Podcast Planning Worksheet — Use It to Jumpstart Your Content Planning Efforts

Are you considering starting a podcast? It is quickly becoming an excellent format for content marketing. It is an avenue for engagement. You can share your genuine voice and ideas. It’s a unique opportunity to bring in industry experts or customers for a chat. But what will your topics be? Creating a sustainable format that you can deliver consistently is the bedrock of any content marketing initiative. Podcasting is no different. One of the best ways to streamline your podcast content planning is with a podcast planning worksheet.

In this post, we’re providing you a high-level outline of how to put together your worksheet. It can jumpstart your podcast initiatives.

Why Use a Podcast Planning Worksheet?

Podcast episodes should obviously be part of your content calendar. To make this happen, you need to have topics, guests, and dates in line. Without this critical information planned in advance, you can easily get behind the 8-ball.

And before you do anything, you should put some thought into determining the frequency of your podcasts. One of the pillars of content marketing is consistency. If you plan to use podcasting as a long-term format, you can’t just publish one or two episodes every now and then. Building an audience and making your podcast a contributing part of your content marketing mix will likely require a minimum of two episodes a month. You can always expand that as you gain traction and your podcast production process gets easier.

There are multiple steps in podcast planning. Let’s look at the most common ones.

What to Include in Your Podcast Planning Worksheet

There are four stages in podcast production.

1. Prep Stage

These are the pre-production items.

  • Brainstorming topics: Involve your content team in some brainstorming exercises. Your podcast may include original subjects. Or, you may use topics covered in blogs or ebooks. Podcasts can actually be a great way to repurpose content.
  • Researching: You may already have intel on the subject. Other times, you’ll need to find some relevant data or support to back up your points. Research can be time-consuming, so keep this in mind.
  • Finding guests: A podcast is a conversation, not a monologue. Your guest should be an expert on the subject. Being passionate about it is a plus. Don’t think you need to find extroverts for your podcast. They aren’t on stage. It’s a private chat among friends. Start with internal experts, industry leaders, customers, and partners as possible guests.
  • Interview prepping: Your host and/or content team should put together questions. You don’t have to use this verbatim. They can be a starting point for conversations. Structure it like an outline. If there are specific points or stories to share, decide how you’ll weave those in with the right questions.

2. Content Creation Phase

In this phase, the magic happens.

  • Scheduling topics and interviews: Work with your interviewees to find the most convenient time for them to record. Make sure this aligns with your scheduled frequency and gives you enough time for post-production.
  • Get your podcast tech ready: Podcasting obviously requires some technology in the form of audio recording and editing software, microphones, etc. Ensure that you’ve tested your sound quality for both you and your interviewees (if applicable).
  • Record the podcasts: You’re ready to create your podcasts. You’ve done all the prep work, so it’s time to start the show.

What Does This Phase Look Like on Your Worksheet?

The content creation phase should track your progress. Every podcast needs multiple columns to designate its status. The podcast worksheet should include hosts, interviewees, topics, timelines, projected time, and status.

Everything needs to have due dates. It’s no different from the content workflows you use for blogs or other content forms. This analysis also identifies if there are any bottlenecks in the process.

For example, you may find interviewees often reschedule. This disrupts your timelines. You may decide that it’s better to schedule more interviews in a week than you’ll produce. This technique might get you ahead of schedule!

3. Post-Production

After recording, it’s time for post-production work.

  • Editing audio files: It’s unlikely that you’ll get everything right the first time. The host and interviewee probably had a few do-overs. That’s fine because editing polishes everything. This is part of the timeline of the original project, so deadlines matter. Be sure you have the capacity for the resources you need.
  • Formatting: In this step, you’ll add background music and intros. It’s a good idea to have a branded intro for your podcast. The intro should include the name of the podcast, the host name, guest name, and what it’s about. Add an outro, too, to plug your brand and the guest’s as well.

4. Promotion, Distribution, and Performance

How will you promote and distribute your content? And what additional content might you need?

  • Writing the blurb: No matter where you post your content, it should include a blurb. It may live on your website or other channels. The blurb should be a teaser of what to expect and include who your guest is and why he or she is a must-hear expert.
  • Publishing: When you have all the elements, it’s time to make your podcast live. This includes publishing on your website, as well as on iTunes or other applications.
  • Promoting: Once it’s live, it’s time to promote it. Social media is the most prevalent channel to do this. Follow your social media strategy best practices here. Other ways to boost it are on the home page of your website and an email marketing campaign.
  • Measuring performance: There are several metrics you should look at to gauge the success of your podcast. The number of plays and subscriptions is obvious. You should also look at the engagement of your social media posts. After some time, you’ll have content analytics around performance. From this, you can determine the most popular topics and guests. It can help you as you begin to add new episodes.

Podcast Planning Worksheets — Integrate With Your Content Calendar

If you’re using a content calendar that’s part of a content marketing platform, you should insert your worksheets here. A content calendar is a tool that tracks the entire process. So, after you have the process in place, it should become part of the bigger picture of your content efforts.

Integrating also helps you cross-promote. If you have a blog publishing within a few days or weeks of a podcast that has synergy, it’s easy to identify this on your content calendar. Content calendars are transparent repositories for all projects.

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