How To Achieve Business Podcasting Success

Business podcasting differs from entertainment podcasting in almost every dimension. (The hint is in the adjective.)

So don’t look to podcasts from Trevor Noah, Glennon Doyle, Joe Rogan, or even The New York Times for hints on how to succeed. You don’t want to be like those people.

You’re taking the business podcasting onramp to a different highway.

I’ve gathered insights from helping many companies launch and succeed with business podcasts I shared at Content Marketing World 2023. I’m happy to share them with you.

1. Understand the attributes of business podcasting

A business podcast differs from an entertainment podcast in purpose, format, tone, and target audience. Here’s how:

  • Purpose: A brand’s podcast’s purpose isn’t to entertain or directly monetize it. It exists to build brand awareness and authority, demonstrate thought leadership, increase content output, and increase demand and (potentially) leads.
  • Format: Entertainment podcasts can get away with a lack of structure; business podcasts cannot. Create a structure and partially script episodes. Just don’t go too far. Use a bulleted outline of ideas rather than reading a word-for-word script.
  • Tone: Entertainment podcasts often use a less formal tone and broad humor and pop-culture references. Your business podcast tone should be professional and in line with your established brand guidelines. You can use some jargon if your audience uses that language, too.
  • Audience: Your audience is not a mass-market audience who enjoys podcasts, often revolving around a social demographic. Your target audience is potential customers, industry peers, or employees (for internal podcasts).

Your business podcast won’t attract the enormous audience some entertainment podcasts get. But it can help you:

  • Overcome content and resource challenges
  • Build relationships with industry leaders, leaders at client organizations, and potential customers
  • Co-create content with the faces and voices of industry leaders.

2. Review the production process before you hit ‘record’

Many teams jump into podcasting for their brand and end up saying, “Wow. This takes a bit more than I thought it would.” Here’s what a business podcast requires:

Production team

Yes, you need a host and an editor, but you also need:

  • A writer to prepare the semi-scripted episodes
  • An outreach manager to approach and schedule potential guests
  • Someone to repurpose the content across multiple media types
  • An executive producer to be the quarterback of decisions on topics, schedule, etc.

Your production team members might wear multiple hats, but each task must be covered.

Pre-production process

In the pre-production stage, the team decides on strategy, scheduling, and equipment. Answer these questions:

Strategy decisions

  • Why are you creating this podcast?
  • What are your objectives?
  • What is the format of each episode?
  • What are the podcast’s goals?
  • How will you measure them?

Scheduling decisions

  • Will you record batches of episodes?
  • How will you make sure your guests are on schedule?
  • What happens if a guest must reschedule? (This happens often when scheduling executives because — surprise — your recording isn’t the most important thing in their day.)

Equipment decisions

  • Microphones
  • Headphones
  • Lighting
  • Location
  • Software
  • Remote platform (Riverside.fm, Descript, Zencastr, etc.)

Production process

Podcast listeners may tire of listening and leave the episode for another podcast or to do something else. They may not know why they stopped listening. It could be the production quality.

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Think of it this way. You don’t get to leave when you’re on a Zoom work call. You must listen to that person with the loud air conditioner and the bad microphone. But podcast listeners have a choice. Psychological research finds when a person’s voice is clear and soothing, the audience will listen longer.

Make sure to account for these production issues:

  • Coaching for both host and guests. An experienced producer can help the host and guests learn to present a good on-camera appearance and talk into the microphone without cutting in and out.
  • Real-time quality checks. A producer should note when something unexpected happens. For example: “At 5:05, someone had a coughing fit — be sure to take that out.”
  • Editing. After the recording is complete, an editor must optimize it for audio, remove unwanted sounds, arrange segments in the right order, add elements, such as music, and master and equalize the final recording.

Postproduction process

After the file is ready, the postproduction activities kick in — publishing, repurposing, and promoting the podcast.

Publishing

Repurposing

  • Create clips to repurpose as audio and video grams.
  • Create social copy for the clips.
  • Turn episodes into articles.
  • Feature episodes in your newsletter.

Promotion

  • Help your guests promote their episode.
  • Send emails.
  • Add it to the website journey.
  • Repurpose the podcast.
  • Publicize it on social media.

Given the importance of promotion, I’ll go into detail about how to get the most out of each.

Help your guest promote their episode: The screenshot below shows an example of what I send in the “guest content pack” to people who appear on my podcast, The Business of Marketing.

The email thanks Seth, notifies him the episode is live, and provides links to the episode page on the Content Monsta website, a shared folder containing video snippets, graphics, photos, and a link to the video on YouTube.

In this case, we didn’t write the social copy (because no one can write for Seth Godin). But Seth wrote about his appearance and linked to it on his blog. You can imagine the link juice from a site like Seth’s blog — all because we included all the content to make it easy for him to do.

Promote the episode to your email subscribers: We send a brief email to our audience every episode. It often reads, “On this episode of The Business of Marketing podcast, we talked about these three valuable things” and highlights them. So, we give some value in the email and include a call to action to listen to the podcast or read the summary. We also always include an image.

Here’s the email for the Seth Godin episode:

It says:

Hey Alex!

I’m so excited to share this with you. Each time I interview someone who is extremely well known, my goal is to ask them questions that I genuinely want their take on.

