Branded Podcasts

The Power of Meaningful Conversations: Lessons from The Contributors Podcast

Last updated on: 
September 27, 2023

Discover the transformative impact of meaningful conversations in branded podcasts. Explore the art of guest selection and unlock the secrets to engaging and insightful discussions that leave a lasting impact.

While there is no foolproof formula to creating the next top show on Apple Podcasts, there are elements that add value to your branded podcast and listeners. 

Areas that often get overlooked include:

  • Meaningful conversations
  • Listener resources
  • Guest selection 

To help us navigate this discussion we turned to CAAT Pension Plan’s podcast Contributors.

The show achieved the top 1% of streamed episodes through Buzzsprout, is listed as a Top Innovative Branded Podcast by GLORY Media (previously Bay Street Bull), and won a series of MarCom 2022 Awards including "Top Podcast Series," "Top Podcast Episode," and "Top Podcast Website" for 

But aside from their many accolades, the podcast is a star example of how brands can infuse authenticity, emotion, and value into their content.

In this post, we cover the impact of in-depth podcast interviews, how to keep your listeners engaged after the episode, and the importance of finding the right podcast guests. And at the end, we share our tried-and-true tips on identifying and inviting noteworthy podcast guests. 

Let’s get into it. 

How “Contributors” uses meaningful conversations to educate and inspire 

First things first –  let’s look at what Contributors is and their mission. 

Contributors is a Canadian-inspired podcast showcasing the innovative and strategic contributions leaders make today to ensure a better future for Canada. 

Host Russell Evans, MBA, SCMP, Vice President of Communications at CAAT Pension Plan invites Canadian business leaders to sit down with him and discuss how their organizations are leading fundamental change, disrupting industries, and investing in Canada's well-being.

At its core, the podcast’s mission is to lead fundamental change in the retirement savings industry, prioritizing the value of lifetime pensions at fixed contribution rates.

Now that you know a bit more about the podcast, let’s dive into how the show is able to educate and inspire through in-depth conversations about Canadian innovation, policy, and business.

Meaningful conversation 

Let’s focus on this episode of Contributors, “The Marathon for Talent” where Russell sits down with Derek Dobson, Plan Manager and CEO of CAAT Pension Plan, and Dr. Susan Black, President and CEO of the Conference Board of Canada. 

In this episode, the three sit down to discuss the Marathon for Talent, which refers to a shift in perceptions and perspectives around the trending term Race for Talent.

In a nutshell, competition for talent has escalated as workers across various industries increasingly assess opportunities based on higher pay, greater flexibility in work-life balance, location, and better organizational culture.

The pair dissect the long-term impact of tactics like “stay bonuses”, which may fall short of employee desires, and share tangible takeaways and success stories for navigating today's talent management ecosystem.

Choosing a topic that aligns with your guest’s expertise 

This episode of Contributors is a timely review of the crucial topics business leaders must keep top of mind as the way we work continues to evolve.

As the President and CEO of the country’s largest independent applied research organization, Dr. Susan Black is well-versed in tackling Canada’s “wicked problems.” She is a dedicated advocate for building inclusive environments, stronger employee engagement, and evidence-based decision-making. Her experience allows her to bring a unique perspective to organizational transformation and building high-performance cultures. 

Similarly, Derek Dobson is a well-rounded, dynamic, and innovative leader in the retirement sector with strong communication and interpersonal skills. His mission is to provide pensions that Canadian employees want and need at a cost that employers can afford, making him highly attuned to the crucial challenges of today’s business leadership landscape.

The combination of strategically chosen guests and a highly relevant yet interesting topic makes for a great conversation that will leave a lasting impression on business leaders.

Leave your listeners with more

CAAT doesn’t leave listeners after the episode is completed. 

Their team understands the importance of continuing to provide value to audiences even after they’re done listening. This is a great lesson for any brand who either has a podcast or is looking to invest in one, don’t put your podcast in a silo. 

Think about additional ways that you can engage with listeners outside of the show. One of our favorite examples of how CAAT does this with the Contributors podcast is through their “Lessons From the Leaders”, a downloadable eBook that covers lessons and insights from their podcast interviews. 

This is a great practice for any branded podcast that leverages in-depth guest interviews, as it helps keep the value-packed discussions top-of-mind and is a great resource for listeners to revisit well after the interview is over. 

The power of content repurposing 

Content repurposing is a powerful strategy for podcasters and marketers to extend their reach and provide valuable content across different platforms. 

In fact, it is so effective that SEMRush reports that 94% of marketers repurpose their content. Beyond just extending your reach and discoverability, repurposing your podcast content into valuable resources can be vital for engaging listeners well beyond the end of your podcast interview.

There are plenty of ways that podcasts can repurpose their content in order to provide continued value and resources. 

A few of our go-to’s include: 

  • Blogs 
  • Videos 
  • Guides, reports, eBooks 
  • Newsletters 
  • Social media posts    

Guest selection

Rephonic found that on average, podcasts with guests got more listeners and more followers on social media. Adding guests to your show not only offers versatile perspectives, but also helps enhance your credibility, enhance your industry relationships, and increase your reach.

But how do you go about selecting the right guest? Let’s take a look at the example of Contributors and then we’ll dive into our tried-and-true tips. 

Choose guests that align with your brand

Looking at the description of the episode we discussed earlier, “The Marathon for Talent”, potential listeners already get a good feel for who the guests are and why we should trust them and consider their insights:

Join Contributors podcast host Russell Evans on a special fireside chat with experts Derek Dobson and Dr. Susan Black. They share CEO-to-CEO insights and other data from organizations across Canada who have identified key challenges with today’s talent and attraction strategies – and more importantly, have found hidden opportunities to overcome them.

