The financial marketer’s guide to podcast platforms
Podcasts may still have a way to go before they compete with the reach of traditional radio, but their astronomical growth in popularity looks set to continue. Listeners are forecast to grow to 1.85 billion globally by 2023 with potential revenue projected at $1.85 billion by 2022.
It’s not too late to jump on the digital audio bandwagon with engaged audiences still growing, 32% (90m) of people in the US listened to a podcast in March 2019, up from 26% in 2018. In the UK around 7.1m people listened to podcasts each week in 2019, up 24% for the previous year while the number of Australians listening to podcasts also grew from 18% to 22% in 2019. So how easy is it to actually start your podcast and where should you host it? We break down the practicalities of podcasting platforms for finance brands.
Podcast and Audio Recording Tools
We have previously covered key elements including podcast structure, target audience and increased search visibility; here we turn to the practical aspects of starting a podcast. You’ve got your content plan, your schedule and your host; now you need to actually record the audio. At its simplest, a podcast only requires a USB microphone and audio editing software, so there is no reason not to start! Popular audio software includes:
At its simplest, a podcast only requires a USB microphone and audio editing software, so there is no reason not to start!
One of the most popular programs for podcast editing, Audacity is both free and easy to use – making it a great option for finance brands new to podcasting. Available for PC and Mac, and with useful functionality including noise reduction, this is a great option to test the water with no significant investment required.
More advanced than Audacity but also available on both PC and Mac, the Adobe app provides greater editing functionality at an affordable entry price. This is a more professional option, without being overwhelming for relatively inexperienced users.
Although only available for Mac, the popular free software Garageband is a good option if you are an existing Mac user. Simple to use but advanced enough to provide all the key functionality required to produce a professional-sounding podcast.
If you are looking to include an interview or co-host a podcast with a remote presenter, popular video-calling platforms Skype and Zoom can double up as your podcast recording software. Both offer a native in-call recording option; just be aware that the sound quality may be slightly lower than your usual method of recording.
For more information, G2 provides a useful interactive grid that breaks down popular audio editing tools and their respective pros & cons.
Podcast hosting platforms
You’ve now recorded, edited and exported your podcast, but where and how to host it? Your chosen podcast hosting platform is where you will upload your audio files and generate the RSS feed that is then provided to podcast directories such as iTunes or Spotify. This allows users to subscribe or download at will. Good podcast hosting platforms should provide crucial tools including insights and analytics as well as simple podcast sharing options. Popular hosting platforms include:
As used by popular Canadian financial podcast Cash Rules, Buzzsprout is an easy-to-use entry-level podcast hosting platform that includes automatic posting to a host of popular channels, analytics and intuitive episode editing options. The free plan only includes two hours of content uploads per month with 90-day hosting. Paid plans start from $12 USD/month.
Used by Commonwealth Bank, another great starter option is Podbean which offers both free and paid packages. Again the free package is limited, with no analytics option, but paid packages start at a low monthly cost. A useful bonus feature is the inclusion of a free YouTube version of the podcast that can be auto-uploaded. This is a great opportunity for finance brands that are already present on YouTube to ensure that their video and audio content work together.
A good option for brands that already use WordPress for their site hosting, PowerPress is a free plugin that allows you to distribute your podcast to all the key platforms using your existing hosting. The plugin also includes an SEO feature that helps you to optimise your podcast episodes for search engines.
A popular option for finance brands who have an existing network is to host their own podcast, for example with Amazon Web Services. Barclays Bank hosts its podcasts, giving users the options of streaming on their website or downloading to listen. This is a great approach if you have a development team who can set this up for you, however, be aware that it may be more difficult to track listening and downloads unless you have an in-house analytics team who can set this up for you.
Whichever audio software or podcast hosting platform you choose, it’s clear that technology is not a barrier to entry for finance brands considering podcasting. There are a host of affordable, easy-to-use options for both new and experienced podcasters; and with monthly active podcast listeners having already doubled in the last decade and still growing, there’s no excuse not to dip your toes into the world of digital audio.
From editorial content, to video, infographics, whitepapers, animated data visualisations and of course podcasts, at The Dubs we specialise in content creation of any kind for finance brands.