Podcasting for Business: The complete guide

11 October 2023
11 minutes

In short

If you’re one of the 464.7 milion people who listen to podcasts, you’ll know how great this format is for entertaining, inspiring, informing and telling a compelling and memorable story. You may not be aware yet, however, of how easy it is to create and distribute a podcast for your business.

With a willing team member or two on board, and a healthy dose of preparation and background knowledge you could soon be uploading your first episode, reaching a wider audience and enjoying a raft of untapped networking opportunities.

This complete guide to podcasting for business will take you through every facet from inception to promotion, providing you with actionable insights, expert recommendations and a treasure trove of tools to ensure your podcast makes the right impact with the right people.

What is a podcast?

Before we venture further, let’s establish a clear understanding of what a podcast is and what podcasts are used for. At its core, a podcast is an audio series, often episodic, that caters to a specific theme or topic. It’s an intimate medium, allowing listeners to tune in while commuting, exercising, or simply relaxing at home. Unlike traditional radio, podcasts offer great flexibility, so listeners can engage with your content on their own terms.

image of a lightbox with podcast spelled out with a pair of headphones

The benefits of starting a business podcast

Let’s look at how starting a podcast can help grow your business and attract a wider audience.

1. Podcasting for business builds your brand

Podcasts, when done right, become an extension of your brand’s voice. They offer an immersive experience, providing listeners with valuable insights and establishing your authority within your industry. With more than half of podcast listeners saying they were more likely to make a purchase after hearing an advert, this is certainly a receptive audience to position your brand in front of.

Top tip: Use tools like BuzzSumo to research trending topics in your niche, ensuring your content remains relevant and engaging.

2. Pretty much anyone can make business podcasts

Podcasts are a highly accessible and relatively easy way of adding even more quality content to your marketing arsenal. Lots of the tech and tools can be easily sourced, so your biggest challenge will probably be finding the right talent in your business to present them. Not everyone is a natural presenter, after all.

Top tip: When creating quality podcasts for your business you need great production values. Check out these free and paid podcast editing software tools.

3. Podcasting for business provides a more personal connection

The power of great podcasts lies in their authenticity. They allow your audience to get a sense of the enthusiasm and knowledge you have about a subject, which builds a deeper connection. Podcasts are the ideal opportunity to explore the more “human” side of business, so don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and share real-life stories to create an emotional bond with your listeners.

4. Podcasting for business helps you reach new customers

Podcasts don’t concern themselves with geographical or time barriers, enabling you to reach a global audience. They serve as a magnet for like-minded individuals, attracting potential customers who resonate with your message.

5. Business podcasts can be repurposed into social media content

Extend the lifespan of your podcast episodes by repurposing them into engaging social media content. Convert key takeaways into quote graphics, video snippets, or audiograms to captivate your audience across platforms.

Top tip: Use Headliner to create attention-grabbing audiograms, making your content shareable and visually appealing.

6. Business podcasts help to build your brand

This benefit of podcasts for business kind of sums up the last five but it bears repeating. Podcasts are absolutely fantastic for building your brand. They work well for a wide variety of sectors and types of businesses, offer great promotional and networking opportunities and are generally one of the best ways to demonstrate that all-important thought leadership and introduce your ideal customers to the faces and stories behind your brand.

Identifying your audience

You may already have a good idea of your ideal customer but it’s worthwhile revisiting these assumptions when you are planning your strategy and working out how to make money on a podcast. Not everyone is a fan of this medium so you may need to review your customer profile. Likewise, there may be a new target group you can attract.

Choosing a name

This is a tricky one, so take your time. The sweet spot lies somewhere between mentioning your brand, your presenter (if they are well-known or likely to be a draw) and your subject matter. You’ll then need to add some keywords into the mix to make sure you get found.

Top tip: Use Namech_k’s free podcast name generator to spark some ideas if you’re struggling.

Choosing the right topic(s)

As of 2023, there are over five million podcasts with over 70 million episodes between them. That’s a lot of noise to cut through! Think carefully about what you want to talk about and select a niche or cluster of topics that align with your expertise and will resonate with your audience. Conduct keyword research using tools like Ahrefs to identify topics with a high search volume, ensuring your business podcast addresses popular, timely queries. As with all areas of your inbound marketing, think of the problems and challenges your audience faces and how you can help them. 

Also, remember where and when your audience might be listening to your show. If it’s likely to be commuting-time content then you’ll want to make it entertaining and light-hearted as well as educational and informative. 

Top tip: Monitor industry forums and social media discussions to identify trending topics to ensure your content remains fresh and engaging. And always add your own unique spin to discussions.

Selecting a format

Business podcasts come in various formats, each offering a unique listening experience. Experiment with solo episodes, interviews, storytelling, or roundtable discussions. Tools like SquadCast help to facilitate high-quality remote interviews, ensuring seamless conversations with guests.

