guests, also remember that this interview may be formal, but it needs a connection between host and guest. In addition, if you are going to invite someone to talk about SEO, for example, it is necessary that this person really has the background and be communicative, transferring it to your audience.
An example of this type is the Community Cast by Websites Are Us, which interviews a guest monthly to talk about topics related to freelance life.
In this format, the idea is to transmit some information to the listener. If the podcasts themselves are already resemble radio programs a lot, this format is even closer and reminds us a lot of the intervals where we listened to (still listened to) the news on AM / FM networks.
The difference is that this format is available at any time on the internet. One model we recommend is Café da Manhã, a daily and morning program that deals with current affairs. The program is run by journalists and has a very light tone.
This type of podcast is very interesting but, if it is recorded amateurly, it can become very confusing. This because is marked by the presence of a presenter and more than one guest.
It is a format that requires a lot of management and good equipment, otherwise the recording can become very disconnected and result in a bad experience for the listener.
Technically it is a very simple format, but a good self-knowledge is necessary before choosing to record this type of format. This is because just the presenter and the microphonethen, part of the dynamics like that found in an interview is lost.
However, editing your program will be much simpler. In addition, there will be no worries about guest schedules or advanced recording equipment.
When addressing specific topics, you will also have the opportunity to become a reference in the subject, thus building a great personal brand.
How to create a podcast?
To create your podcast program planning and dedication are necessary, like any other project. In this guide we will show you the main stages of planning and executing your show.
How to plan your podcast?
Check out the main stages of planning your podcast.
It may seem obvious, but many projects are started without setting goals. Without this step, defining the following will be almost impossible work and its results will have little meaning.
You can choose this strategy to increase the reach of your brand, for example, or to show the market that you or your business have a lot of expertise in a certain subject.
When determining your goals, also define the goals that will be linked to them. If you are looking for brand awareness, then the number of shares in your program can be an interesting number.
Once you understand the reason for what you are creating, do you need to define who you are creating for, that is, who is your persona?
The process of defining your persona will support you in defining the format of your content, selecting themes, guests and especially, the tone of your program.
Once you define who your podcast is for, you begin to develop verification mechanisms to see if your program is in the right direction, thus delivering more engaging content to your listener.
People need to want to hear what you have to say and that will only happen if you are talking directly to them, making up for pain or supporting an objective or just sharing an interest.
In this guide, you learned about some of the most common types of podcasts. However, your program needs to develop its own identity. You can, for example, perform some style blends – as long as they are of the same nature.
If you choose an interview format with only one person, nothing prevents you from occasionally inviting more people to conduct a panel.
The most important thing here is that the format you choose to speak well with your persona, therefore, to be successful in that choice, be very focused on defining your persona!
Reflect on what your main interests are and how it usually consumes content. If she already has a penchant for newspapers, a podcast with a more journalistic footprint will have a language similar to what she is already used to.
If, by chance, you are already a persona who is not so used to the format of ordinary newspapers, but still wants to be able to contact news to get updated, create a podcast in this perspective, but thinking about updating the language used or style may be the key to captivating it.
Your program’s branding is critical and you’ll need to worry about this step before launch. To create your brand identity, do a lot of research. Research the branding of similar programs and the tastes of your persona.
If you have a branding team, this task will be very well embraced by them. Otherwise, we recommend that you study some materials on choice of names and also on the psychology of colors. Both will help you create a brand that will reach your audience and have a strong presence.
Creating the name
The name of your show needs to convey a broad message. There are two important factors when defining a name for your program: he needs to have an easy pronunciation and he needs to be easy to remember.
There are some tips that can help you in your naming creation process, such as:
- Understand your program’s value proposition;
- Define and know your persona very well;
- Brainstorm with third parties;
- Check if the name is a registered trademark;
- Check if this domain is available.
Creating your logo
The first step is to understand what type of graphic resource you would like to bring to your program. Abstract, illustrations or geometric are some style options.
Your logo creation process needs to be well executed, as the final result, once disclosed, will be part of your visual identity strategy and should not be changed.
Also look for inspiration in other references. If your podcast is more informal, a more extravagant logo may be a possible option; For something more informal, something more clean can have a better effect when your audience searches for your show.
Duration and frequency of episodes
An ABPOD survey shows that for most listeners, the ideal duration of each episode is an average of 1h30. This is a length that is widely accepted by listeners, but does not mean that your program needs to follow exactly this duration.
In addition, another data that the research points out is about the frequency preference of episodes by podcast consumers, this number was 80.5% among respondents.
Before defining your strategy for duration and frequency, it is important to consider a few factors:
- What talks best with your persona?
- Do you have the resources to record episodes weekly?
- Will you have interviewees for every week?
- Will your time be managed effectively?
- How will editing be done for a 1h30 audio?
All of these questions are extremely relevant, because they can define the course of your strategy. Understand your current situation and how much time and human resources you can invest in this stageThe.
How to run your podcast?
After planning your program, it was time for execution steps. These steps are more operational and deal with some technical details that are important for the quality of your podcast.
The difference in the quality of your audio starts with choosing the recording location. If you don’t have a recording studio, there are no problems.
It is essential that the environment is free of external noisetherefore, have preferences for closed, non-public places. To ensure that the environment is adequate, perform a test before starting recording.
In the next topic we will learn about the types of microphones and how they, together with the recording location, interfere with the final result of your audio.
It is very likely that you want to invite people to participate in your programs.
So, it is recommended to have installed some basic conversation programs, like Skype or Google Hangouts.
Don’t think that just because you are on the internet, you can use any song to enhance your podcast. Most of the time, they are protected by copyright.
