Podcast Basics

Getting Buy-In (and Budget) for Your Company Podcast

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Podcasts can have a significant impact on the growth of your audience and customer base. By providing value with an informative, entertaining, and engaging show, potential customers will come to see you as an expert in your field – a true problem solver who can help them.

But before you can introduce a podcast to your content mix, you’ll need buy-in from your leadership. This means the first step of creating a branded podcast is to sell it to your company. 

Buy-in does not mean permission. It’s not enough if your leadership simply allows you to start a podcast. True buy-in is when your leaders give their full-fledged support of a project. This is the only way they’ll give you the time, money, and support you need to be successful.

How do you get internal buy-in for your company podcast? In this article, we explain the six steps you should take to make a compelling case for a company podcast. 

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Read to start your own podcast? Learn the nitty-gritty details of starting your own show in our comprehensive guide. Learn how to start a podcast.

Step 1: Introduce Management to Great Podcasts

Podcasting is becoming more popular every year, but it’s not as ubiquitous as TV or Facebook. If your leadership doesn’t listen to podcasts, your first step is to turn them into fans of the format by introducing them to podcasts they’ll love.

Before you push to start a branded podcast, ask your leadership team a few questions about their interests. Then curate some shows or specific episodes you think will satisfy those interests. If possible, show them episodes from podcasts run by brands they know. This will give them an opportunity to image their brand as podcasters.

Step 2: Choose a Public or Private Podcast

Your next step is to decide whether your show will be public or private. A public podcast is what most people are familiar with: a show that anyone can access. But you may opt to limit your show to the people in your organization.

A private podcast is a show that isn’t readily available to the general public. You get to decide who can access it and who’s left out. This also means your RSS URL isn’t listed anywhere online. Only you know the URL and personally distribute it to a specified group of people.

Private podcasts are great for corporate training, company-wide communications, keeping remote employees engaged, and improving the lives and work of your colleagues.

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With Castos you can easily create a private podcast for your organization and integrate it with the tools you already use. Learn more about private podcasting.

Step 3: Link the Company Podcast to Your Organization’s Mission and Goals

Your leadership sees a company podcast as a means to an end. Maybe they want it to attract new customers, find new talent, keep the team informed, or simply grow the brand. They have an understanding of what success looks like in their head. Your job is to match it. 

For example, let’s say your leaders want to improve brand awareness and change people’s perception of your brand from productivity focused to work/life balance focused. A podcast aimed at your customer demographic designed to teach them how to balance life and work is an excellent idea for a podcast. It could be engaging, informative, and converting. 

Once you know what success means for your leaders, tell them how you will measure that. They’ll need reports from your podcast analytics, specifically how many downloads or listens you’re getting and how they grow over time. In order to understand how people’s perception of your brand changes, you’ll probably have to purchase brand lift studies

While it’s certainly possible that you’ll monetize the show some day (possibly with ads), that’s usually not the focus of a company podcast. Branded podcasts usually have a bigger goal than simple revenue, such as strengthening the brand image or creating awareness. That said, it’s okay to mention monetization as one of your goals in order to argue that the show will pay for itself one day. 

Action

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Step 4: Offer to Start with a Pilot or Short Series

Your leadership sees new initiatives like a branded podcast as a risk, so anything you can do to hedge that risk will make it easier to get their buy-in. If you don’t think you’ll get approval or budget to commit to an ongoing podcast, offer to start small by producing a single pilot or a short series. This may make your leadership more comfortable about trying something new. 

The challenge here is that you will need to create a compelling episode (or small group of episodes) without a budget. It’s possible to start a podcast without any money, but you’ll have to work hard to produce a high quality show. You’ll need to scrap together a good recording space, using good microphone techniques, and spend some time editing your episode to make the audio crystal clear. If you don’t produce something excellent, your leadership may not see podcasting as a worthwhile endeavor. 

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Step 5: Design a Realistic Budget and Revenue Forecast

Your leadership is going to ask a critical question: “How much is this podcast going to cost?” This is an important part of your pitch. If you ask for too much, they may declare a podcast to be too expensive and dismiss your idea immediately. 

But if you ask for too little, you may end up with a budget that isn’t sufficient to produce a good show. In this case, either a) your poor show will fail to gain traction and leadership will scrap the project, or b) you’ll have to ask for more money at a later date, which will make you look unprofessional.

