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What You Need + 9 Steps To Get Started



What You Need + 9 Steps To Get Started

I first discovered podcasts a few years ago when I was commuting for work two to three hours a day, every day.

The first podcast that got me hooked was NPR’s “How I Build This” show on entrepreneurship. 

Today, I listen to a wide range of podcasts on business, pop culture, and current events, like The Nod and “Louder Than a Riot.” So, what does it take to start a podcast in 2022? We’ll cover that in more in this article.

  1. Find a unique and compelling topic or theme.
  2. Set up your show format.
  3. Leverage your network.
  4. Record and edit your episode.
  5. Finalize your creative assets.
  6. Set up a website.
  7. Build a promotion strategy.
  8. Track your metrics.
  9. Learn how to monetize your podcast.

What is a podcast and how does it work?

A podcast is an audio series that a user can download to a personal device and listen at their leisure. It centers around one theme or topic, with each episode typically ranging from 20 to 60 minutes.

Think of a podcast as the audio version of any television series. It follows the same production format: It follows a specific theme or topic, t’s episodic and can have several seasons, and can be reality- or fiction-based.

One thing that sets podcasts apart from TV series is the use of a podcast host. Every podcast needs a host who can narrate the story and guide the listener through the episode. In addition, podcasts are only audio. Otherwise, the two mediums are very similar.

The most popular platforms to listen to podcasts include Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Google Trends shows that podcasts have gradually become more popular, peaking around the fall of 2019 and the spring of 2020 worldwide.

Today, 28% of the U.S. population over 12 years old listens to podcasts on a weekly basis, according to the 2021 Infinite Dial study – a 17% year-over-year increase.

Podcasts vs Standard Audio Files

The difference between a podcast and standard audio files is the same as the difference between a video and a television series.

An audio file is a file format used to store audio on a digital device. A podcast, on the other hand, is a produced show that involves storytelling, formatting, and audio sourcing. You need audio files to create a podcast, but the same is not true the other way around.

What is a podcast host?

A podcast host is a platform that stores your podcast and distributes it to publishing platforms like Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Here’s how it works: You first upload your audio file to your hosting platform, then they create an RSS feed and send your episodes to various directories (AKA publishers).

The most popular podcast host platforms include Casted, Buzzsprout, Captivate, Libsyn, and PodBean. Here are the top features you should look for as you evaluate your options:

What equipment is needed for a podcast?

One of the best things about starting a podcast is that it doesn’t take much to get started. All you need are these high-quality items:

1. Find a unique and compelling topic/theme to cover.

The first thing you need to start a podcast is an idea. For an individual, it can stem from a passion for or expertise in a particular topic/industry. For a brand, this can come from research you’ve gathered about your audience.

At the core, your podcast should speak to a particular audience. Because if there’s no interest in it, then you’ll be speaking into an empty room. And if you’ve ever done an 8 a.m. PowerPoint presentation in college, you know exactly what that’s like.

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you already have an idea for a podcast. In this case, the goal is to dive deeper into your idea and see if it’s worth pursuing.

To do this, here are the questions you want to ask yourself:

  • Has this been covered before in another podcast? If so, is there another angle I can take?
  • Is this idea relevant and timely?
  • Is there an audience for this? If so, what type of listeners will it attract?
  • Is there enough content to create a season?

You’ll know you have a winning idea when you have a clear answer to these questions. Your idea may go through some changes as you develop it but the foundation starts here.

During this step, you may be tempted to secure your name and logo but we recommend waiting on that. More on that in step five.

Want some inspiration? Check out these marketing podcasts.

2. Set up your show format.

The great thing about podcasts is that they can follow just about any format.

Some are interview-based and conversational with one or several hosts bringing on guests while others focus on storytelling (fictional and non-fiction). It’s up to you to decide which format will suit your theme the best.

From there, start brainstorming your episode segments, which break down your show into sections to make it easier for listeners to follow.

Segments aren’t always clearly stated either. Sometimes, it’s as simple as act one, two, and three. It’s all about finding the best way to tell the story in a way that captures and maintains the audience’s attention.

3. Leverage your network.

Once you’ve figured out which format you want to follow, you might need to reach out to your network.

Perhaps you need a co-host, or you need to line up a few high-profile guests for upcoming shows. This is when you reach out to your network.

In addition to posting on your social platforms, you should also reach out to your network in shared interest groups, like Facebook Groups, as members may have a special interest in your project.