That isn’t always easy when they get interviewed every day.

I figure, if I’m curious and I want the answer, maybe you want the answer too.

And somehow, miraculously, I regularly get the honor of hearing, “Wow, I’m never asked that!”

This is one of those cases.

To start Season 3 of The Business of Marketing Podcast with a ،, I chat with marketing expert, teacher, blogger, and Founder of the Carbon Almanac, Seth Godin!

Seth is an entrepreneur, best-selling author, and speaker. In addition to launching one of the most popular blogs in the world, he has written 20 best-selling books.

If you’re on this email list, odds are you already know who Seth is. If not, just Google “Seth” and he’ll likely be the first result.

Here is a video of our conversation where we discuss confidence, creativity, and focus.

Don’t forget to check out past episodes of our podcast with marketing gurus from around the globe, and stay tuned for the amazing lineup we have this season of the show.

Yours in Content,
Lee

TIP: Use your call to action to drive traffic to your website, not to Apple or Spotify.

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Incorporate your podcast into the website journey: You’re not in radio. You’re not in podcasting. You’re trying to drive business. That makes the website journey the most important promotional tactic.

I drew this concept one afternoon so I wouldn’t lose the thought. These doodles have been in my presentations ever since. First, point all your external assets to your website.

As this doodle shows, each social media post, email, and even links within the podcast on Apple or Spotify point back to a web page for that episode that includes the podcast player and a transcript or an article about it.

Make sure your website hosts a “pod roll” page with a list of your podcast episodes — similar to a blog page with a list of articles. Put the label and link at the top menu of your website (under Resources, for example).

Website visitors can binge-listen to the podcast without going to Spotify or Apple.

Now, here’s the secret sauce. Put a form on that page. We get subscribers and leads from The Business of Marketing podcast because we include a form on every podcast episode page.

Here’s the page for the episode featuring Seth Godin. The subscription form sits on the right next to the hero image and podcast player.

Website visitors will listen or read about the episode and say, “You know what? I want to know more about this information.” Or “I want to hear more from this company.” They fill out the form.

At Content Monsta, we get more leads or form fills from some podcast episode pages than from some of our blog articles.

Repurpose your podcast: Think about how much content you can create beyond the podcast. Options include:

  • Video highlights (two to five minutes) for YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn
  • Micro-videos (60 seconds) for YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, LinkedIn, TikTok, etc.
  • Micro-audio as audiogram waveforms or audiogram text animations.

You can also use this abbreviated content in your emails, on your website, and in social posts.

Schedule your repurposed assets over time. We promote an episode on release day, then a week, a month, three months, eight months, and a year later. Even if we don’t produce new episodes, the content marketing machine keeps moving and pointing back to the website.

This chart shows our repurposing workflow. It starts with a produced episode and graphics.

The first phase involves distribution — RSS feeds via Apple, Spotify, etc., audio embeds on the website landing page and guests’ websites, and publishing in the newsletter. The second phase includes creating the audio clips and social copy. In the third phase, the guest content pack, which includes content for several social posts and newsletter mentions, is sent.

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The fourth and final phase involves identifying content on your site where it makes sense to highlight the podcast episode. If you’ve published an in-depth article on a topic addressed in the episode, you could embed the audio or video file on that same page.

How much more can you derive through the podcast to serve the audience along their journey? Consider these options:

  • Develop newsletter editions about podcast topics to educate potential customers.
  • Answer important questions about your brand’s offerings in podcast conversations.
  • Host customers as guests, and you have instant testimonials.

With this business podcasting strategy, when you talk to your CMO and CFO about getting a budget, you’re not asking them to pay for a podcast. You’re asking them to support a content-making machine for the brand.

Metrics and more business podcasting pitfalls to avoid

You know someone will ask how many downloads or listeners the podcast attracts.

Try your best to ignore those metrics. It’s OK if people consume the promotional content without ever listening to the podcast. Listenership isn’t your goal — business is. Don’t measure listenership as your end goal. Your podcast is a source, not the end product.

Instead, focus on metrics that matter to the business:

  • Brand awareness
  • Authority
  • Website engagement
  • Increased content output
  • Influenced pipeline

One way to assess the podcast’s impact is to include UTM tracking on every link to the podcast. Then, you can attribute all the related links and traffic that come to your podcast. For example, a link shared in a LinkedIn post gets attributed to the podcast, not LinkedIn, because without the podcast, the post wouldn’t have been published.

Among the other potential pitfalls and fixes:

  • Thinking one person can do it all: I laid out the five essential podcast roles but recognize you may need more than one person in each role.
  • Adding video without considering quality: Please don’t record your Zoom calls and say you have a video podcast. If you’re not ready to commit to quality video, just do a good audio podcast.
  • Believing a good microphone is good enough: You need to work with someone who understands audio well enough to mix it so it doesn’t send listeners away.
  • Hosting the podcast in a silo: Make sure to include the podcast in the marketing mix.

Path to podcast success

If you take one thing from this article, let it be this. Creating a podcast isn’t your goal. Getting listeners or podcast subscribers on rented platforms isn’t your goal.

Getting the right people to your website where you can feed them the right information to lead them to action is your goal. A business podcast and its many content byproducts can make that happen.

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Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

منبع: https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/articles/achieve-business-podcasting-success/

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