You have a great idea for a company podcast, but how do you persuade your boss to greenlight the project?
You likely have two options.
On one hand, you can do a project on your own first. And that’s what Jessie Lizak did.
Jessie, the CMO of BDEX, appeared on an episode of Recorded Content and described how she created a live event series on her own first before launching a podcast for her company.
According to Jessie, “I probably could have pushed a little harder at BDEX at first. But also, I don’t know what I don’t know. So, I kind of felt like it [creating her own live event/podcast] was a responsible thing to do at first.”
“I don’t know what I don’t know. I kind of felt like it was a responsible thing to do at first.”
On the other hand, if you don’t want to pursue a personal project to test the waters, you can create a well-thought-out podcast business plan.
And while it may be tempting to jump right into creating and recording episodes, it’s important to carefully consider the goals, target audience, content strategy, marketing and promotion tactics, budget and resources, and performance monitoring plan for your podcast.
But developing a podcast business plan isn’t just about getting organized – it’s also about convincing your CEO and other key stakeholders to invest in the project. Without buy-in upfront, your podcast will face a tough road ahead if you can’t prove “how many leads” it generates.
A solid podcast business plan can be the key to getting the support and buy-in you need to launch and sustain a successful podcast for your company.
Here’s a quick overview of the key components of a podcast business plan:
- Target audience
- Content strategy
- Budget and resources
- Measuring success
Whether you’re just starting to think about launching a podcast or you’re ready to pitch the idea to your management team, this post will provide the guidance and inspiration you need to take your podcast from idea to reality.
Establishing the purpose of your company's podcast: Defining your objectives
Before you start creating and recording episodes for your podcast, it’s essential to clearly define the goals and objectives of your show in your podcast business plan.
What do you hope to achieve by launching a podcast?
Understanding your objectives will help you create content that is focused, relevant, and engaging for your target audience. And it will also get you started on solid ground with your management team.
There are several reasons why a marketing team would want to launch a podcast. But your podcast business plan should only focus on the reasons that overlap with your company’s growth objectives.
Here are some commonly shared objectives that might apply to the objectives of your company’s podcast:
- Increasing brand awareness: A podcast can be a great way to showcase your company’s products or services to a wider audience and increase brand awareness.
- Driving revenue: A podcast can be an effective way to drive revenue, either through direct relationships built through the show or by driving traffic to your company’s website.
- Generating opportunities: A podcast can help generate leads by providing valuable content to listeners and encouraging them to learn more about your company.
- Educating and informing your ideal customers: A podcast can be a powerful tool for educating and informing your target audience about your industry or subject matter expertise.
- Building community: A podcast can help build a community of engaged listeners around your company’s brand, which can lead to increased loyalty and advocacy.
- Increasing customer engagement: A podcast can be a great way to increase customer engagement by providing a platform for open dialogue and two-way communication.
- Establishing and building thought leadership: A podcast can help position individual executives and your entire organization as a leader. By sharing a unique point of view on the challenges faced by customers, your podcast can build authority for your brand within the industry.
When you align the objectives of your podcast with the goals of the organization, it helps you demonstrate the value of your podcast to your CEO and other key stakeholders. It also allows you, as a marketer, to demonstrate where the podcast fits into the larger marketing strategy.
Finding your podcast's niche: Defining your target audience
Once you’ve identified the goals and objectives of your podcast, the next step is to define your target audience.
And from my perspective, a successful B2B podcast defines two things really well upfront. It captures WHO the show is for and HOW it helps.
In this section of your podcast business plan, you clearly outline who will be listening to your show.
But, how “niche” do you go with the ideal listener profile? I believe you should get as specific as possible with your target audience and make sure this group aligns clearly with the defined objectives.
To get to a specific target audience, here are some exercises you can go through with your marketing team:
- Use data to inform your target audience selection: Use data and audience research to understand the characteristics and media consumption habits of your company’s target audience. This can help you identify a target audience for your podcast that aligns with your company’s goals.
- Get input from key stakeholders: Talk to key stakeholders within your organization, such as your CEO and other decision-makers, to get their input on the target audience for your podcast. This can help ensure that your podcast’s target audience aligns with the priorities of your company.
- Talk to customers: By talking to customers, you can get a better understanding of their needs and interests. With a direct line to customers, you can start to segment your audience and really narrow in on a specific group of customers for your show.
Defining the target audience for your podcast is crucial because it helps inform the approach you take with the content strategy and helps direct the distribution efforts.
