WHAT IS A PODCAST

A podcast is simply an audio show or program that listeners subscribe to on the internet. 

Most podcasts are audio only, though video podcasts also exist. 

Podcasts are typically centred around one specific theme or niche. It consists of a series of episodes where a host or hosts discuss something specific within that theme. 

There are three common types of podcasts: Branded storytelling, narrative and interview/panel discussions. The type needed depends on the intention of your podcast series. 

A lot of today’s podcasts rely on simplicity and spontaneity. They keep things as free-flowing and casual as much as possible. It’s like listening to a few friends chatting about something they’re passionate about. 

Topics vary across the millions of podcasts available. Some discuss movies and media. Others provide business advice. Some tackle more serious subjects like current events and politics.

No matter what they discuss, what makes a podcast stand out is how they deliver the content. 

For small businesses, podcasting is a great way to increase brand awareness and build trust. But as with any form of content, the right strategy is needed for it to succeed. 

PODCAST CONTENT STRATEGY

Podcast Insights reports there are 850,000 active podcasts and more than 30 million episodes on the internet. It’s a saturated market, but its increase in popularity can only mean one thing: more businesses are seeing opportunities to build their brand and boost their influence through podcasts.

If you’ve been inspired to start a podcast, everything starts with careful planning.

That begins with a six stage podcast strategy.
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Stage 1: Content and industry research

To understand you and your industry and the calibre of the content being uploaded in your marketplace, we need to do the research.

This happens in four phases:

Story identification: We’ll ask the questions and you give us your responses. The questions we ask will form the basis in which we work. We’ll cover things like your ‘why’, what you want to achieve in business and SEO keywords (if applicable).

Understanding your offer: We will deep dive into your products and services, how your ideal customers benefit from it and how they are (or can be) different from what your competitors offer. Going further, we’ll learn what Call to Actions (CTAs) you have and how these can be subtly used in the content we create.

Knowing your customers: Your podcasts must be targeted to an audience that wants or needs to hear from you. By drilling down on this, we'll be able to create a content strategy that your customers will feel is made uniquely for them.

Reviewing your competitors: We conduct analysis to identify the content your competitors are creating (and more importantly, whether its driving leads). This means you’ll get a more streamlined understanding of what they’re doing and how we can position you as a better alternative.

Industry research: To forecast future predictions about your industry, we need a detailed understanding of it. When backed by educated and informed research we can confidently position you and your offer as different and thought-provoking.
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Stage 2: Workshop and building your content strategy

Podcasting is fun, but if you don't know its intention, you're wasting your time and, more importantly, your audience's time.

That’s why we will pull together all the information from stage one and conduct a content workshop with you. This will ensure clear decisions are made around important things like:

Understanding the end goal of your podcast content: Whether it needs to increase brand awareness, position you or your company as a thought leader or generate leads.

What your customers need from you online: How podcasts can be directly targeted towards different buyer personas.

How your content should be created: Whether podcasts should be educational, entertaining, thought-leading or polarising.

How your products or services can be pitched in content: Via visual demonstrations, interviews or audio explanations.

From here, we will build out a six month content strategy and monthly publication calendar.

Our podcast content strategy will focus on the five stages of awareness and target your customer at every stage - unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product or service aware and most aware.
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Stage 3: Podcast content creation

Generally, there are three types of podcasts that generate leads and build brands.

Branded podcasts: Are a great way to build awareness, but it’s important to note that a branded podcast isn’t just to showcase what your business offers. Rather, it’s an episode (or series of episodes) that makes small passing mentions of your company while diving into a discussion with relevant guests. You need to avoid any hard sell sales methods here, and instead, create an episode that will allow your listener to identify with your brand.

We’ll help you generate new ideas that you can break down into a series of episodes to keep your audience hooked on your podcast.

Narrative storytelling: Stories are the best way to reach others and make an impact. A story told effectively will allow your audience to connect, engage, empathise, and remember your message. Narrative podcasts are driven by a powerful host, script, music, and voiceovers.

We’ll develop your story as a business, brand, or entrepreneur and craft a narrative that will allow you to make an impact and be remembered.

Interview and panel discussions: A popular podcast structure is hosting interviews and panel discussions. A main host, with either a single guest or multiple interviewees, will converse about a topic throughout the episode. It hooks the listener through a more casual format, as if it’s just some friends talking, while tackling topics that open up varied viewpoints. It hinges on becoming a meaningful discourse between experts of the chosen topic.

We’ll help you identify the right themes to tackle and the experts voices you need involved to create a podcast that will lead your listeners to reflect and develop ideas of their own.
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Stage 4: Podcast publication and distribution

Once the podcast content has been created, it will be handed over to you for review. After you inform us of your feedback, we’ll action your suggestions and prepare your podcasts for distribution.

At this point, we will supply you with approved and professionally edited podcast content to be published on your communication channels.

