Once you determine that a podcast is a right fit for your attendees, then the real work begins. Not only do you have to create the content, but there are technical issues to consider, which can quickly become more complicated than a traditional blog post.
To help get you started, we sat down with Jill Dunne and Russell Ihrig from the Cincinnati Art Museum to discuss their podcast and helpful tips to consider for a successful, entertaining and beneficial podcast.
Buy a microphone
There is nothing worse than trying to listen to a podcast and not being able to understand a word. That’s why Dunne said, “Don’t expect your built-in phone mic to be sufficient.”
If you think that buying a microphone sounds expensive, think again. Ihrig told us that he only spent about $25 each on the microphones used on their podcast. Do your research and you can get a deal on a good quality microphone.
Picking hosts and guests
When you decide who will be on your podcast, having knowledgeable people seems like a no-brainer, but in this format, it’s not enough. For example, Dunne said that Ihrig is very articulate, but he also knows how to be very conversational. “He asks great questions to our guests and creates genuine engagement that listeners appreciate.” So when you’re looking for that perfect host, make sure you find that person that knows how to create a dynamic and interesting conversation.
Once you have your host, then it’s time to turn your eye towards your guests. Once again, look for people that are knowledgeable and articulate, but also look at what they can offer you after the show has been recorded. Ihrig said, “When I have someone from the Cincinnati Opera as a guest, I know we will not only be reaching our followers but also the Opera’s followers because they will definitely share it online.” And as you can imagine, there is a crossover between the Cincinnati Opera’s and Cincinnati Art Museum’s audiences. So look for guests that have an audience you would like to reach and are willing to share with their audience.
Your topics can make or break your podcast. And that’s why Dunne warned that you need to think strategically.
“Don’t be too narrow in your focus,” she said. Your first instinct may be to only talk about your organization, but that will likely hurt you. “Our podcast is focused more on the Greater Cincinnati Region and other arts organizations or civic/nonprofit representatives. While the museum is a thread within the conversation, it is a much broader conversation that has a broader audience.”
As you prepare your broader topics, Ihrig also advises not to think too broad. Too broad will lead you down a path of trying to create a podcast that is for everyone. When in reality, you’re likely creating something for nobody. “I think I decided pretty early on what kind of tone the show would have, and I am pretty conscious of not including things that I feel fall too far outside of that.”
Deciding on a name
You’ve recorded your podcast. You have your a great host, an engaged guest and the perfect topic, so you’re done, right? Not quite.
Now it’s time to land on a name, and just like with a traditional blog post, you want to choose one that people will actually find. Ihrig told us that when he looks at the least-played episodes, there is likely a problem with the name. “Remember to consider what people might search for when you title your episode (or podcast), or what might make them choose to listen in the first place.”
One example he remembers well was when he chose to talk about a specific video game. When it came time to name the episode, he was left deciding between the generic term “video games” or using the name of the actual game. “What I decided was there are MANY podcasts that will pop up when you search for ‘video games’ but less when you search for the specific game. The people who are looking for a general video game podcast might not bother to listen to something from an art museum, but if they are searching for this specific series, they might give it a try.”
Don’t forget to promote
Just because you did the work of making sure the name is descriptive and searchable, it does not mean that everyone will find it. You need to do the work of promoting each episode to grow your audience.
Dunne suggested, “Find where your fans live and share it with them there. For example, we have a great, engaged audience on Facebook, and we promote each episode there. To enhance the positive relationship we have with fans, we created a group on Facebook. This allows added engagement and a deeper connection with those who opt-in. We also showcase it on our website and share in our e-news.”
Use those channels that are already working for you and let them help your podcast grow.
Last piece of advice
Are you ready to get started on your podcast? Irhig has one more thing for you to think about: “Make a show YOU would want to listen to. There is so much competition out there, so think about what kind of show YOU would actually download. While podcasts are free, you are asking people for their time, so you have to offer them something in return. Insight, humor, education, entertainment, personality, news... we expect SOMETHING in return.”
Are you adding podcasts to your event marketing toolbox?