Podcast production

Journalist led

Audience-focused content creation

Deadline-driven

On-time and on brief

Editorial ethos

Structured process ensures accuracy

Audience focused

SEO aware but created for humans

Authentic

Balanced content – not marketing fluff

Podcast production

Podcasts have been around for more than a decade, but they have come of age in recent years

Smartphones have driven a renaissance for the audio format, and businesses are turning to them to add variety and bring a human voice to their content and brand.

There are now more than 4m podcasts registered around the world. And there are around 19 million podcast listeners in the UK.

Listener predictions suggest the number will reach 28m by 2026.

And you can understand the attraction.

Podcasts are easy to download, and you can listen to them while doing other things. If the content is strong, and production values are high, then it will enhance those other activities, such as going for a run or commuting to work.

Like radio, it is an intimate format. When your customers download your podcast, they will feel you are talking directly to them.

It allows them to believe they know you (or your business) and your personality, which, in turn, develops trust.

And with most content still taking the form of text and video, podcasts stand out and show your organisation to be innovative and distinctive from competitors.

But the quality of the content and its value to your customers is pivotal.

Listeners will hit the off button and not come back if your podcast suffers poor production values or does not contain original, authentic material on subjects which matter to them.

All our podcasts are created by current working journalists, producers and editors from radio backgrounds. They will work with you to devise absorbing and relevant topics that allow you to build your brand subtly.

These teams have years of experience working for BBC Radio 1, 2 and 4 and regional and commercial radio stations.

And they have worked on many podcasts.

The Media Landscape

We launched a new podcast for our customers in 2021. The Media Landscape looked at the stories making the headlines, how they were handled, and what could be coming up on the news agenda.

And we have recently worked with clients in science and innovation and agriculture to help them create compelling audio content.

With broadcast-quality podcasting and radio studios in Reading and London and access to studios throughout the country, we can help you with recording and all the technical aspects of creating a podcast. We can even come to your offices or record high-quality content remotely if needed.

We will help you structure your podcasts and plan your series by identifying the angles and issues to discuss. We can also define your 'audible brand' and create a conversational tone.

Need a presenter?

With more than 30 current working journalists on our roster, we’ll find the perfect voice to front your podcasts and ask the questions that lead to engrossing conversations.

If you want your people to present the podcast or be guests on it, our bespoke media training will ensure they sound confident, natural and relaxed.

The help provided by Media First with our first-ever podcast series has been invaluable. Not only has it guided us through all the technical aspects of creating a podcast and found the perfect host, but the team has also worked with us to identify potential topics and relevant guests to feature.

We looked at podcasts during the first lockdown as a way of showing our human side, experience and expertise when people could not meet face-to-face. And we are so pleased with what it has achieved that we will continue to include podcasts as part of our comms strategy even though restrictions have eased.

We’re proud of the finished results: engaging, topical and professional podcasts that present our people and our business in a very positive light. We couldn’t have achieved this without the support and engagement from the Media First team. As part of the process, their journalist tutors helped prepare our spokespeople for podcast appearances. And that work has helped them to provide content we believe educates, entertains and inspires.

— Head of Marketing, Sagentia Innovation

Your questions answered about podcasts:

We upload the podcasts for our clients and use an aggregator that features them on all the main podcast channels.

Most people access podcasts through Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts. So, your podcasts must be seen in those places.

But you can’t just expect people to find them.

You need to push them and create a buzz about them through your email marketing, social media and blogs.

And don’t have dreams of becoming the next global superstar. It is vital to have realistic ambitions and goals.

Your subject could be niche. But attracting a small number of loyal and engaged listeners will build trust and help you stand out from the competition and nurture your customers.

This is a tricky question because every podcast and podcast series are different.

And the answer will at least partly depend on how many podcasts you want to make.

But we can give you an idea of timings.

The podcasts we make are around 30-50 minutes long, and recording takes about an hour and a half.

It also tends to take about a couple of hours to set up the equipment.

And there is the editing and sign-off process. It can take two to three days for the first few podcasts. But it can be reduced to about a day and a half for episodes in the middle of a series.

But it is the planning of each podcast that takes up the most time.

We want every podcast we produce to reflect your organisation’s voice and personality and get across what you want to portray.

So, we will spend time getting to know you and understanding your aspirations. We also need to get to know the people who will appear on the podcasts and understand how confident and comfortable they feel in front of a microphone.

For each episode, we will spend about two to three hours plotting the detail of what you want to capture and considering the questions which create the best conversation.  

Again, there is no definitive answer to this question.

If you enjoy the podcast, are seeing a return on your investment, and have enough captivating stories and guests, why not keep the series going?

But there is no reason why a podcast cannot be a one-off. Let’s say you have a specific message you need to get across. Or you need to update investors and shareholders about performance or your latest sustainability report. It could take the form of a one-off podcast.

Podcasts don’t have to be for entertainment and marketing purposes.

There are a lot of podcasts out there, and competition for listeners is pretty fierce.

You will need to work hard to attract and grow your audience.

When we launched The Media Landscape podcast, the promotional activity centred on our email marketing list.

