I HONESTLY believe there’s never been a better time to launch a podcast.
Pop on Facebook and it won’t be long before you see someone posting a list of a band they’ve seen live starting with every letter of the alphabet, or a starting XI for their favourite football team of players from different nationalities. Twitter’s the same. Even Linked In.
People have more time on their hands right now, and they need input. They want content. Lots of it.
This is your chance. Make a connection with a listener now – in these strange, unusual times – and they’ll still be with you when we come out of the other side of this crisis. This ISN’T opportunism; it’s about your agility.
Think about your social media output, or your email newsletter. However you approach those things, ultimately, they’re about delivering a message to an audience.
And yet neither utilise your most influential tool – your voice. That’s the power of podcasting. Think about it – it’s your words, exactly as you say them, going straight into someone’s ears. No need to worry about the tone being misinterpreted, no character limit, no filter or cookie consent – and best of all you haven’t caught them unaware while they’re checking Facebook, or flicking through a magazine – they’ve actually chosen to listen to your message, they’ve actively given you permission to put your words into their brain. They’ve already said ‘I’m interested in you, I want to hear what you have to say’. Remember, no one listens to a podcast on something they aren’t interested in.
Habits are changing right now. We are generally creatures of routine, but the ‘norm’ has gone out of the window. Everyone is suddenly open to a whole new ‘norm’. You have an opportunity to be part of that.
One day of course, all this will be over. It’s anyone’s guess as to when that will be, but it will happen. But will the world go back to how it was before? Will everyone go rushing back to working 9-5 in their respective offices? Or will people continue to incorporate the things they may never have done before this crisis – working from home, remote meetings, integrating technology and the like. It may be foolish to consider the current situation just a temporary blip. History will look back at this period as a momentous turning point, so you need to adapt to it and quickly.
Social distancing won’t be confined to history next month, or the month after. Even when we reach a point where it is relaxed, habits will change. Everything we did before will probably become different in some way.
Back to podcasting. Where does it fit in? Well as I said before, there’s a hunger for content out there. Podcasting is social-distancing proof, and at a time where many people feel isolated, it’s a personal, one to one medium which is available to every single person. Podcasts are free to listen to, with no expensive hardware required. They fit perfectly into this new ‘norm’ and will continue to do so, whatever happens next.
Television will struggle to adapt. Production of most shows is on hold. There are gaps in the market starting to appear – and if you don’t fill them, someone else will.
I make it sound so simple and of course, there are hurdles. It is pretty easy to start a podcast – but getting it RIGHT from the start is a challenge.
Content is very much king here – don’t make a half-hour advert. Your audience needs to get something out of listening to your show. It has to do a job – people consume content because it’s useful, it answers a question for them, or it’s entertaining or makes them laugh.
Coming up with the right idea is worth some real thought. Consider a few key questions: What other shows already exist in the same space as you? How do you make yours stand out? What makes it unique – or better – than other similar podcasts? Do you know exactly who you’re trying to speak to?
Ask family and friends for input and research what else is out there. One of my most popular offerings is strategic consultations where we start with a blank page and work out exactly what format is right – where it fits in the podcast market, and making sure it meets your aims, whether that’s driving sales or something else.
You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds on equipment – especially not right now. Listeners know not everyone has a studio in their house. Many podcasts sound different right now, as hosts record them at home on their laptops, and that’s fine. I mean come on, even in the daily Government briefings, journalists are asking questions on a dodgy Skype connection from their dining rooms.
It’s not true that for a podcast to be effective it needs to be long and detailed. Short and sweet works. Land Rover did a series of podcasts to promote the Discovery model, called Discovery Adventures – designed to highlight new and unusual adventures you can take with the family. The very nature of the content meant it appealed to their target audience for buyers – with the longest episode clocking in at just 17 minutes.
Consider whether you want intro music (don’t just grab something off the internet.. it’s a legal minefield!). Will you be doing interviews? Do you want to set a couple of your team on with hosting it instead?
In these unusual times, maybe the right podcast for you is one never heard by the public. A great suggestion would be an internal podcast only ever heard within the workforce – an effective way to communicate messages in the exact way you want them to be heard and interpreted.
Podcasting is easy to do remotely – as I said earlier, it’s entirely ‘social-distancing-proof’.
Get the idea right and you have an amazing tool which will see you through these hard times and far beyond.
If you’d like to book in a free call to discuss how podcasting could help your business right now, contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org and book in your Free Podcast Taster Kit at jae.media/taster