You could train for a marathon without a plan. Just be prepared to finish last, if at all. 😬
Think of your podcast marketing plan as your marathon training guide. Its purpose is to act as your North Star and to get everybody on the same page.
You see, a lot of marketers assume their teams are informed of the plan. But if it’s not thought out and documented, it’s likely they have no idea what’s going on. It’s not going to be easy to finish that marathon, in other words.
A written podcast marketing plan ensures that everyone has access to it and has the opportunity to voice their opinions. It kills the friction that stands in the way of your team finishing the marathon.
Your podcast marketing plan should consist of five main points:
- Podcast Information
- Target Audience
- Account-Based Marketing Strategy
- Content Marketing Strategy
- Thought Leadership Strategy
PODCAST MARKETING PLAN TEMPLATE: Want to jumpstart your own podcast marketing plan? Copy this free template from Google Docs to get it done fast.
Let’s dive in!
Of course, when you’re in the midst of launching a new podcast, there’s some important information to solidify. These podcast elements should be reviewed strategically and be clear to your entire team.
Name & Description
Just like with a real human baby, what you name your podcast is essential to its success. Although, while you can name your kid after you, you do NOT want to name your show after yourself or even your company.
[HEAR: The foolproof way to name your podcast.]
Consider what your ideal buyer would choose to listen to: The Flatfile Show or Customer Success Leader? One sounds very brand-focused and promotional. The other sounds educational and valuable to customer success professionals.
You should also be strategic with your show’s description. The description pops up on different podcast platforms and details what listeners can expect from the show.
Your podcast’s description can also help your team stay on track in regards to the topics you cover on the show.
Cover Art & Style Guide
The cover art for your show (sometimes mistaken as your podcast’s “logo”), communicates a lot about the content of the show. It should be carefully thought out.
The cover art conveys the vibe or personality of your show. As people search for new podcasts in their preferred podcast player, they judge each result by the name and the cover art. Make sure your cover art appeals to your ideal buyer and stands out among other similar shows.
[HEAR/READ: How to design kick-ass podcast cover art.]
Along with your cover art, you should have a style guide for your podcast written out. The style guide is important for directing other design components related to your podcast, like graphics and videos.
The premise or angle of your podcast should be clearly written out in your podcast marketing plan.
Are you going to do deep dives on a handful of topics? Or are you going to do quick tips on a wider variety of topics? Maybe a blend of both?
Determining your premise will also inform how long your episodes are going to be. For B2B Growth, we normally don’t like going over 25 minutes or so. Listeners tend to stay engaged with episodes 10-15 minutes in length, but it also depends on your production cadence.
Another strategic element you’ll need to figure out is if the podcast’s website and your company’s website are going to be combined or separate.
There are arguments both ways but it’s really up to your team to decide.
Social Media Properties
What type of social media posts are you going to use to promote your show? For any graphics, make sure they follow your style guide.
Will you need to loop in your design department? Maybe you have a social media manager who can batch and schedule posts. Or will your podcast agency take care of social media promotion?
Your show’s host(s) should also be included in your podcast marketing plan. The first thing you want to decide is if you’re going to have one host or multiple.
One Host: Having one host for your podcast is a perfectly effective method if you’re publishing no more than one episode per week. It’s easy for listeners to get to know and build a closer relationship with one host.
Multiple Hosts: If you’re planning on doing a daily podcast — like B2B Growth — it’s a good idea to have multiple hosts. It just turns into a lot of work for one person. Plus, with multiple hosts, listeners are presented with different perspectives.
The other consideration, of course, is who’s going to be the host? We highly recommend going with an internal person from your team, like your CEO or CMO. This way, you know the host is a subject matter expert.
[HEAR: 5 reasons you shouldn’t hire an outside podcast host.]
Lastly, decide what your production cadence is going to be. Do you have the resources to produce a daily podcast? Multiple times a week? Weekly or bi-weekly?
Along with your production cadence, make sure you describe why you chose what you did in the podcast marketing plan. Remember, we want everyone on the same page — that means explaining your thought process so your team can understand better.
Target Audience Details
The second component of your podcast marketing plan should be deets on the audience your show is targeting. The content of your show should be molded around your ideal listener.
Who you speak to shapes the topics you discuss. The more specific you get within your podcast episodes, the better.
Writing out your target demographics helps to flesh out the topics you cover in your show. Keep in mind that the target demographics in your podcast marketing plan might differ a little from your company’s overall target demographics.
Consider listener demographics such as…
- Geographic location
These target demographics not only impact the content of your show but that of the assets surrounding the podcast. Things like blogs, social media, CTAs, visual assets, etc.
[READ: 14 unique ways to grow a podcast audience.]
