Business Podcasting – Part 2: How to Develop a Successful Podcast


So, you’ve decided to start a podcast for your business, and we think that’s a smart move. But to know how to develop a successful podcast involves extensive planning. That way, you can attract the right audience and keep them coming back.

According to Podcasting Insights, there were 850,000 active podcasts as of 2021. In comparison to 2020, that number grew 20% in one year! 

That’s a lot of competition, yes, but it also proves how effective podcasts are, as long as you take the time to learn how to plan for a podcast properly. 

How to Develop a Successful Podcast: 7 Major Things to Consider

We talked about the benefits of starting a podcast in the first part of this series. If you have decided to start one, it requires a serious commitment of your time, effort, and resources. Here, we will go into the work you need to know on how to develop a successful podcast.

Make your investment count by considering these essential steps…

1) Plan Out Your Goals 

Want to know how to plan for a podcast? First, you need to define your goal. 

Just like you need a goal before you can build a marketing strategy, you need to define your goal for podcasting. Thinking about questions like the ones below will help you to define your objectives clearly:

Defining your goals is crucial to planning for a podcast because it will govern your show’s content and format. 

2) Understand Your Niche/Audience

No matter how good you think your podcast is, it’s bound to fail if you don’t keep your audience in mind. The type of content you deliver (and the format) should align with what your target audience wants… or even craves. 

Apply the same principles to understand your niche as you do when you analyze which social media channels your customers use in order to adapt your messaging.

The most popular podcast genre in 2020 was comedy, which represents 22% of podcast listeners. This is followed by news, true crime, and sports. 39% of small- to mid-size business owners are podcast users.

Your approach will differ significantly to make your podcast appeal to the type of audience you target for each genre or niche. This is something to consider if you are learning how to develop a successful podcast. 

Just because one show has had success using a particular format, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get comparable results if you adopt the same approach. The format has to be personalized for your target audience. 

3) Choose an Engaging Name

A great name is one of the secrets of how to develop a successful podcast. 

So it’s one of the biggest tasks to undertake. The name you choose must: 

When choosing a name for your podcast, make sure it aligns with your brand messaging. The best titles make it clear what your show is about without having to explain further.

Also, check that there aren’t any other shows with the same name. Using the same title could confuse your potential listeners and rank your podcast lower on search engines.

You can use Google or another search engine to check, especially on a popular podcasting platform.

Avoid long titles stuffed with keywords. Podcast platforms such as Apple Podcasts may deny your submission. 

Pro tip: There’s no need to put the word ‘Podcast’ at the end of your title. Save that for your website if you’re considering SEO and searchability.

You’ll be using the podcast as a marketing tool for your business. Therefore, view it as an extension of your brand. This type of consistency will help boost brand recall and your credibility. 

4) Develop Your Podcast Positioning

It’s almost unimaginable how many shows there are in the podcast industry. The volume of episodes published daily or weekly is even more staggering.

That’s why podcast positioning is a critical part of planning for a podcast. It determines your ability to get listeners to relate to your show. Simply put, it helps distinguish your podcast from others in the market.

There are two elements you need to consider when establishing your podcast positioning:

  1. Your target audience
  2. The topic for discussion

Based on these two factors, you can develop your content for the podcast. For example, if you have a parenting podcast, you can choose a somewhat generic topic or a more focused sub-niche.

A generic approach would consist of talking about basic parenting advice on your podcast. But if you want to focus on a sub-niche, you can be more specific in your content. For example, you could provide parenting advice for first-time parents or working parents. 

Thinking about all the sub-topics for your niche will help you understand how to develop a successful podcast that resonates with your target audience. That’s because you’ll appeal to their particular needs and wants.

Color figurines and a pie chart illustrate niche market segmentation.

5) Plan Out Your Guest Interviews

Interviewing guest speakers offers podcasters a way to expand their reach organically. That’s probably why the interview podcast format is one of the most popular formats in the podcasting industry. 

As the host, you can bring guests onto your show who can offer their expertise and life experience about a topic that your audience will enjoy. 

Choosing a guest you want to interview is one of the biggest challenges of how to develop a successful podcast. Here are some key aspects to consider::

You’ll need to do some careful research to determine the best people to bring to your show.

If you want your interview to be engaging, preparation is also critical.

Pro tip: One thing to remember, your guest may be an expert in the field of discussion but not have a deep knowledge of your particular topic. And not every expert has had much experience being interviewed for podcasts.  

So don’t be shy to ask your guest to do a little prep work on the topic beforehand.  In any case, make time before you start recording the interview to discuss what you plan to talk about. You want your guest to feel comfortable.

6) Determine Length & Frequency

How long should each podcast episode be? This is a common question that you will encounter when deciding how to plan for a podcast. 

The answer is that it depends. 

According to Pacific Content, the average length of top podcasts is around 38 minutes. Some can go up to 55 minutes to an hour. Use this as a starting point when determining how long your episodes should be. There are no hard and fast rules on this matter, especially if you can keep your show engaging.

Aside from length, another critical factor when deciding how to develop a successful podcast is the frequency of your shows. You know the saying “out of sight, out of mind”? Stay at the top of your audience’s mind by uploading episodes regularly.

Practically speaking, the ideal frequency depends on what fits your schedule. If once a month works for you to start with, go with that. If you have enough relevant content to share on your podcast, consider uploading it at least once a week. 

Whatever frequency you choose, stick to a consistent schedule as you build up your audience base. That way, they can establish a routine of listening to your new podcast episodes. 

7) Develop a Structure & Format

Have you ever been so disappointed when the format of your favorite TV show changed that you decided to stop watching the series altogether? Don’t let this happen with your podcast. Developing a format is one of the most important strategies for how to develop a successful podcast. 

Here are some formats to choose from:

While some variety can be fun, for the most part, you’ll want to choose a format and stick to it. Doing this will help establish familiarity with your audience and keep them engaged. It is also crucial because it helps distinguish your podcast from thousands of others out there. 

Plus, having a structure to follow will make it easier to plan out future content for your show while helping you stick to your central topic. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it… our best tips on how to develop a successful podcast. It’s vital to lay the groundwork early on to ensure you can compete with the many other podcasts out there.
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Filed Under: Business Podcasting

About Andrew

Andrew specializes in audio, video, and digital content for the 21st century. He understands the importance of impactful digital content and how it can showcase clients in new and enticing ways.

Andrew has won numerous national awards for his leadership and productions, placing his projects alongside some of the top marketing works in the world. He is also well-versed as a personality in fast-paced, publicly visible environments for broadcast, event, and web channels.

The media landscape is ever-evolving with new platforms and techniques. With Andrew's broadcast, journalism, podcasting, and technological background, his mission is to create eye-catching and harmonious content for our clients that exceeds industry trends and practices.