With people becoming more visual and fast-paced, podcasts are becoming one of the most popular mediums for obtaining information. Before 2013, podcasts were that grey area that startups and podcasts may or may not have used to relay information to the public. However, they are now becoming the leading platform for unregulated, uncensored conversation.
Because there is an upward trend of dedicated listenership, podcasts help the people who dedicate themselves to creating content through the platform, but it is also the best way for startups to reach their target market through them.
In this article, we will look at:
- What is a podcast?
- The PR podcast checklist
- The Joe Rogan Experience
- What resources should be used?
- How to promote a podcast
What is a podcast?
Podcasts are a series of talks or conversations that are generally released episodically with one or more recurring hosts that discuss or debate different topics. They are a great way to build genuine connections with an audience.
The success of podcasts generally comes from the number of subscriptions and repeat listeners. When listenership gets to a large scale, podcasts can run paid ads or endorsements from other businesses and begin building a revenue stream.
Podcasts are also a great public relations benefit for businesses because they generally share information about new products, company information, or general information related to an industry in a relatively informal way. A podcast can provide a format for sharing expertise in the industry, inject enthusiasm and can add an air of authority to the information that may be lacking in the written word.
Since a huge part of public relations is about developing relationships and trust, podcasts are great for potential customers because they want a company that knows the industry.
Hearing the voice of a presenter actually gives the audience a strong connection rather than just reading the information on a webpage. If a company creates regular podcasts, listeners become familiar with the voice and presentation style.
The familiarity of it will keep them coming back and will keep the company in their minds. Companies are able to integrate information about their products and services as they relate to the information in a podcast. It is definitely a more personal way to reach out to potential customers.
With traditional print content, people generally need to focus on the task of reading while podcasts allow the audience to listen while doing other things and can almost be considered subliminal messaging.
Podcasts can be considered as a type of advertisement for a business.
The PR podcast checklist
Step 1: Develop a podcast concept.
There are a few things that people need to keep in mind when beginning a podcast. They can be as varied as the people creating them; they can range from history, pop-culture, neuroscience, etc.
Companies need to identify their podcast goals especially from a startup position even before choosing a podcast name, format, or show length. A podcast’s common goals can include; generating leads for a business, being recognized as a leader in a specific industry, sharing and important message, and having fun.
Once the goals have been set, it is time to personalize the podcast by picking a podcast theme and naming the podcast. A podcast’s theme can be as broad or as focused, depending on the company’s preference. The only important thing is that it needs to be something that they are passionate about and excited to research and regularly discuss.
Naming the podcast is equally important because it needs to be catchy and something that will catch potential subscribers’ attention. Word of advice from prominent podcasters is not to stuff the title with keywords because it needs to be easily found.
Step 2: Choose ideal podcast format
There is no one right answer when choosing a podcast format, but it is essential to find one that fits the podcast’s needs and what makes the podcaster and their audience comfortable.
Some common formats include; interview podcasts like The Joe Rogan Experience that feature a single host who interviews individuals, scripted non-fiction like Serial Podcast that have a single theme for an entire season, news recap like The Daily that summarizes news within a specific industry, educational podcasts like TED Radio Hour that focuses on teaching their audience, and scripted fiction like The Magnus Archives that are often scripted and highly produced.
However, other podcasts combine different formats and have proven to be quite successful, like The Trypod featuring The Try Guys from Youtube.
There also is no optimal length when it comes to a podcast episode. A podcast should be as long as it needs to be while also maintaining the interest of listeners. If a podcast produces quality, engaging content, people will likely keep listening regardless of the episode’s duration.
Depending on the podcast’s intention, it can be a full-time job or something that companies do on the side. Regardless of the schedule, it is important to remember two things: developing a connection with listeners and creating a habit.
Releasing consistent episodes can help people continue podcasting even if the excitement is gone because if episodes keep getting published with engaging content, listeners will start to schedule the podcast into their day and companies can build a better connection with their listeners.
Step 3: Recording the podcast and software to use
Sometimes even the best podcasts start with a few bad episodes; every show and show host needs to find their footing and figure out the best way to improve. Rambling can be one of the most common mistakes that podcasters can make, so the best way to deal with that is by writing a podcast outline.
Use the outline as a guide and write essential bullet points so that you can touch on them through the episode. The next step is to figure out where the podcast should be recorded, whether it is a physical space or ideal software to be used. When it comes to a physical location, it is better to record in a quiet, large room so that there is no echo or reverberant-sounding noises.
