Six Types of Podcasts
When it comes to any form of content creation or marketing efforts, growing an audience is all about consistency. That is why businesses have brand guidelines that dictate the exact colors and fonts they use, why companies develop their brand’s voice and why they curate social media posts to embody their brand’s unique look and feel. Consumers want to know who you are as a company and they want to know what to expect when they come to you – the same is true of your brand’s podcast.
You have to decide what kind of podcast you want to create and what format would best represent your brand and achieve the goals you have.
Carli Prangley said, “Your audience likes to know what to expect when they click play on a new episode. If your show features a serious interview one week, a comedic discussion the next, and a solo rant the week after, you'll find it harder to gain traction. Your audience won't know how to describe your show when talking about it to other people, so it will be difficult to get new listeners through personal recommendations. And if you start with a totally blank slate each week it will be hard for you to keep up with the content production too.”
This article will breakdown what the most common types of podcasts and what each one could bring to your brand.
Types of Podcasts
Interview – The one-on-one interview style is one of the most common forms of podcasts. Interview podcasts usually feature one consistent host and new guests each episode. This type of podcasting can be useful for business or brands because you can bring on industry professionals who can boost your credibility and reach. Using interviews as your main form of content can make creating episodes easier because you are not having to come up with all original content, but instead, questions or topics for your guests, and they do the rest. The challenge with this particular style is you have to continually book guests and operate on their schedules. And you have to pick guests that are going to be interesting and engaging or your show will lose its appeal. It’s also important to make sure all of your guests and their topics are connected in some way to maintain the consistency of your brand.
Conversational or Panel – People like conversational or panel discussion podcasts because they are easy to listen to. You feel like you are listening to a conversation among friends and you can connect to the hosts. This style can be beneficial for a number of reasons. Having multiple people talking allows for different insight on the same topic. It also creates more content naturally, you don't have to script out too much, just create an outline and go. More natural content also allows for less editing because you don’t have to edit out all the little extra comments. This style can also make your brand seem more approachable and relatable. The challenge with conversational or panel podcasting is you have to make sure your conversations stay relatively on topic to keep listeners engaged and depending on how many people you have, lining up schedules and recording can be difficult. Additionally, keeping the voices clear, and keeping participants from speaking on top of each other can be challenging.
Solo Show – While the previous two styles involve two or more people, this style of a solo-cast just involves you, the host. These podcasts usually feature the host sharing a monologue on a topic of interest to them. These could be comedic, advice-driven, etc. This particular style really allows listeners the chance to get to know the host of the show. The host could be someone important to your brand, such as its CEO, head of marketing, brand, sales, or business development; allowing listeners to not only get to know you, but your company as well. One of the benefits to doing a solo show is that it is completely on your time. You don’t have to coordinate schedules with any guests. The challenge to this style is the content in 100% on you. There is no one to bounce the conversation off of, no one to ask questions to, just you and the mic. It can be very difficult to sustain a “single-headed” show, but if members of your team have radio or other broadcast backgrounds, that can be helpful.
Fictional Storytelling – If you are a fan of fiction writing or audiobooks, this type of storytelling could be worth exploring. This style is unique but brings a set of challenges. This type of show takes a lot of work. Developing a plot to unfold over different episodes or making each episode unique but connected can both be very difficult tasks. Not to mention, booking voice actors for the content. One of the benefits is that this style is not being heavily produced right now, so if you are able to pull it off well, not only will it be addicting to listeners, but you will not be among a saturated market. This style won’t work for every business or brand, but if the fit is right, it can be highly engaging
Narrative Storytelling – Narrative storytelling is growing in popularity among podcast listeners. This could be a great way to reach your audience in a different way that is still relevant to your brand. This style allows you to share your own experiences or experiences of your guests with your audience. The challenge of this type of podcast is that it involves more planning than some of the others. You have to think about the unique stories you will tell or how one story will unfold over several episodes. However, you can really get creative with the types of stories you tell and how you relate them back to your business. For example: a real estate company could create a storytelling podcast on which, each week, a family or individual shares their unique home buying experience. A popular food chain could share a comedic story each episode about working in the service industry. A traveling salesperson might share stories of life on the road. Or a social work organization could share the touching story of a foster family’s journey over the course of several episodes.
Educational – This type of podcast really allows you to show off your knowledge and prove your business is reputable and in-the-know. Think of a topic—or topics—relevant to your brand about which you know everything there is to know. Produce your episodes off of that. Listeners will come back to each episode excited to learn more about what you are “teaching.” People within your audience will share your show as a resource for education. The challenge is you have to be very informed within your industry and prove that people can trust your information.
Colin Grey says not to get too caught up in choosing a format for your show but rather try a few things out at first.
“Your format changes over time, and it should, depending on the feedback of your listeners. So, the secret is to experiment in the early days. Try a few different methods over your first 20 episodes. See which ones incite a lot of feedback, and which ones fit your personality. Even later in your show, mix it up a little from time to time. Experiment and ask your listeners what they think. That's the driver for change, for innovation in your show, and that's what keeps people interesting. Alongside amazing content of course!”
This post was written by Auxbus, the first end-to-end audio platform designed to eliminate the obstacles that stand in the way of creating a podcast. Auxbus makes audio creation fast, easy and fun. Learn more and try it for yourself by visiting Auxbus.com