Today’s Podcasting World
There are thousands of podcasts out there, each with a varying degree of quality regarding the show’s production aspect. However, the ones that rise to the top often have higher production value than other podcasts with stagnant, shrinking audiences or productions just beginning their journey. In this post, we’ll highlight some things you can do to raise the production quality of your podcast and the benefits it can bring to you, the creator, and your audience.
It’s Not Just Production Value
First, it should be stated that you could have the best production quality on the market, but you may still fail to find your audience if your content isn’t unique, entertaining, or marketed well. Many creators enter the podcasting space thinking that having the best gear and sharpest setup will carry them to success, but this is only a part of the equation. If you are just starting, your audience understands why your production isn’t top tier. Podcast production can be a considerable investment, and it’s often best not to count your chickens before they hatch. When starting, it’s perfectly acceptable not to have high-end microphones, professional-grade cameras, and an extensive set. However, as time goes on, your audience will grow, and your quality should develop with it. Your audience sees the time and support they give you as an investment into your community. So, the audience may not stick around if they see that the community leaders aren’t investing in bettering themselves.
Step One: Great Audio
Now you’re ready for your first upgrade, what should you invest in first? Every production is different, and you should determine your needs based on what your audience is saying, but a sure bet is to go for an audio upgrade first. There have been numerous studies showing that audio quality alters the perception that you project to your audience. In a study conducted by Eryn Newman from the University of Southern California and Norbert Schwarz from the Australian National University, it was observed that higher quality audio affects how the listener perceives the speaker’s intelligence, likability, and importance of the topic. Going from a USB microphone to an xlr studio-grade condenser microphone can work wonders when making your voice sound fuller and more professional—also, understanding how to mix your voice, whether live or post-production, can enhance your audio quality. For audio-only productions having the best quality audio is paramount. For productions with a video element, good audio is arguably more important than the visual aspect of your podcast.
Step Two: Sharp Video
We will focus on a podcast’s visual aspect for the second upgrade. Podcasts are increasingly going to a video format. While some popular audio-only podcasts still exist today, they will often film their recording sessions for promotional purposes. Video is an essential tool to grab the attention of new viewers. Even if you’re not releasing a full video version of your show, video snippets can be posted to social media to help promote your show. On platforms such as Instagram and TikTok, potential viewers will often scroll past a post that does not have a moving video component. When starting, you may use webcams or low-end camcorders to record a video portion; these options can last a while but often have poor color accuracy and lack depth of field. Leveling up your production to a high-end DSLR camera or professional-grade camcorder can immensely improve the overall look of your production. Even podcasts with a single person can look visually interesting when a high-end camera is paired with quality lighting and an interesting backdrop. If you want to go even further, build a set for you, your co-hosts, and guests with multiple camera angles to create a dynamic visual experience for your viewer. The more your podcast looks like a professional studio production, the more eye-grabbing it will be for your viewers and prospective sponsors and collaborators that can further fuel your growth down the road.
Go Forth, and Podcast
This is just an outline of a few steps you can take to upgrade the quality of your podcast. While these are all concrete options for making your production look more professional, listening to your community and how they want you to improve is essential. Over time as you find success, these upgrades will be made regardless as technology improves. Find the workflow and setup that works for you and your community and refine it to the best of your ability, and success will come your way. Happy podcasting.