5 Ways to Promote Your Company’s Podcast
By Neil Garrett
More and more employers are turning to private, internal podcasts to communicate with and engage their workforce. Employees can access podcasts through a variety of devices (mobile phones, tablets, computers, etc.) at any time, making them a particularly useful way to stay connected with remote workers.
The medium is a natural draw for many employees, especially younger ones, many of whom are already listening to podcasts in their personal lives.
But simply creating a podcast –– even a very good one –– isn’t enough to attract an audience and achieve communications goals. As communicators we need to let employees know the podcast exists, provide incentives for them to listen and then monitor their listening data regularly. Moreover, building consistent listenership for internal podcasts requires a keen understanding of your target audience so you can address their needs.
Here are some tactics for internally promoting your company podcast:
1. Build awareness.
To let employees know your podcast exists, display workplace signage and remind them via email or other digital communications to sign up and subscribe. A best practice is to send employees an email shortly before launching the podcast, to explain what’s coming and generate interest.
When it’s time for the launch, send another email announcement with links and instructions for how to download the podcast app. Emphasize the benefits of tuning in, such as topics the podcast will explore and the convenience of being able to listen while traveling.
To pique employee interest, let them know the podcast will contain information they won’t find anywhere else. Dell has taken this approach in its private podcasts, with great success. The more unique the content is, the greater its value proposition.
2. Gather employee feedback.
To get employees excited about your company’s internal podcasts, ask them what topics they’d like to hear covered in future episodes. People are more likely to be interested in something they’ve helped create.
Employee opinions can be solicited in various ways. One method is to email a survey with an incentive to respond — company swag perhaps, or the chance to host a future podcast episode. For deeper insight, ask managers to brainstorm with employees about podcast topics and lengths they prefer. Have them ask employees whether they find the podcast content beneficial.
Another way to collect feedback about your internal podcasts is by letting employees know who will host upcoming episodes and asking them to send in their questions or comments. Employees will look forward to hearing their views repeated out loud in the podcast, further motivating them to tune in and hear the hosts’ responses. This approach also helps build listener interest in future podcasts hosted by people employees don’t usually hear from, such as industry thought leaders or executives.
Once your podcast series is underway, continue to improve your communication by regularly seeking listener feedback and monitoring podcast analytics. Remember that employee listening habits may change over time.
If your podcasting software provides analytics on specific users, you can see when someone isn’t listening and then contact their manager to learn why.
3. Find champions.
If you work for a large organization, your leaders and high-performing employees are your best champions to promote your podcast. They know their co-workers and what will resonate with them. Draw on their knowledge when you create the podcast, and again when you promote it.
Consider making podcast episodes available to managers before rolling them out to the entire company. When the podcast goes live, ask managers to encourage their teams to listen by explaining the benefits of its content.
You can also invite people from around the company to be guests on your podcast. The closer employees are to those appearing on the show, the more likely they’ll be to listen and relate to the podcast’s messages. Asking well-liked, respected employees to encourage their peers to listen can go a long way.
4. Offer incentives.
Besides helping solicit feedback, incentives also motivate employees to listen to your podcasts. The simplest way is to offer employees rewards for listening, especially if your podcasting software lets you identify the employees who have listened to each episode.
Better yet, integrate incentives into the podcasts themselves. Each episode might include trivia questions that employees can earn points by answering via email. Listeners who earn a certain number of points over a period of time (quarterly, every six months, etc.) would be eligible for prizes. An office leaderboard that shows listenership numbers across teams will create some friendly competition.
5. Develop stellar content.
It may seem obvious, but the best way to promote your internal company podcast is to create a good product. If employees find your podcasts valuable and enjoyable, they will naturally encourage their co-workers to listen.
Quality podcast content requires planning, however. Take time to gather input from employees on what they’d like to hear, and to analyze their responses. Try to identify recurring themes in their feedback that will help you craft future episodes they will find engaging and relevant.
Finally, while your goal should be to maximize the number of employees who will listen to and enjoy your podcast series, remember that you won’t satisfy everybody. Even the best podcasts will have critics. Don’t react to every criticism by changing strategy. If you find yourself trying to please everyone, you’ll wind up with a podcast that pleases no one.
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