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This article was originally published by In The Black

By Sonakshi Babbar

October 14, 2021

Make your business’s first foray into podcasting a successful one with guidelines from top-performing podcaster Amantha Imber.

One-third of Australians listen to a podcast and it is an audience that is rapidly growing, according to new research from the News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra. Many businesses have already discovered the benefits of podcasts. Now is the time to get on board.

Dr Amantha Imber, the host of one of Australia’s top ranked business podcasts, How I Work, and founder of behavioural science consultancy Inventium, says the medium allows her to create an intimate connection with her listeners.

“You’re right there with them when they’re probably on their own – you’re right in their ear when they’re going for a walk or a drive, maybe doing some housework or exercise,” she says.

As the medium evolves and attracts growing audiences, podcasting is becoming more competitive for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

However, before they dive in, SMEs should be clear on how it can help achieve business goals and have a plan to differentiate themselves in the crowded podcasting space, Imber says.

Make your podcast different

As with any good content, your podcast should offer your listeners something unique to help it stand out in a crowded market.

To help work out your podcast’s unique value proposition, ask questions about your business, where it’s headed and the image you want to project. Brainstorm ideas or approaches that speak to the listeners you want to reach with your podcast.

“My podcast was really for people like me – people that are really career driven, want to optimise the way that they work, and are really hungry for different strategies, tips and hacks about how they can be more productive and achieve more at work,” Imber says.

Go for quality

The budget for producing a podcast should reflect the audience you wish to target and the level of professionalism you want to project.

Getting started requires no more than a few hundred dollars for basic gear and software, “and you can create something that will sound pretty good,” Imber says.

As your audience grows, you have the option to invest further in production.

“As the podcast now makes decent revenue from sponsors of the show, I’m able to re-invest that in a really amazing production team, which… has certainly improved my performance as a host.”

Share your podcast everywhere

Even the highest quality podcast won’t succeed if it can’t reach your target audience. Aim to distribute it widely and across all the most popular podcast platforms, including Apple, YouTube and Spotify, to maximise your chances of success.

“I don’t think there’s a benefit in just picking one platform and only being on Apple Podcasts or only being on Spotify… You want to be available to as many listeners as possible,” Imber says.

Choose a format

The format of your podcast should take into account the nature of the content, your personal strengths as a host and your budget.

“Outside of the popular interview format, there’s a ‘chat show’… format, where you might have a chat between the host and a co-host with occasional guests.”

For business podcasts a long-form solo monologue is quite a common format.

The narrative format, which takes listeners deep into the world of a story, be it fiction or non-fiction, tends to require a higher budget because it is more labour intensive to produce.

Monetising podcasts

Imber says the most common ways to make money out of podcasts are advertising and sponsorship.

Her own podcast is represented by podcast network Acast, which manages the sale of advertising and sponsorships.

Many business podcasts promote their own services and products. One of Imber’s favourite examples is online cosmetics retailer Adore Beauty and its Beauty IQ podcast.

“It’s a really great example where it has been a really good driver of customers and customer engagement and, at the end of the day, sales of the products,” Imber says.