So be sure to pay for them or use platforms with free music, like Jamendo and Freeplay.
Set the bitrate (bit transfer rate). 96 kbps in format recommended .MP3, since, in London, many users use the 3G connection when consuming online media.
Audio is the main factor of the podcast. You can have a sensational program, but without a good reception it will be difficult to win listeners. And good audio starts with a good microphone.
You don’t need an expensive mic to create good podcasts, the secret is to choose the right.
Going into a slightly more technical side, there are several pickup patterns for microphones and different types of microphone. We will focus on two types of microphones and pickup.
For a podcast, you can opt for microphones capacitors or dynamic.
Condensers are very famous in the music world, like those big microphones used by several singers in the studio (like the Neumann U87).
These microphones are more “open”, they pick up more sounds from the environment and the room you are in. If you are in a location with little leakage of external sound, it is an excellent option. Especially if more people are doing the podcast with you and there is only one microphone available.
The dynamic ones are those used for live voice, for sure you have seen some of these out there. The Shure SM58 is widely used for live shows. Another option is the SM57b is famous within radio.
They are more directional, they “leak” less sound from the environment you are in and you need to be close to them so that the voice comes out clearly. If you are in a busier environment, this is the choice.
This step can be largely ignored, however, it is of paramount importance. The ways to structure your podcast are diverse and relate to the way your audience will consume your podcast.
A widely used structure is:
- Start the episode with an excerpt from one of the interviewee’s statements;
The idea here is to generate, by means of the interviewee’s speech clipping, an interest in the listener, therefore, it needs to be a really impactful phrase.
Definition of guidelines
The guidelines are documents that contain information about the subject that will be addressed. Without an agenda, the host will not have a guide to follow during recording, which can cause confusion in the transmission of information.
Your agenda should be very detailed and you can share this document with the interviewee so that he can understand what issues you will be addressing.
But remember, guidelines are like guides. So, at the time of recording, be careful not to just “read” the agenda, as this movement can give your episode an “automatic” and robotic tone.
Your essence as a host needs to remain. Read the agenda in advance and, on the day of the recording, have it available for consultation.
When setting up your staff, consider the following information:
- Personal presentation;
- Presentation of the program;
- Guest presentation;
- Presentation of the theme;
- Message indicating the end of the episode;
Podcast editing and recording
Even using a USB microphone, a recorder or a regular microphone, you will need a recording and editing program to work on the audio later.
There are different needs for a program, which influences the choice of which one you will use. Today, it is possible do all the work in one program, without having to choose one to record and one to edit.
Some very interesting options are Audacity (free) and Reaper (which has a free trial). They are programs created to capture audio and are even used in recording studios. But don’t be alarmed, the two interfaces are super simple to use.
Basically, you will use the program for three things: level the volume of the voices, if two or more people are part of the program, edit unnecessary parts and insert songs between each block.
Where to host your podcast?
This is the most incredible part of all your work: put the podcast on the air!
Although there are many hosting platforms, we will introduce you to the two main ones on the market: Soundcloud and Anchor. In both, when you host, your RSS Feed is automatically generated.
Even though the platforms provide a page for your podcast, it is very important that you have your own web page, as we will see in the next topic!
We can say that Soundcloud was the most accessed platform for podcast hosting, but that reality is changing. It is a streaming – data transmission over the internet – free, created especially for audio.
The free version has some time limitations, but you will be able to publish several programs before you need an account premium.
Its biggest advantage at the moment is its popularity and the community that already uses it. However, the limitations of his free plan are causing podcast producers to switch to another platform.
Anchor is completely free and is gaining a lot of market in London. In addition to the same specifications as Soundcloud, this platform has other benefits, for example:
- automatic distribution to the biggest players in the world;
- inclusion of sound effects;
- recording and editing effects within the platform;
- option to sponsor your episodes without complications.
Anchor was recently acquired by Spotify and since then, the platform has undergone several changes. If before it was an application for short recordings, today it is one of the best podcast hosting platforms.
How to publish the Podcast?
The hosting and publishing of your program can be done together, but you will need to embed your player’s code on your page. So, even though the development can be together, you should put your page on the air only after releasing your RSS feed, but this process is almost instantaneous.
Your page does not have to be complex, but it is important that your listener can access some information on it. We usually put information on the menu like: about the podcast, about the host and about the topics.
Then, a home page containing all recorded episodes (represented by a thumbnail), with the last episode highlighted.
When your listener clicks on an episode to explore, it is interesting that within your site he / she finds some information before listening (or during listening), for example: the theme, a brief description of the episode and the name of the guest.
After that, you can enter other information, check:
- Breakdown per minute: describe the main topics discussed and separate in minutes, so your listener will have a general understanding of the episode and will be able to identify the main points of the conversation.
- Guest social media information: if the guest doesn’t mind, you can leave the links to the person’s LinkedIn and email, remember that this needs to be talked about first!
- Provision of links: if your guest and even you mentioned tools, pages or people during the interview, it is interesting that you leave the link on this page for your listeners, that way they don’t have to keep writing everything down while listening and can put more attention on the content .
A great option for creating a page is the Stage, which allows you to create, host and optimize your page. The platform provides a free initial plan.
Another well-known option is Wix, a platform for creating pages with several templates and also with free and accessible plans.
To promote your podcast, use not only your page, but also social networks. Generate valuable content that even your guests are interested in sharing!
How to rank on Google with a podcast?
Starting this year, Google started showing podcast episodes in search results. With that, the producers’ main question was: how do I make my episode appear in these results?
Google Podcasts product manager Zack Reneau-Wedeen pointed out three criteria that content producers need to be aware of if they want to rank on Google:
But these three points are not