Podcasts are one of the most widely-consumed media formats, and the UK listening count has increased year on year, racking up an impressive 21.2 million listeners in 2022 according to Statista. This surge in popularity has paved the way for a new generation of storytellers, covering a spectrum of different topics. The purpose that podcasts serve has also evolved, from providing a means of education, to acting as an invaluable marketing tool. The sense of connection that podcasts promote is difficult to replicate in any other format, so if you’re looking for a way to add a distinctive new dimension to your brand or business, a podcast ought to be at the top of your list.
Liquid Studios is helping you to kickstart your podcasting journey with this essential guide – read on to learn how to start a podcast, and put your own plans in motion with creative support that you can trust.
What are the benefits of starting a podcast?
Podcasting is an accessible, creative outlet that you can have total control over. This kind of media gives you an opportunity to inspire, share, and educate an audience that is genuinely invested in what you have to say. Whether you’re a business looking to grow your engagement, or an individual looking to tell the stories that have shaped your experiences, there’s a space for you to create content that captures exactly what you’ve got in mind.
Finding your voice & picking your purpose
The first step in starting your own podcast is to choose your niche and set your purpose. Ask yourself the following question: What kind of themes will your podcast cover, and why? From here, think about the kinds of stories, ideas, or expertise that you’ll be sharing. Is there enough in your purpose that can help to set you or your business apart from other shows?
While the purpose of many podcasts is purely for leisure, they can also be used for business. In this sense, a podcast can solidify your business’ presence as a thought leader and grow your credibility, so it’s worth bearing this in mind.
Planning your podcast structure
Structure is a non-negotiable part of planning your podcast if you’re planning on turning it into a long-term success. Conversely, some businesses may lean on podcasts to support seasonal marketing campaigns, but this still requires some forethought.
We’d suggest creating your episodes with a clear outline, following sensical segments – for example, include an engaging introduction and some closing thoughts as standard in every episode. Some creators make use of regular features within episodes too, so it might be worthwhile using some of your ideation time to come up with some ways that you could use some recurring segments.
Of course, the length of your podcast matters – but there’s no golden rule. The duration of a single episode will likely depend on the topic and purpose of your podcast, but as a rule of thumb, we’d recommend sticking to a length that makes the contents digestible for listeners. The aim should be to keep listeners hooked from start to finish – rather than to have them drop off at the halfway point. To combat this, some hosts break their content down into mini, bulletin-style episodes to address points on a particular theme, so this might be an approach worth bearing in mind.
Structure also relates to the frequency of your pod – how often will you be pushing new episodes out? Many shows aim for at least one episode per week, but you could adjust this and have one full length episode with a shorter, to-the-point summary show before the longer episode. The best way to find a frequency that fits you is to experiment, and monitor performance accordingly.
Audio only vs audio and video
While many podcasts used to be exclusively audio, many creators are now ‘video-first’ – they film their episodes, as well as having an audio recording. There’s a few advantages of this approach:
- Video content can be repurposed
- Video content is search-engine friendly
- Video generates higher engagement
- Video creates a more personable appeal
We’d recommend accounting for these factors when it comes to choosing the right option for your podcast.
The right gear for stellar sound
Quality audio is another unmissable step towards creating a great podcast. Invest in a good microphone, headphones, and audio editing software to ensure your content sounds crisp and professional. You don’t need a Hollywood studio; a quiet space with minimal background noise and the right equipment can transform your podcast into an auditory masterpiece. An alternative means of accessing the right, high quality equipment is hiring a podcast studio.
Recording and editing like a pro
Now that you have your gear, it’s time to hit that record button. Maintain a conversational tone, engage with your audience, and most importantly, let your personality shine through! Even corporate podcasts can benefit from some authenticity, creating a humanised, personable presence for your business. Once you’ve recorded an episode, you’ll need to edit your content carefully and thoughtfully. Trim unnecessary segments, add music or sound effects, and aim to create a seamless flow for your episodes. Editing is your secret weapon to crafting polished, enjoyable episodes – and Liquid Studios can help you to achieve this.
Launching and marketing your podcast
So, you’ve got a fully edited episode, and you’re ready to go – what next? It’s time to build some traction around your brand new podcast venture, and there are a few ways that you can do this; from creating an intriguing trailer to generate buzz before your official launch, to posting snippets on social media.
We’re circling back to the theme of consistency, as any launch effort for a new podcast needs to be accompanied by regular marketing – it’ll help you to build and retain an audience.
Building a community and engaging listeners
Your listeners are more than just numbers; they’re a community, brought together by your content. There are various ways to keep in tune with your audience – from encouraging feedback, to creating interactive segments, and connecting on social media. By responding to comments, reviews, and emails, you’ll be able to build a strong relationship with your listeners which can enhance their experience and boost your podcast’s visibility at the same time.
Monetising your passion and levelling up
Once you’ve built up a steady listenership, it’s time to find ways to add extra value to your podcast. As your podcast gains momentum, you might want to explore monetisation opportunities – sponsorships and affiliate marketing schemes are popular ways of doing exactly this, and they can even generate new revenue. Partnering with brands aligned with your content can turn your side project into a sustainable venture, in the same way that featuring prominent figures in your episodes can portray your show as the go-to for anyone in the industry!
Starting a podcasting journey, regardless of your purpose, is an adventure! This media format gives you an opportunity to tell your story, share your own lessons, and build a community that is equally invested in your content. Ready to get your production in the works? We’re here to help, from providing podcast studio hire facilities, to recording and editing your show for you, so all you have to do is press publish – get in touch with us to get started!
The Ultimate Guide To Starting A Podcast: FAQs
How do I choose the right podcasting niche?
Finding the perfect niche involves identifying your passion, expertise, and what sets you apart from other businesses/creators. Consider what topics resonate with you – the ‘right’ niche should make you feel enthusiastic!
How long should my podcast episodes be, and how often should I release them?
The ideal podcast episode length will likely vary based on your content and audience preferences. Generally, aim for a duration that keeps listeners engaged, typically between 20 to 60 minutes. Consistency is crucial; choose a release schedule that aligns with your production capabilities, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
What are some effective ways to market and promote my podcast?
Marketing your podcast is essential for building an engaged audience. Make use of social media platforms for sharing any episode snippets, accompanying video content, or eye-catching visuals. It’s also always beneficial to encourage listeners to share your podcast with their network, as this will help to grow your reach organically.