The best, most important things in life take time and careful planning. College. Planning a wedding. World travel. Launching a business. None of these milestones are split-second decisions. You do your research. You make notes. You consult experts.
So it goes without saying that when you want something to succeed, you start with a plan.
Not all of the 5 million podcasts available today have undergone this critical thinking (which is probably why so many have “podfaded”). But those that continually capture attention and listenership started with a strategy and continually refine that plan over time.
At Casted, podcast and video strategy is built out of purpose, goals, audience, and theme. Before you hit record, consider these crucial areas of podcast planning and create your brand's podcast marketing strategy.
Define Your Why
Why did you start your podcast? (No, really, why?) It’s ok if you don’t have an answer right away, but before you start down the path of recording and production, it’s important to understand how your show will differ from the hundreds of thousands of other podcasts out there.
We like to call this your podcast WHY. To help you define yours, consider these three foundational questions:
- Is there a business need for your podcast? Every email, webinar, or campaign you produce ties back to a specific business need. Likewise, podcasts can be leveraged as a key business opportunity and brand differentiator.
- Is there an audience for it? Your audience doesn’t have to be gigantic — it just has to be engaged. Whether you’re speaking to hundreds or thousands, identifying your listeners is as important as determining a market for a product.
- Do you have a unique perspective to contribute? How is your show different from every other podcast? Why should listeners choose your show and not another? The answer lies in the unique perspective and experience you have to share (like our friend Sam Jacobs, host of the Sales Hacker Podcast talks about).
For us, The Casted Podcast exists to:
- Get our brand’s name into the minds of our audience.
- Create a destination for B2B marketers and podcasters to learn about podcast best practices and serve as a resource center for questions and solutions.
- Build Casted’s credibility as a trusted thought leader in B2B podcasting for our target audience.
- Build a network of podcast professionals and subject matter experts to create rich sources of content and partnerships.
- Drive pipeline, convert leads, and generate revenue to grow the brand.
Set Smart Goals and Metrics
Grabbing a microphone and setting off into unchartered territory may be exciting, but it’s not sustainable without achieving brand goals. How will you know when your podcast has succeeded? How will you pay your team?
“You can’t pay your employees with downloads,” podcaster and marketing extraordinaire Jay Baer says. “Look at your spike in SEO; look at your spike in people mentioning the show to your customer success team.” You have to know what your brand plans to achieve with a B2B show. It's one of the main determiners of whether you should do a podcast in the first place.
Your podcast goals should be whatever makes the most sense for your brand and your podcast content strategy. The important thing is to choose KPIs that best align with your goals and then paying close attention to these metrics once you’re up and running. At Casted, we recommend using metrics that matter and go beyond just downloads, like:
Audience Building Metrics
- # of subscribers
- # of listens/downloads
- # of social media mentions and engagement (shares, comments, likes, etc.)
- # of verbal mentions to sales and customer success team members (tracked via CRM, customer service portal, or internal spreadsheet)
- # of podcast merchandise purchases
Audience Growth Metrics
- % change in subscribers
- % change in listens/downloads
- % change in new and unique listeners
- % change in returning listeners
- # of visits to podcast pages
Audience Engagement Metrics
- % average completion time
- Podcast rating
- # of episode comments or reviews
- Responses to questions, quizzes, or contests
- Sponsor ad clicks or promo codes used
- # of surveys taken (via email or provided URL)
- Top audio/video clips
- # of show or episode shares from hosting platform
- # of shares of related content (podcast transcripts, blogs, clips, etc.)
Pipeline and Conversion Metrics
- # of leads through podcast-driven content (episodes, blogs, audio- and videograms, social media, email, etc.)
- # of form/chat/demo conversions on podcast pages
- Pipeline influenced by podcasts
- # of listeners converted to meetings
- # of prospects listening during the buying cycle (and which episodes)
Put Your Audience First
The thing about creating a show is that you have to have an audience to sustain it. No audience, no show.
Audience too small? The “bigger is better” mentality isn’t necessarily warranted in podcasting. The important thing is attracting an audience that is laser-focused on and hungry for the content you produce.
Audience too big? Consider breaking your show into more podcasts with tailored content for niche audiences. It takes more work (and it’s not the answer for every company), but the payoff for your brand could be huge.
Lastly, don’t try to make your podcast into something it’s not: every other podcast. Embrace your uniqueness and whatever will attract and keep your audience. Take it from Tom Webster, SVP of marketing and strategy for Edison Research — what works for one show doesn’t always work for another.
"The number one thing that I would like them to take away is to get out of their heads a little bit and really think audience first," Tom says. "And every choice that you make and every decision, every aspect of content that you decide to put in or leave out of your show, really make it an audience-first decision and not a company-first decision, because people will smell that. That's not what people are looking for. So if you genuinely make audience-focused decisions, if everything is on the side of the audience, then you can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. But that also means learning more about your