Keeping up with an ever-changing media landscape is—to be candid—exhausting. New platforms keep cropping up in competition with each other. There are debates about the ethics of remaining on certain platforms under questionable leadership. Hate speech and trolls are rampant with little-to-no content moderation. Audiences, too, are tired of doomscrolling.

In an era of uncertainty, owned content is king. Owned content includes digital media such as websites, blogs, newsletters, email lists, and podcasts. 

Podcasts are a powerful medium to get your message out. Research from podcast platform giant Spotify reveals that two out of three podcast listeners give podcasts their full attention. While you may have to compete for eyeballs on other platforms by creating viral and captivating content to stop the scroll, podcasts give audiences a break from their screens. It’s proven that they’re actively—not passively—listening throughout. 

There could be an untapped market of eager listeners waiting for your podcast. 

So we know why you want to start a podcast. But before you do, you need to answer one more question.

What is the raison d’être for your podcast? In other words, what do you want to accomplish by creating this podcast? This will influence all the decisions you have ahead of you as you develop the show premise, episode topics, list of potential guests, release schedule, and so on. 

Here are a few reasons to consider.

Reputation Building

You want to create a name for yourself, your show, or your organization. You want to be known as the expert in your field.

You should: Know your audience. Whether you’re starting a podcast for an organization with an existing audience or looking to build a community from the ground up, hone in on who you’re trying to reach and what matters to them. Spotify’s research shows that 60% of podcast listeners are seeking out podcasts to educate themselves. If you have an existing audience, use this platform to dive deeper into issues that they’ve already shown interest in—look at your existing content strategy and see what’s getting the most engagement for ideas on where to start.

Monetize (or Fundraise)

You’re looking for this podcast to become a revenue stream to support your organizational activities.

You should: Seek out strategic partnerships with brands that share your values. A staggering 81% of podcast listeners take an action as a result of hearing an ad on a podcast. A tailored audience with distillable demographics is valuable to advertisers. Be picky and only partner with brands that align with your objectives. No one wants to hear a podcast about climate change brought to you by Big Oil.

Generate Leads

You want to help people find you. You’re looking to attract potential students, customers, volunteers, or ambassadors for your organization.

You should: Convey your value-add clearly. Plan your episodes in advance and always know how the topic ties back to what you want audiences to know about your organization or cause. A great podcast host sets up their guests to shine without being overshadowed either. Remember, podcast audiences are actively listening in order to learn something. This is an opportunity to position yourself as the expert on a given topic or issue. While it may be tempting to comment on trending topics, ensure you make it relevant to you. Say you’re a nonprofit advocating for 15 minute cities and you wanted to chime in on the haze caused by forest fires and climate change, you can link the two by pointing out the value in ensuring people have essentials near them so as to avoid more time exposed to hazardous air. Always find the link between you and your topic.

Once you’ve determined the goal of your podcast, that becomes the basis for all subsequent decisions related to the podcast. Will it be scripted or unscripted? Will there be a new topic per episode or will one topic be explored over the course of a season? Who should you invite as a guest? These are a few of the key things to consider in the early stages of your podcast.

Interested in podcasting but unsure where to begin? Emdash produces podcasts so you don’t have to. Reach out to learn more about how we can bring your podcast to life.

If this feels relevant to you, .