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How to make a podcast schedule for your brand.
The rise of smartphones and mobile devices, on-demand content, and audio platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts has paved the way for the increased popularity of podcasts. According to a report by Demand Sage, more than 460 million people around the globe listen to podcasts. This number is projected to increase to about 505 million next year.
What does this mean to leaders like you?
If you’re looking for a creative way to promote your brand, capture more leads, and position yourself as an expert in your field, consider launching a podcast channel for your business.
Podcasts, in a nutshell
A podcast is a new media content primarily in an audio format. It typically involves discussion of a particular topic by one, two or more speakers. Depending on the topic and speaker, a podcast may have different goals, such as sharing valuable information, raising awareness of a brand, or simply entertaining.
Podcasting began in 2004 when Adam Curry and Dave Winer created “iPodder”, a program that allowed online users to download audio files from the Internet which they could conveniently listen to on their iPods. This was when the term “podcast” emerged – combining the words “iPod” and “broadcast”.
Initially, podcasts were created by amateur content creators, but as more and more people consumed this type of content, professionally produced podcasts became popular. Today, there are millions of podcasts available on a variety of topics, from news and current events to technology and advice. Businesses have also started embracing podcasts as part of their branding and marketing strategies.
The perks of professional podcasts
Podcasts have been integral to the growth of brands in beauty, medical, business consulting and more.
Increase brand awareness
Podcasting can help your business reach a wider audience and create long-term engagement with your brand. As people listen to your podcast, they become familiar with your team, mission and values, while learning more about your products or services.
Position yourself as an expert
Podcasts work similarly to webinars. By sharing your expertise and insights in a public forum, you build trust and credibility with potential customers. Your brand is also further humanized as listeners connect to the people behind the business.
Generate leads from podcasting
There are countless ways to include calls to action in your podcasts, from mentioning your website URL in your script, to including booking links in episode descriptions. Whether you want to increase site traffic, provide more demos, or convince listeners to make a purchase, a well-placed CTA makes a huge difference.
Create collab opportunities
Podcasting is a great opportunity to invite guests, like other business owners, for conversations and panel discussions. You create a space to cross-promote your services and reach more than your own audience. Expanding your network in this way can lead to future business partnerships, ambassadorship, campaigns and more.
Before joining the mic
Here’s what to keep in mind ahead of launching your podcast.
Identify your ‘what’ and ‘why’
Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean you need to jump on the bandwagon. Before deciding to launch a podcast, it’s important to establish what to offer and why it’s valuable to your target audience.
Determine your niche and goals from the get-go. Are you going to share information that addresses your listeners’ pain points? Or will you simply promote your products and discuss their benefits?
Defining a primary purpose makes it easier to structure your podcast and plan topics for your core audience.
Focus on providing value
When thinking about topics to discuss, always ask, “Why should my audience care?”
Put yourself in their shoes, identify their needs and wants, and carefully think about what they get from your content. This way, you can provide beneficial information and your brand goes beyond making noise. When listeners know your content offers value, they’ll continue to follow you and become brand-loyal.
Invest in quality tools
Podcasting has become a mainstream form of media; you only need a smartphone to record and share content. This is ideal for business owners who want to test the traction of their podcasts before purchasing professional equipment like microphones, cameras and soundboards, and potentially renting studio space.
Research the best podcast recording software based on your current setup and access to recording tools. For podcast scheduling, utilize an online calendar that lets you plan and delegate individual tasks for each episode.
Plan (and stick to your plan)
To run a successful podcast channel for your business, organization is just as important as creativity. From generating topic ideas and writing scripts, to recording and editing your episodes, you’ll need to pay attention to the details to ensure a reliable stream of content.
If you follow a structured process, production will become more manageable over time. Here are a few items to include in your podcast planning checklist:
- Generate topic ideas 1 or 2 months in advance
- Schedule the release of your podcast episode
- Research potential guests
- Create an episode outline for your team
- Write a script to keep content the right length
- Schedule interviews or discussions with guests
- Record the episode
- Edit your recording for final publication
- Prepare show notes
- Create a transcript of the episode
- Publish your podcast episode, including the show notes and transcript
- Market your podcast and get listeners
Tune in: Promoting your podcast
Finalizing the perfect podcast episode is part one of your journey. Next, you need to make sure your content is heard by your target audience and potential customers. Before launching your podcast, you may want to build hype and make your email subscribers and social media followers aware that new content is coming.
