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Are you stuck in the content planning phase of your podcast? You’re not alone. Sometimes there’s just too much to talk about that you don’t know how to organize everything. Other times you run out of ideas to keep the content engaging.
Not to worry, in this post, we’ll talk about 12 expert pieces of advice on how to plan your content to keep your podcast engaging. We will include questions you should consider and actionable points you can implement.
By the end of this read, you’ll get a head full of ideas on how to go about your podcast content so you can increase your listener and subscription count in no time. Let’s deep dive into each one.
Tip 1: Define Your Target Audience
Your podcast content marketing plan should start by defining your target audience first. It will help you create content that speaks directly to them, so you can keep listeners engaged and move them to subscribe to your channel.
Understand your target audience so you can create content that resonates with them. This way, you can tailor your content to their interests, needs, and preferences. You can then create engaging and relevant content that keeps your listeners coming back for more.
Like most content marketers, consider the following questions when defining your target audience:
- Who is your ideal listener? What are their interests, demographics, and behavior?
- What tone and style will resonate with my audience?
- Where are they on the customer journey map?
- What are their pain points, and how can your podcast help solve them?
- What content types are already available for them to consume, and how can you differentiate yourself?
As an example, for a dog training service podcast, the ideal listener could be new dog owners. The tone should be more conversational than technical. Their pain points can include poor dog behavior inside the home like barking throughout the night or peeing anywhere. And since there’s not much competition in the podcast setting, you have more freedom in choosing which topics to cover.
Once you define your target audience, create a listener profile that includes their demographics, interests, and other relevant information. It will guide your content creation process and ensure that you create relatable content.
Tip 2: Choose Your Podcast Format
The next step is to choose your podcast format. You can do interviews, solo shows, roundtable discussions, and more. Each format has pros and cons so choose one that suits your content and target audience.
One popular format is the interview format, where the host interviews guests on a particular topic. This format works well for informational and educational podcasts, as well as for podcasts that feature experts or thought leaders in a particular industry.
But keep in mind to niche down even when considering interview guests. For example, if you’re promoting women’s lingerie, you can’t interview a fashion expert on streetwear or if you’re promoting face masks, you can’t interview medical technicians. While these are in the same field, you have to niche down and find the appropriate experts in your field.
There is also the conversational format where the host and co-hosts discuss topics in a more casual and conversational style. This format works well for entertainment or pop culture-focused podcasts as well as for podcasts that feature multiple hosts with different perspectives.
Narrative storytelling is another format that has gained popularity in recent years. This format uses storytelling techniques to tell a story or explore a particular topic. This format works well for podcasts that focus on personal stories, true crime, or historical events.
If you want to interview industry experts, an interview format may be the best choice. If you want to share your insights and opinions, a solo show format may be more suitable. If you want to create a community-driven podcast, a roundtable discussion format may be the best choice.
Ultimately, the key to choosing the right format is to consider your content goals and audience. What kind of valuable content will resonate with your audience? What content formats will help you achieve your goals?
Tip 3: Determine Your Podcast Goals
Determining your podcast goals helps you create a successful and engaging podcast. Your goals will help guide your content, format, marketing, and content creation efforts, and can help you measure your success over time. What do you want to achieve with your podcast? Some common goals include:
- Educating your audience on a specific topic
- Inspiring your audience with motivational stories and insights
- Entertaining your audience with humor, storytelling, and more
- Building a community around your brand or message
Once you have defined your goals, ensure that your content plan aligns with them. This will help you create a cohesive podcast that delivers value to your audience. Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can start crafting your content and format.
For example, if your goal is to educate and inform about tax compliance, you may want to focus on a more formal interview format with experts in tax management like accountants. If your goal is to entertain and engage, you may want to focus on a more conversational format with entertaining stories or segments.
Your goals will guide your marketing efforts because you’ll want to promote your podcast in a way that resonates with your target audience and supports your goals. Setting clear and measurable goals lets you stay focused on creating relatable content.
Tip 4: Research And Plan Your Topics
Once you have defined your target audience, podcast format, and goals, it’s time to research and plan your topics. Researching will help you understand your audience’s interests and preferences. It will also help you identify market gaps and make sure that your content is relevant and engaging.
You can conduct audience research, which can involve surveys, focus groups, or social media listening to understand your audience’s demographics, interests, and behaviors so you can tailor your content to their needs.
