- Posted by Poston Communications
- On February 26, 2019
- business development, Harris Lowry Manton, law firms, Legal Marketing Association, Legal Marketing Association Atlanta, marketing, Miles Mediation & Arbitration, Ogletree Deakins, podcasting, podcasts
Podcasts are gaining in popularity (more than 73 million people have listened to a podcast in the past month, according to Edison Research), and the legal marketing world has embraced the trend. But how do you know if producing a podcast is right for your firm?
Marcie Dickson of Miles Mediation & Arbitration, Jansen Ellis of Ogletree Deakins, Yvonne Godfrey and Steve Lowry of Harris Lowry Manton shared first-hand insights at a recent Legal Marketing Association luncheon panel in Atlanta on how they got their podcasts up and running.
Here are a few questions you may be asking yourself if you are considering a podcast.
I have an idea for a podcast. How do I get started?
Because podcasts are new to many legal marketers, the best thing to do to get started is to familiarize yourself with the process by connecting with others who have started a podcast or meeting with a producer. One resource highly recommended by the panel is The Podcast Dude, a show that walks you through starting a podcast.
Panelists also recommended these platforms to consider for hosting your podcast:
How much does it cost to produce a podcast?
All panelists said that, to their surprise, podcasts can be relatively inexpensive to produce. Many of the platforms listed above cost about $20 a month.
The extra expenses will depend on how you decide to produce the podcast. For example, if you hire an agency, producer or sound engineer, they will come at varying costs. One panelist said a sound engineer may cost $75 per episode. You also can consider buying the required equipment and managing the podcast in-house by either training an employee or hiring someone with the required expertise.
One option to help defray costs is to secure sponsors for your podcast.
How do I generate content?
Content is often determined by whom you secure as the guest. If you are marketing a certain practice group, the attorneys likely will have a topic that they would like to share. Panelists shared that it is often a good idea to have a call prior to the recording to go over any message points to help control the message and stay within the timeframe you have allotted.
Panelists said that after the first couple of episodes, content started to take care of itself. Once a podcast is established, expect more speakers to come with ideas.
It is still a good idea to have some evergreen topics in your back pocket and continuously monitor for breaking news topics to cover.
How frequently should I release a podcast episode and how long should episodes be?
This will will depend on your resources. If you are at a large firm that has a constant flow of speakers and a team dedicated to the podcast, you may want to consider posting weekly. If you are more limited on resources, it may make more sense to release episodes biweekly or monthly.
Most podcasts are around 20 to 30 minutes with only a few lasting a full hour. Again, this will be depend on your subject matter.
Many of the panelists said that you should discover works best for your firm after about three months of posting.
I work at a firm with various practice groups. Should we have multiple podcasts?
If you have niche practice groups or topics to cover, it may be in your best interest to have separate podcasts. It is important to always keep your listeners in mind. If your environmental practice group is eager to talk about its practice, it may be a good idea to have those attorneys launch their own podcast. This way, listeners interested in environmental topics will have a great resource, and it won’t detract from other podcasts whose listeners may not be as interested in environmental matters.
I have launched a podcast. How do I promote it?
Once you have a podcast, you will of course need listeners. Below are some ways to get word out:
- Announce the launch of your podcast on your firm’s social media and website and provide regular updates.
- If you have the budget for it, advertising in publications that reach your target audience is a great way to gain listeners.
- Contact reporters who may be covering similar issues on your podcast and secure an interview to discuss the podcast.
- Include information on the podcast in internal and external email blasts.
- Ask podcast guests to post on their websites and social media.
- iTunes will promote you for the first eight weeks after you launch so be sure to launch big. Panelists recommend having at least eight episodes prerecorded.
- iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, PodBean and Libsyn will help push out your podcast. Panelists mentioned that 85 percent of their listeners come from iTunes.
So, should I do it?
All panelists were in total agreement that if you are contemplating launching a podcast – just do it! There really isn’t much harm in trying, and it may turn out to be a huge success. Podcasts have become a great way to show industry leadership and engage with clients and prospective clients.
Liz Rucci is a senior account executive at Poston Communications, based in Atlanta.