You’re launching a podcast program, and everyone from the content marketing team to the CEO is excited. Now what?
If the vastness of that question has you a little (or a lot) anxious, that’s OK. As we explored recently, having a successful content program already in place is half the battle. Now it’s just a matter of repackaging existing content into podcast form. Here are some suggestions to help get your podcast into shape — and ease the tension.
Identify Themes: Like other aspects of your content program, podcast themes should be aligned with broader marketing objectives. This allows you to link content together to give your audience a more complete journey and also builds your authority around important topics over time. From there, use existing content as the basis for podcasts, incorporating key messages into the conversation. When possible, use current events and emerging trends as springboards for the conversation to keep it relevant and timely.
And similar to other forms of content, a podcast should be informative and prescriptive without being promotional. It’s certainly OK — and recommended — to include a call to action at the end of each episode, but listeners won’t come back for a full on infomercial.
Script The Format, Not The Content: It’s important to map out elements like the podcast intro, outro and key messages. But the conversation between subject matter experts (SMEs) should be more extemporaneous. It's a good idea for participants to write out bullets to direct the conversation and to remind them of points they want to hit, but these should serve as guides only. Think of your favorite podcast and what you like about it. Chances are, the hosts and guests make you feel like you’re listening in on a conversation, as opposed to a prepared speech.
Set SMEs Up For Success: Not everyone is a natural speaker, but most people have an area of expertise and can make very compelling points about topics they’re passionate about. So it’s critical to identify those topics ahead of time and coordinate the conversation accordingly. It also makes sense to have a run-through ahead of time to give guests a chance to practice and get a feel for how they’ll interact.
Also, help your subject matter experts relax. They shouldn’t be worried about getting every word perfect or delivering every key message the communication department is promoting. They should have fun — it’ll make for a more interesting podcast.
Don’t Over/Underdo It: While there’s no rule on B2B podcast lengths, it’s a good idea to aim for around 20 minutes. Anything under 15 minutes is probably too short, and more than 30 minutes is likely too long for the B2B category. But in the end, the quality of the content is vastly more important than run time.
Establish A Cadence, Stick To It: Whether once a week or once a quarter, publish podcasts at intervals that are consistent, but also doable. You want accessing the content to become a habit for subscribers. If availability becomes unpredictable, listeners will move on. Over time, you may feel comfortable publishing at shorter intervals, but only do so if the faster pace is something you can maintain.
Have A Few In The Bank: To ensure that you’re able to meet the agreed-upon cadence, resist the temptation to publish your first podcast the moment it’s ready. There are any number of variables that can delay future episodes — from aligning guest schedules to experiencing technical difficulties in getting approvals. Have four or five podcasts ready to go before you launch. That will give you the breathing room necessary to publish consistently as you become more familiar and comfortable with the process.
Next up, we’ll share best practices for researching equipment, editing software and other logistical must-haves. If you’re considering a podcast, we’d love to help. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. And be sure to check out the Look Left @ Marketing Podcast.