Over the last few years, podcasting has taken the world by storm. No matter who you speak with, everyone seems to have a list of favorites they tune into for information on everything from true crime, to parenting, to marketing tips, and beyond. This medium has become so pervasive that even the largest companies in the world have taken notice and have begun assessing ways they can use this next-gen communication tactic in their own internal communication strategies.
Even though podcasting has become overwhelmingly popular, there’s still this pervasive idea that it’s prohibitively expensive and requires lots of resources to produce. Unless you’re a large personality with a big operation like Joe Rogan, the technological advances in this area mean that adage is no longer true. All you really need to get started are the devices you already have and a big idea. After all, the most successful podcasts are so because of the quality of their content, rather than the production itself. People tune in to gain insights into the things they care about so centering your strategy on high-quality content is the most critical part of the road to podcasting success.
What is podcasting?
What is inside a podcast? A podcast is an audio representation of information, broken into episodes, occasionally grouped into seasons. That's it.
Get Started With Podcasting
The best thing you can do is stop letting other podcaster’s fancy setups intimidate you from getting started. It’s much more simple than that:
1. Work on your idea.
This is often the most difficult step for leaders wanting to implement an internal podcast at their organization (that’s why we put together this workbook to help you get all your ideas down in one place). You probably already have a subject; you may even have a title in mind, but what you really want to nail down out of the gate is the content you’ll cover in your first five episodes. After all, many podcasts fail not because of the title, but consistency. Make sure you:
- Find a common ground with your audience and use that as a springboard to map your content to
- Choose episode topics that are in agreement with each other
- Listen to each episode with an objective mind, approaching it as though it were created by someone else
- Stick to the topic at hand
- Do your research: For example, if you are producing content for enterprise colleagues and leaders, make sure the information is relevant and well-informed
- Use your podcast as a collective knowledge board: You don’t need to be the champion of all topics. Podcasting is a great way to lead collaboration with other stakeholders and thought leaders across your organization.
No matter what type of content you begin with, it’s always recommended to have a script or high-level talking points prepared to go through during your recording session to help you stay on track.
2. The Technical Nitty-Gritty
We’ve already explained how achieving a high-quality podcast without expensive equipment isn’t just possible, it can often be ideal since you have the ability to record from just about anywhere (and let’s face it, that flexibility is invaluable right now with teams distributed and working from home). But just because you have the ability to create your podcast directly from your home or mobile device, doesn’t mean there aren’t a few steps you can follow to achieve a high-quality end-product.
- Avoid background noise: If there’s one piece of advice we can impart to anyone looking to implement a podcast at their organization, it would be to try and cut down on as much ambiance as possible during the recording process. Unless you are interviewing a Starbuck’s barista, having all that excess chatter in the background can make your listeners feel distracted. Make sure to find someplace quiet, ideally free from echo, and be sure to test how the recording sounds in your headphones before committing to the final production.
- Leverage the equipment you already have: Most laptops these days have wonderful built-in microphones and, in many cases, this is good enough for someone just getting started. However, be aware that even your shiny MacBook isn’t immune from having excess noises picked up in the microphone from hard drive spinning to fan audio, and beyond, which can severely degrade your recording. If you decide to go this route, you’ll get the best results from a plug-in headset. But you aren’t just limited to creating a podcast on your lap or desktop. These days, many enterprises are turning to mobile devices to produce high-quality content on-the-go. The advent of the smartphone has completely shifted how we create and consume information, so it’s easy to understand why this method is preferred by the most forward-thinking business leaders. Not only is your phone with you (almost) all the time, but many devices already have noise-canceling features built into their stock recorders.
