1. Why are you doing this?
Remember what your mum told you ‘Would you jump off a cliff just because everyone else was?’ While podcasts are the ~thing~ of the moment for brands, public figures and influencers, the fact that your competitor has one is not enough – unless you know you can do it better.
A friend once telling you you’re “funny” is not going to sustain a multi-season, well-converting podcast.
So work out your ‘Why?’ What are you hoping to achieve for your brand with this podcast; Is it to raise awareness? Increase the profile of your founder? Attract new business? Celebrate your community? Grow your customer base? Or tick a box?
If it’s the latter, start again.
And as with all content strategy, pure sales content will never make a great podcast. Adore Beauty does a great job of balancing talking about their product offering with genuine tips, advice and entertainment with their podcast Adore Beauty IQ – including recommending products they don’t sell. This pays off for them in trust and loyalty, and has proven such a success they’ve since launched multiple podcasts.
2. Do you have a clear angle or point of difference?
The novelty of “the two of us chatting about things on mic once a week” wears thin really quickly. A successful podcast needs to have a clear angle or purpose that guides the season or each episode – and ideally planned out ahead so you’re not scrambling week on week to get something out.
And if you’re going to rise through the charts or earn a place in people’s podcast listening schedule, then you need a unique point of difference. Go back to your brand purpose or values; what can you offer customers that is helpful, engaging or entertaining?
The right talent or host can be a great way to solve this; who are we not already hearing from? What stories are missing from the space?
A well-thought out concept or format will also make things a whole lot easier and interesting.
Your brand’s podcast could be educational (teaching something) or conversational (interviewing people). Bitesize (five minutes) or feature length (Please, no longer than an hour. We’re talking to you Roe Jogan). In distinct seasons or 52 weeks a year. Strategic thinking from the get-go will ensure you’re better set up for success.
The ABC’s The Pineapple Project started off as a follow-along guide to rebooting your personal finances. It made saving and investing money seem manageable, even for beginners. Mamamia’s The Quicky delivers the headlines you need to know today, then takes a deeper dive into one timely topic – all in less than 20 minutes. How To Fail by Elizabeth Day asks every high profile guest to list and discuss their biggest failures, taking a ‘taboo’ subject and making it inspirational. And Beauty Island’s interviews are bookmarked by asking about the eight beauty products guests would take to a desert island – not just for practical reasons, but emotional and nostalgic ones too.
So what will your hook or format be?
3. Are you willing to commit and invest in your podcast?
It’s hard to dabble in the podcasting world; it takes time, money and effort. An overnight success is hard to score, unless you already have a big following or land a breakout, headline-making guest.
Thanks to the category’s explosion over the last five years, there’s an expectation that podcasts must launch fully-formed. Crisp-sounding quality and consistent posting are non-negotiables, lest you wish to experience the wrath of the one star reviewers.
While there are apps, programs and products that make the podcast process far more accessible, it still pays to do it properly if you’re going to do it at all.
At the bare minimum, invest in a good mic that ensures you don’t sound like you’re recording from a train station.
Persistence and patience will pay off.
Need some help finding your best angles or look? Our strategic and creative minds have just the idea.
After some new podcast recommendations? We’ve got stacks of those too.