Podcasts are hot, but you have to make sure you don’t get burned.
Business leaders increasingly recognize the value of using audio to communicate with their workforce, yet many make mistakes that reduce the impact of their communications. In some extreme cases, they even jeopardize company information security.
Here are some common missteps organizations make when launching a podcasting program:
- They fail to set concrete objectives.
What do you want to achieve with your podcast? Do you want to increase productivity? Increase employee engagement? Reduce turnover?
Too many companies hit record before they have an answer to that question. Though most have some awareness of the many benefits of private podcasts, they don’t have a plan in place for how the podcast will help the business reach its goals.
For an objective to be meaningful, it must remain front and center at every stage of the process. It should drive every decision involved in creating and distributing the podcast. Who is the target audience? What will the podcast be about? What metrics can you use to measure its success?
- They’re not creating engaging content.
There’s no point in creating content if workers aren’t motivated to listen to it. Podcasting offers a dynamic alternative to the bombardment of tedious text that employees face daily.
A recent survey of workers at a financial services firm with 574 employees offered insights into the type of content that engages employees. Despite a wide variety of preferences, the largest segment of employees favored podcasts that provided insights from company leaders or “deeper discussions” of internal news.
Length is another important factor. If the podcasts are too long, workers are more likely to avoid them. In the survey, most employees put the ideal length at five to 15 minutes, while 30% favored podcasts from 15 to 30 minutes, and fewer than 10% of respondents said they like longer shows.
- They’re not tracking the content’s performance.
Whenever possible in business, you should seek to measure your performance in the hopes of identifying problems and making organizational improvements. It’s no different with podcasts. The more insight you can gain into how employees are engaging with the content, the better.
Rather than simply blasting your content off into the dark, seek a platform that enables you to track who is listening or watching. If your employees aren’t taking advantage of the resource, you should find out as soon as possible and figure out how to make the product more appealing and useful to them.
- They’re not segmenting the audience.
Segmentation serves two key functions.
First, it helps you to deliver customized content to different parts of the workforce. In a large organization, not everybody is going to want the same type of content, and in some cases you’ll be producing content with sensitive information that is not for all employees’ ears. Segmentation helps to prevent unauthorized users from accessing certain content.
Second, your ability to segment the audience is key to analyzing the content’s performance. Knowing that 70% of workers have listened to the podcast is valuable, but what’s even more useful is knowing that 90% of those in sales listened compared with only 20% of those in marketing. Why is it performing so well in one department? These are the kinds of things you need to know in order to communicate better with your workers.
- The content is hard to access.
You’re missing a major opportunity if you’re not making it as easy as possible for workers to access podcasts whenever, wherever and on whatever device they want.
It’s particularly important that workers can download the podcast and listen to it during their commute or when they’re traveling for work. This offers a great chance for employees to make the most of otherwise idle “windshield time.”
Neil Garrett is VP of marketing with uStudio.