So, you’re considering a podcast for your business (and want to know the cost)? Smart move.
On a recent episode of my personal cast The Jeff Large Show, Interview Valet owner and business podcasting guru Tom Schwab said the time to start podcasting is now. He discusses how podcasting is in a sweet spot; 30 to 40 percent of the U.S. population listens to podcasts. That means that there are enough people in the space to make it relevant, but not so many that it’s saturated.
Thus, it’s an excellent time to get in.
However, before you dive in, you probably want to know what a podcast will cost you.
Tom also has the answer to this question, saying “The (leads) from podcast interviews close faster than other forms of traffic.”
This means that a podcast is probably the solution to your current marketing woes and is an investment you’ll earn back twofold.
But before we example pricing, you need to understand the benefits of podcasting for businesses are real. The numbers won’t mean anything if you don’t understand why you should be podcasting in the first place.
The Benefits of Podcasting
I write and speak on the benefits of podcasting often. Podcasts help grow the sales pipeline for your business and increase your bottom-line. There are several ways to determine the return on investment of a podcast. In fact, they have an unfair advantage compared to visually-based marketing avenues.
Long-term, Sustainable Gains
If you’re looking for quick returns on your marketing investment, podcasting likely isn’t for you. Podcasting has massive benefits but it takes time. If your business has a marketing budget and wants to make a long-term investment, podcasting is a smart move.
Capitalize on Immediacy and Timeliness
With a podcast, you can address specific points at specific times, and speak to your customers with an immediacy impossible through other marketing mediums. This is a timely, direct line to your audience, and there is no airtime restraint or red tape you need to overcome to reach them.
Boost your Network
This new platform gives you an unprecedented opportunity to connect with thought leaders in your industry. Since you are able to offer them exposure on the podcast, you may secure interviews that never would have been possible before. Expanding your network through a podcast can grow your audience, lead to opportunities like speaking gigs, collaborations, and partnerships. Most importantly, it will build your authority.
Benefits of Experts
Hiring an expert podcast producing team like ours will save you time and money. If you decide to do this yourself without any prior experience, you will soon be in the hole with time and money.
Also, your success rate will be lower. We’ve produced close to 200 episodes across multiple casts. We continuously research to stay at the top of our game. We’ve vetted processes on everything from securing interview guests and how to be an interesting host to creating a fascinating story arc for your listeners.
Think about it. Why do you hire accountants, lawyers, or other consultants to help your business? They are better and more efficient at their craft. They save you tremendous amounts of headaches and stress. Podcasting, like other outsourced marketing solutions, should be left to professionals.
Audio’s Unfair Advantage
What about all of the other marketing assets you have? Your blog posts, videos, social media, and case studies? First, understand that audio has an unfair advantage. Articles, video, and social are all visual mediums and they are competing for attention with every other visual medium that exists (not just ones similar to your niche).
Podcasts are unique because audio is the one medium you can experience while doing something else. People drive while listening to a podcast. They run while listening to a podcast. The only other mediums competing for a podcast listener’s attention are other podcasts, audiobooks, or music.
Like inbound marketer Dan Moyle said in our recent interview, “There are more fish in the ocean than in a barrel, but where do you want to fish?”
Listen to the episode here:
Decrease Expenses through Ad Partnerships
Partnering with relevant businesses who want to buy ad space on your podcast can bring in additional revenue. Depending on your budget, this may make the leap into podcasting less cost-inhibitive for your business.
Increase your Real Life Audience
Through a podcast, you can increase online membership or attendance at events by broadcasting webinars, select speeches from the events, or doing post talk interviews on your podcast. By sharing select content, you can add value and build trust with your audience, leading to them eventually invest in a full membership or ticket to events in the future.
Plus, podcasts can drive your entire marketing campaign. I’m a huge advocate for recycling or reusing your content. For example, let’s say you sell an eCommerce-related SaaS product and you start a podcast interviewing eCommerce experts on how to improve online sales.
- If planned well, your podcast season should follow a logical arc of what you want to teach your audience.
- The podcast episodes should be turned into a post on your website.
- Each episode will have guest quotes that can be used on social and referenced through an internal link on future blog articles (like I’ve done in this article).
- Topics from each episode or groups of episodes can be turned into definitive guides, case studies, and expert round-ups.
- Each podcast episode and subsequently written content can be promoted via social and to your email list.
- You can also turn video content into podcast episodes and podcast episodes into video content.
That’s at least five additional pieces of content from a single podcast episode! Your podcast acts as the spearhead driving all of your content marketing forward, instead of each piece of your marketing working on its own.
What is your average lifetime customer value? This is the total amount of revenue you get from a single customer. For example, let’s say it’s $1000. Let’s say your podcast costs $2,000 per month to produce. So, how much of your audience would you need to convert before you start to see a profit?
With a small audience of only 100 people, you’d need just two people to convert per month. At 5,000 listeners, you need less than one percent of your audience to become a customer. That’s the beauty of this – quality podcasts constantly see their audiences grow. However, their monthly costs remain static; most contracts run several months at a time. Thus, the longer you podcast, the more your audience grows and the easier it is to offset your podcast costs (i.e. make money).
Schedule a free call to see how our podcast services will help you.
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Podcast Cost: Understanding the Service You Need
Knowing the kind of service you need will depend largely on the level of expertise you have in producing a podcast and the amount of time you want to dedicate to the process.
You can receive help in three different ways:
- Full Production: Best for people or businesses who want a podcast without all of the work.
