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How to record a podcast remotely

Podcasting is on the up. This relatively new platform became part of mainstream culture with the release of Season 1 of Serial in 2014, and now podcasts have become part of the fabric of our lives.

And in these uncertain times, they are a great way for brands and businesses to communicate with their audiences. People are looking for ways to be informed and entertained, in the easiest way possible. Podcasts allow you to get on with other things – the gardening, the cleaning, the cooking – all ‘chores’ that are massively on the up since the lockdown. You just pop in your earphones and away you go.

The opportunity for brands and businesses

Ofcom released data in 2019 about the rise in podcasts:

  • 23% of people in the UK have listened to a podcast in the past month.
  • 21% have started listening in the last 6 months
  • 3.6 hours average listening to podcasts in a typical week
  • Podcast listeners tend to be younger, with ⅔ of new listeners aged 16-34
  • 70% have heard podcast advertising, with 75% of those having taken action as a result

And because podcasts work on a subscription model, that is, you sign up and then automatically receive episodes to your phone, it means that brands and businesses have a regular opportunity to maintain contact with a willing and engaged audience.

Why now?

Apart from the data above, the reality is that we have all moved a large percentage of our lives online – whether that is remote working, home-schooling, accessing healthcare advice or even cooking tutorials – all our content is now digital and increasingly sits on our phones. Podcasts are a huge part of that shift whether you have an interest in political analysis, fashion fixes, love some comedy or want to listen in on a heated debate.

Podcasts are also a great way for businesses to reach out to potential customers and prospects, by providing thought leadership, informative content and insight into industry trends and legislation.

And the huge advantage now is that podcasts can be recorded remotely, uploaded and distributed digitally and appear on a customer’s phone, tablet or laptop with ease.

First steps: prep is everything

Hopefully by now, we have convinced you to give podcasting a go for your business or brand. So where do you start?

First off, search for podcasts from people in your industry to see what your competitors are up to, or brands you trust, or personalities or organisations that you think share the same values and outlook that your business or brand has. Use this as an opportunity to work out the style and tone of your podcast.

What, who, why

Now you have been inspired, it’s time to plan your podcast.

Firstly, think about who your audience is. A good thing to do is think about what you want people to feel as a result of listening. This will help guide you in terms of tone and content.

Secondly, think about your story. Podcasts work so well because they are episodic. You need to have a constant theme or story running through to encourage people to come back for more. Decide what that theme is and think about the structure. There are many different formats and tools for constructing stories, just google to find them.

Thirdly, think about a name for your podcast. Something memorable and that says what the podcast is about. Think about artwork, a logo and what you want to put as a short description. This is what people will see when they are searching for podcasts. Also, think about music and background sounds. Commercial music is expensive so search for cheaper options – there are sites that can offer this.

Finally, create your script. Your intro is critical. Convince people in the first 20 secs why they should be listening, otherwise it can be too easy to switch off. Then write your script – intro, commentary, and a conclusion. Podcasts can be any length, there is no hard or fast rule, but think about the time you need to tell your story and be of genuine use. Somewhere between 20-40 minutes is a good guide – the length of time it takes to clean a bathroom, cook a meal or weed the plant beds.

Making it happen

So, how do you actually record your podcast?

The great news is you can do it on your phone, which given the current restrictions in movement, makes it a very effective platform.

Just make sure you have a quiet space, where you won’t be interrupted and where you will feel inspired.

If you wanted to invest in extra kit, a decent microphone and headphones will help improve the recording and the experience.

Once you’ve recorded your content, you will need to either use one of the many podcasting apps available to create your finished product on your phone or, and this is a better idea, use a free audio editing program such as Audacity to produce the podcast on your computer. A quick Google will reveal dozens of sites that will explain how best to use Audacity for podcast production.

Exporting and hosting

After you’ve finished creating your podcast, you’ll need to export it in a standard audio format (16-Bit Wav for the best quality) and then decide where you want to host it. There are dozens of possibilities but for the beginner, we’d recommend Soundcloud. It’s cheap and it’s player looks good wherever it’s embedded.

Marketing your podcast

A simple and cost-effective way to market your podcast is to turn it into a blog post. This can boost your SEO and in short make your podcast more discoverable.

Think about your description – the first five words really matter. Use a quote from the podcast that really makes people stop in their tracks.

Use social media channels where you already have a presence to tease content and make people aware when your podcast is being released so they know to look out for it.

A final word

According to Global Web Index figures from April 2020, 68% of millennial podcast listeners say they intend to keep consuming podcasts just as much after the outbreak, so if this is a short or medium comms route you should consider it for the long-term.

>> Check out our podcast work with DNV Global


Tags: podcastsrecordingremote podcast recording