Want to see how other B2B marketers get the most from 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.
Creating engaging and relevant content for your podcast: Developing a strong content strategy
One of the keys to a successful podcast is a strong content strategy.
The target audience is WHO the show is for. And your content strategy is HOW the show helps them.
A well-thought-out content strategy will help you create engaging and relevant content that resonates with your target audience and meets your podcast’s goals and objectives.
Here are a few key components of a strong content strategy for a podcast:
- Identify the focus and format of your podcast: What will be the main focus of your podcast? Will you cover a specific topic or industry, or will you take a more general approach? Will your podcast feature interviews, roundtable discussions, solo episodes, or a combination of these formats? Identifying the focus and format of your podcast will help you create a cohesive and consistent content plan. Even if you plan to explore different podcast formats down the road, it helps to identify the preferred format upfront.
- Determine the “guides” for the show: Who will guide the conversation for each episode? Will you have multiple hosts from your organization or will you rely upon a single podcast host? In addition, guests can be a great way to add variety and expertise to your podcast. Identify potential guests that align with your podcast’s focus and goals. We frequently see branded podcasts use a combination of prospects, customers, internal experts, industry influencers, and partners as their guests.
- Outline the conflicts to explore: Where will you get a list of topics to tackle on the show? If you want to help your podcast listeners, it’s important to define where the episode topics will come from. Furthermore, when you create an initial approach of episode ideas, it helps to align the podcast with your broader content marketing strategy.
- Determine the frequency and length of your episodes: How often will you release new episodes of your podcast? Will you do a daily, weekly, or monthly show? How long will each episode be? Determining the frequency and length of your episodes will help you plan your content and ensure that you are able to consistently produce new episodes.
- Develop a content calendar: A draft podcast content calendar can help you plan and schedule your episodes in advance, ensuring that you have a consistent flow of content. When you develop your podcast business plan, create a draft of your editorial calendar to demonstrate the types of topics, guests, formats, etc. that will be released over the course of 3-6 months. This step will help your management team visualize the type of high-quality content they can expect over an extended period of time.
By developing a strong content strategy, you’ll be able to create engaging and relevant content for your podcast that meets the needs of your target audience and supports your podcast’s goals and objectives.
Even if some of the elements are in draft form, it will help you get on the same page as your leadership team before you discuss budgets or resources.
Reaching your target audience: Developing a distribution plan for your podcast
When you produce a podcast business plan, it’s important to discuss how the podcast will get distributed to your ideal target audience.
But there’s one important thing you need to know — a podcast is more than an audio channel.
Your company’s podcast is so much more than an mp3 file distributed on Spotify or Apple podcasts — especially if you produce a video podcast. The show can be a centerpiece for your company’s entire content marketing strategy.
There are three main phases of podcast distribution that are essential for effectively getting in front of your target audience. These phases include:
- Repurpose and break down: In this phase, your team focuses on the development of a variety of assets to share across different distribution channels. This might include creating audio, video, and written content from your podcast episode, as well as developing social media posts, blog posts, and other marketing materials. The goal of this phase is to create multiple touchpoints for your target audience and make it easy for them to consume your content in the format that best suits them.
- 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). Examples might involve uploading your episode to podcast platforms, creating social media posts to promote your episode, and adding the episode to your website. The goal of this phase is to get your episode in front of as many potential listeners as possible.
- Enrich: During this phase, your team starts to bolster other marketing content with assets created from your podcast episode. This might involve using quotes or sound bites from your episode in blog posts or social media posts, or creating visual assets such as images or graphics from podcast content. The goal of this phase is to create a cohesive marketing strategy that leverages your podcast content to drive engagement and conversions.
Since your company’s podcast is more than an audio channel, it’s important to demonstrate how the content can be used in a lot of places. And the flexibility and “mileage” you get from each episode are really a big part of the overall return on investment.
One of the biggest misconceptions by executives is that a podcast is just another item on a checklist.
But it’s not. Your company’s podcast can power your entire content marketing flywheel.
Allocating resources for your podcast: Developing a budget
In order to produce a high-quality podcast, you’ll need to allocate the appropriate budget and resources. This includes both financial and non-financial resources such as time, equipment, and talent.
