Your podcast will only become a reality if you first flesh out your podcast concept. When you know what your podcast will be about you can take the next critical step in the process: putting together an actionable step-by-step plan to achieve your vision.
Before you ever launch an episode, you must first engage in a strategic brainstorming process to shape your podcast idea or concept. This guide will walk you through how to do just that.
1) Start With Your Overall Podcast Concept Topic
The first thing you want to dig into is what your podcast will be about overall. The general concept of your podcast will inform the rest of your decisions about it, including your podcast name and how you market it.
Brainstorm the overall topic of your podcast. Think about what you want to achieve or your why behind wanting to launch a podcast. For example, do you want to make starting a business easier for people? Do you want to analyze a certain industry?
Establish what your podcast topic is. Then, move on to a name that will connect listeners to that topic.
2) Think About Podcast Names That Relate to Concept
Choosing a name is one of the most important steps in creating a podcast channel. It needs to stand out to capture people’s attention. It should also be relevant to your podcast’s overall topic. It needs to be easy to understand and search for too.
Come up with as many names as possible at first. Then, narrow them down to the most relevant to your podcast’s topic. Take those and cut them down to what’s relevant to your podcast topic and easiest for your audience to understand and search for. Out of those, list the ones most likely to stand out.
3) Envision How Many Seasons There Will Be
You definitely want your podcast to last more than a season. The question is how many seasons do you see happening for your podcast and what is the scope of those seasons?
You don’t have to get into every single detail of each season. However, you should discuss a general feel for what you want to cover each season.
For example, let’s say your podcast is about helping women start their own businesses and you see it having at least five seasons. The first season will be about what happens in the first year in business. The second season will cover issues related to the second year in business, and so on.
Envision how many seasons your podcast will have and briefly touch on what each season will be about.
4) Break Down Individual Episode Concepts
Equally important to your overall podcast vision are your ideas for each individual episode. They need to be entertaining and engaging on their own. But also weaved together in a cohesive way to uphold your overall podcast concept.
Spend ample time outlining each individual episode. The following questions will help you cover essential details for successful podcast episodes:
- What is the topic for this podcast episode?
- What is the overall message or lesson you’re sharing?
- Will there be any guests?
- What’s the format for this episode?
- What sound effects and visuals will you need?
- How long will this episode be?
- Can you break the episode down into sections?
- How long will you spend on each section?
- What ads will run?
- How will you start and end the episode?
- What’s the cover art?
Pin down any other essential details you can think of for each individual podcast episode. Remember, Apple Podcasts among other platforms now allow for episode-level cover art.
5) Come Up With an Effective Marketing Plan
There’s no point in launching a podcast if you aren’t going to make sure you have listeners for it. Not only do you need to come up with a compelling podcast concept, but you also need to brainstorm how you’ll market it effectively.
How will you get the word out about your podcast? How will you get the attention of your ideal listeners and convince them to become loyal fans of your podcast?
Brainstorm what marketing channels you’ll use and how often you’ll publish content on them. Also, go deep into how you’ll create engaging digital content for your marketing channels. You don’t just need to keep in mind what kind of audience you are trying to reach on each channel. You also need to keep in mind what types of content perform well on each site. For example, let’s say you’re using the social media platforms YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram to promote your podcast.
You could post video versions of your podcast episodes on YouTube. Videos and images that depict how you pull your podcast episodes together could do well on Instagram. And short-form creative videos that highlight what makes your podcast unique would be a good fit for TikTok.
It’s also a good idea to brainstorm potential sponsors. You can grow a stronger brand identity with long-term brand partnerships. So, think about who would be interested in sponsoring your podcast.
6) Draft a Podcast Creative Brief Including the Concept
It’s a good idea to wrap everything up in a creative brief once you have all of the above details of your podcast worked out. A creative brief will help you illustrate the scope of your podcast, any anticipated challenges, and the timeline for completion in a polished way. Along with the details above, cover the following in your creative brief:
- Background information about your brand;
- Any challenges you might have bringing your podcast to life;
- Who your competitors are;
- What your deadlines are and what’s due at each one;
- Any technical requirements for your podcast.
Keep your creative brief short and simple. Make it measurable. Ensure it’s a collaborative document rather than a set of instructions. Make sure everyone involved in creating your podcast has access to your creative brief to ensure you’re all on the same page.
We need your podcast out of your head and into the world. Actually laying out the details of your podcast will make it more achievable. Engage in a thorough brainstorming process with the tips above to flesh out your podcast concept.
Sam Bowman is a freelance writer from the West Coast. He writes about viral marketing and podcasting. Before becoming a freelance writer, he worked in audio marketing development. His time in marketing has influenced the content he creates today.