Podcasting is a really creative way and easy way to express yourself to your audience, and that’s why everyone and anyone is now making podcasts.
Producing podcasts – from thinking up the idea, to recording, editing and publishing – can give you a great buzz when you see it up on your channel. It’s an achievement to get it this far.
In my training course, Podcasting Made Easy, I show you those stages which we call the PREPP approach – Plan, Record, Edit and Publish and Promote.
But an informative international Podcasting Conference I attended recently brought a few really good insights into that last step – Promote – which made me realize that the first four steps bring you only halfway; the last step – promote – is the one that can take the most time and require the most planning and patience.
The Conference was the Hindenburg Airship One Podcasting Conference, organised by the team at Hindenburg, the Denmark-based audio company who designed an intuitive and very easy-to-use audio editing software. Their mission is to “tear down the technical divide between storytellers and their audience.”
They have an interesting back story and they are radio storytellers first – I came across them when I first went out on my own as an independent radio producer.
I like their approach that any radio journalist should be able to use their editing software. Back then in 2008, that was a big idea – most radio reporters relied on audio editors to do their editing for them or struggled with more complicated software programmes.
Hindenburg changed all that. And while they are not in the same league as Adobe or similar platforms, their audio editing platform is gradually becoming well known in educational institutions, non-profits and journalism courses.
Podcasting has transformed the world of radio. Audio creation is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone or good digital recorder; audio editing software like the inexpensive and accessible Hindenburg enables podcast creators to edit their own audio professionally without needing a radio studio. The pandemic has brought innovation in remote recording and freed up the requirement for studio-based discussions and allow a low-cost international dimension for many podcasters.
But back to the main take-away I took from the conference, which gave participants actionable insights as well as real-world experiences of successful podcasters.
And it was this: a well-thought out promotion plan, executed in detail, is essential to the success of your podcast.
Content is only half the battle in a successful podcast – telling everyone in creative and clear ways over at least 6 months is essential.
Tatjana Lukas, co-founder of podcastelt.at – the Austrian based podcasting host site and expert on podcasting – brought us through her nine -month preparation plan for one of her successful comedy podcasts – Drama Carbonara – a plan built around all the elements that makes up a good marketing and PR campaign.
As a former journalist, she knows that media outlets like newspapers, radio and TV need good content but also need it pre-prepared. So her team worked on great visuals combined with a strong story and a good press release, finding their target audience via specialist journalists more so than social media, and using the “traditional” media i.e. print, radio and TV – to tell people about their podcast.
It worked for them. Austria soon knew all about their Drama Carbonara podcast and it became one of the most successful podcasts there.
Yes this is all obvious when you think about it , but sometimes forgotten by podcasters who rely heavily on social media to get attention.
Getting to a wider audience needs time and planning, so that when a journalist does take an interest in your podcast, do have the content ready and published before you pick up the phone or email them.
Have at least 6 episodes published on your channel before you start doing a serious promotion. While making these episodes, start planning your promotion campaign and thinking about your target or niche audience and where they can be found.
Research what others in your niche area are doing.
Don’t forget YouTube to market your podcast; you now have audio tracks and YouTube is free and easy to edit.
Have great visuals linked to your brand; podcasting might be audio-based but the internet is visual.
Ask your community to share your podcast for you and let people know via their networks and social media channels;
Invite a well-known person in your niche area onto your podcast – someone who already has a good social media presence and will share your podcast for you, as well as helping getting media attention.
And give it TIME. It takes time to build up any community, and the same is true of your podcast community of listeners.
Aileen O’Meara is an independent radio producer, formerly of RTE with her own media training and production company. Find out more at www.aileenomeara.ie & www.rathdownmediainstitute.ie