Should Your Trade Association Launch a Podcast?

It’s no secret that the last few years have shown a boom in the podcasting industry. Many listeners now desire audio content that is on-demand, to better fit into their busy schedules or to be consumed at a time when they are normally unreachable by other types of media. As of 2020, there are over 800,000 active podcasts worldwide and growing.[1] The wide reach and affordability of producing podcasts makes them an attractive option for many types of businesses and organizations. For this reason, you may be wondering if starting a podcast may be worthwhile for your association.

Below are our top 5 tips for breaking into the podcasting world, and how to decide if this medium is right for your association.

  • Determine your goals for starting a podcast. Rather than blindly beginning a new trend, it is important to evaluate the particular marketing, advertising and business objectives of such an endeavor. Are you looking to monetize with sponsorships, shape industry policy or gain new members? Podcasts can be great informational resources for both members and prospects alike. Pushing out engaging content of interest to your audience can be great for both solidifying the loyalty of existing members or attracting the attention of prospects. No matter your association’s goals, it is important to identify them first so any podcast strategy can be properly aligned to support them.
  • Consider your audience and your industry. Young professionals are often identified as a popular audience for podcasts. That being said, the extensive range of podcast topics available allow for a wide variety of listeners based on interests and professions. It’s best to do some research on podcasts that are already active in your association’s industry. Many active shows discussing issues similar to your podcast may indicate that the topics are of wide interest. The lack of such competition may mean the industry is too niche for a large audience, or conversely you may have an opportunity to break-through this arena first.
  • Be honest with the commitment. Many podcasts begin on a positive trajectory, only to fizzle out after a few months. Establishing a loyal audience base is often a slow and laborious process requiring a lot of patience. One way to keep listeners coming back is to ensure a consistent schedule of new shows. Even if your podcast begins with a modest bi-monthly schedule, it is crucial to stick to this timetable so that your audience plans to save time for your segments in their listening routines. Inconsistent output will lead to a drop off of listeners.
  • Plan ahead. Establishing the workflow and maintaining a podcast requires a lot of work outside of just the recording. The content planning, coordination of guests, post-production and advertising are often underestimated components to getting a show 100% done and out the door. Therefore, it is highly recommended to create some sort of monthly schedule that plans in advance every aspect of preparation for upcoming shows. Nothing can delay the production more than forgetting to mail your guest a microphone or having someone back out at the last moment.
  • Keep your content consistent. Niche podcasts have become extremely popular for many associations. Instead of trying to achieve massive download numbers, if your association’s goal is to reach a particular audience it is best to keep the content focused on their specific interests. While it is fine to change the structure of shows around to lecture, Q&A and the like, listeners tune in to hear your associations unique topics and may not like it if those topics of discussion are changed up on them.

The low barrier to entry, affordability and popularity of podcasts makes them a great option for many associations to reach their particular business goals. In keeping with the tips above, the keys to success in this arena are proper planning and developing content that has a unique and interesting perspective to your association’s industry.

Visit our Deep Ads Thoughts blog to learn more about current advertising, marketing, and public relations tips and trends. Plus, check out our Push n’ Pull blog for all things in the world of digital and social media.


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