The trick is to keep your budget as realistic as possible. Try to accurately predict the real cost of producing the type of podcast you intend to publish. Make sure to include the following components in your estimate:

  • Podcasting equipment, such as microphones, an audio interface, cables, recording and editing software, and a computer if you need one.
  • A recording space. You could use an office with some sound quality enhancements or you could build your own recording studio.
  • Software, tools, or services to help you promote your show.
  • The cost of bringing guests to your show. For instance, if you intend to fly them to your location, you’ll need to know the average cost of flights and accommodations.

You may also find it helpful to include the time cost of everyone involved with the podcast. For example, if you think the show will require six hours a week of your time, you could include six hours of your pay in the calculation. Do this for everyone who is involved in the podcast.

Furthermore, this is also a good place to include a revenue forecast if you intend to monetize your show at some point. For instance, if you intend to include ads, sell products or courses, build a private paid community, or draw revenue some other way, explain when that starts and how much the show can expect to make. 

Step 6: Prepare a Compelling Pitch for Your Company Podcast

Your final step is where you put everything together in a compelling pitch to present to your leadership. Yes, we know, slide decks can be boring, but they’re useful tools to package information together to give it weight. 

Craft your pitch with everything you know about your show, including its topic, format, and other details. Create slides for the types of guests you’ll interview and what your podcast cover art might look like. Here are some more tips to pitch your podcast:

Use statistics to make your case

If your leadership isn’t convinced that podcasting is worth the time and expense, lead off with some statistics about the growth of the industry. Make it clear that you’re pushing for a podcast because it’s a growing medium, not just because you happen to like it. 

Here are some statistics you can use to make your case:

  • 55% of the US population has listened to a podcast – up from 51% in 2019 (source)
  • 16 million people in the US are “avid podcast fans” (source)
  • Podcast listeners are much more active on every social media channel (94% are active on at least one), more likely to follow companies and brands on social media, and less likely to be exposed to TV advertising. (source)
  • Podcast listeners subscribe to an average of 6 shows in the last week and listen to an average of 7 different shows per week. (source)

Beyond those statistics, you’ll want to find some numbers that support your specific niche or industry to really drive home the point that people like podcasts. 

Include examples of similar podcasts and their results

To really sell the idea of starting a company podcast, include some examples of successful shows that are similar to the type of show you intend to create. With a bit of digging, you may be able to find details regarding each show’s growth. In fact, some brands even produce case studies regarding the success of their podcasts.

Share some creative ideas

You don’t need to plan every detail of your show before seeking buy-in from your leadership, but it helps to have some solid ideas on paper to show them. This will help make your plan seem tangible and solid. It’s easier for someone to get on board with something they understand.

These ideas might include a list of topics you want to discuss, a list of guests you want to invite on the show, or a format that you think is appropriate. You could even play snippets of podcasts you hope to emulate. This is also a good opportunity to make your leadership aware that podcasts aren’t bound to the traditional Q&A format. 

Define your podcast workflow

Explain to your leadership exactly how you will produce your podcast. Define the responsibilities of everyone involved and propose a podcast workflow so everything gets done on time so episodes are published on schedule. (Your workflow will change over time as your show grows and you become a better podcaster, but this is just a starting place.)

A podcast workflow usually includes these components:

  • Come up with an idea
  • Search for guests
  • Schedule interviews
  • Prepare for the podcast recording
  • Conduct the recording
  • Edit the recording
  • Publish the podcast episode
  • Promote the episode

If possible, explain how these components will fit into yours or everyone’s schedule. For instance, if you plan to handle the recording, tell your leadership how you will fit this activity into your current workload. 

Outline a promotional plan

Your leadership wants to get listeners quickly, of course, so prepare ahead for that. Outline a plan to promote your show to your potential audience, convince them to listen, and then retain them for the long-term. Make sure to mention specific tactics, like creating a podcast website, promoting your show on social media, and communicating with email marketing

Tip

Ready to grow your audience? Learn how to market your show in our complete guide: How to Promote a Podcast: The Ultimate Podcast Marketing Guide

Include market research

It’s smart to include some information about similar podcasts who share the same space. They aren’t exactly competitors (because people often listen to multiple podcasts), but it’s good to know about the kind of show they publish. What are their strengths and weaknesses? What will you emulate and where will you differentiate?

True Buy-In for Your Company Podcast is Critical

Producing a company podcast can be a rewarding experience for both you and your organization, but only if you have genuine buy-in from your leadership. Use the advice we outlined above to turn your leadership into allies who will support your show.

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Dennis is a content marketer and web developer with years of experience helping startups and small businesses build their online platforms. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and daughter.

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