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Time to Join the Podcast Bandwagon?

By Stephen Hampshire, Client Manager, TLF Research

“What do you call a gathering of two or more middle-aged white guys? A podcast.”

It’s easy to poke fun at podcasts. There’s an inevitable danger of pomposity when you record yourself having a chat and then assume that the rest of the world is going to be interested in listening. On the other hand, podcast listening figures are going from strength to strength, and major advertisers are beginning to see the potential they offer to reach an interested, targeted, audience.

The beauty of podcasts is that they’re easy for people to access on demand, to download for listening to on a train or in the car, and to find content that matches exactly what they’re interested in.

Our research with TLF Panel members, summarised in the infographic here, shows that more people than you might think are listening to at least one of the over half a million podcasts that are now out there. With so much choice there’s almost bound to be one for you, and for your customers or potential customers.

We decided to launch a podcast of our own, which is up to Episode 16 as I write, and we’re hoping that it will go on to form a key part of our customer engagement and content marketing strategy going forward.

If you fancy giving it a go too, here are our 7 top tips for starting a podcast:

  • Plan your format. After a couple of false starts, we settled on (mostly) two people chatting, with a little bit of prep but not so much that it would sound over-rehearsed.
  • Find your tone. We try to reach a balance between professional and informal…you’ll have to tell us if we get that right or not.
  • Script the beginning and ending. It may not sound like it, but we do have a script for the opening and close of each episode. These are probably the hardest bits to do well if you try to ad-lib.
  • Find somewhere quiet to record with soft furnishings. We still struggle with this one in the office.
  • Use decent equipment. We now use an audio recorder with two lapel mics, but got reasonable results to begin with using a cheap voice recorder.
  • You don’t need fancy software. We use Audacity, which is free, and there are plenty of other free alternatives which do the job just fine.
  • Publishing is pretty simple – you just need a host and an RSS feed. We’re still using a free Wordpress blog to publish ours, although we’re planning to change that soon.
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