Posted to Brian Solka's blog on September 23rd, 2013

Best Practices for Podcasts

Things to keep in mind when making a podcast

Creating and uploading a podcast can be a quick and fun way to enhance your content marketing strategy. But how does an organization make their first podcast? Although the idea of recording and uploading an audio file may seem very basic, there are a few best practices to keep in mind in order to produce a fun and effective podcast.

Target the Right Audience

As with any piece of content, the first (and potentially most important) thing to be aware of is the target audience you want to speak to. Knowing who will be listening to this information is essential when considering what topics will be covered, the title of the podcast, the length of the podcast, and so on.

One other minor thing to consider when discussing target audience is how much, if any, prior knowledge they need to comprehend the information. If you feel it is best that they are familiar with a certain subject before engaging in your piece of content, provide links to resources where they can find this information.

Keep it Short and Sweet

Be considerate to your loyal listeners and followers by keeping your podcast short and to the point. Anything longer than 10-15 minutes is generally uncalled for. Staying on topic will not only help you keep your podcast short, but is also crucial for retaining listeners.

If you find it difficult to keep your recordings short, try to break up large amounts of content into multiple segments. This is another great way to keep listeners engaged; if you leave them hanging (in a good way), they will be interested in ‘keeping up with the story’ each week.

Give it the Hollywood Treatment

There are three final ideas to keep in mind when uploading your podcasts: intro/outros, including a transcript, and accessibility.  Many times, adding a simple intro and outro to your podcast can create a more professional and reassuring feel-- and most sound program come with pre-recorded tracks that work well.

Additionally, including a transcript can mitigate any issues a listener may have in consuming your content-- regardless of whether those issues are technical, or due to disability. Although you should do your best to record your sound clearly and without background noise, it is always possible that a listener could have problems understanding what you are saying. A transcript ensures that everyone can receive your message.

Finally, consider accessibility. Making your podcast easily available should be a top priority. If you produce great content but no one can access it, what’s the point? There are many different ways to post your newly recorded podcast. At Volacci we use SoundCloud, which has a great, clean-looking player that’s easily embedded in blog posts. Most podcast hosting sites also provide the option to download individual tracks for on-the-go listening (option to disable as well).

Obviously, as with producing any kind of content, there is no single best way of going about putting together a podcast. The process for your organization will likely be unique, and that’s ok! Just remember to keep these tactics in mind when recording and posting your podcast. Good luck, and start recording!

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