Podcast tips from an experienced Podguest: “From three chins to crackling sentences”

A podcast arrives. It literally gives your brand a voice. Do you engage listeners? Then you tie them. My podcast adventure started about five years ago and brought me the necessary insights that I'd love to share with you. Do you have about five minutes for this podcast junkie?

Podfather from SOUTH

Did you know that Adam Curry in 2004 (!) already made a podcast: The Daily Source Code? At the time, I didn't understand much about it, but a few years later, I embraced the medium as one of the early adopters. Where now every celebrity — and everyone's father, cousin, great-niece and the baker on the corner — makes a podcast, back then it was still looking for gems. About five years ago, I thought: we should do something about that with ZUID. Adding such a rapidly growing medium to our resource mix offers opportunities. As an internal means of communication, but certainly also to bind the outside world to your brand.

A podcast anytime, anywhere
Sometime in 2018, I first dropped the idea for my own (mobile) podcast studio with my manager. He was not dismissive of it, but was still in the middle. As a copywriter, I'm no stranger to some stalking, so I casually kept throwing the idea on colleagues' random tables. At the beginning of 2020, the minds were ripe and I got a 'go': just buy that podcast equipment and we'll see where it leads. Three good mics and a mixing console, that's all it took to be able to record a podcast anywhere, anytime.

Three double chins? Don't do it!

The catalyst for that shift from thinking to doing? The big C. Because just when we all suddenly came home together, such a podcast proved to be an ideal way to communicate with the team from management. A lot more pleasant for the receiving end than those awkward CEOs who don't understand that you can also take selfie videos without three double chins. And more importantly: colleagues appear to be focused on listening to a podcast and absorbing the information properly. At least, if that podcast is well put together. How? For me, these are the 3 most important lessons:

1. Basket. As is often the case in our work: keep it to yourself. With a podcast, the temptation is to fill up an hour — often without even knowing it. But your colleagues do have better things to do. So try to share all that super important info within thirty minutes. Hand in your own bosom: we only succeeded once in our own internal podcast.
2. Critical conversation. Letting management run dry for a while is not the intention. That is 1) simply boring and 2) it makes the listener feel unheard and drops out the next time. In our own podcast, as a host, I therefore act as the voice of the colleagues. How would they react to the news that is being shared? And what critical questions from the organization can I ask the boss?
3. There is music in a section. Preferably literally. Because a smashing intro, your own jingles for sections and a funky outro guide listeners through the podcast in a fun way. For the intro to Podje Pingpong, ZUID's internal podcast, I dusted off my rap skills and recorded a banger of my own. Just listen.

Comes for the baker

Now that we are a few years later and not only ZUID, but also the general public, have embraced the podcast, I am sure it is a tool that will never disappear. Just make sure your podcast doesn't disappear into the crowd. Because as I said earlier: who doesn't make a podcast these days? Of course, that accessibility is also the charm of the medium. In my opinion, how do you stand out as a brand-with-podcast?

Be consistent. Four podcast episodes as part of a brand campaign? I'd rather not. Build a relationship with your audience.
Choose your niche. The success of a podcast does not depend on listening figures. There are podcasts with over a hundred thousand regular listeners. Super cool, of course. But if you, as a brand, serve a niche and you reach an interesting percentage of your target group, you're just doing really well.
The thrill of the click. The podcast is an intimate medium. Listeners walk with your voice in their ears. That quickly creates a band. For trust. Like you knew each other before the first real encounter. So, bet on a long-term podcast series. It makes you a Famous Podcaster (BP'er) for your listeners.

Central role in your content strategy

At the end of 2022, I visited The Dutch Podcast Conference. I was completely star-struck by all the BPs who walked around there, but especially inspired by the creators who shared their story. What I secretly knew, but was emphasized again during the podcast conference: “You can use a podcast smartly for brand positioning, give it a central role in your content strategy, or use it to keep employees involved in the new way of working. Or you can connect your brand to one of the many popular podcasts out there.”

Key takeouts
◦ Average podcast length: 30 minutes
◦ Number of listeners in the Netherlands has never been higher: from 3.8 million in 2019 to 6.9 million in 2022
◦ 25% of them listen for business purposes
◦ Average listening minutes per week: 116

Listener sympathy
During The Dutch Podcast Conference, Topstukken, a cultural podcast by the VriendenLoterij, was highlighted as a case study. A qualitative study among exposed and non-exposed listeners shows that after listening, 96% know that the VriendenLoterij supports culture in the Netherlands. And that 30% find the VriendenLoterij more sympathetic after listening. Figures that, in my opinion, confirm the power of the commercially oriented podcast.

Podcast junkie
Thanks to the data-hungry Spotify, I was informed at the end of last year that I would listen to podcasts for 57,373 minutes in 2022. That's over 157 minutes a day. With that hobby that got slightly out of hand, I'm probably one of the podcast junkies in the Netherlands, but I'm also proud of it. Because every minute of the podcast I listen to inspires me to do even more with it for our customers at ZUID. You can hear how that may sound here:

Stay tuned!
Hopefully, you enjoyed reading my story and learned some of my tips. Since a podcast is about listening and you've read quite a bit now, I'll share inspiring listening examples in my next blog. Both podcasts that I've made myself and podcasts that inspire me. So warm up your headphones in advance.

Are you ready? -

Annemarieke Scheperkamp
Managing Director - Managing Director -

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