Similarly, you could reach out to relevant collaborators, publications and other businesses to promote your upcoming work on their channels. Below are some tips on how to drive traffic to your podcast before and after launch:
- Create SEO-centric podcast titles and descriptions
- Release episodes consistently
- Promote your podcast on your audience’s preferred social media
- Collaborate with other podcasters for cross-promotion
- Leverage email marketing
- Engage with listeners to create a community
- Submit your content to podcast directories
- Speak at industry events and conferences
How to create a podcast schedule template
A podcast schedule is a strategically planned calendar or timetable that outlines production and release of your podcast episodes. It includes important dates and times for publishing new episodes – typically on a consistent or recurring basis, such as weekly, bi-weekly or monthly.
Having a clear podcast schedule is important for brand-building because it assures listeners when new content will be available, helping to boost repeat engagement. Scheduling podcasts also keeps your team organized and production consistent around other marketing activities.
Create a content calendar in advance with specific episode topics and release dates. You should have a one-month podcast calendar confirmed, and while production is underway, aim to finalize the next month’s topics. This limits any stalling due to creative blocks and facilitates a continuous flow of episodes for your listeners.
Use an online podcast calendar tool
Podcast scheduling software is your best friend when it comes to planning your podcast episodes. Not only do you and your team get a birdseye view of all production tasks, but your software also notifies you about important dates, such as guest interviews and creative meetings.
A free online calendar planner like Setmore automates podcast scheduling so production runs like clockwork.
- Create a checklist of the initial tasks you need to accomplish, such as topic ideation and guest research. Block times in your calendar for when you plan to do these tasks, ensuring that a reminder notification is switched on.
- Schedule other operational tasks in advance, such as creating an episode outline, writing the script and recording the actual episode. Make sure to inform your guests about the episode recording so they won’t miss it. If you create a group session for the recording, your app will send them a reminder.
- Block time for editing, creating artwork, and other final tweaks needed for your podcast episode before the actual release.
- Schedule the release of the podcast, as well as the post-launch marketing, including social media promotion, email campaigns, and sharing the podcast link with your guests. Your podcast scheduling software can be integrated with Mailchimp and MailerLite to promote your podcast to a specific audience segment.
- Repeat each step above for a regular output of episodes. With a clear and organized podcast schedule template, you can produce content and monitor engagement more effectively. Consider setting tasks to recur in your calendar as this saves even more time on management.
If you’re working with a team to create your podcast, ensure that the schedule is visible to everyone. People involved in each task or meeting should be made aware of changes right away. Creating appointments for individual tasks or sessions for group tasks can help. Plot these in your shared podcast calendar, and if any tasks or meetings are rescheduled or cancelled, a notification is automatically sent out.
If you want new episodes to be released automatically, choose a reliable podcast hosting platform such as Libsyn, Podbean or Anchor. Simply upload finalized content, set specific release dates and times, and the hosting platform will publish your episodes across multiple channels.
More for your podcasting strategy
Podcasting to grow your business takes more than a solid podcast template. Your production, content and marketing strategy have to evolve according to audience preferences. After releasing episodes, ensure you’re collecting feedback and monitoring reviews regularly. This gives you real impressions of whether your podcast is meeting its initial goals and resonating with its ideal listeners.
- Invite guests with authority, credibility and a large following. Leverage their follower base to get more listeners and establish your hosts as experts.
- Create short-form videos from your podcast episodes. Short, snackable videos with an interesting, entertaining or humorous angle have the potential to go viral on Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and other platforms. A soundbite is more likely to be heard than an episode in its entirety; ensure your social media posts direct people to the full piece of content.
- Be relatable: Share stories or experiences that your listeners may have gone through as well. Cite news items or anecdotes that are familiar and resonate with your core audience.
- Prioritize quality over quantity. Make sure that each episode offers valuable and helpful content to your listeners.
- Prepare for every episode confirmed in your podcast template. Have your outline and script ready, as well as facts and figures to reinforce your points. And most of all, practice discussing your topic several times before recording. This way, you have talking points established before welcoming your guests.
- If promoting your services in a podcast episode, add the relevant booking link to its podcast description. Listeners can easily schedule an appointment with your business.
That’s a wrap
The continued growth of podcasts gives local businesses an opportunity to build brand awareness, reach a wider audience, and promote their products and services with a human voice.
Create a Setmore account and make scheduling your podcast a breeze. From an automatic calendar and online booking for guests to blocking time for research and video calling, your app has countless tools to help you launch a successful business podcast.
by Team Setmore