Podcast Best Practices

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Podcast Best Practices

Two best practices for building a good listener base include increasing the level of promotion and being consistent. According to Bridge Ratings, "the average time spent with podcasts is 22 minutes with listeners who commit beyond the first five minutes." Also, it is best to post podcasts weekly, preferably on Tuesdays. According to Neil Patel, "the most successful podcasts deliver consistent value."

Promotions Strategy (Recommended by Bridge Ratings)

  • According to results obtained from a Bridge Ratings study that tracked the podcast usage of 2,000 people aged 13 and above, for broadcasters who seek to increase the listenership of podcasts that are hosted by their talent, "a significant increase in promotion — both on-air and through social media — would be the primary strategy.
  • An analysis of the findings in the Bridge Ratings survey reveals the following best practices for building a podcast's audience:
    • Step 1: Podcast producers should have a clear idea of their audience or prospect. Specifically, they should understand their target market. By knowing who their target audience is, producers can stay focused on covering relevant topics. Proper knowledge of one's audience is the foundation for all other aspects of building one's listenership.
    • Step 2: It is important to be organized and know where a particular podcast is going. The producer has to consider his or her audience's time and avoid rambling. Specifically, it is important to get to the point quickly.
    • Findings from Bridge Ratings' survey revealed that "the average time spent with podcasts is 22 minutes with listeners who commit beyond the first five minutes." Hosts who are not focused and do not have a clear understanding of how to capture the attention of their audience are continuously being plagued by podcast abandonment. Also, podcasts that last longer than 22 minutes are often listened to in two or more sessions.
    • Step 3: The third step is to ensure that podcasts are thoroughly edited. Before posting a podcast online, it is very important for producers to listen attentively to the entire recording and edit out any content that does not "serve the "vision" of informative, engaging and entertaining content that listeners can't get from other media."
    • Step 4: Also, podcasters should create a publishing schedule. Analysis by Bridge Ratings revealed, "that weekly podcasts are most popular followed by twice per week and daily." In terms of days of the week, Tuesday was found to be the best day to post a podcast, followed by Friday.
    • Step 5: Another important practice in growing a podcast's audience is metadata tagging. Bridge Ratings' study revealed that "search is the second most-popular way consumers find podcasts of interest." Therefore, producers should be conversant with search engine requirements such as the software and directories used by consumers.
    • Through search engine optimization (SEO), which is a function of tags, podcasts can be found easily. The more focused and refined the tagging data of a podcast, the greater the chance of that podcast to appear on the first page of online search results.
    • Step 6: Finally, by significantly increasing the promotion of a podcast, broadcasters can increase their podcast's listenership. This promotion should be done through on-air channels as well as social media platforms. According to Bridge Ratings, this is the primary strategy for building a podcast's audience.

Consistency Strategy

  • According to PodcastMotor, a very crucial aspect of growing a podcast's audience is being consistent. This strategy that focuses on consistency is corroborated by Cision and Neil Patel. PodcastMotor recommends the following best practices for growing the listenership of a podcast:
    • Step 1: The priority in marketing a podcast is to examine the internal working of the show. Whether it is for a podcast or blog, audiences like consistency. If a podcaster says episodes will be published every Thursday, for instance, it is important to adhere to that schedule.
    • According to Cision, if a podcaster produces good content and remains consistent, listeners will come. Neil Patel further states that people expect podcasters to produce new and valuable podcast content consistently. Also, "the most successful podcasts deliver consistent value," according to Neil Patel.
    • Step 2: The next step is to make use of podcasting directories. In order to boost a podcast's audience, it is important to ensure that the podcast is listed on several directories. Neil Patel also recommends that podcasters should leverage "visibility in the podcast directories for iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and Google Play to get more downloads." Podbean also recommends that podcasters should distribute, share, and promote their content using podcast directories.
    • Step 3: It is also important to invite guests to speak on a podcast. Attracting experts to contribute on a podcast helps grow the audience by tapping into their network and contacts when they eventually mention that they were featured on the show.
    • Also, a podcast will earn more market credence by mentioning that experts are speaking on the show. According to Neil Patel, "It only takes a few high-caliber guests to create a snowball effect."
    • Step 4: To gain a reasonable following, it is important to advertise a podcast on social media. This channel enables a podcaster to reach the entire world using few content. However, the downside is that social media requires a significant amount of a podcaster's time. Also, there is no guarantee that the audience sent to a podcast will be of high value.
    • According to Cision, a podcaster might have the best content, but if that content is not being pushed out across social media platforms where its target audience spends their time, then it really does not matter how good that content is.
    • Also, Neil Patel mentions that promoting a podcast through social media channels like Twitter is a valuable way to drive traffic back to the podcast, syndication application, or website.
    • Step 5: Finally, it is advisable to make use of search engines. "Nearly half of those who want a question answered will head to a search engine to ask it." It is important to demonstrate to search engines that a podcast has the answers people are searching for. By doing this, it is possible to generate a significant audience. When a podcast is boosted using SEO, it would feature prominently on several search engines such as Google.
    • According to Neil Patel, it is very important to "get ranked in search". Also, Podbean suggests that it is crucial to "optimize [a] podcast for maximum searchability."