4. Record and edit your episode.

Now that you’ve worked out all the editorial details of your podcast, it’s time to record your first episode.

While this may seem nerve-racking, see it as a dry run. Once you review the recording, you can work out any kinks in the episode regarding segments, flow, storytelling, etc.

Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from others. While you’re in the early stages of developing your podcast, this is the perfect time to get notes on where you can improve and implement them before it officially launches.

5. Finalize your creative assets.

So, earlier I mentioned not finalizing your name and logo during the initial development stages. That’s because, from idea to production, your idea may have evolved into something different from what you originally thought.

In addition, you may get more inspiration after creating your first episode and having a clear product to name.

You may find that you had a name for your podcast from day one, and that’s great. But if you need something more concrete to get your juices flowing, that’s fine too.

6. Set up a website.

Consider your website as your home base for your podcast.

It’s where all information surrounding your podcast will live, including show notes, transcripts, episode descriptions, host descriptions, and more. It also allows you to get more listeners by increasing organic traffic to your website.

By following SEO best practices, you can reach consumers who may be interested in your content and make them convert once they land on your website.

7. Build a promotion strategy.

Having a great podcast concept won’t be enough to attract users. You have to build a robust promotion strategy to get it in front of your target audience. Because how will they listen to something they don’t even know exists?

First, the pre-launch. Promotion doesn’t start after your first episode has aired, it should start before.

Why? It builds anticipation surrounding your show and can help you start out with a strong listenership right out of the gate. Share on platforms you’re already on along with those you haven’t yet explored.

For instance, you might start by securing your handle on social media and sharing a few posts to count down the air date for your first episode. If you already have a captive audience elsewhere, like a newsletter or a blog, prioritize promotion on those channels as well.

Once your show launches, be consistent about promoting the episodes, and don’t be afraid to test various methods.

You may find that posting audio snippets from episodes get higher engagement rates than posting about your guests. Or vice versa.

Once you identify what your audience responds to, stick with it.

Pro-tip: Reviews can go a long way in gaining new listeners. During your post-launch strategy, consider incentivizing your audience to leave a show review by hosting a giveaway.

8. Track your metrics.

If you’re not tracking it, did it even happen?

Once your podcast launches and is in full swing, start monitoring its performance. Here are the metrics you want to keep an eye on:

  • Subscriber count
  • Monthly episode downloads
  • Unique page views to the podcast page
  • Average listening time

Every piece of data you track will offer insight into your listeners and inform your strategy for future episodes.

For instance, say your top episode is on a particular topic, you could cover that more. Here’s an in-depth piece on how to grow a podcast.

9. Learn how to monetize your podcast.

Finally, it’s important to figure out how to earn an income based on your podcasting.

The most straightforward way is through sponsorship. Ever heard “This episode is brought to you by [insert brand]”? Well, it means the show has set up a partnership with the brand to increase brand awareness or meet another marketing goal.

In some cases, the sponsorship will also include ads pre-roll (at the beginning of the episode) and mid-roll (in the middle of the episodes). However, that’s not always the case.

Affiliate marketing, which refers to the process of promoting a product or service in exchange for a commission on the sale. Podcasts hosts will often do this by offering a unique discount code that includes the show name.

With both strategies, you’ll have to actively seek out these brands in the beginning. Create a pitch explaining the benefits of partnering with you. It’s easy to do this once you have a few episodes under your belt and can show metrics to support your points.

Another podcast monetization strategy is offering paid membership tiers for exclusive, bonus content through services like Patreon and Stitcher Premium. For instance, say your podcast is interview-based.

You could promote extended interviews at the end of each episode and encourage your listeners to join your membership platform.

If you join a podcast network or advertising network, some of this work is done for you. But it also means you don’t have full control over which ads are placed on your show. Additionally, you may not receive the full profit from the ad, as that may be split between you and the network.

Lastly, you can also maximize your podcast by publishing it on YouTube. If you have a good at-home setup or a studio setup, consider recording both video and audio – particularly if your show is educational or conversational.

This way, you can publish it on YouTube, access a wider audience, monetize your channel, and diversify the ways in which you promote your show.

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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Cycle Planning



Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Cycle Planning

We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop

Now we’re going to dive into our second stop on your agile marketing journey—the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components—Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. Last week we shared how to build an effective Marketing Backlog. Today we’re going to take a deeper look at Cycle Planning.

