As podcasts increase in popularity, listeners have more choices. So while you might be ahead of the competition, you should still be thinking about ways that you can make your podcast unique and stand out from similarly themed podcasts.
1. Plan Accordingly.
When making the decision and commitment to podcast, it is important to think beyond the moment. Before starting, think about the time the podcast production will take. How will podcasting fit into a current schedule? How frequently will you podcast? How will hosting of podcasting files be handled? If the podcast is excessively popular, how will fees be generated to pay for hosting? What is the common theme that threads all podcasts in a series together? Think not only of a broad theme, but also various episodic themes that fit into a broader theme. What will make you distinct or different from others podcasting about similar content? By approaching podcasting with a little forethought, you will set yourself up for success.
2. Original Content.
Just like any media company, in order to attract and maintain an audience, you will need to provide original content, or at the very least, present the content in an original way. Think about a long term strategy that will help your show distinguish itself from others.
3. Get to The Point.
Jibber Jabber is fun, but not to the point of excluding quality content. Listeners in today's society don't have time for incessant rambling. If you have a point to make, make it in a reasonable amount of time. Minimize the fluff and focus on quality content.
4. Do Your Homework.
Not only is faulty information a liability, but incorrect information will hurt a broadcasters long term reputation-just like a journalist's credibility is paramount to their success. It is important that the information that you provide is accurate. While being a shock jock might have short-term appeal to listeners, most will remain loyal to a source that has properly vetted all of their information.
The best content is consistent content. Podcasts should contain compelling content with episodic titles, that are united in common broad theme. The format of the podcast should be consistent, persistent and stable. Each show should be about the same length and contain a common format.
6. Timeless Content.
Content that is timeless has a long shelf life. Broadcasters will benefit more from content that is timeless and can be effectively archived. “How to" content that solves problems will often have long term appeal and listening life. When choosing topics, consider the long term effects of a specific piece and determine whether it will fit with the broad theme of the show.
7. Articulate Words.
The quality of the audio content does matter. Think of the last time you heard a good song, on a poorly tuned radio station; regardless of how much you like the song, most of us would move the dial along. Listeners will not want to strain to hear a podcast; pay particular attention to articulation. Another important item worth noting is that Podcasts have global reach and often global appeal. Minimizing an accent will often extend the podcast's listening audience.
8. Optimize Podcasts.
Podcast titles should be optimized to incorporate data that relates to the contents of the podcast. Think about the themes when selecting a podcast channel title and description. Use critical and related keywords and phrases that relate to a common theme. The text in the feed is important for both feed optimization and for attracting listeners. Many of the podcast directories index the contents of podcasts using the information contained in the channel and item's, titles and descriptions. Use these text fields to effectively capture the interest of listeners.
9. Listener Expectations.
Invariably listeners will come to expect certain things from broadcasters. In order to maintain a listening audience, it is important that broadcasts are consistent and satisfy the expectations of listeners. While it is okay to experiment, straying to far from what a listener expects will often disappoint.
Many new listeners will want to review previous broadcasts. Consider ways to make older shows available through archives. Archives allow broadcasters another channel to benefit from the content. Maintaining archives of older podcasts might bring in new listeners and satisfy listeners who just can't get enough. Podcasts require effort, but by following basic guidelines and thinking things through, podcasts can be instrumental in increasing web traffic and communications within a community.
About the Author: Sharon Housley manages marketing for FeedForAll http://www.feedforall.com software for creating, editing, publishing RSS feeds and podcasts. In addition Sharon manages marketing for NotePage http://www.notepage.net a wireless text messaging software company.