Picking the right place to record is more important than buying the right equipment because the best way to deal with audio problems is to prevent them altogether.
Once you have found the ideal physical location to record, it is time to figure out the software to use. Some recording and editing software can include; Audacity, Garageband, Hindenburg, SquadCast, Zoom, and Skype.
Audacity is a free and open-source audio editor that allows users to make changes to the original code easily and customize their experience and make improvements if necessary. Garageband is software that generally comes pre-installed on most Apple computers and is a naturally more intuitive interface than Audacity.
One downside is that it is not available on Windows computers or Android phones. There may be situations that require podcasts to set up a remote podcast interview, and Squadcast is excellent for that situation because it is straightforward to set up that kind of talk and get the most high-quality audio possible. SquadCast records lossless audio, provide separate tracks for each speaker, and offers video conferencing.
Step 5: Editing and uploading the first episode
Once the recording is complete, the editing process is where people segment their podcast, remove audible distractions, and insert pre-recorded ads, voiceovers, intros, and outros. With the software listed about, even the people that do not have editing experience can create a quality, well-edited podcast.
The Joe Rogan experience
There are so many podcasts that exist now, but one of the most famous ones is American comedian, actor, sports commentator, martial artist, and television host Joe Rogan. The Joe Rogan Experience was launched on December 24th, 2009, and by 2015, it was one of the world’s most popular podcasts receiving millions of views per episode.
The question is: how did it become so popular?
Joe Rogan is famous for many things, and even though his podcast is pretty low key, it has become one of his most successful projects. The reasoning behind it is because he broke all the rules of a “traditional” podcast.
Being in the entertainment industry for quite some time, he had many connections at his disposal. However, he did not use his links and decided to start and produce his podcast himself, without joining a network, even though he didn’t need to.
By joining a network, artists get the support and infrastructure required to grow a following. But, by not joining a network, Rogan needed to do a lot of the work himself, from creating content to the podcast’s marketing.
Rogan’s podcast was indeed his passion project; while most traditional podcasts announce their launch on every possible platform they might have, Rogan did no such thing. He did not pay any marketing team to promote his podcast or even try to monetize his podcast.
He let his show grow organically, letting the listener come to him. He never asked for reviews for his podcast, either. His time went into creating content and making it so that people like it and came back for more.
Rogan made a name for himself by hosting buzz-worthy interviews which were followed religiously by his listeners and shared widely with the rest of the world. An example of one such interview is his 2018 interview with Elon Musk, where they smoked weed together on air and went on to discuss a range of topics. It wasn’t the extraordinary ideas that Rogan and Musk were exchanging which made the interview go viral. Rather, it was the fact that they shared a joint in front of the whole world. The interview went viral and created a storm among the media, who were up in arms criticizing Musk’s behaviour. As a result of this podcast episode, Tesla’s stock dropped by 9%. Even so, the episode was No. 6 on YouTube’s trending page, and the number of daily new subscribers to The Job Rogan experienced increased by 250%.
In the same interview, Elon Musk attracted a lot of attention when he made the interesting claim that the world we live in is a simulation.
“The argument for the simulation, I think, is quite strong. Because if you assume any rate of improvement at all, over time, 1%, 0.1%, just extend the timeframe. Make it 1,000 years, make it a million years, the universe is 13.8 billion years old. Civilization, if you’re very generous, is maybe seven or eight thousand years old, if you count it from the first writing. This is nothing. So if you assume any rate of improvement at all, then games will be indistinguishable from reality…
Or civilization will end. One of those two things will happen. Therefore we are most likely in a simulation. Because we exist.”
The Spotify Deal
Unless you do not read the news or get alerts, you would know that Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify that is believed to be worth $100m.
The podcast will be housed on Spotify exclusively by the end of the year and removed from all other podcast platforms. Essentially, it will remain free and be the same show and this is just a licensing deal so that Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show.
There is so much significance behind it because the figures involved in the deal are incredibly rare in the podcast world. Rogan will earn more money than most musicians on Spotify, which means that the platform values his podcast concept more than any musician in the world’s history.
While the podcast will remain free to access, Spotify is hoping that the increased traffic to its service due to his podcast will significantly increase in their subscriber numbers.