Podcasts will be created and finalised one month prior to it being published so we can build up a backlog of approved content to be rolled out consistently to ensure there are no gaps in content dissemination.

The podcasts we create will be rolled out in this way month-on-month. This approach is called ‘evergreen content’ and isn’t time or date specific, meaning it remains relevant no matter when it’s uploaded.

For content that is time and date dependent and that can’t be planned for in advance - like a change in industry regulation - we will create these podcasts when needed. We can do this because we’ve previously created a backlog on content and eased the pressure on all parties.

Depending on your engagement with us, all created podcasts will come with show notes, social media posts, scripts for structured video messaging and copy for emails or e-Newsletters.
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Stage 5: Measuring content and client success

Once your content is rolling out and the first month has passed, we will conduct content and client success meetings.

We will measure your podcast content and report back to you on things like:

- The total number of listeners each month per piece of content.
- Make assessments as to why this was the case.
- Review which content wasn’t as popular.
- Understand what themes or topics most engage your market.

But going further, we want to ensure you’re happy with our podcasts and how we’re creating them on your behalf. So, we conduct monthly feedback meetings with you.

We will work with you to identify:

- How we can continue to support you with content delivery.
- Discuss how we can build our relationship with you further.
- Address any queries you have about working with us.
- Forecast what success looks like from your perspective for the following month.

Measuring content in this way will enable us (and you) to understand more accurately what’s working in your market and what theme or topic has the best chance of converting your ideal customers. While your feedback will enable us to ensure we’re adhering to your expectations.
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Stage 6: Converting your audience into loyal customers

Podcasts are nothing unless they convert your audience into loyal customers.

To make the conversion process easier, we’ll supply you with templated responses to the common questions your customers and audience are asking once they’ve listened to your podcasts.

A potential customer’s attention span isn’t long, so to maximise the chance of converting them, you need to respond to their query with speed. Likewise, you need to stamp out negative comments (if it happens) and control the narrative on how your brand is seen online. This is best done via pre-approved templated (yet functional) responses.

Furthermore, given we’re journalists and understand how to create podcast content that meets editorial guidelines, it’s not uncommon for the content we create to be featured in online publications or external blogs which will build your authority.

We will supply you with a database of publications and pitching emails to send to Editors with the aim of getting your content featured in their publication or on their website.

The Way We Manage Your Podcast Project

There are several elements we put in place to ensure the podcasts we create get results. 

These include:

Development: When conceptualising your podcast series, we’ll begin with identifying your overarching theme. The theme is vital as each episode developed thereafter will need to be relevant to it. 

Some brands require a bit more creativity in the development phase. You don’t want to get too specific about your theme that it only targets a limited market. You want to be able to discuss relevant topics to as many listeners as possible. 

One way to do this is to check if there’s enough for you to talk about. Before committing to a theme, we’ll help you come up with a list of at least 10-15 episodes. 

The next important component is giving it a name that can easily be remembered as well as creating the podcast cover art. These are elements that will help associate your podcast with your brand. 

Then, we’ll finalise the length of each episode. Podcast length depends solely on content. Making sure we don’t cut down good content, but ensuring it doesn’t drag and become boring. 

Production: We’ll create briefs for hosts, interviewees and editing production notes so everybody involved is working towards the same goals. 

When needed, we’ll provide podcast scripting. Some hosts like broadcasting their show word-for-word based on what’s written. Others like having an outline to refer to. This helps ensure they don’t drift too far off topic. 

For recording the episodes specifically, we can set aside monthly one-offs and ensure there’s enough lead time for post-production or block out a half-day or full-day to record back-to-back episodes. 

Consistency is important when releasing new episodes, because you’re in the business of creating regular listeners. So, they’ll need to know when to expect a new episode to drop on streaming platforms.

Post production: This is the point in the process where we’ll edit out any mistakes, stitch together different audio clips, add music, and incorporate ads (if any) to make your episode great. We’ll also key in on the more technical aspects like levelling and compression. Post production is what separates an amateur podcast from a professional one. 

Client review: Once the episode is edited, we’ll send it over for client review, and can make select changes to the podcast to address any suggestions. 

Marketing material: We’ll write podcast descriptions and include as many relevant keywords as possible. This will help with SEO and enable you stand out among millions of podcast listings. 

Finalisation: With all changes applied, we’ll handover edited podcasts with all the necessary marketing material to engage your audiences online.

We want you to dominate podcast marketing

Story League is a content creation agency that creates strategic and targeted podcasts that builds your audience and converts them into customers. 

We want to work with you to develop meaningful stories that represent your brand and contribute to elevating your industry. We believe that content must be engaging, educational, and relevant to capture the attention of your target audience. 

Story League offers monthly podcast creation packages that can include each of these three podcast types to enable you to generate leads by publishing consistent and powerful podcasts that expand your audience and grow your business.