Discover expert strategies to keep your branded podcast thriving even during the off-season. Learn how to extend the lifespan of your show, find your ideal season length, and build anticipation for the next season with our comprehensive guide.
You just wrapped up the first season of your branded podcast. It’s an exciting time to look back on all the conversations you’ve had, guests you’ve featured, and episodes you’ve produced.
And through the midst of all your team's excitement, you can’t shake the feeling of, “Well… what’s next?”
What if we told you that maintaining an engaging and consistent presence between branded podcast seasons is not just a strategic move but an essential one?
While seasonal breaks provide much-needed rest and planning time for your next season, many brands also come with looming questions like:
Throughout this blog, we explore expert-backed techniques and strategies to optimize your branded podcast during your off-season.
From determining the ideal season length for your show to crafting compelling interim content, we aim to equip you with the knowledge you need to extend the lifespan of your branded podcast and foster enduring audience engagement.
Let’s get into it.
A podcast season is a collection of podcast episodes that are released periodically, typically following a regular schedule such as weekly or bi-weekly. The episodes within a season are linked by a common theme, topic, or narrative arc.
Seasons allow brands and marketing teams to organize their content into distinct, cohesive segments, making it easier for listeners to follow and engage with the podcast.
“Once your podcast season wraps, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the narrative arc you developed over the course of the season, and there are so many ways you can do this. One of the great things about a podcast is that the content will live on, and continuously be discovered by new listeners, but sometimes they need a nudge. Think about your marketing calendar and where those stories fit in, whether it’s quoting a guest in a blog post or featuring your favorite episode on #ThrowbackThursday. Whatever you choose, always include a clear CTA for the reader to listen to the episode and subscribe to be alerted when a new season drops.”
-Sarah Zandbergen, Senior Producer, Quil Inc.
The length of a podcast season can vary widely depending on the preferences and goals of the podcast host or team. Some podcast seasons may be relatively short, consisting of just a few episodes, while others can extend for a longer duration, spanning months or even years.
Regardless of the length of your podcast season, here are some important things to keep in mind to maximize its potential:
Luckily for many brands who work with an agency, they’ll be there to support you throughout the seasonal planning of your show. Giving you guidance on the number of episodes, formats, and processes.
General guidelines aside, here are some specific factors that can help you determine the ideal length of your podcast season.
Understanding your audience's listening habits is paramount. If your target audience prefers quick, bite-sized content, a shorter season with concise episodes may be more appealing.
Conversely, if your audience is loyal and enjoys deep dives into topics, a longer season could be better suited to their preferences.
Consider the breadth of the subject matter you intend to cover. A broad topic may necessitate a longer season to thoroughly explore various aspects. Conversely, if your podcast focuses on a niche or specific subject, a shorter season might suffice.
Additionally, if your content is time-sensitive, like covering current events or trends, a shorter season may be necessary to stay relevant. Long seasons might risk becoming outdated.
If your primary goal is to attract new listeners and grow your audience, shorter seasons can be more attractive as they require less commitment from new audiences.
On the other hand, longer seasons provide more opportunities to engage with your existing audience, build a community, and promote sponsors. Longer seasons can be advantageous for retaining loyal listeners and generating revenue.
Consider how much time you have to produce and edit each episode. Shorter seasons can be more manageable if you have limited time and resources.
Pay attention to feedback from your audience regarding previous seasons. Have they expressed a preference for shorter or longer seasons? Did you notice a drop in listenership during longer seasons? Use this input to shape your season-length decisions.
The main reason many brands worry about the seasonal route is the potential loss of listeners when they take a break.
And that fear isn’t baseless – if you just abruptly stop publishing episodes without warning then yes, you’ll lose listeners. But if you prepare your listeners so they know what to expect, you’ll come back from your break with an engaged audience.
Here are some tried-and-true tips we encourage all podcasters to take advantage of to maximize the lifespan of their branded podcast between seasons:
Before your season ends, it’s crucial to set expectations about when your listeners can expect to hear from you again.
Even if you’re unable to provide exact time frames, giving your listeners a ballpark estimate of a couple of weeks to a month helps to keep up the anticipation.
Make sure you encourage listeners to subscribe so they never miss an update and let them know where to find you in your off-season.