When it comes to your budget and resources, there are really four key components to establishing a budget:
- Podcast strategy: When creating a podcast, it’s important to consider the video component from the very beginning. This means thinking about the visual framework of your show during the initial brainstorming phase and designing elements such as the show intro, outro, lower thirds, and video transitions as part of the process. It’s also important to consider how the content will work across both audio and video formats, and to be “video podcast ready” from the start. With the podcast strategy area of the budget, you need to have a content strategist, producer, and designer involved. A podcast agency can help lead this effort or you can gather internal resources who have the skills.
- Podcast production: When it comes to podcast production, you’ll need to allocate the resources required to record each episode. This includes equipment such as cameras and teleprompters, as well as professional tools or remote podcast recording software such as SquadCast, Riverside, Zencastr, or Streamyard for remote or live recording. And then you also have to factor in who is preparing/researching and hosting each episode. At Motion, our customers typically lead the production phase with internal resources after the strategy is defined.
- Podcast post-production: With post-production, there are quite a few different types of resources involved. The post-production aspect of your company’s show includes video editing, graphic design, animation, writing, and audio editing. It’s important to carefully plan these resources in advance to ensure that you have a smooth and efficient production process. With Motion, we handle this aspect of our customer’s podcast workflow.
- Podcast distribution: When you outline the budget for podcast distribution, you’ll need to secure podcast hosting to serve the audio content on Spotify, Apple podcasts, and other directories. You’ll also need to allocate a budget for marketing and promoting your podcast to reach your target audience. This could include paid advertising, social media marketing, email marketing, and more.
By carefully planning your budget and resources upfront, you’ll be able to align internal resources, secure outsourced podcasting services (if needed), and set expectations with management.
“Another measure of success is, ‘Is this helping my content distribution plan for the year? Does this still help me get content out the door?’ And it does.”
VP, Marketing & Communications
Quantifying success: Developing a measurement plan for your podcast
When it comes to evaluating the return on investment (ROI) of a podcast, it’s important to consider both the key performance indicators (KPIs) and the efficiency and quality of the content you create.
On the one hand, you can measure the impact of your podcast with a basic list of KPIs such as subscribers/followers, downloads, website traffic, social engagement, reviews, mentions, and revenue. These metrics can give you a sense of the reach and impact of your podcast on your target audience.
However, the ROI of your podcast can also be positive if you consider the efficiency and quality of the content you create. By focusing on one primary input – a conversation or podcast episode – you can generate multiple pieces of authentic content such as blog posts, videos, ads, and additional podcast episodes. This can help drive your company’s overall content marketing strategy and save time, resources, and coordination compared to creating each piece of content in a vacuum.
For example, a well-researched and planned-out podcast episode can provide:
- An in-depth blog post featuring experiences from your internal subject matter experts
- Multiple short videos for organic social distribution
- Multiple ads (images and/or short videos)
- Full-length audio on Spotify, Apple, and other podcast platforms
- Ideas for additional blog posts, social posts, or follow-up episodes
By leveraging the efficiency and quality of your podcast content, you can create a flywheel effect for your company’s content marketing efforts. This means that one piece of content can lead to the creation of multiple additional pieces of content, which can then lead to even more content and so on.
So when you think about the overall ROI of your company’s podcast, it’s important to consider both the KPIs and the efficiency and quality of the content you create.
When you communicate this with management in the podcast business plan, then it helps them view the podcast through a broader lens (versus just an “audio channel”).
Podcasting with purpose: How a solid business plan can help you achieve your goals
Creating a podcast can be a powerful marketing tool for businesses. It allows you to engage with your audience, establish thought leadership, and drive traffic to your website and social media channels. But in order to achieve these goals, it’s essential to have a well-crafted podcast business plan in place.
Your podcast business plan should include a clear set of objectives that align with your company’s overall goals, a well-defined target audience, and a strong content strategy that will help you create engaging and relevant content for your listeners. You’ll also need a distribution plan to help you reach your target audience, as well as a budget and resources section to ensure that you have the necessary resources to produce and promote your podcast.
Measuring the success of your podcast is also crucial. This can involve tracking key performance indicators such as subscribers, downloads, website traffic, and social engagement, as well as evaluating the efficiency and quality of the content you create. By looking at the ROI of your podcast from multiple angles, you can get a better sense of how it’s impacting your business and where you may need to make adjustments.
Overall, a solid podcast business plan is an essential component of any successful podcasting strategy. It helps you stay focused, prioritize your efforts, and allocate your resources effectively, so you can achieve your goals and drive meaningful results for your business.
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.