Notes ready? Microphone on? Recording program ready to start? Take another quick breath, high-five, and the recording is up and running. That’s how it goes every second Tuesday when Tommy and I record our podcast “Im Doppelpack Günstiger“. Podcasts are currently experiencing a strong upward trend and are therefore also becoming more and more interesting as a content marketing tool for companies. But what else is needed besides a mic and a program, and what do you need to keep in mind when making a corporate podcast? Here are a few tips.
A podcast stands and falls with the sound quality. Thanks to the rapid development of tools, these days it’s easy to record them. The necessary apps are usually hidden on the smartphone or PC. Programs such as Quick Time Player, Audacity or GarageBand are quite sufficient. However, since the audio quality is of decisive importance, a good microphone should be used in any case. From my own experience, I can say that it is worthwhile to spend a little more. The sound quality varies between inexpensive and more expensive models, and nothing is worse than having your voice sound tinny or muffled later in the podcast.
One big mistake Tommy and I made in the beginning was that our first (thankfully unbroadcast) recording was scripted from front to back. We had set time slots, each filled with different topics. Next to it, visible to both of us, was the stopwatch. This could only go wrong, which we already noticed by the fact that we needed three attempts for the recording. Our first recordings, which actually made it into the ears of our listeners, were the complete opposite. We babbled a lot. A clear structure was not recognizable. Only with time did we find the golden mean and a rough division of the broadcasting time. In addition to a short introduction, a main part and a closing part, recurring elements were to be integrated so that listeners knew what to expect. For example, we integrated the #Kulturkatze, where Tommy and I each present music, literature and events.
When making a podcast, it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of the listeners at the terminals and always keep in mind that they only hear the voices and don’t have a picture of the speakers in front of them. So when two or more people are speaking in the podcast, it can be quite confusing for the listener. Therefore, it is important to let each other speak and avoid speaking at the same time. To make sure listeners know who is speaking (especially important when more than two speakers are involved), it also helps to address each other by their first names from time to time.
Constructive feedback from your own listeners is important! Calling on listeners to make suggestions for improvements and topics, criticism and praise is an important way to constantly improve from episode to episode. We have set up a separate e-mail address for our podcast to which our fans can write. The feedback, which then flutters into the house, should of course not be left uncommented. For example, a small section can be set up for this purpose and the letters read out in this section. Naturally not only the praise hymns should find here their place, also points of criticism – if available – should be brought up for discussion. In this way, the listeners feel taken seriously and get the feeling of being part of the podcast.
There are various solutions for hosting your own podcast. The American top dog is Libsyn.com, where almost every English-language podcast is hosted. But with a monthly fee of five to seven euros, it’s not exactly cheap. With the German provider Podcaster.de, you can join for as little as one euro per month and get a good insight into the podcast statistics. If you like something more extensive, SoundCloud is the right place to go – especially if you want to build up your reach. Real professionals host their podcast on their own blog and create their own RSS feed, which is a bit more work.
A podcast offers a clear advantage over text: It’s a personal format. The voice speaks directly to us and makes it easy to relate to stories and content. People like to talk and love to listen to stories about and from others. Depending on the target audience, the topics addressed should have relevance and information content. Finally, it’s a good idea to give listeners a call to action, e.g. very specific tips or even a message to think about. A little tip: Podcasts should last no longer than an hour.
Very important: The podcast should not only be published, but also distributed on social media. This can be done by embedding it in blog articles and websites, by including it in interactive and multimedia e-books, and of course on the channels used in each case.
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