If you’re in marketing – or have ever heard the word “marketing” – you’re likely familiar with the concept that “content is king” when it comes to successfully positioning yourself and your company as a leader in your chosen industry. Most people might think of content marketing as being primarily driven by copy, video or social media posts. But this leaves out one huge area of easy and quick content marketing that can effectively position you and your brand as a thought leader in your industry – podcasting.

Podcasting – or at least the term “podcasting” – has been around since 2004. It’s not a new concept, and I’m sure most people have listened to at least one podcast in their lifetime. But, despite podcasts being common lexicon and common practice, many smaller businesses simply do not take advantage of this affordable and extremely valuable content medium.

The reason we’re such fans of podcasting as a content marketing medium at MB is because it put your brand’s voice right into your target market’s ear. You can speak directly to your customers or industry, which positions you as an expert in your chosen field. There’s something innately more intimate about speaking directly to your target market, rather than only communicating through writing. It’s more personal and, we believe, adds significant value to your brand.

Podcasting can also be done for far less money than it takes to write a lengthy article or produce an expensive video. It’s cheap, fast and gets your message across much more effectively than copy writing. Even better, producing one podcast per week will quickly develop a sizeable library of expert content that visitors can listen to for years to come.

What do I need to get started?

That depends on your goal and vision for your podcast. Amateur podcasters can get away with using built-in computer microphones, free audio editing software and a free podcast host to create their show. But if you want to get a little bit more professional (which is obviously ideal for businesses using podcasting for brand enhancement), and set yourself  up to produce a seriously professional podcast, you should look into getting the following:

  1. A high-quality microphone. Try something like to Yeti series microphones – these provide studio-quality audio that can be recorded directly into your computer.
  2. A versatile audio editing software. Adobe Audition is ideal, albeit pricey. There are plenty of free to mid-level softwares out there that will do the trick nicely. Find one that you use to edit podcast quickly and easily – if the software works for your needs, then go for it!
  3. A podcast host. If you’re podcasting for business purposes, we recommend using a podcast hosting service like Podbean for uploading your files. For just $8.99 you can get a hosting service with unlimited storage and bandwidth. Podbean also is great for linking your podcast directly to iTunes. Learn how to link your show to iTunes for free here.
  4. A catchy theme song. Look for a simple instrumental music track that matches you and your show’s personality. You don’t necessarily need a theme song (it’s entirely up to your taste) but having catchy audio right off the top of each episode creates a familiar, cohesive feel for your show and grabs the listener’s attention.
  5. Interesting stuff to talk about. Perhaps the biggest struggle podcasters have is just figuring out what to talk about. You should plan out your show’s editorial content at least a few weeks in advance and only offer your most interesting and useful knowledge to listeners.

What should I talk about?

That depends what you’re an expert on! Podcasts are the perfect way to show your expertise and dedication to a particular topic or industry, while also creating great promotional content for your brand. When choosing your podcast topic and theme, think to yourself “what does my brand stand for?” and “what do my staff and I know more about than anyone else?”.

You should be able to think of one specific topic, product group or industry that you’d consider yourself an expert on. Whatever that expertise is, that’s likely the best topic for your podcast. Once you have the overall topic, you can start planning each episode of your show.

How do I plan my show?

There are typically two types of podcast shows that brands and content creators produce – discussion-based podcasts or host-driven podcasts.

Host-driven podcasts can have one or two “expert” personalities that drive the show’s content. For these, you should come up with a very specific theme or topic for each episode, and simply explain it to your listeners as you would for a presentation. These should position your host as the absolute expert on this topic, and should offer value and insight for your listener. Don’t ramble on too long, or listeners will become bored and leave for good. This type of podcast shouldn’t really be longer than 15-30 minutes.

Discussion-driven podcasts feature in-depth conversations between your host and podcast guests. These podcasts give you fresh, entertaining and high-insightful recordings that have a casual and genuine tone. This type of podcast, however, requires planning guests in advance. This type of podcast can range drastically in length, but should be around 30-45 minutes maximum.

In each case, the key to successfully planning your podcast is to lay out a clear content calendar in advance. This calendar should specifically outline each episode’s topic, air date, guest, target length and content goal. Once you have your content plan and recording equipment, you’re ready to start podcasting!