Podcasting took a hit at the pandemic’s start. Downloads were off some 10 percent in March 2020. This likely came because fewer people were commuting as WFH rose. This, however, didn’t stop people from starting podcasts during the creative revival–otherwise known as the first lockdown.
As a PR pro, it's likely you are more familiar with podcasting than most people. And you know how important it is to have a niche idea that stands out in a saturated market.
Finding an audience for a podcast means creating content that engages, entertains and educates. For hosts, podcasting can be therapeutic and a fun outlet to chat. But when your goals are attracting listeners and potentially monetizing the podcast, convincing people to listen to unstructured conversations is a hard sell.
That’s why unless you’re an established podcaster with a sizable base, structuring the podcast around a niche idea has more potential to draw listeners. Focus on niche content that’s original or untold.
Depth Over Breadth
If podcasting is going to be a long-term, legitimate part of your business, market research is important. When seeking a podcast niche, avoid choosing something so broad that 10 other podcasts already cover it. For example, there are numerous PR podcasts.
Still, many PR pros have the potential to build a podcast. They can center the podcast on their skills, expertise and experiences.
But, if you are still building your brand, think depth instead of breadth. Hone in on things that make you different. This could mean a podcast that unpacks a notorious PR crisis each episode. Or one about the myths of PR. Another example is a podcast that breaks down case studies.
You could go further within a sector. Staying with the PR example, you could create a podcast that specializes in an industry. The podcast could cover PR for entertainment, sports or lifestyle categories. Not every PR pro will listen to a communication podcast. It is more likely that a crisis communication specialist will listen to a podcast about PR crises.
Moreover, a PR crisis podcast may attract advertisers seeking to get their name in front of a relevant audience.
Listen to Your Audience
Podcast analytics won’t necessarily require forensic analysis each week. And it might be a while before there are enough listeners to generate meaningful numbers. But collect data, they provide good insight into what people are enjoying.
Distribution platforms like Acast will tell you how many listeners each episode gets.
Use these data the way that publications review content for views and bounce rates. When you have an idea of what is and isn’t landing, tailor content toward topics that work. The more you pay attention to these details, your podcast may grow more focussed.
Speak What You Know
Podcasting is such a powerful medium because the host(s) and guest(s) can share personal moments and offer invaluable insight in a way that written words just can’t convey sometimes.
If you speak from the heart and share wisdom or lessons that people can’t get elsewhere, your style will fall into a niche of its own.
Ginni Saraswati is CEO of Ginni Media