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How to Make Podcasting Work for Your Startup

With over 300 million podcast episodes in the world, battling for attention is a lot harder than it used to be. So, you’re eager to discover the magic bullet that will help establish your startup’s place in the market. It seems that everyone is creating clever podcasts, though the techniques and quality that surfaces scrolling through any podcast channel can be daunting.

Startup Boston’s Stephanie Roulic brought on master podcaster, Lindsey Christensen, Chief Marketing Officer of thoughtbot and co-host of their GiantRobots podcast, to demystify this approach. With years of podcasting experience under her belt, Lindsay shared the best of her toolkit to alert attendees to traps as well as the approaches best-suited to business goals and expectations. When considering if podcasting is something you want to commit to, podcasts are the best channel for building brand affinity, getting the word out about what you stand for, and showcasing compelling stories. All of these are to the end of building a dedicated community that will share and champion what you are working on.

Is podcasting the right channel for your business?

Consider these key items:

  • Do you have an existing audience?

  • What role will your podcast play in the marketing mix? Is it one episode, or a series? What value will it bring, and can the podcast be directly tied to business goals?

  • Are you seeking to build a narrative that will help differentiate the business, ignite brand values and develop a loyal following?

A caveat – don’t be under the illusion that the podcast will be a lead generator.

If you’ve checked off all the boxes above and decided podcasting is the way to go for your customer base, start with a few of Lindsay’s recommendations:

  • Assessment: Deeply understand who & what the podcast is for.

  • Cadence: Be consistent in releasing episodes, what is sustainable to maintain the quality.

  • Channels: Best distribution methods to increase the audience, and how will our audiences find us?

  • Calls to Action: Where can audiences learn more?

  • Distribution: Introduce the podcast as another way for your audience to engage with you.

  • No need to promote the podcast. You have an existing audience!

How will you know if the podcast is working?

Podcasts are tricky to track, measure, and convey the metrics of return. The go-to stat is typically the number of new downloads as it indicates an active, engaged audience. Finally, Lindsay suggests treating the podcast as any other marketing campaign though with a much longer timeline. You may be surprised to discover new and intriguing insights, attract unique talent to the firm, and cultivate a loyal following among a niche audience.

Lindsey Christensen is the Chief Marketing Officer at thoughtbot, where she co-hosts the Giant Robots Smashing into Other Giant Robots podcast. The podcast has featured notable guests including Karen Rubin (Owl Labs), Andrew Steele (Olympic Medalist), and Bryan Helmig (Zapier). Prior to joining thoughtbot, Lindsey was the Head of Marketing at TetraScience, where she grew their revenue 8x, team 3x, and took the company from seed to $10M series A.

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