B2B marketers on small, scrappy teams have to wear a lot of different hats. And in order to get the best information, you rely upon a combination of Google, communities and your peers.
But when it comes to producing a new podcast for your own company, many marketers can’t find a reliable source. If you search Google, you’ll find a ton of resources for independent podcasters or hobbyists. And if you reach out to peers, you’ll find that companies are still trying to figure out the best approach to launching a business podcast.
So if you’re looking at producing a podcast for your company, what’s the best step-by-step process available? How can you get to that first episode and reach your target audience?
In this article, we lay out the process needed to produce a podcast and launch your first episode out into the world. The process we outline below is based upon the route we’ve taken with nearly 50 other podcasts for tech companies.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Plan your podcast – what will it be about and who will be involved?
- Record your podcast – what’s the right equipment and tools needed for good video and audio quality?
- Edit your podcast – how do I remove any mistakes or awkward pauses, construct a story and add intro/outro music?
- Publish your podcast – where will you store your episodes so people can listen?
- Promote your podcast – how do I get the podcast distributed to my audience?
1. Plan your podcast - what will it be about and who will be involved?
Before you produce a podcast, it’s important to take some time to plan out the show. And it’s way more involved than just designing your cover art.
What kind of topics will you cover? Who will be your podcast target audience? Who will be involved in the production?
These are all important questions to answer before you start recording. Once you have a clear vision for the podcast, it will be much easier to produce a high-quality show that people will enjoy watching (or listening to).
But wait. What’s involved when planning a podcast?
When we start a podcast for a technology company, we create a Strategic Action Plan. Some might call this a “Creative Brief” or a “Podcast Strategy.” Either way, it’s a document that outlines all of the core components to your company’s show.
A Strategic Action Plan includes:
- Podcast theme statement
- Ideal listener
- Guest profile
- Podcast host
- Podcast format
- Episode structure
- Visual framework (cover art, video storyboards, etc.)
- Post production workflow
For more details on what to include in your company’s podcast strategy, check out Start a podcast: A winning strategy for your company’s show.
“Consistency is the currency for growth.”
Head of Content
2. Record your podcast - what's the right equipment and tools needed for good video and audio quality?
A podcast is a great way to share your thoughts and ideas with the world. But if your audio or video quality stinks, then your audience won’t stick around very long.
When it comes to producing a podcast, you’ll likely have a blend of solo podcast episodes and episodes that interview guests. For interviews, you might not be in the same room as your guests for the actual recording. So you’ll probably rely upon remote podcast recording to get the job done.
Here’s a list of the primary pieces you’ll need when actually recording your episodes:
If you’re producing a podcast for the first time, you can get started with your iPhone and AirPods. But that’s not the approach I’d recommend for your company’s show. With a budget starting at $250 – $500, you can get the recording equipment you need to produce a podcast with good sound quality.
Here’s a breakdown of two tiers of equipment you can use to get your show off of the ground:
Tier 1 Podcast Production Package
- Microphone – Shure MV7 (a great USB microphone option)
- Headphones – Sennheiser Professional HD 280 PRO
- Video camera – Camo app (turns your iPhone into a webcam) or Elgato Webcam
- Optional accessories – Pop filter, microphone boom arm
Tier 2 Podcast Production Package
- Microphone – Shure SM7B
- Headphones – Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro Headphones
- Video camera – Sony A6400 + Elgato CamLink
- Audio interface – Rodecaster Pro
- Optional accessories – Pop filter, microphone boom arm, cloud lifter
Remote podcast recording software
Once you have all of the necessary equipment, it’s time to record.
Should you just use Zoom?
You can. But I don’t recommend using Zoom for remote interviews.
Instead, I recommend using recording software designed for podcasting. The top three on the market are Riverside, SquadCast and Zencastr.
The three primary reasons for using a remote podcast recording platform are: 1) Better sound quality, 2) Separate tracks (for audio and video) and 3) Cloud backups for video and audio files.
We’ve used all the tools at Motion. But the majority of our customers who produce a podcast are using SquadCast.
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your recording platform, before you hit the record button:
1. Choose a quiet recording environment – This will help reduce background noise and make it easier for your podcast audience to hear you.
2. Set up your equipment – Make sure your microphone is positioned properly and that your headphones are comfortable. And ensure you’ve selected the proper mic and headphone set in the podcast recording platform.
