Are you hoping listeners will organically find your company’s podcast episodes on Apple? And when they do, are you hoping they’ll immediately become raving fans of your brand?
Yep, I wish it was that easy. But there’s a lot of content out there. And people are consuming more media than ever. In fact, according to Recode, U.S. adults consume an average of 11.1 hours of media each day across mobile, desktop, radio, television, and magazines.
So how does a scrappy marketer get the most from their company’s podcast?
If you want to grow your podcast’s audience, you need a repeatable podcast distribution plan that’s easy to manage. You need to break through the noise with a comprehensive strategy designed to reach every listener, reader, and viewer.
Because after all, your company’s podcast is more than just an audio recording.
In an episode of Recorded Content, I connected with Justin Brown and we outlined the podcast distribution plan we use and recommend to customers. In this article, I’ll break down how this approach can work for your company’s podcast.
“Not everyone is going to listen to that 45-minute podcast episode. And that is perfectly ok.”
Three key phases of a podcast distribution plan
There are three main phases of distribution that we use for our own show, Recorded Content. And we help our customers implement the same strategy. The three key phases include:
1. Repurpose and break down – Involves the development of a variety of assets to share across different distribution channels. In this phase, your team focuses on the development of audio, video, and written content.
2. Distribute – In this phase, you focus on primary distribution channels such as your company’s social profiles, website, and podcast platforms (Apple podcasts, Google podcasts and more).
3. Enrich – During this phase, your team starts to bolster other marketing content with assets created from your podcast episode.
At Motion, we use ClickUp to manage the distribution of each and every podcast episode. Once a recording session is complete and we’ve finished post-production, we create a task list to ensure we finish all of the steps within the distribution plan.
Step 1. Repurpose and break down your company's podcast
For every podcast episode, it helps to have a consistent process in place for repurposing. During the editing process, we actually have an entire list of assets we develop from a single video recording.
Here’s what we create from every episode:
- A full-length audio and video episode (the “pillar” content)
- Detailed show notes
- Short promotional videos or “podcast trailers”
- Custom thumbnails/episode art
- Social images
- Clean transcripts
So, why are all these different formats needed?
Here’s the truth – not everyone wants to listen to audio content. And some people don’t want to commit to a 45-minute video podcast either.
Therefore, it’s up to you as a marketer to reach your audience where they hang out. Even if that’s not in the Apple podcasts app.
According to Justin, “With a podcast, what you’re looking to do is reach people in your target audience. Even if they don’t consume podcasts. We like to think of a podcast as this overarching pillar piece that you then turn into content. And it’s content that can be consumed in a variety of ways…in whatever format a person prefers.”
As Tristan points out, it can be hard to accept that your time and energy don’t translate to huge download numbers. But this doesn’t mean your audience and new followers aren’t engaging at all. You’re still building brand awareness and followers by presenting content in a variety of different ways.
“In order to build traction, you need to focus on that micro-distribution. Chopping up things, repurposing, and then redistributing all the messages that you’re getting across in your full-length podcast episode. Some people might come across the two-minute video you share on LinkedIn and never actually subscribe to your podcast. And that’s okay because you’re still communicating.”
Step 2. Distribute primary assets from your podcast
The second step in a podcast distribution plan can be described as “table stakes.” These are the minimum actions to take when looking to get your company’s podcast out into the world.
Here are the steps we take with Recorded Content:
- Publish LinkedIn posts from the company page
- Publish a series of tweets or threads on Twitter (from the company account)
- Publish a dedicated episode page on the organization’s website (includes detailed show notes formatted for the design of the website)
- Upload the full-length audio (.mp3 file) on your podcast hosting platform and distribute to all of the major podcast directories (Spotify, Apple, Google, Stitcher, Podchaser and more)
- Upload the full-length version as a YouTube podcast
With primary distribution, you take the opportunity to disseminate information from your podcast episode into audio, written, and video formats. This takes care of all the different types of formats needed to reach your audience.
Want to build a content marketing flywheel?