Cycle planning

During Cycle Planning, the team collaborates and plans for the work they intend to launch during a 5 or 10 day cycle. The goal is for everyone on the team to commit to what work they plan to launch and to discuss how they’re going to work together to achieve that goal. The team synchronizes timing around their work and understands everything involved to deliver customer value in this launch. 

To prepare for Cycle Planning, the Marketing Backlog should be ready for the team. Things to look for here are:

  • Is the work in priority order?
  • Is the work sized by effort?
  • Do we understand any dependencies?
  • Do we know what success looks like for each backlog item?
  • How will we test, learn & measure our results?

The Marketing Owner should come to Cycle Planning with a Cycle Goal in mind that ladders up to the Guidepoint. This is meant to give the team guidance on what a good outcome of the cycle will look like, but not specific tasks that they will complete.

A Cycle goal may read something like this:

The above shares what the Marketing Owner hopes the team accomplishes, but the team decides what work they can do in the cycle to get there and may also have other work as well.

The team doing the work attends Cycle Planning. This may include part-time team members, or Supporting Cast people that have work in the upcoming Cycle. Stakeholders and Practice Leads shouldn’t attend unless they are contributing to the work.

The team is self-organizing in Cycle Planning. The team decides which marketing backlog items they can tackle during the cycle, and how they will accomplish the work by breaking out tasks.

At the end of Cycle Planning, all team members should know what work the team has committed to and how they all plan to approach getting it done. The Cycle Planning eliminates siloed planning and people only focusing on their tasks and brings to light collective team ownership.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”

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What It Is & How to Build an Effective One



What It Is & How to Build an Effective One

In the business world, professionals are obsessed with tactics because they can help them meet their short-term goals. But if all you do is focus on the short-term, you won’t spend enough time or energy figuring out how you can succeed in the long-term.


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the second key persona for modern marketing operations leaders



the second key persona for modern marketing operations leaders

This 4-part series presents a framework that helps rationalize the roles and responsibilities modern marketing operations leaders are taking on. This installment summarizes the framework briefly, and dives into how MOps leaders are now “orchestrators.” 

In case you missed it, part 1 is here.

Inspiration for this framework

Two years ago, marketing technology pioneer and editor Scott Brinker outlined the four key responsibilities of marketing technologists, summarized here.  

That work espoused the view that you could be both a marketer AND a technology leader. They are not mutually exclusive! It was my inspiration for this framework, explaining how today’s MOps leaders are instrumental for marketing and business success.

X-Axis:  A range of skills from a focus on technology to creativity and arts

Y-Axis: A range of decision-making skills, ranging from emotional to rational approaches

The resulting grid captures four MOps archetypes or “personas.” MOps leaders exhibit characteristics across all parts of this framework and will operate in multiple quadrants, similar to Brinker’s frameworks.

Modernizers – Are most likely to be the “original” technologists, constantly modernizing their martech stack.

Orchestrators – Are the closest to Brinker’s Maestros and the focus of this article. He described this archetype in 2020 as the “Operations Orchestrator — MAESTROS who design and manage the workflows, rules, reports, and tech stacks that run the marketing department.

Psychologists – Are now increasingly responsible for “reading customers’ minds,” i.e. interpreting customers’ interest through intent data and digital engagement.

Scientists – Are constantly testing and evaluating. Experimentation is their specialty.

Orchestrators: Leaders of the band

Now that you’re familiar with the framework, let’s dig deeper into the Orchestrators!

I’ll start with a personal story. My exposure to orchestration started with 8-straight years of practice in violin and trumpet during my formative years. Each week was literally a blur of private lessons, group lessons, orchestra and/or band practice. I probably spent as much time with music directors as I did with my family.  

It was painfully obvious to those conductors when we hadn’t prepared or practiced. Moreso, we would get – literally – an “earful” from the conductor when we were not listening to the other instrument sections. If we were not coordinating our efforts and timing, the outcome was awful for anyone listening.

Source: Unsplash

This orchestration metaphor is powerful because there are multiple levels for MOps leaders:

  • As a project management team within marketing, and often as a conductor across external agency partners.
  • As a cross-function business partner and primary contact for IT, compliance, and legal, in addition to the traditional MOps role of achieving marketing/sales alignment

Notably, all marketers have to be project managers for their own tasks/deadlines. They must be aligned with overall campaign and program timelines. 

However, as organizations scale they are more likely to have dedicated project management teams to handle coordination across the specialist teams within marketing. The orchestration responsibility may include timeline, scope, and capacity trade-offs even after campaign briefs have received approval. 

