Learn 10 tips for corporate podcast production to ensure success. Discover them now!
With the growing popularity of podcasts, more and more companies are starting to invest in audio. Corporations realize that podcasts are an important tactic when it comes to their company’s marketing strategy,thought leadership, and brand intimacy. However, it can feel daunting to launch a show when you may not have the technical skills nor time to support such an undertaking. But the good news is that starting a podcast can be really simple (with the right help).
To begin, what is corporate podcast production exactly? Corporate podcast production refers to the process of piecing together a show and bringing it to life on behalf of a brand. There are three main steps involved: pre-production, production and post-production.
Before you grab your recording equipment, take some time to learn about the podcasting process and research which podcast agencies suit your needs most.
This guide gives you our top 10 tips on what to think about from a podcast production lens, that will not only make the process easier but much more fun. We also want to note that the majority if not all of these steps will most likely be done in partnership with your production agency.
Let’s get started…
Pre-production involves looking at your podcast from a holistic lens. In this stage you will want to:
Why are you creating your podcast? What is the ultimate goal? You need to know why this content should exist. Companies can have several different goals, including:
Who do you want listening to your podcast? Why are they going to choose your show and what incremental value is it going to add? If you are able to answer these questions, you can tailor your content to reach a specific audience demographic and ultimately, convert listeners to customers (if that’s one of your business goals!).
Before you take any first steps, be sure to decide on a firm budget with your leadership team and keep a log of costs from the start. A predetermined budget will allow you to properly resource and work within set parameters.
A strong host is critical to the success of your podcast. It is important to choose someone who will help you capture the right tone, voice and be able to connect with an audience. You can choose someone from within your organization who is knowledgeable about the subject matter such as the CEO or founder, or you could also outsource the role to a professional TV host,actor, or someone notable within your niche who can help draw in listeners. It’s critical that you keep in mind diversity (for representation), charisma and subject matter expertise.
Ensure that the title and cover art are unique, memorable and speak to the overall theme of your podcast. Often your title or cover art is what attracts new listeners and keeps them coming back.
The length of your podcast will depend on what type of content you’re producing. Typically, most podcasts range anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. A good rule of thumb is to keep it under 45 minutes if you want people to listen all the way through.
What will the format of your podcast be? There are several options including:
Some of these elements will be repeated throughout every episode that you produce, and others will be a one-time task when you launch your series such as your host, objective, title and cover art.
The next critical step in podcast production is equipment. Investing in good podcast equipment will determine the overall quality of your show.
When deciding to get a microphone, consider the space that you're going to record in. Some microphones do a better job blocking out background noise than others, making your voice sound a lot cleaner.
With dynamic microphones such as the RODE procaster, the noise pick-up pattern focuses on the front of the microphone and less on the back which means it's mostly only capturing your voice.
For most podcasters with a simple set-up, a USB microphone is far easier since you simply plug the microphone into your computer, open up a recording software, and you're off to the races!
XLR microphones are the most durable but costly. They are a different type of microphone that tend to produce a better sound since they send a more balanced signal that isolates the noise. But you can’t simply plug these mics into your computer. You’ll need to invest more into your setup since you’ll need XLR cables and possibly another recording device. If you want to be more technical and see podcasting as a long-term journey, then we recommend eventually investing in an XLR microphone.
Typically, we recommend clients purchase a USB microphone for their recordings.
The next piece of equipment that you’ll want to invest in is a solid pair of headphones. Noise cancelling over-the-ear headphones are definitely the best. You can get away with Bluetooth headphones similar to AirPods or just regular Apple headphones, but they tend to allow in more noise – unless they’re noise cancelling.
Get together all of your microphones, headphones, cables, adapters, and anything necessary to complete your podcast setup. Make sure they’re all charged up or working correctly. Test each piece of equipment before using it on your actual podcast recording day. You want to know how it sounds with your voice and how easy it is to operate.
The best place to record a podcast is in a professional recording studio. However, these studios can be costly, so most podcasters record in their own homes or other places that they can control. Because of this, you’ll need to pick a recording software to use.
At Quill, we use RiversideFM. We’ve found it to be the best in avoiding any sort of technical glitches since the audio and video is recorded locally rather than being dependent on the quality of your internet. RiversideFM is definitely one of the pricier options for a remote recording software. There are plenty of options out there but pay attention to how they price their packages as well as whether or not they offer video recording.
When the packages are based on hours it’s easy to run out faster than you’d think. And we’ve found that our clients much prefer having some sort of video option during the recording so that they can see their guest or co-host to make it feel like a more natural discussion. Check out 14 remote recording software to test out.
Lastly, when it comes to recording your podcast – although it might seem obvious – make sure to find a quiet place. It is essential to make sure you can control noise levels such as echoes, traffic noise and background sounds like the air conditioning or heater.
Quality matters, especially for corporate podcast production. With millions of podcasts on Apple and Spotify, there are a lot of shows for listeners to choose from. If your show stands out for having poor audio quality, potential listeners will move on to alternative shows.
Sound quality doesn’t come from just your equipment (although it’s a huge factor), it also comes from how you record. When recording, the microphone should be placed approximately 1-2 feet away from your mouth (to avoid muffles) with no echoes behind you.
You also need to know how to speak into your microphone. We know it sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at the number of people who do it incorrectly. Make sure you educate yourself about the microphone that you purchase. For example, with the Blue Yeti microphone, some people think that you're supposed to have the tip point at your mouth. However, the Blue Yeti picks up your voice on the sides of the microphone, not the top.
Audio editing is one of those skills that tends to be self-taught, like blogging. Many podcasters say they had no idea what they were doing in terms of audio engineering until after they’d produced their first few episodes. You can learn some basic editing skills from free tutorials online – just Google audio editing tutorials – and most software programs have built-in help systems.
Once you have a recording you can use, go through it section by section – typically one segment at a time – using Audacity or whatever program you prefer. Most audio editing software, even the free ones (Audacity and GarageBand), come with a noise reduction effect to help reduce constant background sounds.
Be sure to take notes along the way so that when it comes time to mix, you can look back at your edits and make any necessary changes or additions before proceeding with the production of the episode.
Again, the editing of your podcast will most likely fall into the hands of your podcast agency but there’s no harm in trying to better understand the process.
For a lot of us, music is emotion. Studies of the brain will tell you that your mind reacts in so many different ways to the sound of music and it tends to evoke strong feelings. So, it's only natural that everyone should sprinkle music into their show.
All the resources on this list are free and safe to use for your podcast from a legal perspective.
And here are some paid music platforms:
Timing is everything when it comes to corporate podcast production. Think about when your listeners are most likely to listen and time your episodes to release in advance of those times. Doing so will help you drive downloads and build a loyal following.
If you’re just starting, don’t worry too much about timing. For most acclaimed podcasters, uploading during the evening and very early in the morning when people are just starting their day are a great time to drive people to your show.
Be sure to post on a regular schedule so that people know what to expect from your podcast.
Consistency when it comes to publishing your corporate podcast will:
Having a process and procedure in place that you can lean on makes life much more manageable. Below are two tips on how to streamline the process.
Most people don’t realize the amount of time and work that goes into podcast production. With the number of shows out there, it’s key that you create a well-produced podcast. As you grow, you might find you can’t do everything alone. Hiring an agency or freelancer is one way to get help.
At Quill, we work in partnership with all of our clients to figure out a process and working style that fits best with their or their company’s needs.
There you have it – our 10 most valuable corporate podcast production tips! If you follow some of these tips, we are confident it will benefit your show no matter if you’re a seasoned podcaster or just starting out.
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