This is our second installment of recommendations from podcast expert, Charles Lipper of Volubility Podcasting. As a trusted partner for our clients, we first asked Charles about the more technical aspects of podcast production, and below he shares his thoughts on how to make sure you achieve and maintain top quality content for your podcast.
How long should our podcast be?
Start with 20-25 minute episodes. Better to produce shorter shows with great content and keep the frequency of episodes going. Besides, most people listen during their daily commute, so 30 minutes is a good limit.
How often should we produce our podcast?
You want enough frequency to build and maintain an audience. But you also need to keep your guest/content quality high, while keeping your costs under control. Charles says monthly is a good compromise for a sustainable production rhythm for most groups. Start there and do it well before considering greater frequency. And if monthly proves too taxing for your team, bimonthly is still viable for a niche audience.
Do I need thousands of listeners to make a successful podcast?
Most companies or organizations are creating podcasts for niche audiences. As a result, it’s not quantity but quality that matters. A few hundred of the right people could make a real impact to bring in business or educate key industry players. Trade associations, law firms, non-profits – many groups build successful podcasts by carefully targeting the right listeners.
Should episodes be fully scripted in advance?
It may help to write a full script when you first start, to keep everyone on track. As you (or your host) become more comfortable, a bulleted list of key points will likely be adequate and help make your podcast sound more natural and off-the-cuff. If guests are not a known quantity, then conduct an advance session or share a written outline of their talking points so there are no surprises. There’s also nothing wrong with an advance rehearsal, especially if your host or a key guest is new to the process. Charles says he and his audio engineer help coach people if they are nervous or getting stuck at points. He notes that his team automatically removes any bad takes, long pauses and unnecessary expressions (the “ums,” “likes” and “you knows”) before submitting the edited podcast for final approval.