A podcast is a great medium for sharing stories. Fiction stories, non-fiction stories and opinion. But it also lends itself well to conveying information and knowledge.
One of the great advantages of audio is that it is one of the most natural ways for people to process information. In addition, with the arrival of the new generation of headphones and earpods, it is easier to combine with our busy schedules.
Partly because of the latter podcasts more popular than ever!
But not every podcast is the same. You have different types of podcasts. Each type of podcast has its own advantages and disadvantages for you as a host, but also for the listener. That's why it's important to think carefully about what format you use to achieve your goal.
1. Interview podcasts
The interview podcast is perhaps the most popular type of podcast. The format is simple. You have a host, possibly a co-host, and a guest who is interviewed. This format stems from the traditional radio and television programmes.
The big advantage of this type of podcast is that you not only reach your own followers, but also the followers of your guest. This may open up a new target group of potential followers for your podcast.
But it can also be a challenging form of podcasting, because you have to deal with technology and people. The energy of your guest and their ability to express themselves well determines the quality. If you are doing a remote interview, the technology can also be a challenge.
Do not be discouraged by this. This is a very powerful format and once you have done some flying, the challenges will become less.
A brilliant world-class example (uhum 😏) is our own Growth Minds podcast, where we regularly interview inspiring entrepreneurs about success, personal development and entrepreneurship.
2. The open conversation
The open conversation is basically a conversation between two or more people with a microphone recording it. It is usually an open conversation with a limited or no defined format.
These podcasts focus on a particular theme, but more often than not they are aimed at broad topics, such as (social) current affairs and/or news.
These types of podcasts are harder to get off the ground at first if you have no or few followers, because it's harder to determine if this is a podcast you want to spend time on as a listener. But as your reach increases, this is a format that has the potential to become a mainstream podcast.
A good example of an Open Talk podcast is the podcast of Sander Schimmelpenninck & Jaap Siewertsz van Reesema.
3. The solo podcast
The solo podcast is a podcast that is the easiest in terms of production and planning, but it demands a lot from the host. Because the host is the only one talking in the podcast, and that means that the quality depends on his or her ability to express him or herself well.
Sometimes these podcasts are scripted (written in script and read out loud) and sometimes the host talks about a particular topic during the podcast.
The great advantage of this type of podcast is that you don't have to take anyone into account in the process. You have everything under control.
A potential drawback is that it can quickly become boring if you have to listen to the same voice for an hour. In addition, it can be challenging as a host to keep your energy up when there is no interaction with others.
Personally, I think this is one of the best podcasts in the world (I'm a fan 😉 ), is the podcast of Seth Godin. Every week he publishes a new podcast, where he discusses a topic in a short and powerful way.
4. Panel podcasts
A panel podcast is a podcast in which (usually) one host interviews several guests about a topic, often about current affairs and news. Each show has different guests.
You can compare it a bit with RTL Boulevard and Business Class (Harry Mens).
The main advantage of this type of podcast is that there is usually enough news and current affairs to discuss and the 'burden' is carried by the guests. The downside, of course, is that you need to have quite a pool of potential guests if you want to record episodes on a regular basis.
With this form of podcasting, too, you may benefit from the reach of your guests. But with this kind of podcasting, finding podcast guests becomes a top-class sport. You usually have to find more than one per episode.
5. Non-fiction storytelling podcasts
Non fiction story telling podcasts take you into true stories, events and activities. Think of true crime podcasts, but also a travel journal fits in this category.
One or more hosts share stories or experiences in the podcast. In some cases, a radio play is also included, although this is more common in fiction podcasts.
The great advantage of the storytelling podcast is that stories tend to hold the listener's attention. If you divide a story into several episodes, then with the right cliffhangers you can create true fans who are eagerly awaiting the sequel.
One of the disadvantages may be that it requires an enormous amount of preparation and planning. Not necessarily in terms of the schedule, but in terms of the structure of the stories and episodes.
The boot murder is a well-known true crime podcast, in which non-fiction storytelling was used to tell the story of the murder of Ralf Meinema.
6. Fiction storytelling
Fiction storytelling podcasts are the successors to audio books, which in turn have become an alternative to paper books. The great thing about fiction podcasts is that you can enrich the story with effects and intonation, which makes some stories even better.
The big advantage of a fiction podcast is that you can work in small blocks. Unlike a book, where you can only release something when the whole thing is finished.
The great advantage of this type of podcast is that there is no limit to the amount of content you can create. As a creative mind, it is unlikely that you will ever run out of stories.
But at the same time, it is difficult to maintain a sort of line. Unless you are sharing short stories, it is important that the story does develop in a certain way, otherwise you will lose followers.
State Secret is a fiction podcast that should never have been produced 😉 😉
7. Educational podcasts
An educational podcast is a type of podcast where the aim is to impart knowledge to someone. You can compare it to an online training, but with audio instead of video.
This is a relatively little-used format, but given that people increasingly prefer to learn by audio, the number of educational podcasts and audio courses is expected to increase.
If you are an expert, then an educational podcast is generally quite easy to design. There are more people who are more comfortable speaking than presenting in front of a camera.
On the other hand, with educational podcasts it is important that the content is of the highest quality, not only the audio. You will therefore need to think carefully about learning objectives and the associated assignments.
6 Minute English is a podcast produced by the BBC to develop your English quickly and easily.
A final kind of podcast...
This list is purely for inspiration. Because at the moment, we are still inventing podcasting and all its possibilities. So don't be limited to these possibilities and experiment with new ideas and formats. Your own new format might just become the new kind of podcast in this list ;D.