After months of working from home, and with many more months to go for most companies, keeping employees, customers and partners connected is more important now than ever before. One way brands are looking to stay engaged is through podcasting.

Podcasts are an intimate medium that allow listeners to feel more connected to the host and engaged with the topic. Here are four best practices for how to make company podcasts effective and engaging for the long run:

1. Empower your team.

Any company looking to start a podcast should dedicate time within their show to elevate their team members. You get to hear from executive level professionals all the time, but it’s rare that you get to hear from more junior team members and their stories can be just as powerful. They, too, have tales of triumph and pain, and their own personal climb up the professional ladder that we can be instructive for all. These stories lend a new perspective that might otherwise be overlooked. Allowing employees to freely share their trials and struggles on a platform that doesn’t oftentimes offer a voice to individual contributors creates a sense of connection and empowerment.

2. Provide consistent, accessible and digestible content.

Podcasts keep conversations going in a way that’s more accessible and digestible to busy industry professionals. Tuning into a podcast is significantly more convenient than joining a webcast or Zoom meeting. You’re able to listen at your leisure at a time that works for you.

Consistently sharing new content that’s easy to digest will keep listeners engaged and coming back for more. In addition to industry talk, you can branch out into meaningful conversations that centre on employee experiences, which is a huge, albeit vulnerable, step in remaining connected with employees and partners. Employees can tell their stories and know that they’re being heard by a wider, sympathetic audience, and partners and customers can find little nuggets and lessons that they can use in their day to day as well. With face-to-face interactions gone, audio storytelling is a great way to maintain that closer connection.

3. Pay attention to feedback.

One of the best ways to stay effective at engaging listeners for the long term is to remain open to feedback and pay attention to what’s really resonating with listeners. Some content will really appeal to a wide variety of listeners while other ideas could fall flat. Track listenership over time to look for trends around what content performs the best for your audience. Pay attention to comments on social media or email feedback and implement audience suggestions. By staying flexible and open to adaptation, you’ll be able to fine-tune your podcast content and produce episodes that will be beneficial to employees, customers and partners.

4. Put in the work.

For anyone thinking about starting a company podcast, the biggest piece of advice to keep in mind is that you have to be willing to put in the work. Building out the studio is easy. (There are tons of articles that range from how to build budget studios to how to build out a professional sound studio.)

What it really comes down to is putting in effort. That means finding your voice, taking the time to thoroughly research your topics and guests and giving your editing the time and attention it deserves. Your audience will notice the little details and they’ll go a long way. Creating well thought-out, high-quality content will set you apart and help to establish an audience of dedicated and loyal listeners.

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