3. Test your audio levels – Before you start recording, it’s important to test your audio levels to ensure that you’re not too quiet or too loud. Most of the platforms provide a “green room” so you can test your equipment before hitting record.
4. Confirm the setup of other podcast guests – Once you’re ready, it’s important to make sure each participant in the session has their appropriate equipment in place and that they sound natural. Before you begin recording, confirm everyone else looks and sounds good.
Looking for a complete checklist of items to make sure you get a quality recording? Check out this blog post before you hit the record button: Pre-flight Checklists: The No-Fail Method for Remote Podcast Recording Sessions.
3. Edit your podcast - how do I remove any mistakes or awkward pauses, construct a story and add intro/outro music?
The level of complexity involved with your podcast editing process can vary quite a bit. For many podcasts, producers don’t cut much of the dialogue at all. In other instances, you’ll find a podcast production process where the entire conversation is reconstructed and built out into a completely new narrative.
So when you first start a podcast, how much audio editing is right for your podcast production process?
When you produce a podcast for your company, I don’t recommend starting out with a highly edited show. Here’s the approach I recommend as a good starting point (you’ll need audio editing software to get this done):
- Remove any mistakes or obvious awkward pauses in the podcast interviews
- Remove any major filler words that are used too often (“like”, “um” or “ah”)
- Remove any major background noise in each audio file (use a noise reduction filter with your audio editing software)
- Adjust levels of all podcast participants to ensure consistent audio quality
- Add a pre-recorded intro (includes voiceover and intro music) and outro to bookend the conversation
Once you get a few episodes in place and have established some consistency, you can start to experiment with your podcast episode structure. You can also modify the episode format of your show, too.
Contrary to a lot of podcasting advice you see on the internet, you don’t have to use the same podcast format each week. It’s a good idea to use a variety of podcast formats.
Want to take a deeper dive into structure and determine the best episode format for you? Here’s a blog post outlining how to structure your company’s podcast episodes.
4. Publish your podcast - where will you store your episodes so people can listen?
Now that you’ve recorded and edited your first episode, it’s time to publish your podcast so people can start listening. But before you can do that, you need to select a podcast hosting platform.
A podcast host is a service that stores your audio files and enables you to distribute them (by creating an RSS feed) to popular podcast directories like Apple podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify.
There are a lot of great podcast hosting platforms out there. To be honest, most of them will be just fine. But the two that we recommend most often at Motion are Buzzsprout and Castos. We use Buzzsprout for the majority of our customers’ shows and usually only recommend Castos if your company plans to produce a private podcast (a show that’s accessible only to approved subscribers).
Both podcast hosting services offer monthly plans starting under $30 per month.
Here’s a list of the familiar features you’ll find with a podcast hosting platform:
- RSS feed generation (helps format your podcast cover art, episode title, podcast description, and more)
- Distribution to every popular podcast directory
- Episode analytics
- Embeddable podcast player
5. Promote your podcast - how do I get the podcast distributed to my audience?
Congratulations on preparing, recording, and editing your episode. But now that you’ve created it, how do you get people to listen to it or watch it (if you produced a video podcast)?
There are a number of ways to promote your podcast and get the word out. When you produce a podcast for your company, we recommend a 3-phased approach to distribution. Here’s an outline of what’s included within each of the major phases:
1. Repurpose and break down – Involves the development of a variety of assets to share across different marketing channels. In this phase, your marketing team focuses on the development of audio, video, and written content.
2. Distribute – In this phase, you focus on your company’s primary distribution channels. This includes your company’s social channels, 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. You embed video podcast snippets in blog posts, include your podcast episodes in your emails, and even use the material in outbound activities to attract new listeners.
By taking this approach with your own podcast, you can start to build a very intimate relationship with your audience and attract potential listeners.
After you produce a podcast episode, focus on consistency
The release of your first podcast episode is a heavy lift. And your team probably feels a huge sense of accomplishment once it’s available on Apple podcasts or your favorite podcast app.
But it’s not enough to get through post production one time. It’s not enough to just start a podcast. The hard part of podcasting is consistency.
A successful podcast requires more from your team. You have to get a consistent publishing schedule in place. If you release new episodes on a regular basis and constantly refine your approach, you’ll find it much easier to attract new listeners and retain your existing audience.
P.S. – Do you want to avoid podfade, focus on future episodes and make sure you produce a quality podcast? Then check out Podfade: 5 reasons podcasts fail and how your marketing team can avoid them.
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.
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.