The next elements that should be clear in your podcast marketing plan are target psychographics. These further detail the kind of listener you want to appeal to with your podcast and the promotional material surrounding it.
- Personality (introvert, extrovert)
- Lifestyle (married, single, parent, pet owner, workaholic)
- Interests (sports fan, gym rat, music junkie, book worm, movie buff)
- Opinions, attitudes, beliefs (religious, political, cynical, optimistic)
- Values (environmental, human rights, morality, family values)
Psychographics affect the types of websites, books, and podcasts a person consumes. They also impact the kinds of influencers someone follows.
Firmographic data are very valuable to B2B marketing efforts. This is information that can be used to categorize organizations, such as…
- Geographic location
- Number of customers
- Kinds of technologies used
- Level of revenue
- Number of employees
These data points come in useful especially in your account-based marketing strategy.
Ideal Customer Profile or Buyer Persona
Once you have all of your ‘graphics listed, it’s time to combine them into a comprehensive Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) or Buyer Persona.
A buyer persona is a fictional person or organization that embodies all of your target demographics, psychographics, and firmographics. It’s really important that your team understands who your buyer persona(s) is fully.
For example, Sweet Fish’s and B2B Growth’s buyer personas happen to be the same (because we sell podcast services). Ideally, our buyers are VPs of Marketing at SaaS companies with 50+ employees located in the U.S. or Canada. Their company has a blog but has yet to get into podcasting.
Because our team knows who our buyer persona is, we’re able to shape all of our podcast and subsequent marketing material around it. A buyer persona or ICP is a culmination of all that you want in a customer and should be used as a guide for everyone involved with your podcast.
Account-Based Marketing Strategy
B2B podcasting is a tactic for an Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy. Your podcast should be seen as a platform for building relationships with decision-makers from your target accounts.
Initial Target List
The first part of your ABM strategy as it relates to your podcast is to come up with an initial target list.
Now, if you’ve been taking an ABM approach for any time at all, you probably have a list of your target accounts. This list can also be used for your podcast marketing plan.
Basically, your initial target list should consist of the ideal accounts you’d like to work with. The list should include the company and the decision-maker(s) who you’d like to build a relationship with.
This part should be pretty easy as long as your buyer persona exists.
In your podcast marketing plan it should also be noted how often the target account list is modified and the parameters that are being used to choose accounts.
Once you have your initial target list created, you need to identify how you’re going to reach out to the decision-makers to schedule interviews.
Are you going to use social media or email or a combination of both? What channels do your particular accounts prefer (maybe it’s in your buyer persona description)? What messaging is going to be most effective to get people on your show?
If you’re doing your own guest outreach, we suggest making a “VIP plan.” Outline the whole interview process for them and explain how the experience will benefit them. Make it look like you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t. 😉
If you’re working with a full-service podcast agency like Sweet Fish, guest outreach and follow-up are covered. Still, these elements should be detailed in your podcast marketing plan so your team knows what’s going on.
Guest Engagement Plan
Here’s the part where you jot down the guest experience from the pre-interview to the follow-up. It’s essential to have this process fleshed out so you don’t look like a deer in headlights every time you interview someone (potential customers, BTW).
[HEAR: The power of podcasting for ABM engagement is immense — here’s why.]
In the pre-interview — before you hit Record — go over some potential questions with your guest. Get them feeling comfortable. One strategy you can use is POV (Point of View) Discovery.
This helps your guest uncover a unique perspective that listeners will glean value from.
Then, don’t forget to follow up with the guest after the episode has gone live. You’re trying to cultivate a relationship with this person, remember.
Guest Activation Plan
Once the interview is done and the episode is live, how are you going to ask the individual if they’re interested in doing business with you? Maybe you hint at it in the follow-up or after you’ve posted a video of the episode.
This is going to be nuanced for each guest on your show, but it’s still important to have a plan in place.
[HEAR/READ: 3 reasons why it’s okay that your podcast didn’t result in a direct sale.]
Implementing an ABM approach for your B2B podcast means finding a way to measure its success. There are a few metrics you could use to do this:
- Number of downloads (a vanity metric, but important nonetheless)
- Listener conversion rates
- Guest conversion rates (how many guests vs. how many guests are now customers)
The last one is obviously the biggest tell of success for your podcast. Just remember that those conversions don’t happen immediately. However, it’s more likely that they’ll happen compared to how many times a conversion occurs with cold sales outreach.
So there’s that.
Content Marketing Strategy
Here’s the Big Kahuna — your content marketing strategy (for your podcast).
Mapping out your content for a new podcast will support your show’s purpose and keep your whole team on track.