You can also try doing industry research, which can involve studying trends and best practices in your industry, analyzing competitor podcasts and blog posts, and staying up to date on industry news and developments. This can help you identify gaps in the market, differentiate your podcast from competitors, and stay on top of emerging trends.
To conduct your research, you can use social media platform listening tools, survey software, and industry publications. Additionally, reaching out to experts or thought leaders in your industry can be a valuable source of information and insights.
Thorough research makes sure that your podcast is packed with data and insights, and is tailored to your audience’s interests and preferences.
As for the topics, consider the following when choosing your podcast topics:
- Current events and trending topics
- Evergreen content that remains relevant over time
- Guest appearances from industry experts or influencers
- Audience feedback and questions
Create a list of potential topics that align with your goals and target audience, in time, you will reap the benefits of content planning.
Consider organic search keywords and the search volume for these words when deciding on topics. The more search volume it has, the more listeners you can expect.
Tip 5: Create A Content Calendar
A content calendar is a tool used by content strategists to schedule when each podcast episode will be released, along with the topic and any relevant notes. It allows you to plan and organize your episodes, ensure that you’re covering a variety of topics, and stay on track with your publishing schedule.
Creating a content calendar will help you stay consistent, and ensure that you have a plan in place for each episode. When creating your editorial calendar, consider the following:
- Release schedule: What’s your posting frequency? Once a week, twice a month, etc.?
- Topics: What topics will you cover in each episode?
- Guests: Who will be your guests, and when will they appear on your podcast?
- Special events: Will you have any special episodes, such as holiday-themed or anniversary episodes?
When scheduling and releasing episodes, maintain a consistent content schedule that works for you and your audience. Consider the best times and days to release episodes, and be sure to promote each episode across your social media channels and email lists.
Schedule content that aligns with your mission and audience interests. By scheduling episodes consistently, you can build a loyal audience and achieve your desired outcomes.
Tip 6: Outline Your Episodes
Once you have your topics planned and your content calendar created, it’s time to start outlining your episodes. Outlining your episodes will help you organize your thoughts and ensure that your piece of content is structured in a way that makes sense to your listeners and is discussed on a deeper level compared to competing podcasts.
Consider the following when outlining your episodes:
- Introduction: Start with a strong introduction that hooks your listeners and sets the stage for the episode.
- Main content: This is where you dive into the meat of the episode. Use subheadings and bullet points to organize your thoughts and make it easy for your listeners to follow along.
- Segments: Consider incorporating segments into your episodes, such as listener questions, expert interviews, or a Q&A with co-hosts.
- Conclusion: End your episode with a strong conclusion that summarizes the main points and leaves your listeners with a clear takeaway.
Tip 7: Collaborate With Guests And Co-hosts
Collaborating with guests and co-hosts can enhance the quality and appeal of your podcast. Inviting guests and co-hosts can provide fresh content perspectives, diverse viewpoints, and valuable insights to enrich your content and engage your audience. It also helps you expand your network, increase your reach, and establish credibility within your niche.
When identifying potential guests and co-hosts, consider experts, thought leaders, or influencers in your field or related fields. You can also consider individuals with unique experiences, perspectives, or stories that align with your podcast’s themes and content objectives.
If you’re in the tech niche and want to discuss emerging tech, it’s best if you can find someone from a brand that directly promotes or sells that kind of tech. This would work for topics like artificial intelligence, no-code software solutions, chatbots, autonomy for industrial vehicles, and crypto.
To invite them, reach out to them via email, social media, or other platforms, and introduce yourself and your podcast. Explain why you think they would be a good fit and how they can benefit from appearing on your podcast.
To conduct successful interviews and discussions, prepare well. Research their backgrounds, work, and interests to identify areas of common ground and potential topics of discussion. Develop a list of questions or talking points to guide the conversation, but be flexible and open to unexpected tangents or insights. Ensure that the audio and technical aspects of the recording are of high quality, and be respectful and attentive throughout the recording.
Collaborating with guests and co-hosts can elevate your podcast’s content quality and impact. With it, you can attract and retain a loyal audience and establish yourself as a credible and influential voice within your niche.
Tip 8: Keep It Conversational
Podcasts allow listeners to feel like they are part of a conversation. A conversational and natural podcast will create a sense of intimacy with your listeners that is hard to achieve through other mediums.