- Technical (Editing, Show Notes, and Transcriptions): Best for those who need help with specific parts of the process.
- Consultation and Education: Best for those who have time and want to learn.
Personal note: Be honest with yourself about what you really need. To make a quality, highly-rated podcast isn’t easy.
The best podcasts didn’t become popular because of clean audio. The best podcasts require strategy, technicality, and human qualities to truly standout.
Our Full Production Podcast Options
A true, full-production agency handles EVERYTHING: the planning, producing, distributing and marketing. It’s all of the benefits of a podcast without any of the work. This is how I’ve intentionally shaped our agency; our structure is tailor-made to handle every part of the podcast process.
How Our 4-Part Process Works
We break our detailed process into four categories: Plan, Produce, Promote, Progress.
We learn, research, structure, and handle the details of everything from equipment setup to the structure, format, and style of your podcast.
We record, create, edit, tag, and upload the files to your media host so that all you have to do is review it before it goes live.
We write the show notes, add a post to your website, distribute to your podcast feed, integrate it into newsletter campaigns, and create lead generation content, E-books, expert roundups and guides, tailored to your needs. We also give your guests everything they need to share your podcast with their audience, so you can maximize your exposure.
Measuring progress is often overlooked. We use several key performance indicators (KPI’s) to track the success of your podcast and provide ongoing feedback, from tips on how to be a better host to improving the quality of your audio.
Want to know more?
Sign up for our mailing list and I’ll send you a PDF of our full, 4-part process and a few emails explaining how we work.
Podcast Costs: The Actual Numbers
Unfortunately, podcast costs range all over the spectrum. Many people who say they are experts are not. And most of the time, people need more help than just the “umms” removed from their recording. Regardless, here are a few averages to guide you in your decision.
Consulting and DIY Podcast Education Costs
Expect to pay $100 to $300 per hour. Some consultants do one-to-one and others only do group sessions to save time. Research in advance if you want to check the expert’s credentials. I can’t stress this enough.
The “expert” should have ample evidence proving they know what they are talking about as well. It seems like the only requirement to be an “expert” nowadays is to say you are one. True experts have years of experience. They usually speak, write, and produce content about the topics they are an expert in. They try the things they talk about and have success and failure stories to share. Last, they are always learning. If your person can’t demonstrate those things, don’t listen to them or invest in them.
You can also sign up for digital classes, conferences, and membership websites that teach you everything you need to launch a podcast. Membership site prices start at free to $10-$50 per month and conferences can range from hundreds and thousands of dollars.
Editing, Show Notes, and Transcriptions Podcast Costs
Expect to pay $500 (minimum) to $1,000 per month for weekly episode editing from a qualified audio editor. Sometimes show notes are included and sometimes they make it cost a bit more. Transcriptions typically cost $1 per minute.
Be careful here too. Any audio editor worth their salt is going to do similar things – level audio/match volume, noise removal, add in bumpers, add ID3 tags, etc. The difference is how are they doing it. Many tools and software exist that can auto-fix many issues at once. Thus, many editors get by editing audio without actually knowing anything about the science of sound. Good editors also should understand the human elements of interviews and stories. If you want to learn more about this crucial aspect of podcasting, read books on audio journalism like Out on a Wire, Story Craft, Sound Reporting, or Radio Diaries. From there, you’ll begin to understand why shows like Serial, StartUp, Planet Money, How I Built It, Lore, and basically anything from NPR are so good.
Quality editing and writing take time. Thus, I’m skeptical of editing services that cost less than $100 per episode. In a recent study put out by Andy Crestodina and Orbit Media, the average blog post takes over 3 hours to create. So again, I have a hard time trusting the quality of a writing service that charges less than $75 per post.
Full Production Podcast Costs
Expect to pay $1,200 to $4,000+ per month depending on the amount of work you’re asking for. Before you start arguing with me about the price being too high, think through the costs and gains for a moment.
There are multiple moving parts, and inefficiencies in one area can have a domino effect on the others. This is why our team includes dedicated audio engineers, copywriters, content marketers, project managers, and more. Everyone gets to focus on their specialty to create an amazing podcast.
When asked how much help should a business get when starting a podcast, marketer and podcaster Andy Baldacci said, “When it comes down to how much should (a business) do themselves, the answer is as little as they possibly can… the more budget you have, the less you should do.”
Listen to the interview here:
Full production is like hiring your own podcast-specific CMO or marketing specialist. Orbit Media produced another study that highlighted that a marketer’s salary ranges from $3,896 to $13,594 per month. And that’s for a single person! When you hire an agency like ours, you are receiving a team of specialists to grow your podcast audience (as well as produce it).
Sure, you can have someone in-house to do the work or hire a virtual assistant but you’ll need to pay them a fair wage to complete those tasks. You’ll want to factor in the time it takes to train a person and the time they will be pulled away from what they should be doing. Hiring inexperienced people will always cost you more in the long-run.
Can you teach yourself how to podcast? Yes, but good luck finding accurate information with the same convenience as an expert telling you. One bad equipment purchase can cost you as much as a month of consulting. Not to mention, you’re saving time you’d otherwise never get back.
Schedule a free call to see how our podcast services will help you.
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Hopefully, this enlightens you on what goes into podcast production and why services cost what they do. Recording audio is easy. Producing a high-quality podcast is not.
If you just want to play around, by all means, start recording with an app on your phone or a cheap USB microphone.
However, if your goal is to create an engaging podcast to grow your business and improve your marketing, consider making the investment in professional podcast services.