While this deal was under way, eMarketer was also projecting Spotify listeners in the U.S to exceed Apple podcast for the first time ever. The company predicted that 28.2 million people would listen to Spotify podcasts every month, against 28 million for Apple Podcasts. This is a big deal, especially since Apple Podcasts’ market share was also predicted to fall by almost 11% to 23.8% in 2021.
How to promote a podcast
Rogan promoted his podcast mainly through his fairly large audience by the time he started. However, many podcasts have used different podcast promotion strategies to drive more traffic.
Here are some podcast promotion strategies to consider:
1) Leverage existing guest’s audience
Podcasters should make it easy for guests to share by creating images and quotes to attract new users. It is a right way for guests to share and promote a podcast episode, and companies can send a blast the day that their podcast goes live and include shareable media like; pull-quotes, images, links, and prewritten tweets and status updates.
2) Promote on social media
Posting information on social media is one of the best ways to get the word out; companies can get creative about the content they are trying to promote. Companies can use various social media platforms to update listeners on when an episode will go live.
3) Convert the audio file into a YouTube video
Many podcasters use this tactic, while Youtubers are already embracing their platform to do the same. When converting an audio file into a Youtube video, there are multiple benefits like; having a video to share on social media, closed captioning and transcripts automatically from Youtube, and SEO benefits.
4) Submit podcast to podcatchers and aggregators
Submitting a podcast to podcatchers gives companies a better chance of getting discovered because they exist to collect and play podcasts.
5) Transcribe the audio
Offering a full transcript of an entire show has also proven to be highly successful for podcasters. The transcripts are significant for SEO benefits and a place to collect leads; companies can add lead capture forms and links in the show notes page.
6) Run a giveaway contest
The idea of free stuff and discounts will get anyone motivated to do something, including listening to a podcast. Asking for reviews on any platform that the podcast is published on can be part of the giveaway’s entry requirements. Hopefully, doing this will earn companies more reviews and boost social proof for the podcast and get platforms like iTunes and Spotify to take notice.
7) Find partners to mention the podcast
This strategy generally would have a reciprocal effect if companies were to mention another business. It provides an opportunity to create relationships and reach out to brands that have featured the company in their content.
8) Be a guest on other people’s podcasts
As mentioned before, creating and developing relationships by saying that other companies can help boost visibility. Once a relationship is developed merely by mentions, it can also make a guest appearance or invite other companies to appear on the podcast. Many podcasters appreciate the proactive approach, and anyone who takes up the offer to appear will make an excellent promotion opportunity for a company’s podcast.
It may take some experience to make it effective when it comes to promotion and podcast PR strategies, which is where PR agencies like Pressfarm come in. We offer a unique set of PR services, including; online press release distribution, press kit creation, results without the agency cost, an extensive PR database, and expert advice. A podcast may need a different strategy, but Pressfarm’s PR professionals are there to help with their expertise of everything public relations.
We help any company and service increase visibility across the major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Our team creates everything including background information, the brand brief, images/videos, and everything else that is newsworthy. We also have a powerful, filter-based search engine to help companies find the ideal journalist to tell the company’s story to the right target audience. So, whatever companies need to increase online visibility for their podcast or brand in general, Pressfarm is there to guide them every step of the way.
Other creative ideas for PR campaigns
While press releases are great for getting media coverage, startups and existing businesses also need to be creative with their PR campaigns.
1) Free stuff
Regardless of who they are and what industry they are in, people are always drawn to anything free. Distributing unique merchandise that fits the brand to any media outlet, from journalists to influencers, is an effective way to build brand recognition.
2) Guest posting
Approaching publications read by a company’s target audience by offering insight and analysis of anything related to the industry is another way to develop a relationship with media outlets. Not only are companies reaching out to their existing listeners/customers, but they are also able to branch out to potential listeners through the other publications.
Providing expert insight on big new stories will also get journalists and various media outlets interested in what companies what to say. They are always looking for sources, and by offering insight and advice, it is another excellent way to get press coverage.
3) Social media chat
Internet forums and social media chats are becoming the new way to communicate with followers in real-time. If companies have something to share that they think will engage with their audience or people reading said forums, starting a chat of any social media platform will get people engaged and get them to go directly to their website possibly.
It is obvious that there are podcast heavy-hitters out there like The Joe Rogan Experience, but that doesn’t mean that people that are just starting to create their podcasts should be intimidated by it. When creating the podcast, it is essential to remember why it is being created and the goals that the podcast is trying to achieve.