Research and reports
The number of UK podcast listeners reached 14.6 million in 2021, according to eMarketer. As a result, podcasting is becoming an increasingly popular marketing tool for businesses of all types.
Read on for tips on how to find your niche, the equipment you’ll need, and how to promote your podcast.
A podcast is a digital audio file that can be downloaded from the internet. At first, podcasts were episodes of radio shows that could be listened to after the original broadcast. The term comes from being able to broadcast a radio show on an iPod.
The industry has evolved and there are now many podcasts that have been launched independent of a radio show.
Podcasts are easy and cheap to set up, so they’ve become popular with companies looking to build their audience, as well as influencers, publishers, and people launching a side hustle.
The popularity of podcasts has soared in recent years. According to Ofcom, 38 per cent of people who listen to podcasts listen to three to five podcasts a week, while 20 per cent listen to between six and 10.
Podcasting is a great way to promote your brand to a new audience. However, it’s uncommon for a business to directly promote its products and services during an episode.
Most popular podcasts have a theme or primary focus. For example, one of the best-known business podcasts is ‘The Diary of a CEO’, hosted by Steven Bartlett, who speaks to a range of business leaders about their experiences.
Your podcast doesn’t have to focus on business, though. Plenty of companies create podcasts around the sector they operate in. For example, a bike shop could do a podcast about the best cycling routes in the country.
When thinking about how to start a podcast for business, here are some of the key things you’ll need to decide on:
If your podcast has a unique selling point, it could be easier to promote and you may be able to build your audience more quickly.
It’s a competitive market, so think about what makes your podcast different and the audience you’re targeting. For example, you may launch a business leader podcast or a women in business podcast.
Although the content of each episode may vary, it’s important to pick an overarching theme and stick to it so listeners know what to expect.
The more successful your podcast becomes, the more you can spend on getting the best equipment.
Here’s an overview of the basics you’ll need to get started:
Once your podcast has been recorded and edited, you’ll need to publish it.
According to Ofcom’s UK Podcast Survey 2021, 42 per cent of people access their podcast through Spotify, with 31 per cent using YouTube and 29 per cent using Apple Podcasts.
With this in mind, it’s crucial that your recordings are available on these platforms. You can upload your podcast to YouTube like you would a normal video, while you’ll need to apply to appear on Spotify or Apple.
It can also be useful to be featured on podcast platforms such as Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Pocket Casts.
To get your podcast on Spotify or Apple, you’ll need to host it somewhere and supply an RSS feed when you apply to appear on a platform.
An RSS feed is a text document that allows you to share your podcast so people subscribe to it.
A hosting platform is where you can keep all your recordings online. Once you’ve edited an episode, you can upload it to your host platform and then people will be able to listen to it.
You’ll be able to link to each episode from your host, posting them on your website and sharing them across your social media channels.
However, if you want to be discovered by a wider audience, you’ll need an RSS feed, which you can then use to appear on the biggest platforms.
Most hosting services automate the creation of an RSS feed for your podcast. Here are some popular providers:
Ofcom’s research found that 31 per cent of people hear about new podcasts through social media sites, while 26 per cent find new shows through word of mouth, and 17 per cent through the audio service they use.
Posting your podcast on social channels such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and TikTok is vital if you want to build listener figures.
As well as notifying regular listeners that you’ve got a new episode, posting on social media can attract a new audience.
One of the most effective ways to share your podcast on social media is to create teaser posts that include an interesting snippet from the episode.
You can also use paid social media advertising to promote your podcast.
Making your podcast more discoverable on Spotify and Apple Podcasts can help you to improve listening figures.
You can do this by asking listeners to leave reviews and ratings. Once your podcast starts receiving feedback, the biggest platforms are more likely to share it on their category pages related to your niche.
It’s a win-win as your podcast will be easier to find and new listeners are more likely to give it a try if it has a high rating and lots of positive reviews.
If you want your podcast to be successful, you need to make sure that episodes are released regularly and at the same time.
Regular listeners should know when to expect your content. If your recording schedule is erratic, listeners will lose trust and are likely to go elsewhere.
Even though it may seem difficult at first, sticking to a rigid structure, such as recording and publishing a new episode once a week, can help you to build a loyal audience.
Another benefit of creating a podcast for your business is that you can repurpose the content to get the most out of each episode.
For example, if you film each podcast, you can cut it up into interesting teaser videos to post across your social channels.
You can also use the transcript of each episode to create a blog article, as well as taking interesting quotes and turning them into visual social media posts.
This can help to fill your marketing calendar and means that your investment of time and money to create a podcast is creating several opportunities to promote your brand.
Whether you’re launching a podcast to increase the visibility of your company or as a side hustle, there are lots of ways to monetise the content.
Here are some examples:
Do you have any tips for starting a podcast? Let us know in the comments below.
Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.
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