Content Logistics is a podcast we produce for B2B marketers looking to build a scalable content engine. Camille Trent, Head of Content at Dooly.ai, interviews the marketers behind the best content marketing flywheels to uncover the tactical aspects of content production — from first draft to first customer. This podcast teaches everything from developing a sound content strategy to drafting, optimizing and distributing that content to grow your audience. Listen in and figure out how to become the best content creator and distributor within your own organization.
Step 3. Enrich other content by using your podcast assets
In the final stage of our podcast distribution plan, we really start to squeeze out all of the value from each episode. With enrichment, your company gets an opportunity to use content derived from the podcast episode in a lot of other places.
For example, there’s a lot you can do with podcast content through your own company newsletter and blog. And, you can begin implementing an employee advocacy program where your podcast gets distributed through all of the individual social profiles of your employees.
In the enrichment phase, here’s what we do at Motion:
- Embed podcast videos and trailers within blog posts
- Attach videos & social images to personal social posts on LinkedIn
- Create tweets and longer threads using quotes, images, and videos on Twitter
- Share in emails with prospects and customers
- Share in Slack channels or Facebook groups
Another area where we use podcast assets is within our paid ad strategy. I rarely see companies advertising their podcast through paid ads even though organizations have the ability to specifically target their audience on LinkedIn and other platforms.
If you plan out your podcast episodes properly and focus on helping your customers, a podcast can drive a lot of the content needed for a paid advertising strategy.
Paid ads can work to grow your podcast subscribers, but they can also be used at the top of the funnel to drive more awareness around the problem your company solves. You can use posts and concepts that performed well organically as the basis of a strong paid ad.
According to Tristan, “If you have some messages that are working with some of your organic social posts, or if you had an episode that performed really well, why wouldn’t you want more people in your audience to see that? Effectively what you’re doing is guaranteeing that certain people in your audience see those messages communicated within your podcast. And you can share your helpful podcast content without forcing customers to go through Apple or Spotify.”
“The main problem with podcast distribution is that there’s a lack of a plan.”
Evaluate the ROI of your podcast after implementing a full distribution plan
The ROI of your company’s show is not just how many downloads you get per episode. For most companies, it’s hard to justify an ROI in those early days. Because you’ll probably get a limited number of downloads (according to Buzzsprout, you’re in the top 25% of all podcasts if you get just 81 downloads). If your management solely evaluates the success of your show using downloads, you’ll probably have to pull the plug after a few months.
Instead of downloads, it’s important to think about the impact of each episode after you’ve gone through all three phases of distribution.
“I think when you’re talking about the first phase, you’re getting so much content to work with. So make sure to let your leadership understand the value of the content itself. Where else can you get that much repurposed material? Then, evaluate the consistency a podcast offers. With a podcast, you have the ability to bring your company’s social presence to life. And then with enrichment, you add layers to other content you already have in place. You support blog posts with videos. You create ads from conversations. You actually have valuable information to share with customers.”
Is that not enough to prove ROI?
Your podcast can also provide benefits beyond marketing. In a lot of cases, companies use podcasts to help onboard new team members, train sales reps, and share information across different departments.
As Tristan says, “Your podcast is all about going beyond that audio file that just lives on Apple podcasts. It’s about how a podcast can fit into your overall marketing strategy and unify your organization.”
Want to see how other B2B marketers distribute their podcasts?
Recorded Content is a show for small, scrappy marketing teams who are looking to launch & grow a successful B2B podcast. In each episode, we provide stories on how to overcome the challenges of launching, running and growing a show. We tackle issues with technology, content marketing, distribution and more. We help you become a B2B podcasting hero with an amazing show.
Written by Tristan Pelligrino
Tristan Pelligrino is the Co-Founder of Motion. He’s a serial entrepreneur who started his career as a consultant with large IT companies such as PwC, IBM and Oracle. After getting his MBA, he started and grew one of the fastest video production companies in the country – which was listed on the Inc. 5000. Tristan now enjoys leading the content marketing strategies of some of the most innovative B2B technology companies in the country. You can find him on LinkedIn and Facebook.