7 Tips for Starting a Successful Corporate Podcast

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As online chatter becomes louder due to technological advancements, it’s becoming more difficult to engage with your employees. If you’re looking for an innovative way to cut through the noise, you may want to consider implementing a corporate podcast as your organization. This medium is great for showcasing company news and culture, which humanizes corporate communications, making team interactions more engaging and friendly. Since listening is more of a passive action, it can be less of a burden for your workforce than reading or watching videos.

The stats are in: 70% of Americans are already aware of what podcasts are. It doesn’t mean they are all listening, rather, they’re aware of the medium. What’s more interesting is that 39% of small and medium-sized business owners are podcast listeners, with 72% reporting that their employees also listen to podcasts. 

If your company is thinking about implementing a corporate podcast, it can be difficult to know where to start or how to get everyone on board. In order to build a successful podcast that gains a community of supporters at your enterprise, follow these steps:

Plan 

The old adage is true: “The more you prepare, the less you bleed in battle.” Click To Tweet

When it comes to implementing anything at your organization, the strategy is key. This is the most important step when it comes to launching any corporate podcast. Start by getting your team together to define a purpose, an audience, and a goal. Then revise it at least three times to make sure you get buy-in from all members involved in the process. Don’t be discouraged if there are a lot of ideas that come out. A shortlist should be sufficient to help you narrow the focus of your content.

The next step in the planning process will be the find a podcast hosting service. A simple Google search can help you find some options, but it’s important to choose one that caters to enterprise users. Since you’ll likely need security for your internal communications, you may need to evaluate several to meet your budget and needs. 

During the evaluation process, you should ask yourself:

  • How many podcasts and episodes you plan to have 
  • When you plan to launch
  • Where employees will be listening: Are they all in your HQ or will they be listening on mobile devices in various locales, i.e. airplanes, on the road, etc.? 
  • How secure your content needs to be: Most enterprises have security needs and compliance requirements to protect the privacy of sensitive information
  • Who the podcast will need to be accessible to. Some may be targeted to a specific department audience while others might be suitable for everyone

Prepare Your Content

It takes time to create good content so when you go live, we recommend having at least five episodes in your backlog. 

Stuck on topics? Your internal staff can be a great source of inspiration. Start at the top and reach out to your CEO or department heads to find out if there is anything they’d like to communicate or if there are any industry trends they think teams should be aware of. Podcasting humanizes the leadership team and is a great way to bridge the communication gap between management and employees. 

Another great source to tap for content is your company’s all-hands meetings. You may have a distributed team, remote workers, and even sales teams out in the field. This can make it tricky for everyone to dial into calls due to other priorities or conflicting time zones. By recording the information and uploading it to your company podcast, workers are able to access the information at any time, from anywhere. 

Here are a few other content ideas to get you started (Hot tip: make something exclusive to each episode in order to keep people tuning in):

  • Training videos with good-quality audio
  • Corporate webinars
  • Brown bags
  • Team demos
  • Weekly department calls
  • Product launches
  • Announcements

Be sure to also consider internal and external resources for your podcast. There may be some thought leaders and subject-matter experts who’d be willing to be featured. Bonus if some of these guests come from within your own organization.

How long should an episode be?

It depends on your situation. Keeping episodes under 30 minutes is a good idea when starting out. Always leave room for improvement and experimentation, since strategy should never be set in stone. As the community shows more interest, you can use analytics to determine if your audience prefers longer or shorter run times. Content may also dictate how long an installment might be. 

Announce

It’s essential in this process to let employees know about your podcast and where to find it. Be clear about whether they will have to subscribe to an RSS feed or download an app that lets them listen to content on-the-go. If your company has an internal forum like Slack or Microsoft Teams, this is a great place to post about new and upcoming content. 

Give It Some Time

The success of a podcast is dependent on many factors, time being the most crucial one. Most enterprises will not have a shortage of topics and listeners, but you’ll need time and patience for adoption to happen. The key is to keep the content consistent and fresh.

Fuel the Engagement With Rewards

Regardless of the podcasting efforts, rewarding engaged team members is always a good idea. Your employees may already be experiencing “tools overload”, so tuning in to another platform may feel overwhelming for them. Encourage listening and engagement by using follow up quizzes for knowledge retention and incentivize listening with prizes for the best scores. Remember, rewards are not a substitute for quality content, but can assist in getting your company on board. 

Measuring Success

You can’t improve what you can’t measure. You should have a system in place to monitor how your employees are engaging with corporate podcast content. Ensure they’re able to access it in a user-friendly manner, regardless of where they are. They should also have a channel to voice feedback or suggestions.

When it comes to determining what success for your podcast looks like, download count isn’t the only metric to judge by. Here are a few other KPI’s to consider: Click To Tweet
  • Number of episodes listened per week
  • Number of episodes listened per employee
  • Top episodes for a given timeframe
  • The average percent of engagement per episode rolled up by a given timeframe

Make It a Team Effort

Rome wasn’t built in a day and, likewise, it’s very difficult to run a podcast by yourself. Your team will be the first evangelizers of your corporate podcast content and your greatest influencers when it comes to company-wide adoption. Don’t hesitate to collaborate and seek out ideas from them. Anyone in the company should want to be a part of it and leadership should encourage participation.

Bonus: Don’t Forget About Accessibility

When it comes to great content, you want to be sure it’s accessible to as many people in your organization as possible, that includes those with disabilities. Be sure your recordings are broadcast safe so the peak signal levels don’t exceed the nominal level by more than +10 dB. 

Additionally, while the audio is a great medium, it’s not always able to be heard by everyone. So it’s important to have an option that doesn’t solely rely on hearing. Consider transcribing the talks into text or making a video with closed captioning. An enterprise podcast hosting service like CircleHD allows you to host both video and podcast content and can automatically transcribe spoken words into text with closed captioning. This allows you to spend more time creating great content while the platform takes care of the rest.

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Want to learn more about podcasting? We’d love to hear from you and tell you more about how CircleHD can assist with implementing your own corporate podcasting strategy. Contact us today. 

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