Podcasts are undeniably popular at the moment, and it may seem that ‘everyone’ already has a podcast and that there are already ‘millions’ of podcasts out there. Why would you bother setting up your own podcast in the face of such seemingly massive competition?
Well actually ‘everyone’ does not already have a podcast, and there are not ‘millions’ of podcasts. Around a couple of hundred thousand to be sure, but how many millions of blogs and websites are there?
There are however several things that you can do to make your podcast stand out from the crowd. A lot of this has to be done as part of your early strategy and thinking work.
Here are three ways to make your podcast stand out.
Point Of View
I think most importantly you need to establish your own unique point of view. So you may want a podcast about online marketing, but what unique point of view can you bring to your podcast? What unique niche section of people want to learn more about online marketing, who you could uniquely serve? Or what aspect of online marketing could you focus in on. What aspect of online marketing could you deal with in a different format? If all the others are very long – could you do the opposite and have a 10 minute ‘in a nutshell’ podcast? You get the idea I am sure. Have a good long think about this. And how does that point of view fit in with your goals for your podcast, and your business objectives.
If you already have a good group of fans & followers, then even though you are thinking of creating a podcast that may seem similar to others out there, the other podcasts don’t have you in it, and they don’t have your unique point of view, or your unique audience. People who already know you will want to hear from you. They will share your podcast and spread the word about you – if you do a good job with your podcast of course.
So Point of View is very important. Next we have 2 more obvious ones… your podcast title and your podcast cover art.
I went through the things I thought about when I was creating my podcast title, in this post following my podcast journey with Stitchery Stories.
Like a book, your podcast title can make your podcast stand out from the others. Or Not…
The title alone can be enough to attract the interest of potential listeners browsing through podcasts looking for something interesting to listen to. You could try and convey a benefit in your title, to encourage listeners, or target a specific audience, so they know the podcast is specially for them. Back to your point of view – can you convey that in your title?
Avoid jargon, and of course accurately describe the content of your podcast. Avoid the temptation to have a ‘clever’ name, as that can be confusing, and typically anything confusing does not attract an audience.
Your podcast title is also important from a search perspective, so people can find it when searching for the topic that your podcast serves. And of course – do search yourself to check that there isn’t already a podcast or website, or anything else with the same name as you are thinking of using for your podcast.
Finally think about how a title would ‘look’ on your cover artwork. Will it fit the space and be clear and legible?
The visual way for your words to stand out is with a great podcast cover. This helps it stand out visually on podcast directories such as iTunes. Your artwork has to exactly conform to iTunes specifications, and if it is not it can halt or delay your podcast launch.
You could design it yourself, but you would probably hire a designer to do it for you. But think about your brand colours, and any logo you already have. Here is a great opportunity to be consistent and align your podcast artwork with your main business. Or you might not want that at all – it depends on your goals for your podcast.
The main thing to remember is that actually you are creating a small image – viewed as a thumbnail amongst loads of other images. Try and design it as a small postage stamp size image to keep it clean, clear & simple. If you want an image on it, make sure it is clear and simple. Do you want to include your headshot? How will that look? Is it relevant?
Also consider the effect of colour, and contrasts and white space.
With fonts there is a crazy choice in size & style, but again keep your font choice clear and simple – use ‘sans serif’ fonts without all those little ‘feet’ and avoid those fancy script type fonts too.
How the text is actually laid out can make your cover stand out, and you might have to get very creative if you have a long show name.
There are plenty of subtle nuances that you can consider with your designer, but these are the key points.
Go into iTunes or any other podcast directory and browse through the podcasts. What catches your eye? For good and bad reasons?
- What artwork is attractive and effective at the small thumbnail size?
- How does the title work?
- What doesn’t work so well?
It doesn’t take very long in my experience to browse around and get a great idea of what’s hot and what’s not when it comes down to podcast titles and art. But it is a valuable learning experience to do before you start going round in circles with your designer. Remember they are human too and NOT mindreaders, so the more ideas and examples you can express to them the easier it is for them to fully understand what it is you are looking for.
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