And the list goes on.
Ultimately, use your podcast to make it easy for your listeners to contribute to the conversation.
The benefits of repurposing your podcast content cannot be overstated.
In fact, 94% of marketers repurpose their content and according to the State of Content Marketing report by SEMRush, updating and repurposing existing content is the second most effective content marketing tactic for driving traffic and generating leads.
Rather than creating entirely new content from scratch, repurposing allows you to leverage your existing podcast episodes in different ways, extending their lifespan, potentially attracting new listeners, and of course, saving time.
Here are some of our favorite channels to repurpose on:
Social media platforms have millions of active users, allowing you to reach people who may not be regulars on Spotify but frequent Twitter (X), LinkedIn, or TikTok.
These users, through sharing, directing messaging, and tagging, can share your podcast with people in their circle. In fact, over half of podcast listeners say they learn about new podcasts on social media.
Make sure to engage with your audience on social media through comments, reactions, and direct messages. Help fuel the discussion and make your listeners feel heard.
Creating a blog post from your podcast is an excellent way to repurpose your content. With the title, research, and transcription already done, the next step is to craft a blog post that caters to your readers' needs.
Enable comments on your blog posts to help avid listeners contribute to the conversation.
Transforming podcast episodes into blog articles opens up possibilities for further repurposing. You can extract key points from the articles to create social media posts, infographics, newsletter content, or even short video clips, extending the lifespan of your content and reaching audiences on various platforms.
Branded podcasts will often invite industry experts to share their expertise, offer meaningful statistics, and provide actionable insights for listeners. All of this content translates into reports and guides.
A well-crafted report or guide showcases your expertise in a particular area. By repurposing podcast content in this format, you can position yourself as a thought leader in your niche.
This leads to increased credibility, opportunities for collaborations, and invitations for speaking engagements or interviews.
Exposure, especially during your show’s off-season is crucial to keep loyal listeners engaged.
One key factor that is motivating podcasters to repurpose their content into video is YouTube, which currently boasts 2 billion logged-in users and only continues to grow.
On top of that, recent statistics reveal that 43% of monthly podcast listeners have enjoyed podcast content on YouTube within the past year.
With a large, untapped audience base available, you can upload your podcast highlights, teasers, or even full episodes to keep up the momentum and attract new audiences between seasons.
Quill Tip: If you don’t have the time to repurpose your podcast content on your own, check out our article about our favorite AI tools that can repurpose your content for you – whether it’s creating an Instagram post, a blog article, or a YouTue video.
While your podcast might take a seasonal break, your online presence shouldn't. Leveraging SEO best practices during your podcast's off-season can help maintain and even improve your search rankings, ensuring your content remains discoverable and relevant.
Here's a breakdown of achieving this increased growth:
Conduct thorough keyword research to identify trending and relevant keywords within your podcast's niche. Utilize tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMRush to discover high-traffic keywords and phrases that your audience is actively searching for.
Incorporate the chosen keywords naturally into your podcast episode titles and descriptions. Craft compelling and informative titles that entice users to click through. Ensure your descriptions provide valuable insights into the episode's content.
Transcribe your podcast episodes and create SEO-friendly show notes. This not only makes your content accessible to a broader audience but also gives search engines more text to crawl and rank.
If you have a dedicated podcast website, optimize it for SEO. Ensure fast page loading times, a mobile-responsive design, and clean URL structures. Create an organized archive of past episodes for easy navigation.
Develop a backlink strategy by reaching out to relevant websites, blogs, or influencers for guest posting opportunities, interviews, or collaborations. High-quality backlinks can significantly boost your podcast's authority in search results.
By transcribing your podcast episodes or creating related written content, you increase the chances of appearing in search engine results for relevant keywords and topics, improving your SEO efforts and attracting organic traffic to your website or podcast.
During your podcast's off-season, you have a unique opportunity to invest in personal and professional growth. One powerful way to do this is by attending conferences, events, and webinars.
You will likely already be attending these events throughout your podcast’s season, but we encourage you to use these events as a platform to promote your show and even have a possible activation.
Here are some more ways to leverage industry events:
Conferences, events, and webinars provide excellent networking opportunities. You can connect with fellow podcasters, potential guests, industry experts, and avid listeners. Building a strong network can lead to collaboration opportunities, guest appearances, and cross-promotion, which can benefit your podcast in the long run.
