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Starting a Podcast #DigiLab

Matt Walsh discusses starting a podcast for his Digital Lab experiment

I started my previous blog outlining my goal of starting a podcast, in this blog I’ll detail why and how I started a podcast for my organisation.

According to Rajar, six million (11%) of people in the UK listen to a podcast each week, a 58% increase since 2016 and recent research from podcast platform Acast suggests that podcast listeners in the UK tend to be millennials, with two-thirds falling into the 16-34 age bracket.

When thinking of my experiments and objectives for the Digital Lab, creating a podcast feed was one of my main aims to try and bring our world-class content to a wider audience.

My mentor Daniel Rowles has his own Digital Marketing Podcast and was able to offer great advice on the best podcast hosting service to use to publish podcast content. His advice was to create an account with Libsyn, a podcast platform he uses which enables you to upload audio content to destinations such as iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and more. Libsyn provides in-depth analytics, an RSS feed and a media player so you can embed your audio on to a blog post or a page on your website.

Before creating a Libsyn account, I wanted to ask our audiences on Facebook and Instagram whether they would be interested in listening to a podcast, and what platforms would they subscribe and download the content on. For this, I used the poll feature on Facebook and Instagram Stories.

From 429 votes on Facebook, 79% voted ‘Yes’ and 21% voted ‘No’. Our audience replied with their suggestions, with Apple and Spotify coming out on top.

Approximately 600 votes were cast on Instagram stories, I asked our audience to vote on whether they would subscribe and listen, and vote Yes or No to a variety of platforms.

With results from the polls and a content plan for podcast audio in mind, I spoke to my manager about the conversation I had with my mentor Daniel about Libsyn, and we found this to be in line with our budget to continue to sign up to Libsyn.

Speaking with Daniel and a team member at Libsyn helped me think about what results I wanted from uploading the podcast in terms of average number of downloads, (the average downloads for a podcast is 150 downloads) and podcast destinations, of which the data, albeit small, from our social media polls helped me decide Apple and Spotify was ideal. Daniel suggested creating a landing page for podcasts for SEO purposes and so our audience can find all of our podcast content in one place.

While I was unable to attend the Producing a Podcast workshop, I was able to listen back and view the slides, giving me valuable information about creating an introduction and outro, creating hype around the launch, where I used the podcast launch in our Seasons Greetings email to subscribers to promote the podcast, while we also promoted the launch on social media and placed budget to advertise the launch on Facebook and Instagram.

The Digital Lab fellowship has been invaluable for my learning on how to produce a podcast, with the help from my mentor and the online workshop I have been able to create content from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s talk at the 2018 Literature Festival into a podcast available on Apple, Google Podcasts and Spotify, reaching a number of countries around the world including the UK, USA, Germany, Australia and Nigeria!

Header image courtesy of Dimitri Djuric  – Christina-Kubisch : Electrical walk at-Cut Splice by Sound and Music 2017