Can you imagine reaching a global audience with your message for free? Imagine if your expertise could be shared digitally, anywhere in the world, with an audience that can listen to what you’ve shared at any time, any place, whenever they want. Podcasting is a solution for many brands looking to expand on their content creation efforts and establish something more personal, attracting an entirely new audience. With roots dating back to the early 80’s, podcasting truly caught on in 2004, and with the introduction of the iPhone, made it possible and easy for anyone to share their audio messages with just about anyone. It’s important to note that while anyone can create audio content and share on the web, a podcast is a bit more strategic and focused, especially when it comes to brand marketing.
Podcasting On A Budget
Podcasting can be as complicated or as simple as you choose to make it. For many, the word podcasting conjures up visions of a studio, with an audio board and large mics, almost similar to a radio station. While there are some that use these tools for podcasting, it can also be done with tools as simple as an iPhone and a computer. Podcasting is an easy way to diversify your content on a blog or social media platform, and invites an audience that would otherwise rather not read a post to listen to what you’re sharing. Podcasting can follow a script, or it can be done conversationally on the fly, but on a specific topic. The options are endless, but let’s assume you know your industry, you have a set number of topics you wish to cover, and you know when you want to do it (consistency is key). Let’s look at how to launch a podcast in three easy steps.
Launch Your Own Podcast
Whether you’re a company of one, managing the content of your brand while simultaneously running the company, or you’re a larger company with a team that does content creation, these easy steps can be applied in either setting.
Step 1: Use the Right Equipment
The simplest tool for any podcaster is the phone, whether it’s an iPhone or an Android, your phone is already with you, highly mobile, and nowadays, just as powerful as a desktop or laptop computer. With some savvy planning, your phone will be the main tool you’ll use for recording audio. We recommend you insert a microphone into your headphone jack (something like this) for the best audio recording.
If you plan on recording from your computer, just be sure to get a good mic that has some different options in the event that someone may be sitting with you to record your podcast. We recommend a mic like this with options to record one person, a dual setting for two people, and a 360 recording option as well.
Believe it or not, that’s all the equipment you need to start recording. It can boil down to these simple tools to get you started, and the upfront investment is not a big one.
Step 2: Choose Your Software
When recording your podcast you have two options. You can record a LIVE broadcast, or you can record on your phone, and then download the audio for editing later. We’ll look at both options and you can decide which works best.
If you plan on doing a LIVE recording there are a few solid options that we can strongly recommend. The first recommendation is to use SoundCloud, which is an app you can download on your phone. If you visit the website to register for an account, they range from FREE to other tiers with more offerings. It just depends on how much you plan to record and upload. The great thing about LIVE recording is that it’s fast, and it’ll go up as soon as you’re done. The bad thing about LIVE recording is that it’s LIVE. This concept may serve some brands better than others, but it’s an option.
Another LIVE recording option is BlogTalkRadio. They also offer a range of options from FREE to different paid tiers on their registration page, so it again depends on what you prefer. BlogTalkRadio will give you a phone number and you simply call-in at the time you choose to do your show and you go on LIVE. The quality is similar to callers calling into a radio show. You will hear yourself talk, but the great thing is that you can interview people if they call into the same number AND you don’t even need to be in the same room, city, state, or country (trust us, we’ve used this in the past and it’s great).
If you’re recording for editing later then simply record on your phone and upload to a computer, or record using your computer, but just make sure that the audio file is on your computer for editing. If you’re on an Apple Computer, we recommend GarageBand, but if you’re looking for something FREE, then check out Audacity. If you’re on a Windows machine, Audacity is the best option we’ve seen so far. Both pieces of software are easy to use, and we were able to figure most of the buttons out by experimenting. You can shorten long pauses, cut something out that you didn’t like, or add music at the beginning and the end of your podcast before publishing.
Step 3: Posting Your Podcast
The final step in the process to launch your own podcast can be the hardest, but requires patience, consistency, and experimentation. Most platforms where you record your podcast LIVE allow you to download the .mp3 file. Depending on what your site is built on (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla), there might be a podcast plugin that allows you to post your podcast to your website and drive traffic to the page by posting it on social media (maybe putting a few ad dollars behind it). If you happen to use Soundcloud, it actually comes with an embed code to put a player on your site. With the podcast living on your site now, you have created a piece of content that can be shared across any social platform (there are many other ways to share your podcast, so get creative!)
If you’ve recorded and edited your podcast, you can use the same plugin to upload your file and have it live on your site too. We’ve seen people create videos with their audio so they can post on other platforms that are just audio based. When putting any amount of ad dollars behind your content, think about who would benefit from your content, where are they, and whether your content is mobile friendly for those listening on the go.
Now how do you get your podcast on iTunes?
We promise, a podcast is a great way to add something new into your content marketing efforts, and can be a lot of fun once you think about your approach, purpose, and call to action with the podcast you will be creating.