Time to face the hard truth. You need to give your content marketing strategy a boost, and what you've been seeing a ton of people creating podcasts.
Just the idea might get you stressed. Trust me, I know how you feel and you're not alone.
There are so many first-hand accounts of the fears that go into creating a podcast, but trust me you're not the only one who felt like a fish out of water when they first started.
After we closed our Twitter Chat #AtomicChat a few months ago, I was immediately launched into the project of creating, hosting, and working towards the success of the podcast.
As a marketer I feel that it's important to adapt your content strategy to the current most engaging media. Closing our Twitter Chat due to changing algorithms and a falling user base was definitely a necessity.
Why a Podcast?
During a casual conversation among the sales and marketing team, the subject of which podcasts we listened to came up. Our interests varied from horror, to comedy, startup life, science, world history, and marketing.
I was never an avid listener until this year, where more and more people started listening to them and recommending podcasts I should listen to.
Apart from influences from friends and teammates, I realized that more and more industry leaders were creating, sharing, and promoting podcasts on their own sites and social media channels.
Everyone is genuinely interested in podcasting:
- They enrich your text-based content
- Are transit-friendly
- Informative and entertaining
- And grow your network
Creating a podcast seemed like the right direction to go in.
Our Order of Operations
I took a full week to research what I needed to do to get started and educate myself on the tech, their specs, and skills for podcasting. Here's a list of what we needed to just get started:
1. Research and Purchase the Right Technology & Software
as our software that work together seamlessly. Both were recommended by our audio editor and many podcasters.
2. Find a Podcast Name and Write a Fitting Description
In our description we included the consistency in which we would be publishing episodes, my role at Atomic Reach, who are target audience was, and keywords.
The name for the podcast came to me after tossing out many potential titles that didn't seem to fit. It was similar to finding the perfect title for your blog post. You write many drafts of titles until the best one appears out of the clutter of word play.
3. Test Audio & Creation Intro and Outro Music
To ensure that our first interview with Sean Zinsmeister went smoothly, I tested our new mic in our meeting room to see where the sound would be picked up, and the software for clarity in the quality of recording our interviewers voice using Ecamm.
The week before the interview, Suhash and I worked together to solidify our intro and outro music. I told him the sort of feeling I wanted to evoke in our podcast, incorporating sounds that were modern, a bit upbeat, and reminds you of technology.
I was honestly lucky that Suhash had been creating music for about 7 years. He was able to come up with our current tune just after 2 sessions.
Coming up with the music was a process, but definitely worth it.
Without the right music your podcast could fall flat or give your listeners the wrong feelings. With the wrong beat you could be putting your listeners to sleep if the melody was too soft, or making them anxious if the music was too angry and loud.
Don't have a sound guy, don't sweat it? You might not need one for your podcast depending on the type of style you're going for. Experiment to find out what works for you and what you'd like your podcast to be.
4. Make Image Assets
You need to create at least 3 assets for your Podcast:
- The iTunes profile image doubles as your Soundcloud image if you choose this platform as your host
- Landing page banner image to go in the first panel of your podcast's landing page
- Email blast and blog post feature image, which might be 2 separate assets for you if you're email and blog images are different dimensions.
5. Find Guests (continuously)
Thankfully, our Director of Marketing had a small list of people I could reach out to that had written about machine learning and content marketing. Only 1/10 people responded to my email.
If you're finding it hard to get guests for your podcast, keep trying. It takes me multiple hours a week to find the right guest especially because our topic is so new.
I go through Google Search, the Anders Pink App, Inbound.org, and LinkedIn. Going about asking people to be your guest takes finesse. To start a conversation with your prospect, you actually need to read and have an honest opinion about the content your prospect published.
Showing them that you're a real human being looking not primarily there to look for a sale is a valuable experience in the world of online marketing.
6. Draft Emails
To launch our podcast, I needed to draft an email blast that would go to all of our company's contacts, and a pitch email template that I always fill in manually before sending to another person I'd hoped to be a special guest.
7. Write up a script
When it came to writing the script, I had an idea of where how the intro would play into the conversation in the beginning and where the music would start at the end.
To solidify the tone, pace, and my broadcasting voice I listened to podcasts and practiced my script a few times before the interview.
Hearing yourself speak helps you realize where you naturally emphasize your speech and the different ways you're able to say something. Just think of actors practicing their scripts.
Personally I had a bit of practice performing in front of an audience at an early age. I performed in music competitions, other sports events, and had my fair share of speaking in front of a group of people.
Little did I know that these skills would become useful into my adult life.
When you write your script, think about the pace.
Leave room for additional questions and additional conversation that pop into your head as you're interviewing. It's important to remember that you want your audience to connect with your interviewee, and nothings better than hearing about unscripted content.
Your script guidelines should include your lead in to the greeting, conversation body, and outro.
I'm still working on refining our script. I have the tendency to go over the intended time. Again, it's about testing, trial and error.
8. Create a Schedule
Since I work for a startup I knew I had to be realistic in the schedule of tasks that needed to be done for this podcast.
As many in the startup industry know, you list of tasks never ends, and what you intended to do one day might not get touched if there's a more important task that suddenly comes up.
Here's a break down of our podcasting schedule:
- Find a guest for the next podcast ASAP. People are busy and if you wait too long you might not be able to find someone.
- Create a calendar alert and share it with your interviewee as soon as they confirm the day and time
- Draft questions and send them to your guest with ample time for feedback
- Contact them to remind them of the interview the day before (this might not be necessary if you're sure they didn't forget)
- Post interview, edit podcast
- Upload a new episode every other week #startuplife
- Share on social media, tagging your guest in your posts
- Send published podcast to a writer to create a blog post
- Share blog post on social media, tagging your guest and mentioned brands in your posts
- Add episode to newsletter, and share your podcast on community forums to generate awareness
What lies beyond the now of the Content Marketing for the Future Podcast
Our first goal is to grow subscribers. What's been happening is that the people that I'm interviewing are connecting on LinkedIn, and really enjoy in continuing the conversation.
I get to grow my network and learn at the same time. Learning things I would have never understood about the industry and the progression our interviewees foreshadow for the industry.
If you're looking to start your own podcast I recommend reading John Lee Dumas's article How to Podcast, this Digital Trends Article, and podcast help pages on Soundcloud and Apple. Publishing podcasts on Soundcloud is definitely not the only way. I recommend researching other methods that might be a better fit for you like a platform that gives you everything your need to create a podcast.
Soon after starting our podcast I learned that it was a great opportunity to pick the minds of our industry, learn about new useful tools and businesses, and grow my network.
If you're thinking about starting your own podcast, or have an experience you'd like to share I'd love to hear it. Please share it in the comments below or on social!