And we would encourage you to do the same. If you need help with this, we can provide all the content for your emails, and you can use our email marketing software.

Social media is also crucial. Share information about the podcast on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn – anywhere you think your audience use.

Highlight a key quote from the latest episode in a post with a link to where people can download it. Or, clip a snippet of the podcast and include that in a post. We can help with this.

Repurposing the content of your podcast can also help you attract new listeners. For example, you could write a blog about one aspect of the conversation. Or turn them into articles you use as downloadable content, which increases your email marketing list. We can also help with this.

And don’t forget your people. Employees are often an organisation’s best advocates and want to see initiatives like podcasts succeed. Build internal excitement around it, and people will share it on their social channels.

Good question. You will need to see a reward for your time, effort and resources.

Downloads are the most obvious metric and will give you an idea of the size of your audience.

But you need to tread carefully. A download does not necessarily equal a listen - your content could remain unheard even if it is downloaded.

Also, people could download the same podcast to multiple devices.

So, instead of looking at total downloads, opt for using unique downloads as this refines the numbers and removes multiple downloads from the same user.

Looking at downloads per episode will help you spot fluctuations and identify the content your listeners want.

Like most forms of marketing, having a strong call to action for your podcasts is a brilliant way of measuring your success.

Perhaps you can push people to download an eBook or sign up for a newsletter from your podcast? This can give you some measurable results.

Subscriptions are another handy measurement. It measures the number of people subscribing to your podcast and who get notified when a new episode is available. When people subscribe to your podcast, it tells you they want to hear more from you, and they don’t want to miss an episode.

If you are using email marketing software to promote your podcast, open and click rates and the numbers of unsubscribes will indicate the appeal of your audio content.

Similarly, keep an eye on social mentions. If people like your podcast, they will talk about it on social media. And you will be able to use your social media listening tools to see who is discussing your podcast and what they are saying about it.

Likes, shares and retweets are helpful measurements, and the comments can give you an understanding of what is resonating with your audience.

Many organisations create a dedicated landing page for their podcasts. It enables you to measure the hits and engagement on the page and the number of people who go from it and subscribe to the podcast.

But, the most salient factor with these measurements is ensuring you set realistic goals.

If your podcast is about a niche subject in your industry, it could be tricky to attract large numbers of listeners. Your unique downloads may not look that impressive.

But a small number of dedicated listeners could be a real business win and show more buying intent than a more general podcast with a bigger audience.

Why not?

It is another way to showcase your content.

But this alone is not going to attract listeners. As we said in an earlier answer, you must ensure your audience can find your podcast in the places they already use – Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. 

You should also make sure that you are able to measure the number of downloads that your website attracts.

Two guests is the magic number and gets a good conversation going.

It is particularly true if they offer slightly opposing views – something which helps reveal a healthy organisation, happy to talk issues through.

Could you have more? Possibly. But the more people you have, the harder it will be to keep the conversation on track.

And unless they have distinctive voices, it may be difficult for the listener to follow who is talking.

You may not need two. Our podcast – The Media Landscape – has a presenter who just brings in an expert guest for a few minutes of each episode.

Yes, we can do this for you. And we can show you how to do it.

We use an aggregator to do this, ensuring the podcasts we work on can be found on all the main podcast channels.

We can help you tie your brand identity together on podcasts through audio logos, theme melodies, and the right music and sound effects.

We have access to session musicians, digital experts and royalty-free music sites to help ensure your podcasts grab attention.

It is also vital to remember that choosing the right host also impacts your audio branding. We work with a team of experienced journalists and presenters and will help you find the narration and tone of voice that matches your brand.

No. We would not recommend recording the audio through Zoom or Teams.

Of course, you may not be able to get everyone you need for your podcast in the same place at the same time.

But that’s not a problem. We have the industry knowledge and expertise to ensure you can capture high-quality audio even when you are not in the same room or even country.

It is a tricky one.

It will partly depend on the talent and ability of your team member and what role they had in radio.

And you must remember there is a team working on every radio programme.

There is also a sum you need to work out. Creating podcasts is time-consuming. Can you afford to take them away from the job you employed them to do, to make your podcast?

Or would it be better to involve a team of people who have worked in radio who can do the heavy-lifting for you?

In summary, they might be able to do it. But it will take longer and cost more than if you paid us to do it.

Perhaps it would be better to embed them into the project team so that we work closely with them and make the best use of their time and skill base?

Our Clients

We have a huge amount of experience in over 40 different sectors such as automotive, charity, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, travel and many more. Here is a small selection of our clients.

SEE ALL
General media skills, Spokesperson training — 5 August 2021 by Adam Fisher

Why podcasts should be a key part of your comms strategy

When it comes to thought leadership, podcasts continue to go from strength to strength. Figures published by Statista showed that there were more than 15 million podcast listeners in the UK in 2020.…

General media skills, Spokesperson training — 8 April 2021 by Adam Fisher

How to prepare your spokespeople for podcast appearances

Podcasts are going from strength to strength. There are now more than a million active podcasts and 30 million podcast episodes. And in the UK, podcasts now reach an audience of 15.6 million…