We offer advice on how charities can create, maintain, and build successful podcasts
Podcasts have never been more popular: nearly 100 million people listen to at least one podcast episode every month and there are more than 1,750,000 different podcasts covering every conceivable topic, according to Podcast Insights.
This presents a huge opportunity. That’s because charity podcasts are inexpensive to produce and can reach a specific, targeted audience.
Charities that build a successful podcast can use it to engage with current and potential supporters, increase their reach, raise awareness in their cause, and employ it as an effective fundraising tool.
The equipment required to get started with a podcast is fairly modest. Aside from a computer, the basics include the below.
A good quality microphone, for example:
Headphones, for example:
Audio recording software, for example:
Interview recording software, for example
You’ll also need to pay to store your recordings somewhere where they can be accessed by your audience either directly or via podcasting platforms such as Apple Podcast or Spotify.
Podcasting hosts to consider include:
Anyone with the right equipment can record a podcast, but how do you ensure that your charity podcast is successful? Here are some useful tips:
Speaking to a specific audience
Given that there are nearly two million podcasts in existence, you need to identify and target your podcast at a specific group of people.
If you make your podcast too general then you are unlikely to attract anyone. But if you identify a specific niche or target audience you can start small and concentrate on growing that group of listeners.
Consistency means choosing a regular release schedule, perhaps a new episode every Monday morning, and sticking to it. If you release new episodes on a regular basis, listeners can incorporate your podcast into their routines.
It also means keeping the content type and presentation style of the podcast consistent from one episode to the next, so that it develops its own brand or personality, which fosters audience loyalty.
Watching your length
Deciding how long your episodes should be – and keeping this consistent – is important. That’s because research generally shows that the longer an episode, the less likely people are to finish listening to it.
For example, less than 25% are likely to finish a podcast that lasts more than an hour, according to Omny Studio. And if your episodes vary in length too much then this makes it impossible for people to incorporate listening to them into their routines.
The most popular length for a podcast is between 15 and 30 minutes, so if an episode runs much longer than this you should consider splitting it into two episodes.
Monetising your podcast
Creating a podcast is a great way to raise awareness in your charity and its cause. But if you know how you can also use your podcast very effectively to raise funds for your charity.
One of the most effective ways to monetise your podcast is through sponsorship or advertising. The amount you can expect to generate varies, but a good guide is between £7.50 and £40 per 1,000 downloads of your podcast within 30 days of its release.
Standard advertising formats include a 15 second pre-roll advert, which appears before the start of the podcast, and a 30-60 second mid-roll advert, which appears 30% to 70% of the way through a podcast. Some podcasts also feature short post-roll adverts at the very end of the show.
Some other ways to monetise your podcast include:
Your charity podcast may start with just a handful of listeners, but there are a number of techniques you can employ to swell their ranks and maximise the monetisation potential through advertising and sponsorship.
Search engine optimisation
Many, or perhaps most, people find podcasts to listen to by using the search function on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, and other podcast directories. These search functions look for keywords in podcasts’ names and descriptions.
That means that if you want people to find your podcast you need to think carefully about its title and about the keywords you put into the description to maximise the chances of an interested person finding it. This is similar to website SEO.
Many podcasters find it useful to create transcripts of their podcasts, which they publish on their websites. This means that they may appear in standard Google searches, providing an additional way for people to discover the podcast.
Invite exciting guests
Some podcasters invite guests to appear on the show, either as a temporary co-presenter or as an interview subject. Choosing guests who are influential or topical is a great way to differentiate each episode, keep interest in your podcast high, and attract new listeners.
It’s a good idea to “aim high” with your first few guests by inviting people with a high profile. That’s because podcast guests often want to know who has already appeared on your podcast, so if you attract some well-known guests early on you will find it easier to get more to follow.
Promote your podcast
A hugely effective way to promote your charity podcast after it is released is mention it on Twitter, talk about in Facebook, and highlight it on you charity website.
People who listen to podcasts often listen to many different ones, so other charity podcasts should not be seen as competitors. For that reason, it can be useful to appear on other charity podcasts (where you can mention your charity’s podcast), or even agree with another charity to promote each other’s podcasts in each episode.