Podcasting is growing not only in the USA and the world but also here in India. A lot of SaaS companies have started their podcast and looking to invest in podcasting as a marketing or branding channel.
Many people and companies have sought my help in podcasting, and I’ve helped them. I’ve created this article to help everyone who needs the same kind of help. However, if you’d like to have personalized guidance, I’d love to help each one of you. You asked these questions on my post on LinkedIn, and I’ve responded to all of those.
If there are any questions you want me to answer, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
What are the most effective ways to create initial engagement for a new podcast?
Ask your network to share the initial episodes. Also, ask the guests to share on their social media, newsletters, etc. as well. Make sure your podcast is available in all the major directories. Any podcast hosting platform will automatically include the show in all major indexes by default.
What distribution channels are available and how best to leverage them?
If you try to convert your podcast into an article and video, then you can promote the show on many channels. Social media, email, newsletters, video platforms like YouTube, content aggregation sites like Zest.is, GrowthHackers, online communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, Slack, and many more channels.
Analytics tools to use (like Google Analytics for web)
Podcast analytics is not as sophisticated as web or app analytics. There are a few tools that allow you to track your downloads, listens, some demographic information about your listeners and your chart rankings. I use Chartable to track the analytics for my show. You can also look at Podtrac for similar service.
The thing with podcast analytics is, you cannot rely on just one platform to measure and track. You have to combine data from a few sources and then derive some conclusions.
Equipment recommended & available in India
Many people think that you need high-quality recording devices to start podcasting. It’s not the case. You can get started with recording on your phone. Your content of the podcast matters more than the quality of audio. However, the sound should be understandable enough to the listener.
You can get started with using the Blue Snowball Mic. It’s a good USB mic which you can just plug in to get started. If you care about the quality of your audio, you can go for the Rode NT USB mic. It’s just amazing.
I would suggest you get started with podcasting, make consistent episodes, and then invest in a good mic as you grow your podcast.
How do you decide on the topic of the podcast? Should it be your area of interest or trending topics what people want to listen?
I would say pick a topic of your interest. There are a lot of trending topics, but if those do not interest you, then there’s no point in starting a podcast. If you pick a topic of your interest, you would be able to research more, provide more information, and talk more freely on the show.
How does one ensure that the podcast is reaching to the right audience?
Reaching your target audience is very important for any podcast. You can only ensure that your podcast is hitting the right target audience is when you get repetitive listens for your show. If your target audience discovers your podcast, they are likely to subscribe to it and keep listening to your new episodes. There’s also a chance that they might share it with their peers which will make your podcast grow.
One other way to verify that the right set of audience is listening to your podcast is by ratings and reviews. Once again, if you’re hitting the right target audience, they’re going to rate and review your podcast.
Is there any way to convert the audio content to video format, so that one can share insights on YouTube?
Yes. You can use Wavve to do this. They will allow you to create a video with waveform and publish to video platforms.
How does one convince the first guest to be a part of the podcast?
You have to work a lot on your networking. Before starting my podcast, I built my network into SaaS for around two years.
Your current network is the best source for getting guests on your show. Just start asking in your network for getting the right guests on your show.
Podcast distribution strategy
There are many ways to distribute your podcast. I’ve already covered a few ideas in this article above. Don’t just stick to one type of content while distributing. Create different types and sizes of content for distribution. Think of all the microchannels where the content flow takes place, and then create content accordingly.
Once you start distributing, after two or three months, you will get to know what channels work the best for your podcast. Then optimize for those channels. Different podcasts need different types of content for distribution on various channels. There is no single ideal channel for promotion. It differs from podcast to podcast.
What tools do you use for your podcast?
How do you get early listeners and users?
You can start promoting your podcast on the one channel that you are most active. Then slowly moving towards different channels. But initially, only the most active channel for you would help you get early listeners.
Also, you can get early listeners from your network. Share it with your peers, colleagues, friends, and family if they listen to podcasts. Ask them for early feedback as well.
What’s the best way to start learning more about podcasting and executing it?
If you started reading this article from the very beginning and still reading it, this is the first step for you. When you reach at the end of the article, I’m sure that you would have enough knowledge to go and start your show. If you have any other questions which I’ve not covered, put them in the comments below, and I’ll be happy to answer those.
Also, you can start following other podcasts to see what they’re doing and see how you can do the same for yours.
Interviewing with the external guest speakers? Or doing it individually on a specific domain? What performs the best?
Depends on the podcast and how it’s delivered. For example, YCombinator typically hosts an external guest on the show. And most shows from Gimlet Media are people doing it individually on a specific domain. Both the podcasts are famous in their way, and both cater to a different set of audience.
As long as people love your content, it does not necessarily matter if you’re doing it yourself or you’re inviting someone on the show. It mainly depends on the topic of your podcast.
What are some innovative podcast promotion methods you’ve come across?
One method which has worked for me is LinkedIn automation. Whenever I host a person on the show, I send a connection request to everyone in that company saying. “Hey, I recently hosted your CEO on my show. It was an insightful conversation; you’ll love it. Check it out here – link.“
This method will help you broaden your podcast’s reach quickly. I’ve been working on a few other growth methods as well for podcasts, but haven’t reached a point to call them a success. If you want to keep yourself updated about any of these methods, you can subscribe to my newsletter. I usually keep sharing a lot of stuff there.
What is the budget for a podcast?
It all depends on how you want to do it. You need only four things to start a podcast – a podcast hosting platform, editing software, a mic, and a topic for your show.
You can literally get started for FREE.
Use anchor as your hosting platform as it is free. There are many open-source audio editing software available. If you’re on a Mac, you can use Garageband. You can get started with recording on your phone, which will not cost you anything. And I don’t think you will need money to think of a topic for your show.
People spend a lot of time thinking about many while starting a podcast. I agree that you want things to be perfect, but I have assisted more than 100 people for podcasting, and only 5-6 people have started their podcast. Rest all are still worrying about other things, and a few of them are still reading this article, to check if they are doing things correctly or not. Or have they missed anything.
Just start. Start now, and keep improving.