Should You Even Podcast?

we have turned down a number of clients after testing to discover that podcasting may not be the best avenue for them. But how are you supposed to know if podcasting is the ideal medium to reach your customers or/and increase your brand authority?

We will be the first to say that podcasting isn’t for everyone. Over the past year, we have turned down a number of clients after testing to discover that podcasting may not be the best avenue for them. But how are you supposed to know if podcasting is the ideal medium to reach your customers or/and increase your brand authority? Saying everyone should have a podcast is silly, and while many brands should seriously consider doing a podcast here are a couple of questions you should ask yourself before starting.

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. Does the audience line up with your brand image?
  3. Are you an authority?
  4. What is the growth curve you are looking for?
  5. Do you have the time/bandwidth to do a podcast?
  6. What type of show are you thinking about doing?
  7. What is your unique value proposition?

Who is your audience?

The #1 thing we at LaunchPod Media do for our clients when they enter the initial stages of doing a podcast with us is to investigate their podcast audience. The podcast audience in general is quite unique. Podcast Listeners be more educated, wealthier, and their love groups are very specific. Meaning that if your audience doesn’t match the demographics you are trying to target, you are wasting your money. We spend hours upon hours testing the audience, search, and competitors of the podcasts we produce. We don’t like guessing to see if a podcast could work. One of our company’s unique capabilities is testing podcast’s launch and starting off a podcast well. Without this type of knowledge, we would really be in the dark for the potential growth of a podcast. 

Does the audience line up with your brand image?

While one side of the coin is the podcasting audience, the other is your company’s (or personal) brand image. If you are a company, chances are you have a great chance to slay it in podcasting, but maybe not if the brand image does not reflect well into this medium. You should seriously consider if Instagram, Facebook, or even Youtube are better options for your content. The main factor should be how your audience natively interacts with content. If your audience is 12yo girls who love slime, maybe Youtube would be a better option. Want to connect with 25yo men who love cooking Korean food, maybe Instagram. Go where your audience lives. 

Are you an authority, and can you talk about it (a lot)?

One of the most common issues we see our clients, as well as other podcasters, run into is ‘Podfade’. While interviewing people can be great if you want to be the authority on the topic of your choice you can’t just focus on the expertise of other people. This means contributing your own voice. This is just like the world of Reddit podcasting is all about contributing to a conversation, but if you want just spew things that are already being said, or even worse, saying things that aren’t true/you don’t know about will turn the podcast community against you. However, if you are an expert that is trying to add to the conversation in an area of high interest this can become a major strong point, if you are a journeyman, or a layperson it might be better to shy away.

One way we qualify potential clients is if we can create a detailed year long content calendar. If we can’t think of 50-10 podcast episodes in an hour, why are we even doing this?

What return/growth curve are you looking for?

If you are looking for immediate growth and metrics that you can tie correlate to sales right away, may I recommend Facebook Ads? Podcast, like other social media platforms, is not an overnight strategy. You don’t post to Youtube once and suddenly become Pewdiepie. If just doesn’t happen. Podcasting, in the same way, is a growth strategy, not a mere tactic that can be punted to an intern. If you are looking for solid growth, month upon month than podcasts may be a great option. If you are looking to put out an ad, podcasts can be great to advertise on, but just be careful. 

Triton/Edison 2019 research

Do you have the time/bandwidth to do a podcast?

One of the biggest issues we run into working with high-level CEOs as well as many brands across the US, is many authorities are strapped for time. While there are undoubtedly some amazing people that can talk on a subject, time is often the main constraint that agencies and podcasters alike have to deal with regularly. Many fantastic potential podcasters simply do not have the time to invest in podcasting, and that is okay. There are also many things that can be done on the back end like mixing the content, narration, micro-content strategy, and the Tribe of Mentors model. Think carefully and be aware that starting a new undertaking like a podcast is a legitimate time commitment and may not be in the best interest of the person who wants to do the podcast to also be the one recording.

One way we find that useful is having people actually sit by themselves for 45min and record a memo on their fun and listen to it all the way through. If you can contribute to a conversation and you say everything you want to say, do you actually need to make a whole new show with weekly episodes or just a podcast short season?

What type of show are you thinking about doing?

Don’t just do another interview podcast. Please. There is no reason for people to tune into your show outside of earning brownie points. None. Too many companies think that the connections they have in the business world or high-level friendships are enough to pull in an audience; they may be right too. Here’s the thing, if they come of Gary Vee, the likelihood of them staying for you is really low. Exclusively using guests and influencers works for Tim Ferriss and Joe Rogan because they can get Elon Musk to smoke pot and talk about acid trips. Depending on the industry that is going to be really hard to swing, so unless you can get Barak Obama to freestyle, maybe hold off. 

That aside, there are a variety of different show types. Options like the reporter style 99% Invisible, or Behind the Bastards, Stories like welcome to Nightvale, and Information shows like Mixing Music with Dee Kei (we also have some unique podcast ideas). Whatever method you choose make sure you can sustain and create a show that elevates your industry and contributes to the powerful conversation you are trying to be a part of. 

What is your unique value?

Every podcast should have a subtitle detailing it is exactly what the show is about. Manga Sensei: 5 min Japanese is a great example (and my personal show). Tells the potential listener what it is that they can expect from the content they would be potentially subscribing to. People in podcasting tend to be innovators, early adopters, and education nuts. They want specialized content that rings true and impacts their decisions or their lives. Simply having another show on X topic will not be unique value to them, your spin, and how you present your information may be just as important as what you are talking about. If you are running a company, you know it’s silly to run a Me-too product, so why would you do the same with podcasting or other marketing strategies. 

Other things to think about

Podcasting is an awesome medium, we at LaunchPod Media have dedicated our time to that over anything else. That being said, we take pride in our research, testing, and targeting of podcasts. Which means we really care if people are punting their podcast or are in it for the long haul, or if they even should. Podcasting isn’t for everyone or every company, but if you think you got what it takes, and you know the market, don’t miss the opportunities that podcasting can offer. On that same token, also don’t be picked into the hype. 

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