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The orchestration responsibility multiplies when agency execution teams are delivering on individual tactics and media buys. Last year, Optimizely described these evolving orchestration duties as a “transformative shift and approach towards how marketing synchronizes their teams, content, channels, workflows, and data!”

I believe the shift is even more impactful, with orchestration benefits being felt beyond marketing. The highest value “program orchestration” responsibilities occur when MOps leaders are representing marketing’s interests in enterprise-wide programs with other functions within the organization, including product, compliance, and IT. Examples of orchestration duties with these other key functions can include:

  • Product teams – Coordinating campaigns with major product feature/functionality launches, and managing brand standards.
  • Legal/Compliance – Overseeing compliance with Can-Spam, GDPR, and CCPA, and customer preference and data privacy initiatives that may be initiated by a marketing touch-point. 
  • IT/Procurement – Technology stack management, vendor evaluations and negotiations, platform integrations and data management.

All of this departmental and cross-departmental coordination requires skill sets that can be analogized as the difference between a chamber orchestra (marketing) and a full symphony. It’s the highest level of conducting across the enterprise. 

MOps leaders are holding individuals and teams to target timelines while managing the scope of a particular campaign and business initiative. They do this while also overseeing targeting of customer and prospect segments.

In order to accomplish this complex segmentation and coordination, MOps leaders are now responsible for cross-functional data – embodied by the modern martech stack imperative: integration. Integration across systems has been the #1 issue for marketers since the modern marketing tech stack started exploding in the early 2010’s, but software and solutions providers finally listened. A tipping point was reached in 2020. Marketers reported that we were finally working within an integrated, multi-system environment, according to a CDP Institute member survey analyzed here.  

Continuing with the orchestration analogy, the conductor is the integration “synchronizer,” deciding if/when the data flows across the stack. The sheet music is the data model standard showing how to map common attributes. 

However, just because we now have this more integrated environment does not mean our work is done. The instruments do not play themselves (yet!) and they require configuration and deliberate training to play effectively — both individually and in groups. 

Training was one of the top responsibilities for marketing ops leadership, ranking it in the top 5 of MOPS tasks by percentage of work, according to the 2022 MarTech Salary and Career Survey, published jointly by MarTech and (free, ungated download here). conducted by chiefmartec.

In the 2020 version of that same study, training was highlighted as one of the top two responsibilities for many of the primary marketing technologists personas, and 91% of operations orchestrators reported that training and supporting technologies were among their top priorities.

MOps leaders are never done

Finally, under the category of “MOps leaders are never done”, the last several years have also forced a whole new category of orchestration duties – a combination of conducting, training, and martech growth: marketing work management.

The largest growth (67%) over the last several years was in the category of “work management”, according to the 2022 edition of the Martech Landscape. Established entrants such as Adobe expanded with the acquisition of Workfront, while newer players like Trello and Monday gained traction.  

Although this was already a prevailing trend BEFORE the pandemic, the hybrid/remote work environment brought on by the last 2+ years forced these project management and agile-planning tools to the forefront.  The marketing work management category grew to over 1000+ tools, according to the State of Martech 2022

Source: State of MarTech 2022 – and Martech Tribe

MOps leaders are Maestros

In summary, modern MOps leaders are indeed Maestros. They are skilled orchestrators, conducting a symphony across multiple levels. They lead:

  • Omni-channel campaigns within marketing and across business functions
  • Integration across an ever-growing, integrated martech stack
  • Training and deployment as one of their primary responsibilities 

Editor’s note: In Part 3 of this 4-part series, Milt will expand on MOps leaders’ growing role as Psychologists. For background on this framework, see Part 1 of this series here

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Milt is currently Director of Customer Experience at MSI Data, an industry-leading cloud software company that focuses on the value and productivity that customers can drive from adopting MSI’s service management solutions.

With nearly 30 years of leadership experience, Milt has focused on aligning service, marketing, sales, and IT processes around the customer journey. Milt started his career with GE, and led cross-functional initiatives in field service, software deployment, marketing, and digital transformation.
Following his time at GE, Milt led marketing operations at Connecture and HSA Bank, and he has always enjoyed being labeled one of the early digital marketing technologists. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from UW Madison, and an MBA from Kellogg School of Management.

In addition to his corporate leadership roles, Milt has been focused on contributing back to the marketing and regional community where he lives. He serves on multiple boards and is also an adjunct instructor for UW-Madison’s Digital Marketing Bootcamp. He also supports strategic clients through his advisory group, Mission MarTech LLC.

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