- Utilize the not-so-obvious “usual suspects”: While desktop and mobile are two of the most straightforward ways to record your podcast, they aren’t the only efficient ways to capture your content. We’ve seen leaders use their webcam, which can be effective since it’s usually not subject to the background noise your computer produces. We’ve also seen many enterprise podcasters incorporate a simple, inexpensive USB microphone that plugs directly into the computer (which often produces the most high-quality audio tracks of all the options laid out in this section). One of the more compelling non-traditional methods of producing a podcast that we’ve recently run across involves using Zoom to record locally (or to cloud). This is especially helpful when you interview others (Hot tip: if you’re using this simple method, CastDesk has native integrations with the platform, making information sharing as simple and straightforward as possible).
3. The Editing Process
No matter how good your production is upfront, you’ll likely still want to make a few tweaks before your episodes go live and there are some good reasons:
- To remove unnecessary parts, flubs and lulls from your recording
- Oftentimes, recordings are done in segments, so you’ll want to put the clips together once every piece is finished
- Background noise reduction: While you’ll want to avoid ambient noise as possible upfront, you can further mitigate these distractions with a little post-production magic
- Volume leveling: Unless you sit at the exact same distance to the mic and record at the same volume throughout your entire podcast, having consistent audio levels is next to impossible. Better to adjust it with a program that’s equipped with a leveling feature.
Programs we recommend
Audacity is a great program for those just dipping their toes into podcasting, as it does all of the above with little-to-no learning curve. Not only is it considered the “swiss army knife” of audio editing, but it’s also free (yay!). It might be pared down compared to say, what a musician might need, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful or impactful for podcasters. Not only is learning Audacity is easy and fun (there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, depending on what you need), but the interface is simple enough that you can figure out all the basic editing functions in no time at all.
If you’re feeling brave, or just want to try a program with more advanced editing tools, we also recommend GarageBand and Adobe Audition. These tools will give you the flexibility you need to create an attention-grabbing podcast, short of hiring a professional audio editor.
4. Let’s Get Visual
Now that you’ve created some great podcast content, it’s time to put your best face forward and align some aesthetics with your message. Before a show is listened to, users will likely judge it by graphics so spending a little time on the artwork and cover image is a good idea. If you don’t immediately have custom logos or graphics created, don’t sweat it: you can also use a photo of yourself or of you in the recording process to capture attention. Use a DSLR if you have it but, if not, a phone camera should suffice.
5. Hosting Your Podcast
It’s not enough to create good podcast content, you also need a place to store it. For anyone wanting to create a public-facing show, there is a wide range of publishing platforms available to suit your needs.
But things get a little more complicated when you are creating content around sensitive information that needs to be restricted to company personnel. That’s why more Fortune 500’s, SMBs, and startups are turning to secure podcasting platforms like CastDesk, which has some of the most extensive and robust security features in the industry.
6. Distributing Your Content
Whether you’re pushing your podcast out internally or externally, you’ll want to make sure it’s seen by as many people as possible. For internal podcasts, that might mean integrating your podcast host with Slack or Microsoft Teams to automatically publish updates; or it may mean alerting employees about new content through email or RSS feed. For external content, you can push your show out on leading podcast publishing platforms like Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, iTunes, and GooglePlay (hint: CastDesk integrates with those too)
CastDesk is the most secure mobile-first podcasting solution for enterprise communications, sales, and employee engagement available on the market today. What sets us apart is our commitment to:
- Enterprise-grade security: You’ll likely be sharing sensitive information, so your platform needs to incorporate the latest security protocols to keep communication from getting leaked.
- A mobile experience that supercharges your company: Our high-performing iOS and Android micro podcasting apps help you connect your global workforce and enable employees to access podcast content on-demand, from any location–including offline. You can also use our in-app feed to gauge employee interest and episode feedback in real-time.
- Privacy: The capability to restrict viewing to specific groups, teams, and individuals
- Analytics: Podcast creators should have access to an extensive analytics suite that gives them insight into who is listening to content, what they are listening to, and when. Utilizing these data points (and more) can help your team better understand the impact your communications are having and drive better overall ROI.
If you’d like to learn more about how CastDesk can help you create a powerful podcast that makes an impact like never before, we’d love to talk to you.