Attend sessions and take notes, paying attention to any statistics, case studies, or success stories that can enrich your content marketing efforts. Remember to credit the sources and speakers when incorporating this information into your episodes, social media posts, or blog articles.
Events and webinars often feature experts and thought leaders as speakers. These individuals can make excellent podcast guests. While attending these gatherings, identify potential guests whose insights and expertise align with your podcast's theme. Reach out to them and express your interest in having them on your show.
Staying active during your podcast's off-season is crucial for retaining your audience. Inform your listeners about your attendance at events and encourage them to participate as well. Engage with your audience by soliciting questions or topics they'd like you to explore during your next episode. Keep them in the loop with updates from the conferences or webinars you attend.
If your brand is sponsoring a conference, you can dedicate a portion of your sponsorship to promoting your podcast.
This can take a few different forms. For example, you can organize a giveaway, dedicate a portion of your booth to your podcast, or even offer incentives, like exclusive content and merch, to early subscribers.
During your off-season, dedicate time to tracking your podcast’s analytics and listener behavior. The information gathered will help you:
Here are some key metrics to track:
Audience demographic data has an essential role in shaping content, optimizing marketing strategies, and fostering meaningful connections with listeners.
We recommend using CoHost’s Advanced Audience Demographics to understand your audience’s age, gender, location, interests, household income, social media interests, and more. This cutting-edge feature provides invaluable insights into who is engaging with your podcast, so agencies and brands alike can tailor their episodes to align with the preferences and needs of their target demographic.
If the primary goal of your podcast is brand reach, demographic insights aid in refining targeting efforts. For example, if your primary goal is to reach marketers in decision-making roles at Fortune 500-tier companies, Advanced Audience Demographics can tell you if you’re hitting the mark.
By knowing who your listeners are, you can foster a sense of community and belonging, engaging in conversations and topics that resonate with them. If you’re not seeing compatibility in your initial seasons, Advanced Audience Demographics helps pinpoint the disconnect between your brand’s target audience and your primary listener.
You can then use these insights to tailor future seasons to the interests and preferences of your target audience.
CoHost’s B2B Analytics plays a crucial role in understanding your podcast’s impact on companies and industries.
The feature provides a detailed breakdown of the companies listening to your podcast including company size, industry, location, and revenue, so you can tailor your podcast's messaging and target specific audiences.
Here are a couple more ways that B2B Analytics can help you optimize your podcast during your on and off-season.
B2B Analytics pinpoints which episodes intersect with your customer journey. By analyzing metrics like episode performance, you can identify which content resonates most with your target companies.
For example, if you discover that episodes discussing case studies from companies in a particular industry generate higher engagement, you can prioritize creating more content around those topics. This level of precision in content creation can significantly boost listener engagement, as your audience feels that your podcast speaks directly to their interests and concerns.
This knowledge allows you to tailor your content strategy to cater to the specific needs and interests of your audience. Understanding what works best will help you craft your next season.
One of the most powerful advantages of tracking B2B analytics is the ability to identify qualified leads. When you have access to data on which companies are tuning into your podcast, you can compile a list of potential business prospects. These are organizations that have shown a genuine interest in your content, indicating that they may be more receptive to your offerings.
You can use this data to prioritize outreach efforts, tailoring your messaging to the specific interests of each company. This targeted approach can significantly improve the effectiveness of your lead generation efforts, ultimately driving business growth.
Successfully extending the lifespan of your branded podcast between seasons is not just about filling the void with content, but rather, it's an art of strategic planning and audience engagement.
By implementing the expert strategies outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can maintain a consistent presence in your listeners' lives, cultivate a dedicated community, and keep the anticipation alive for each new season.
Remember, even during the off-season, maintaining a consistent posting schedule for blogs, articles, or other forms of content related to your podcast is key. This will help to keep your podcast top of mind to your listeners and maintain momentum until your next season’s launch.
With careful planning and a commitment to delivering value, your branded podcast can become a timeless source of inspiration and entertainment for your audience.
If you want to learn more about leveraging your branded podcast during your off-season, chat with our team of audio experts.
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