Benefits to Hosting a Podcast and an Overview on Formats
So you’ve decided to take the leap and get into making your own podcast. Whether it’s advice-driven, storytelling, or directly related to your brand, podcasts are an incredible way to communicate with an audience and introduce them to your idea, brand, or service.
So beyond the accessibility of a podcast, what are the actual business benefits to starting one? To start with, we love the variation of subject matter. When you’re thinking about starting a podcast, you have all the options in the world for how you want to tackle your subjects, the tone and vibe of your podcast, and the format.
Here are the basic formats of podcasts hitting the streaming services right now:
1) Interviews: Podcasts that utilize the interview format pull in guests to chat with the hosts, and often function as a conversational way to get information across. These can be as structured or as casual as you like, ranging from highly produced interviews to tangential conversations that touch on the topics without strict guidelines or formats. Interview podcasts bring a range of voices, backgrounds, and entertainment to your podcast, but keep in mind they can be tricky to coordinate with timing in person, or sound quality if you’re recording remotely.
2) Solo: This solo (or monologue) podcast format is commonly used by experts in their respective fields, and can be an ongoing series of episodes or a limited series where the focus is on one subject across multiple consecutive episodes. This is super simple, and just involves writing out a script or talking points, and speaking into a microphone. This format is the simplest and least expensive to produce. Be sure you prepare enough to speak as confidently and fluidly throughout the recording as possible. While you can certainly edit the recording, you might want to prepare more notes if you think you’ll lose your train of thought during the recording.
3) Advice and Tips: This is less of a format and more of a theme. Are you hosting a series where you want to help listeners in your field at the same time as promoting your brand? Create a series based on the advice your brand or product helps with, and use it to cross-promote your services. If you own a content creation brand, host a podcast with the theme of tips and tricks for creating content, and always be sure to recommend your own services as well.
4) Storytelling: This format is best for brands and organizations that have an interesting story or subject matter. Does your organization do philanthropic work? Help out communities in need? Find stories and subjects within your range and field (bonus points if you’ve directly worked with them!) and create stories around their experiences. If your brand is outdoor focused, find relevant news stories, features, and interesting characters in your field to discuss on each episode.
The format and tone you decide to go with is up to you. How do you want to get your information across? Advice-driven podcasts work well with interviews, but if the subject matter is the same (and on-brand) you can certainly host it yourself. Think about your tone as well. Are you looking to be serious? Funny? Laid back? Strictly formatted? Keeping the same tone each episode will create a more dedicated following and will help people know what to expect when they tune in.
As far as the overall structure goes, try to keep it consistent for each episode as well. Aim for upbeat intro music, a verbal introduction and welcome that plays the same each time, then an intro to the episode. Your episode can follow, whether it’s a story, monologue, advice, or interview, and then finish up with a few related quips or facts to tie it together.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to putting together a podcast, and we hope it showed you a few different options and benefits to creating one for your company, brand, or organization. Stay tuned! Next month, we’ll dive into how to market and promote your podcast now that you’ve gotten it started.