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The popularity of podcasts and what makes a good one

Since 2004 when they were first developed, Podcasts have soared in popularity, especially in the last 12 to 18 months. Research suggests that there are now over 525,000 active shows, 18.5 million episodes in 100 languages. Incredible numbers. But what makes a good Podcast, especially for professional services firms, and how can you create a show for your firm that stands out?

Your topic

With podcasts growing in popularity, it can be difficult for channels to stand out. But, like any type of content, if you address topics that are relevant to potential listeners and that are delivered in an engaging way, your target audience will listen, subscribe and recommend. But even with the right topic, don’t forget the importance of your title. Titles can hugely affect the number of downloads. In layman’s terms, we really do judge a book by its cover!

Your guests

Always look to have a guest. Let’s be honest, people don’t want to listen to one person for the entire duration of a show. Like it or not we live in a world of influencers. Influencers can draw in listeners as people are keen to hear their views. Similarly, people want to hear from their peers so also invite your clients to be guests on your show. As with any marketing activity, it is important to prepare your guests but try and make your episodes as natural as possible. What you don’t want is something that is staged or for your listeners to hear answers to questions that are so obviously scripted. We get enough of that with our politicians!  Yes, absolutely prepare, but give your guests a degree of freedom.

Presentation style

Firms need to think about the most appropriate presentation style for a podcast. For me, discussion wins. A conversation with a client or a conversation with an influencer. People enjoy a discussion. People enjoy a debate. And people enjoy a story. Think of some of your favourite radio programmes – it’s the conversation that creates engagement. Have fun with it and let your personality shine through. If you’re not having fun your listeners won’t be either!

Podcast length

Now this can be tricky. Too short and people will think they’ve not learnt anything and go too long, they won’t listen to the end. From our experience, aim for approximately 20 minutes.

Engage, engage, engage

The reasons people listen to podcasts vary, Ofcom found that 51% of respondents listened to podcasts because they found them interesting, while 26% tuned in to ‘learn something new’. Engage your audience by allowing them to ask questions for a future podcast or recommend future topics. Have your clients send you questions in advance for you to put to your guest speakers. The more you can get your listeners involved, the more they will become engaged and the more they will recommend the show to their peers.

Be authentic

Above all, be authentic. You have the opportunity to become a trusted influencer in the thriving world of Podcasts, bringing more awareness to you and your firm. But… authenticity is key.

If you feel that your firm could benefit from having a podcast series or you need help in the design, setup or more information on podcasts then contact us we’d love to help.