Every good podcast has several different categories it speaks to, not unlike tags in a blog. Some of B2B Growth’s categories include…
- Demand gen
- B2B podcasting
- Thought leadership
- PPC advertising
- Content marketing
Because B2B Growth is a daily show with multiple hosts, we have quite a few categories we cover. For those just starting out in the space, we suggest 3-6 different categories. The less frequently you post, the fewer categories you should try to cover.
Podcast Episode Types
There are (apparently) seven common types of podcast formats. For a B2B podcast, we suggest focusing on two — maybe three — types of episode formats:
The really cool thing is you can mix and match different podcast formats to keep things fresh for your listeners. Just make sure your processes for each format you plan on doing are noted in the podcast marketing plan.
What podcast platforms will your show be available on? Apple Podcasts? Spotify? iHeart Radio?
To determine this, look back at your ICP. What are they most likely listening on? Maybe it’s a unique podcast player.
Write this down in your plan so syndication remains consistent.
Podcasting creates a raging content waterfall if you let it.
In this section, decide the kinds of content you think your episodes can be repurposed for. Depending on your team and the resources you have at your disposal, content could include…
- Blog posts
- YouTube videos
- Micro-videos for social media
- Text-only posts for social media
- Slide decks
- Quote graphics
- Case studies
Different people digest content in different ways. Some like video, some like audio, some like reading. Refer back to your buyer persona — how do they prefer to take in content? What channels are they using?
Allow your buyer persona (aka, ICP) to inform how you repurpose podcast episodes, where you post, and how often you post.
Primary Promotion Channels
When you’re thinking about what channels to promote your podcast’s marketing content in, pick 1-2 primary promotion channels.
Unless you’re a large organization with tons of resources, it’s better to focus on just a couple of main channels. For us, LinkedIn has been our #1 channel for promotion.
Think about your buyer persona. What are the primary channels they’re on? Email? YouTube? Twitter?
Secondary Promotional Channels
Next, write down any secondary promotional channels you believe it would be beneficial to syndicate to.
These channels won’t get as much focus or activity as your primary ones, but they’re still important to note. For secondary channels, it’s okay to schedule somewhat generic posts in an app like HubSpot or Hootsuite.
Who knows — maybe you’ll get in front of somebody who needs your services.
Guest Social Media Plan
Now it’s time to think up a guest social media plan. What are you going to do to get guests to share the content they’re featured in?
Many guests are going to be excited about being on your podcast. Even so, you want to make them look good in your repurposed content so they’re even more pumped to share it with their followers.
Thought Leadership Strategy
Launching a business podcast gives you the opportunity to position yourself (or your host) as an industry thought leader. To successfully achieve thought leadership, though, it pays to have a plan.
Organizational Thought Leadership
The first step is to determine whether your thought leadership efforts are going to be personal, organizational, or a blend of both.
A personal plan involves you as the host without any or very little company branding. While your personal brand might be less recognizable than your organization’s, people tend to trust individuals more than companies.
Again, your show should not be named after you or your company whether you go with an organizational thought leadership plan or not.
If your thought leadership plan involves the rest of your organization, it’s a good idea to…
- Get more internal people to co-host your podcast
- Interview internal people on your podcast
- Get booked as a guest on other shows
If you decide to go solo on your thought leadership journey, make sure to interview lots of outside experts and mix in a solo episode here and there.
Collective Thought Leadership Plan
With a collective thought leadership plan, different people from your team are responsible for their own area of expertise. Collectively, everyone supports each other on their paths to reaching thought leadership.
If you’re not sure whether or not a collective plan is the best strategy, ask yourself a question:
Do you want to go faster or do you want to go farther?
With more people participating in your thought leadership plan, your efforts are bound to reach more people and make a bigger impact.
[READ/HEAR: How to build an amazing evangelist program for your employees — 10 steps.]
Key Thought Leaders
Deciding to go with a collective thought leadership plan means that your team needs to decide who the key thought leaders are.
Some organizations recruit only the CEO or individuals from the leadership team. Others encourage any team member to get involved.
The more people participating in your thought leadership plan, the more content you’ll need to repurpose from the podcast episodes.
Podcast Guesting Strategy
To garner more exposure for your thought leaders, it’s a good idea to get them scheduled on other similar shows (otherwise known as a podcast tour).
When you or your podcast agency offers guest booking services, there’s a good chance a network of hosts and guests has been developed. Having a robust network of podcasters helps a ton with getting your org’s thought leaders on other shows.
Get it Written Down
In order for your team to get on the same page, it’s critical to get your podcast marketing plan down on paper.
Just like with your thought leadership strategy, podcast marketing is about going farther together. For that to happen, your teammates need to know what the plan is.
Who knows — maybe writing down your podcast marketing plan will help you understand it better, too. 😉
For more on podcast marketing, subscribe to B2B Growth on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.