Aug 4, 2017

Four Reasons Why Your Podcast Will Fail

Marketers, take note: More than 35 million people listened to podcasts weekly last year. The good news for marketers and content creators is technology is making it cheaper and easier to produce your own podcast. This democratization means that any organization or company can launch its own.

That’s also the bad news. Because it seems like every organization is launching a podcast these days. Some are great, some are good and some are unlistenable. There are commonalities that make a podcast successful, but there are stronger traits on what makes a podcast fail. Consider these four reasons why many fail before you jump into the podcast pool.

Reason No.1: Your content is too broad

Before you speak one word into the microphone, you need to define what your podcast topic is about. Don’t have your podcast be about “business.” Example: If you’re a marketer and you work in the telecom space, consider a podcast about telecom trends or interviews with telecom influencers. Two guys on the mic rambling about cool stuff doesn’t cut it. Unless you’re already famous. Tip: Find your niche and stick to it.

Reason No. 2: You haven’t defined your audience

Speaking of audiences, do you know who your audience is? Like with content, you need to know who you are speaking to. Is it marketers? Is it potential clients? Is it a specific industry? The most successful podcasters know who their audience is and who they are trying to reach. It’s like any content, really — you wouldn’t just write copy without knowing the audience, right? Tip: Make a list of potential listeners. Now work on a podcast topic that resonates with them.

Reason No. 3: There’s no schedule

There’s a theme here that mirrors written content like blogs or social media — you need a schedule for when your podcast is released (“whenever” won’t work). If you do get listeners and subscribers, you need to keep them. And if you don’t have a consistent schedule, whether that’s weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, you will lose listeners. Why? They need consistency. They need assurance you will be back. And, like an editorial calendar, a schedule (or a season) will help keep you on track and plan. It’s OK to pause between seasons, but let listeners know. Tip: Brainstorm ideas, create an editorial calendar, then find the guests who can talk best about the topics.

Reason No. 4: You have low production values

With new, cheap technology and editing software that will help fix even the worse sound mix, there’s no excuse for lousy sound on your podcast. Sure, recording a guest from a phone call might not sound as great as your own voice (and mic) but both voices can’t sound like they were recorded in a tunnel. At the minimum, your voice should be crisp and clear. Pay attention to how the podcast sounds, how it’s edited, and how you record it. You might consider hiring a producer instead of DIY. Your audience will abandon your podcast forever if the sound quality suffers. Tip: Listen to good podcasts and take note of their production values.