Top tip: Use storytelling techniques to create a narrative arc within your business podcast episodes. This approach should help keep them engaged from start to finish.

Defining your style

Your podcast’s style encompasses everything from the tone of your voice to the overall atmosphere of your episodes. Decide whether your podcast will be formal, casual, humorous, or educational. A consistent approach will help you to build a recognisable brand image and a loyal audience.

Top tip: Invest in a good-quality microphone like the Shure SM7B to enhance your voice’s clarity, creating a professional and pleasant listening experience. More on business podcast tech and tools later.

Identifying the right length

The most popular podcasts are between 20 to 40 minutes long, though other popular episodes last 60 minutes more or so per episode. So, there isn’t a particular rule that dictates how long your podcast should be, it’s more about making those minutes count and earning the ears of your audience. Strike a balance between content depth and audience attention span.

Top tip: Use tools like Podchaser to track your business podcast episodes’ duration and analyse listener engagement, allowing you to adjust your content strategy accordingly.

Deciding on a frequency

This is another “find the sweet spot” challenge. Podcast fans listen to nine episodes a week, on average, so you’ll want to be aiming to be one of those. However, that is a lot to add to an already hectic schedule so the important thing is to find a level that is sustainable for you and your team and stick to it. Anything less than a month is a bit of a gamble though. Out of sight, and all that…

image of studio headphones with a microphone for recording: Podcasting for Business

Getting the right business podcast equipment

Don't invest heavily at the beginning: trial and error

Quality equipment is the backbone of a professional-sounding podcast for your business so don’t jump in and buy a whole bells-and-whistles studio before you are properly up and running. Invest in a reliable microphone, pop filter, and headphones to enhance your recording experience. For editing, software like Adobe Audition or Hindenburg Journalist offers advanced editing capabilities.

Top tip: Consider acoustical treatments for your recording space, reducing background noise and echo and ensuring a pristine audio quality.

Investing in the right microphones for your business podcast

Selecting the right microphone is crucial for ensuring the audio quality of your business podcast. First and foremost, consider your budget. There’s a wide range of microphones available, from affordable options like the Audio-Technica ATR2100 to high-end models like the Shure SM7B which we mentioned before. The next consideration is the type of microphone. Dynamic microphones are excellent for recording in noisy environments, while condenser microphones capture a broader range of frequencies, ideal for studio setups.

Additionally, think about connectivity – USB microphones are convenient for beginners, whereas XLR microphones provide better sound quality and flexibility. Reading reviews and testing different microphones will help you find one that suits your budget, environment and recording preferences. Don’t forget to invest in pop filters and shock mounts to further enhance the recording quality and reduce unwanted noise.

Choosing recording and editing software

Selecting the right recording and editing software is pivotal in producing a professional-sounding podcast. For beginners, user-friendly options like Audacity (free) and GarageBand (for Mac users) are excellent choices. They offer basic editing tools and are relatively easy to learn.

If you’re willing to invest, software like Adobe Audition and Logic Pro X provides advanced features, allowing for more intricate editing and sound enhancement. Consider the compatibility of the software with your operating system, and ensure it supports the file formats of your recording equipment. Also, think about the learning curve – some software might require more time to master than others.

Additionally, cloud-based collaboration tools like Avid Pro Tools or Soundtrap enable multiple team members to work on the same project remotely. Ultimately, the best software for you depends on your budget, technical expertise and the complexity of your podcast production.

Conducting interviews

Interviews inject personality, diversity and dynamism into your business podcast, bringing fresh perspectives and new opinions. Always prepare comprehensive interview guides for your guests to look at beforehand so you can work off a firm base and have a structured conversation that keeps audiences engaged. Tools like Zoom or Cleanfeed facilitate remote interviews, offering excellent audio quality.

Conducting great 1-1s is an art. Perfect your skills with this blog on how to interview someone for a podcast.

Top tip: Record backup audio locally for both you and your guest. This ensures you have a high-quality audio file even if there are internet glitches during the interview.

Embellishing and uploading your business podcast

Now it’s time to make those finishing touches that will set your podcasts apart from the crowd. Then — unleash it on the world!

Voiceovers

Professional voiceovers lend a polished touch to your business podcast, elevating its production value. Deciding on the right accent and tone is tricky so have a listen to other podcasts in your sector to see what reflects your brand and its values well.

Top tip: Provide clear instructions to the voiceover artist, emphasising tone, pace, and pronunciation preferences to align with your brand’s style.

Music

Music sets the mood for your podcast, enhancing storytelling and creating emotional connections. Utilise royalty-free music libraries like Artlist or Epidemic Sound to find tracks that complement your content.

Top tip: If you don’t go down the royalty-free route, make sure you have the proper licences for the music you use to avoid copyright infringement issues.

