There’s a reason why TV and movie buffs go crazy for behind-the-scenes content. It’s a glimpse behind the curtain, into the magic of creating impactful content. We get to see the blood, sweat, and tears—not to mention the often surprising number of people and hours committed to a project—that combine to form media we dig.
Podcasts have their own backstories, don’t they? A listener likely has no clue about all the painstaking planning, time, and attention required to bring even just one episode to life.
It’s true that great podcasts take serious forethought and time. And why shouldn’t they, being the incredibly powerful tool and piece of marketing strategy they are?
Let’s pull back the curtain a bit today and take a look at some of the intentionality and planning that goes into bringing an episode to life.
But before we dive in, let’s look at the three most crucial roles behind podcast production, so we are straight on who the players are.
Who’s Running the Show Here?
There’s usually a whole team of people behind a successful podcast, but for the purposes of this blog, we’ll focus on the head honchos, primarily:
- The Host — The voice and face of the podcast (think Ira Glass, Guy Raz, or our very own Lindsay Tjepkema). These folks are front and center and also a big creative part of the show.
- The Producer — The show creator who focuses on content, cutting/audio, engineering, and everything else behind the mic. This can be more than one person.
- The Showrunner — The overall leader and project manager of the podcast (sometimes the host, sometimes not).
Each one of these roles plays a critical part in the show creation process. And there’s often a ton of collaboration and cross-pollination before an episode is published.
Step-by-Step: Bringing an Episode to Life
While there are variations, the show creation process often goes like this:
- Guest booking. A potential guest confirms their invite and a recording date is booked. Excitement starts brewing!
For David Poole at The Georgian Impact Podcast, this is also where his team sends the guest a pair of noise-canceling headphones — both a gift for participating and a way to set themselves up for the best audio quality possible. Love this!
- Brainstorming. Time to get into the nitty-gritty. The real meat of the show is decided here, the show flow is determined, and interview questions are written.
Don’t leave this step up to just one person. The more diversity of viewpoints and content, the more interesting and appealing your show will be.
- Recording. Here’s where the magic really happens! Once the mics are rolling, you can put your special brand spin on the interview. Create an intimate environment where you (and the listeners) can lean in close to what your guest has to say.
Pro tip: Follow the outline you prepared, but don’t let it feel scripted or rigid. Act naturally, build rapport, and reassure your guest that there’s always room for redos and edits since podcasting isn’t live.
FOR THE BEST AUDIO:
Use Zoom to record remote guest interviews for the highest sound quality. In Zoom, select Preferences > Recording to optimize audio and/or save locally for editing later.
- Editing and post-interview recording. The host or producer reviews the raw audio to create takeaways, writes an intro (or script), and storyboards the episode. The host will then record the episode intro/outro and any other scripted sections.
“We’ve played around with so many different ways of doing the intro, but we’ve found that it works better if it’s done afterwards,” says David.
- Production. The producer and showrunner may pull any extra content (like clips or soundbites from other episodes) to create a more finalized storyboard.
From there, the producer splices the episode together by editing the audio, overlaying music, and creating a rough cut. Together, the producer and showrunner will do a final listen/review/revision of the episode until it’s ready for publication.
- Promotion. The episode is ready for release! (Champagne, anyone?) The episode is uploaded and handed off to marketing for promotion through blogs, social media, clips, etc.
At Casted, we believe this is where podcasts can really shine. If you’re going to do all of this work, you should be gleaning the highest ROI you can.
You can do all of this work in-house, or choose to work with an agency for steps four through six (check out how David’s team does it or how Sangram Vajre at Flip My Funnel sets his recording schedule). At Casted, we highly recommend keeping your strategy and recording in-house for the most authentic content possible.
The Importance of Process
The podcasting process may look a little different from one organization to the next, but what’s most important is simply having one—truly! Many organizations talk about starting a podcast, but it takes a savvy marketer (or marketing team) to actually follow through and make it happen.
Podcasting can be an extremely important tool (possibly even the most valuable) for your marketing strategy, so it’s critical that your process and attention to detail match its significance.
Creating a solid production process ensures that:
- Everyone is on the same page.
- Responsibilities aren’t shifted, and everyone is clear on their role.
- Your episodes are produced on time and with the highest quality.
When your podcast’s behind-the-scenes team flows smoothly, so will your ROI.
At Casted, the magic behind the curtain is kind of “our thing.” When you’re done producing your episode, we help you get the audience and marketing fuel you deserve. Whether you’re a showrunner, producer, or host, our B2B podcasting platform makes it easy to host and schedule episodes, create clips, transcribe shows, embed audio, and (perhaps most importantly) measure your impact.
See what’s under the hood by scheduling a demo today.
Check out our latest content here:
- Not Your Dad’s Podcast: 7 Ways Podcasts Have Changed with Thoughtbot’s Lindsey Christensen
- The Podcast Effect at HubSpot
- How We Wrung-Out The Casted Podcast to Create “What Happened When HubSpot Hit Record”
- Building Brand Awareness and Defining Your Goals with Lola.com’s Mike Volpe
- thoughtbot’s Smashingly Successful Podcast Strategy with Lindsey Christensen