The popularity of podcasts is exploding. About 80 million Americans now listen to at least one podcast each week, according to a survey from Edison One and Triton Digital. This is a 17% increase from 2020.
As more people are listening to podcasts more often, it’s natural for companies and organizations to want to tap into the power of this medium and start their own shows.
We have seen companies have great success with podcasts. Before you jump on the bandwagon with your own organization, here are six key considerations.
What’s your purpose? How will a podcast align with your communications goals and campaigns?
Ask yourself what your communications challenges are internally and externally right now. Then, consider whether a podcast is going to help you address these challenges.
For example, a corporate podcast may help if your workforce is feeling disconnected from changes leaders are making at the top. Podcasts work well as a way to create connection and convey authenticity. It can be hard to form a connection with those in leadership roles - especially with employees working remotely -- but hearing those leaders’ voices periodically may make a big difference.
Conversely, a new podcast might not be a good idea if you’re struggling to launch a new product or service. Without an established an audience, a corporate podcast is not an ideal solution and probably isn’t the best use of your time.
Who is the audience for your podcast? Will it be public or private?
A publicly available podcast that you are going to distribute via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and other distribution channels is going to need to be more polished, consistent, and interesting than an internal podcast for employees.
A corporate podcast designed for staff should still sound professional, but no one will expect “This American Life.” However, podcast episodes should be engaging and offer a value to the listeners.
The beauty of an internal podcast is that your employees can take in information from leadership without having to take time out to read another lengthy email or stare at a webinar or video. If you keep the corporate podcast interesting and relevant, listening to it won’t turn into a dreaded homework assignment for your staff.
What is your budget?
You may be able to produce a demo episode without spending any additional funds, especially if your organization has an existing creative department. To keep up a regular schedule of releasing new episodes, you are going to need to allocate time and budget for staff and budget for equipment like high-quality microphones and editing software.
Without in-house resources, you may also need to work with a podcast production company or creative agency, and will need to budget for those contracts.
Do you have in-house talent for your corporate podcast, or will you need to outsource or hire?
It’s rare that an organization’s CEO or president has the time, inclination, and talent to be a podcast host on a regular basis. You may have to conduct several tests to find the right host (or hosts) that can authentically convey your message and appropriately represent your brand.
One way to try out podcasting for your company is to have your company’s leaders appear on existing podcasts. For example, B2 has had success with getting clients on an exceptional local podcast in St. Petersburg called SPX. This allows your organization to get media exposure and podcast experience without the pressure or expense of creating a show consistently.
In addition to finding the right host, you will also need to consider the technical skills a podcast requires. You may want to consider working with a podcast production company to help with planning, hosting, production, editing and distribution to avoid burdening your creative team with what can be a resource-intensive project.
And whether the podcast is for an internal or external audience, you will also need a strategy for getting folks to listen to it. Consider whether your marketing team has the bandwidth to create graphics, promotional emails, and other tools for promotion, or if you need to engage a creative agency.
What is the right format for your corporate podcast?
This may also take some trial and error to figure out. Will your audience respond best to a show with interviews, a conversational back-and-forth between multiple hosts, a scripted lecture delivered by one voice, or several segments of pre-recorded content? Brainstorm a list of topics you see the corporate podcast covering, and imagine how those might work in various formats.
You want your podcast to feel like an authentic extension of your brand, so consider whether a conversational style would be appropriate or whether something more polished and produced would be a better fit.
What kind of audio setup do you need?
You do not need to rush out and spend thousands on a microphone before starting a podcast, but it’s worth investing in a few key pieces of equipment if your team is going to be regularly recording audio, because sound quality is critical.
At a minimum, you will want a reliable microphone, a space that is reasonably secluded and not full of echoes, audio editing software, and noise-canceling headphones. A podcast production company may be able to advise you on the specific equipment you need.
B2 has advised several corporate clients as they have started podcasts. To schedule a free consultation call with B2, contact us.