Cover art

Your cover art is the face of your podcast for business. If you don’t have design talent in-house, invest in professional design services to create visually stunning artwork that encapsulates your brand’s essence.

Top tip: Opt for bold, high-contrast colours and easily readable fonts to make your cover art visually appealing, even in smaller sizes like thumbnails.

Hosting platforms for your podcast for business

Choosing a reliable hosting platform is vital for seamless episode distribution. Platforms like Transistor or Podbean offer good hosting services, ensuring your episodes are delivered promptly to various podcast directories.

Top tip: Select a hosting platform that provides detailed analytics, allowing you to track listener demographics, episode popularity and engagement metrics.

How to launch and promote your podcast for business

Choose the right platforms: Spotify claims to have 4.7 million podcasts on its platform, while Apple has 2.5 million as of January 2023. Wherever you decide to upload your podcasts, you need to submit them using the correct process.

Here is Apple’s podcast upload process. And here is a hub for podcasts on Spotify.

Pre-launch preparation

Now let’s look at how to create a podcast buzz before your launch date. Teaser episodes, social media snippets and behind-the-scenes content generate excitement. You could also consider creating custom landing pages for your business podcast launch, which are great for tracking engagement and integrating into your buyer journey.

Top tip: Leverage your network. Collaborate with influencers, industry experts, or even your podcasting peers in the business world to cross-promote each other’s content, broadening your reach.

Post-launch promotion

Consistent promotion is key to expanding your podcast’s audience. Utilise social media marketing, email newsletters and guest appearances on other podcasts for business to maintain momentum. Use free tools like Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule promotional posts, ensuring a consistent online presence.

Top tip: Engage with your listeners. Respond to comments, emails and social media messages promptly to build a sense of community and loyalty among your audience. You could even ask what they would like to hear about, or who they would like to hear from, in future episodes.

person engaging in post launch promotion of business podcast on social media

Podcasts for business — additional resources

Examples of businesses that successfully implement business podcasts

The Rachel Hollis Podcast

This podcast stands out as a powerhouse in the business world, spearheaded by Rachel Hollis, the CEO of Mogul. Through compelling and impactful conversations, Hollis engages with influential marketing and business experts offering a wide variety of useful insights which apply to any business venture.

Recent episodes have delved into topics like Discovering 5 Paths to Growth That Can Revolutionise Your Life, Mastering 5 Hacks to Maintain Unwavering Focus Amidst Distractions, and Unveiling Specific Strategies to Unlock Your Creativity. With an impressive track record of 378 episodes averaging 45 minutes each, the podcast has garnered widespread acclaim, boasting a remarkable iTunes rating of 4.4 from 15,700 reviews.

Its consistent schedule, releasing new content every Tuesday and Thursday, ensures a steady stream of invaluable knowledge, making it an indispensable resource for entrepreneurs and business enthusiasts alike. Hollis’ podcast’s success lies in its ability to distil complex concepts into actionable takeaways, helping its audience to up their business development and marketing game.

Example of a great B2B podcast

Shopify Masters

Shopify Masters demonstrates Shopify’s dedication to its community of entrepreneurs and e-commerce businesses. Produced directly by Shopify, this corporate podcast is meticulously crafted for Shopify store owners, offering a wealth of insights and expertise. Through in-depth interviews with accomplished entrepreneurs, it explores the often challenging journey of running and growing an online business, providing invaluable real-world examples and practical advice.

By imparting this knowledge, Shopify Masters not only enriches the entrepreneurial skills of its listeners but also boosts Shopify’s brand presence and awareness. This strategic approach not only positions Shopify as an industry authority but also forges a strong and long-lasting bond between the brand and its audience.

Podcast for business FAQs

1. Should a business have a podcast?

Absolutely, especially if your business aims to establish thought leadership, build credibility and nurture a loyal customer base. A well-executed podcast not only amplifies your brand’s voice but also cultivates a community around your expertise.

2. How can podcasts benefit your business?

Podcasts serve as a multifaceted tool, enhancing brand visibility, driving website traffic and fostering meaningful connections with your audience. They position your organisation as an industry authority, attracting potential clients and collaborators.

3. How much does it cost to set up a business podcast?

The cost of setting up a podcast varies based on your requirements. While basic equipment and hosting platforms can be budget-friendly, investing in high-quality microphones, editing software and promotional activities requires a financial commitment.

Your next steps in podcasting for business

Now it’s time to start your podcasting journey. Take your time to think your strategy through, talk to your customers about what they want to hear about and who they want to hear from and make some preliminary investments in podcasting tech and tools. Then be prepared to begin a very exciting learning curve that could transform your content marketing and brand promotion strategy.

In case you got your podcast setup done but you need a hand producing content for it, we got you covered! Experience top-tier content creation with Contentoo. Click here to learn why we’re the go-to choice for quality, speed, and expertise in content marketing.

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