If you’re a marketer or a small business owner, you might be thinking about starting a podcast. One of the things you’ll have to think about is what style or format of pod to create.

Podcasts are a great way to showcase your expertise, build trust, and grow your brand, but not all podcasts are created equal. There’s a few different styles.

I’m going to walk through the main formats and hopefully give you some insight which will help you decide what’s best for your brand.

Solo podcasts

This is where you host the podcast by yourself and share your insights, tips, stories, or opinions on a topic.

These are freakishly hard to put together and challenging to produce, as you need to keep your audience interested and engaged without any feedback or interaction from others. You also need to be confident and comfortable speaking on your own for long periods of time.

If I’m honest, it takes a special talent that not many folks have to hold an audience for lets say, half an hour.

Try and avoid this unless you hire a pro presenter for your pod and have great writers.

Panel shows

This is where you invite two or more guests to join you on your podcast and have a discussion or debate on a topic. Panel shows are great for providing different perspectives, insights, and opinions on a subject and creating lively and dynamic conversations.

However, panel shows can also be difficult to manage, as you need to coordinate with multiple guests, moderate the discussion, and ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to speak and contribute.

You need an experienced host for this style of pod. Someone who can quell that dominant voice, stop folks rambling on and move the conversation in the way you want it to go.

Panel shows are hard work but from an audience perspective, great to listen to.

Co-host podcasts

This is where you partner with another person who shares your passion, expertise, or interest in a topic and co-host the podcast together. Co-host podcasts are perfect for creating a rapport and chemistry with your partner and delivering entertaining and engaging content to your listeners.

Co-host podcasts can also be challenging to maintain, as you need to have a clear vision, goal about where you want each episode to go.

Its sometimes easy to end up building a clique when co-hosting a pod where new listeners don’t always feel ‘part of the club’ and in-jokes land with no understanding whatsoever.

I find a lot of co-host pods difficult to listen to if the main conversation is the two people talking. If the hosts are telling a story then that’s great but if they’re just randomly chatting it can be hard to listen to.

Interview style podcasts

Interview style podcasts are excellent for learning from experts, influencers, or successful people in your field and providing valuable information, insights, or stories to your listeners.

They’re also the easiest to produce as the guest does most of the talking!

The hard part is coming up with questions that your audience ‘wants to ask’ and keeping control of the guest, some can waffle on.

If you plan and script some great questions and invite guests who are confident about speaking then this style of pod is a breeze.

Story Style

I quite like story pods. They are difficult to put together as you’ll need to write scripts, maybe even hire voice actors, great a proper sound designer in and produce something akin to a basic radio play.

Stories can be fact or fictional but make sure they stick to the goal of your podcast and excite your audience.

Experiment with different styles or combine them to create a unique and distinctive podcast. Practice. Record a pilot that doesn’t go live. Record many practice episodes so that when you come to number one it sounds great.

Do you have a favourite style of podcast?

If you want a day of podcast insights, advice and training at your office then give me a shout.