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How to launch a business podcast

6-minute read

Woman recording a podcast
Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling

29 March 2022

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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.

What is a small business 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.

How to start a business podcast

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.

Starting a podcast – what do you need to consider?

When thinking about how to start a podcast for business, here are some of the key things you’ll need to decide on:

  • name and brand – getting this right is important. It helps if it’s clear what your podcast is about and the brand can develop as you go
  • concept and subject matter – what’s the structure of each episode and what will you talk about? It’s common to have some regular features for listeners to become familiar with
  • length of episodes – although this can vary, it’s good to have a rough idea in mind. A lot of podcasts are between 30 and 60 minutes, but they can be longer or shorter
  • frequency – how often will you record and publish an episode, once a week, once a fortnight? Read on below to find out why it’s important to be consistent
  • podcast participants – although this could change frequently, it’s worth deciding on whether you’re going to have a regular host and how you’ll work with guests

Do you have a niche for your podcast?

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. Or you could focus on sustainability and B Corp businesses if that's your niche.

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.

What equipment do you need for a podcast?

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:

  • somewhere to record – a quiet space with no echo is the best place to record a podcast. You can buy soundproofing materials if you don’t have a suitable space
  • podcast microphone – you can get one microphone that records several people or one for each participant. A quick search online can help you compare the best products for your needs
  • recording and editing software – two of the best-known and easy-to-use options are Audacity and GarageBand. Make sure you’re familiar with how your software works before you start recording
  • headphones – good headphones can help to keep background noise out of your podcast, which can lead to a clearer recording

Where should you publish your podcasts?

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.

What is podcast hosting?

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:

  • Buzzsprout
  • Transistor
  • SoundCloud
  • Podbean
  • Resonate

How to promote your podcast

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.

Promoting your podcast on social media

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.

Man recording a podcast

Why you need to create content regularly

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.

Repurpose your content

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.

How to make money from your podcast

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:

  • podcast adverts – if you have lots of listeners, placing ads throughout your podcast can earn you extra revenue
  • affiliate marketing – other brands will pay you to promote their products, particularly if you have a niche audience. Read our guide to affiliate marketing to get started
  • merchandise – if you have your own merchandise or products, your podcast presents a great opportunity to promote them. However, it’s important not to oversell
  • live shows – if your podcast becomes really successful, it’s likely your audience will want to pay to see it live

Do you have any tips for starting a podcast? Let us know in the comments below.

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Conor Shilling

Written by

Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a professional writer with over 10 years’ experience across the property, small business, and insurance sectors. A trained journalist, Conor’s previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor has worked at Simply Business as a Copywriter for three years, specialising in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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