Format Your Podcast to Reach Your Target Audience
“The theater of the mind” is how radio performers conjure vivid imagery in their audiences’ minds through sound. The beautiful thing about any podcast format is that you are creating images, and you’re creating visuals in people’s minds. Pure theater of the mind and audio storytelling will bring your thoughts to life. Depending on your vision, how you choose to format your podcast will help tell your story and enable you to reach a broad audience.
Who Is Your Audience?
Picture your podcast as a performance. The stage is your microphone. The audience is your listeners. When you think about stepping out onto that stage, who is there and who is sitting in those seats? People want to show up to download your podcast; it is their choice. When you’re thinking about your format, think about who is in those seats. If you are using your podcast as a marketing tool, what is the motivation for people to show up?
There are multiple types of podcast formats. Which one is right for you? Some examples include solo, interview, panel discussions, audio storytelling, and minisodes. One of the most popular forms is the interview format. Many times, an interview format is used to position yourself as an expert in the space, bringing on guests as essential subject matter experts. Podcasting can be a cross of all different types of genres. A solo podcast can be, for example, a memoir. If you are telling your personal story, you may not want to involve guests. Podcasts can also be used as a marketing tool for businesses with you as a subject matter expert, in which you provide content that’s directly related to your business.
There are also options to be more creative as a podcaster. An original podcast layout is to create an audio magazine type format where you break the content of your podcast into separate groups. You may talk for the first 10 minutes. Then you bring in a guest and they talk for ten minutes, and then the remaining ten minutes is a lifestyle feature. Instead of being a long-form episode with one interview guest, it would be something that you could separate into three or four different content segments.
Aren’t There Already Too Many Podcasts?
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have millions upon millions of accounts. That is a competitive space right now. There are a little over 850,000 podcasts in Apple podcasts. You have an opportunity to create something at the ground level of this format that’s getting a tremendous amount of engagement. Plus, podcasting is nowhere near its saturation or tipping point.
Keep Yourself and Your Audience Engaged
As you picture yourself, stepping onto that stage and looking out at the audience, how is your energy? You would be shocked at the number of people who decide to do a podcast because it’s what they think they should do. When it comes down to sustaining that podcast, their energy starts to fade because it’s not something that they wanted to do in the first place. They instead want to talk about something else. Also, ask yourself if you are keeping your audience engaged. Perhaps you should speak less or use more sound effects. Maybe you need to split your format up into segments so that there’s more variety.
Niche, Niche, and Niche Again
You have to niche as much as you can! For example, if you want to do a podcast that talks to entrepreneurs, that’s a niche. However, in the competitive landscape of things, how could you stand out in the entrepreneurial space? You could stand out in the entrepreneurial area by targeting specifically women entrepreneurs. So then all of a sudden, you’ve taken the entrepreneur audience, and you’ve made it a little narrower by focusing on women entrepreneurs. Get thoughtful and take into consideration how you can find your super-specific niche. Pair women entrepreneurs and an expertise in technology – then create a podcast that talks directly to women entrepreneurs in the tech space. The more you niche, the faster you will grow your audience in terms of search.