How to Design a Scalable Podcast Program
Zoe Bell | Podcasting
As with any program within your company, you want to make sure your podcast has the support to grow to all areas of your business and is prepared to handle an increased demand. Even if you are utilizing podcasting within only one area of your company, you want to make sure it can eventually benefit all employees if you or your boss make that decision one day. To successfully scale your podcast, and not just grow your program, you want to be able to eventually add additional shows, channels and more without wasting time or resources.
Here are some best practices to consider when it comes to building a scalable private podcast strategy:
Design a Framework and Governance Doc
A framework for your podcast program is important to establish goals and consistency throughout your program. Your podcast team may eventually grow, especially if your program scales, and you want to ensure that new producers are focused on a shared set of objectives.
People have different planning, writing or talking styles so there needs to be a shared vision, especially if you have multiple individuals working on the same private podcast show.
Many of our successful customers have made a podcast governance document that they share with their team. This document can include and define podcast team roles, unified branding items such as logos and show icons, what the process of starting a new show looks like, important analytic metrics specific to your unique program, as well as links to any planning documents you’ve created.
All shows in your program should be closely aligned with a group of topical buckets. Examples include operational updates, technical content, field-driven content or examples, leadership communications and more. This will ensure consistency across your channel and allow you to drive engagement and add new podcast shows without overwhelming your employees with too much content. Listing your topical buckets and definitions of each is another great example of something to include in a potential governance document.
Have a Collaborative Editorial and Promotional Calendar
Any sort of podcast editorial calendar you create within your business should be shared so that other team members and necessary stakeholders know what is coming up within your program. Especially as you start adding new shows, you want to make sure episode release dates complement each other well and you have a consistent frequency of podcast content.
Color coding for different shows or departments can be a helpful way to organize planning documents as your podcast begins to grow.
Worried about how to keep track of all of your promotional efforts for multiple shows? A promotional calendar is a tool to plan your promotions and remind you to frequently boost your podcast content. Keeping track of when (and how) you are promoting certain content will also make sure campaigns or advertisements don’t overlap, thus confusing your employees.
You can download our content calendar templates here to help you plan future shows and episodes.
Consistency within your program is important in order for it to scale. As previously mentioned, governance documents or other similar planning materials can help to ensure consistency of focus. Consistency also must be present when it comes to branding, release cadence of a particular show, and more.
As discussed in their Podcast on Podcasting interview, Dell creates a consistent set of thumbnails for all episodes which represent the length of the podcast. Because of this, they are able to build muscle memory and set clear expectations with their listeners. No matter what side of the organization the show is for, all episodes use the same set of thumbnails which helps to further establish unified branding across the organization.
Consider an Application Process
Your podcast program should be as successful as it can be. When it comes time to grow your program, only the shows that are most beneficial should be added. If other leaders or teams within your company are interested in managing their own podcast show, consider creating ground rules and having them submit their idea and/or episode briefs for consideration.
For example, new show or channel submissions must be sent to the owner of your podcast program for consideration. They should clearly explain not only the purpose of the show but what exactly they are committing to in terms of cadence and how they plan to promote their content. If the applicant would like a weekly show, you could require them to have at least 3 episodes produced and approved before launching to employees. Consider having the applicant fill out an episode brief where they must list show name and description, target audience, talent requirements, length of episode, format, style and tone details and more.
Having your team think about these items ahead of time will help to make sure you can successfully scale and the new podcast content is as engaging as it can be.
Utilize uStudio Groups
Groups are a unique feature to uStudio Enterprise Podcast and allow you to segment your audience - whether you’d like to reach a particular department, location, seniority and more with your podcast content.
Your podcast shows can be restricted to certain audience groups so that only members in the group can consume the content. Not every show is appropriate or relevant for your entire workforce - groups allow you to create podcasts that are only meant for certain segments within your enterprise. Employees will have no idea what group they are placed in. Upon login, only the shows that are relevant to a user’s group will show up. This will help to make sure your listeners aren’t overwhelmed with content.
As you scale your program, utilize and create new groups to organize and manage your content.
Continuously Improve Your Content and Strategy
For your podcast program to continue to improve and grow, you must continually monitor your podcast analytics and edit your content as such. Experiment with content hosts, formats and more to determine which resonates most with your audience. This way, when you plan future content you have the research to design your framework. Preferences and themes might change over time, and might differ based on the internal team you are targeting, and you don’t want anything to go unnoticed.
Utilize uStudio Resources
Once your podcast program begins to scale, you want to make sure any new internal team members are comfortable getting started and have the information necessary to succeed. Lucky for you, uStudio offers many free eBooks and other resources full of best practices for podcast beginners. This includes our PMC Guide, Gear Guide, Content Guide, Knowledge Base and more.
There are genuine use cases for private podcasting within every area of your business. Whether you are using private podcasting for workplace motivation, training and onboarding, leadership communications, sales enablement purposes or more, you want to make sure your program has the strength to continue to grow and benefit your business. This is possible with a solid purpose, consistency and team collaboration.