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Podcasting has become a popular marketing tool for many businesses, and for good reason. For any industry, a podcast is a powerful outlet for brand awareness and to present an understanding of the customer. The financial and wealth management industry is no different. With a complex and ever-evolving subject area, this is also a great medium to highlight your firm’s knowledge of the industry to build credibility and trust with clients, advisors, or whoever else might be your listener.
Although starting a podcast is typically seen as a low-cost and simple way of marketing a company, there are quite a few considerations and decisions to make when starting one. Here are our recommended steps to take if your wealth management firm chooses to launch a podcast of your own.
Arguably the most important part of starting your podcast is determining the concept of your show. This includes understanding what topic you are focused on and the audience you are targeting. Ask yourself who is going to be listening to this? and what are they interested in hearing about? Take Financial Advisor Success as an example. Each week the host, Michael Kitces, releases an episode about real success stories and insights from the most successful financial advisors. The show is geared towards other advisors looking for inspiration and advice. Having this focused approach as to who you are speaking to and what you are speaking about will immensely help in the continuous planning of future episodes.
Another consideration during your planning phase is the format of the show – meaning if it is an audio-only or also incorporates video. There are pros and cons for both options but keep in mind a video podcast, while more engaging for the audience, can be more expensive to create (Podcast Motor).
During the initial planning for your show, you will also need to decide on the structure, length, and frequency. For the structure of your podcast, a script template is a great way to outline what each episode will look like in terms of the introduction, the number of topics discussed, interview spots, and more (Podcast.co). The length and frequency you decide (i.e. a 30-minute episode every week) should be manageable for you to consistently produce and release.
Finally, you will want to lay out the initial episodes you plan on creating. This will help you refine your concept and prepare you for production.
Before you move forward with the production of your show, you should first determine if you will be creating this in-house with your own resources or if you will be outsourcing. When speaking about outsourcing, this can mean that you pick and choose what exactly gets outsourced. An example of this would be to hire a voice actor rather than have someone within your firm be the host. Other options would be to have a sound studio with full equipment as your recording location as well as third-party editors who cut, adjust, and mix the audio tracks.
If you choose to produce the podcast yourself, you will need to evaluate the equipment and software that you will need. While it may seem daunting at first, there really are plenty of options for amateur podcasts to be able to record and edit their own episodes – many people like GarageBand as an introductory option as it is very user-friendly and straightforward. For equipment, you really only need to have a microphone and there is a full range of options depending on your budget.
Once you have recorded and edited your first podcast episode, you will need to upload that audio file to a hosting platform. Media hosting sites are where your files are stored in order to be distributed to directories like iTunes. Some websites like Squarespace act as a hosting site with integration directly to iTunes – which is convenient if you also need a website or a separate website specifically for your show. Other podcast-specific hosting options include Buzzsprout, PodBean, and Blubrry.
After you choose a podcast host, you’ll be able to add your episodes automatically to different directories through RSS feed functionality. To put it simply, these directories like Apple Podcasts (iTunes), Spotify, and Stitcher are displaying your episodes similar to how a blog article would be displayed on a news feed. Each of these distribution sites requires a little bit of setup that your chosen hosting site will walk you through.
Now that you have planned, created, uploaded, and distributed your initial podcast episode, you will need to focus on managing it for the future. Keeping to a regular schedule of releasing new content will help to grow your audience. Be sure to ask your listeners to rate, review, and subscribe to your episodes on any platform they listen to as that will increase your ranking as well as the potential to show up in recommended lists. Finally, be sure to continually monitor your podcast’s listeners, subscribers, and episodes through both the directories and your hosting site to ensure it is performing as you see fit and provide you with direction on what types of topics you should be focusing on for future episodes.