Consider the following when keeping your podcast conversational:
- Avoid overly scripted content
- Use natural language and avoid jargon
- Use humor and banter to create a relaxed and informal atmosphere
Tip 9: Be Authentic
Being authentic and genuine in your content lets you create a loyal fan base that trusts and values your opinions. Consider the following when being authentic in your podcast:
- Avoid being overly promotional or salesy
- Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability and share your struggles and failures
- Share your own opinions and experiences, even if they go against the norm
Additionally, if you have existing pieces of content in another format like a blog, you can leverage content repurposing and get the value from written content to audio content.
Tip 10: Include Calls To Action
Calls to action are a powerful way to engage your listeners and encourage them to take action. Whether it’s leaving a review, subscribing to your podcast, or following you on social media, calls to action can help you grow your audience and build a community around your podcast.
Consider the following when including calls to action in your podcast:
- Make your calls to action clear and concise
- Include them at the beginning and end of each episode
- Provide a clear benefit to your listeners for taking action
Be sure to include unexpected useful advice to make your content more valuable to your listeners. For example, if you’re in the travel niche, be sure to include restaurant and hotel recommendations for your listeners.
Tip 11: Invest In Good Quality Equipment
While good content is the most important factor in creating an engaging podcast, investing in good-quality equipment can help elevate the production value of your podcast and create a more professional sound. Nobody wants to keep listening if the audio quality is poor.
Consider the following when investing in equipment for your podcast:
- Choose a good quality microphone that captures clear sound
- Use recording software that allows for editing and post-production
- Consider using a pop filter to reduce background noise and plosives
While you can connect with established podcast platforms, you might also want to consider building your platform if you want to scale to larger heights. From being a podcast content creator, you can work your way up to a podcast platform owner and podcast consultant.
If you’re into that route, start to consider what consulting business names you’d like to brand yourself so you’d know what domain name to get and so you can also start calculating web hosting costs.
Tip 12: Measure Your Success
Tracking and measuring the success of your podcast is crucial to understanding your audience, improving your content, and growing your podcast’s reach and impact. By monitoring key metrics and using tools and resources to analyze and interpret your data, you can make better decisions about how to optimize your podcast’s performance and achieve your business goals.
One of the most important metrics to track is audience engagement, this includes the number of downloads, listens, and subscribers to your podcast. These metrics can provide insights into how well your content resonates with your audience and help you identify trends and patterns that can influence your content strategy.
Another key metric to track is audience demographics, likes, age, gender, location, and interests. This data can help you better understand your audience’s preferences and tailor your content to their interests and needs. Don’t forget to keep an organized data pipeline for this information so you can leverage it with your marketing teams for other marketing efforts. You can also use the same data pipeline for content management.
Other metrics to consider tracking include social media posts engagement, website traffic, and revenue generated through sponsorships or merchandise sales. These metrics can help you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing and monetization strategies and identify opportunities for improvement.
To measure your success, you can use a variety of tools and resources, such as Google Analytics, social platforms content analytics, and podcast hosting platforms that provide detailed metrics and insights. You can also conduct customer surveys, focus groups, and interviews to gather feedback and insights from your audience directly.
Tracking and measuring the success of your podcast is important if you want to achieve your concrete goals and grow your audience. By monitoring key metrics you can optimize your content, increase engagement, and establish a strong and sustainable podcast brand.
Make your audience crave your content. You can only do this with well-prepared podcast content. This includes defining your target audience and goals and then researching and planning content topics that resonate with them.
While you can thrive on solo shows, having co-hosts and conducting interviews will add a bit of spice to your podcast content to keep your listeners excited for your episodes. Always interview known experts in the field you’re in. You don’t just engage your current audience, you also make new ones and strengthen your credibility in the industry.
Don’t forget to include calls to action and to measure your success so you can make sure you achieve your podcast goals. Apply these tips for your podcast content planning and you’ll see your podcast audience grow in no time.
Want to know more about what keeps audiences engaged? Check out our blog to know the latest in the entertainment industry, upgrade your content marketing skills, and build content inspiration on what to include in your content.
Burkhard Berger is the founder of Novum™. He helps innovative B2B companies implement revenue-driven SEO strategies to scale their organic traffic to 1,000,000+ visitors per month. Curious about what your true traffic potential is?
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