With the guest's job titles and companies displayed in the episode description, listeners are already in tune with their expertise and reputation. This acts as a trust signal right from the start, telling listeners that you’re a credible source of information and advice.

Furthermore, inviting guests who align with your team's priorities and values creates a sense of unity and strengthens the connection between your podcast and its listeners. 

Coming from two different business backgrounds, these guests bring unique perspectives, experiences, and expertise to the table, enhancing the overall value of your podcast and painting a fuller picture for listeners.

Tips for podcast guest selection

Selecting the right podcast guest is crucial for the success and appeal of your branded podcast. Guests bring unique perspectives, insights, and credibility to your show, so don’t underestimate its power. 

Here are some tips, best practices, and strategies to help you make informed decisions when choosing podcast guests:

Identify your target audience

Before diving into the process of selecting podcast guests, it's crucial to establish a solid foundation for your podcast. Define your podcast's niche and audience. This serves as your compass when searching for potential guests. 

When guests align with your podcast's theme and resonate with listeners, your content becomes more relevant and engaging. This clarity also aids in attracting the right guests who genuinely have something valuable to contribute to your podcast's discussions.

Ask yourself: why are you choosing this guest?

While you may want to interview your friend or co-worker because it is quick and convenient, make sure you have a clear idea of what value this interview will ultimately bring your listeners. 

For example, Contributors lays out the reasons why they choose their specific guests to interview, sharing: 

“We sit down with guests on the show to:

  • Demonstrate how their organization is contributing to making meaningful change across Canada.
  • Showcase how strategic actions taken today are creating a better Canada tomorrow.
  • Spotlight areas in which Canadian organizations are on the leading edge of policy and innovation.
  • Celebrate that we can prosper by prioritizing more than just the bottom line.”

Having this clear direction in mind won’t only ensure that your listener will come out of this interview with some value – whether that be education or entertainment – but this reasoning will also help you plan and prepare the direction of your interview. 

If you’re stuck on this question, we find it helpful to create a guest profile that outlines the ideal qualities, expertise, and characteristics of potential guests. Consider factors like industry experience, expertise, personality, and ability to communicate effectively.

Leverage your existing networks 

We understand that finding the right guest is only part of the fight. Finding their contact, crafting your outreach, getting a positive response, and then vetting them play a role.

To help make this process easier, we recommend leveraging your existing networks. Reach out to your colleagues or connections who might be a good fit for your podcast. 

Besides convenience, personal connections often result in more engaging and authentic conversations. Today's consumers are wary of what they are being told by brands, and if your interview sounds too manicured, too scripted, or too fake, they will notice. 

Research potential guests thoroughly 

Don't underestimate the importance of thorough research when identifying potential podcast guests. Look for individuals who not only claim expertise but also demonstrate it through their work. 

Analyze their online presence, delve into their body of work, and even listen to or read their previous interviews. This deep dive will help you gauge their suitability for your podcast and ensure they can provide valuable insights to your audience.

Before committing to an interview, conduct pre-interview conversations or screenings with potential guests. This allows you to assess their communication skills, ensuring they can articulate their ideas effectively. It's also an opportunity to identify any potential red flags, preventing any surprises during the recording.

Establish clear selection criteria:

To maintain objectivity in your guest selection process, create a set of criteria to guide your decisions. 

Factors to consider might include guests:

  • Level of expertise
  • Relevance to your podcast's theme
  • Communication skills
  • Ability to convey meaningful insights

Having these criteria in place streamlines your selection process and ensures you're consistently bringing on guests who meet your standards.

While diversity is essential, ensure that potential guests' values and messaging align with your brand and podcast mission. Avoid inviting controversial or polarizing figures who could potentially harm your brand's reputation. 

Maintaining alignment ensures consistency and trust with your audience.

Inspire your listeners with meaningful conversation 

The podcasting world is teeming with opportunities to engage, inspire, and educate, and by focusing on the selection of diverse and knowledgeable contributors, along with nurturing thoughtful and probing dialogues, we can harness this power to make a tangible difference. 

Contributors reminds us that meaningful conversations are not just a source of entertainment; they are a catalyst for personal and professional growth, community building, and positive change.

Tianna Marinucci

Content Marketing Specialist

Tianna Marinucci is a content creation and digital marketing specialist. She graduated from McGill University in 2021 and has since worked in a variety of industries from interior design to technology.

After traveling to more than 60 countries and working in three, she is inspired by diverse cultures and motivated by unique experiences.

In her spare time, Tianna loves trying new foods, going to concerts, and learning more about history and socio-economics through books and podcasts.



  • Easy to use
  • Automatically distributes your podcast to major platforms.
  • Embed media player.
  • Great if podcasting is a
    side hobby
  • Very basic editing
  • Since it’s a free tool, you don’t have full control over the monetization of your podcast.
  • Not the right platform for people taking podcasting seriously

Free for 2 hours of content per month

$12 for 3 hours per month

$18+ for 6 hours and up

  • Very user-friendly
  • Caters to both long term and beginner podcasters
  • Advanced analytics
  • Easy distribution of your episodes
  • They measure their size requirements to hours not megabytes
  • Bonus: get a free $20 Amazon gift card when you sign up for any paid hosting plan!
  • Advanced features like dynamic ad insertion need some work

$5/month for Monthly Storage 50mb

  • Oldest podcast hosting site.
  • Easy distribution to major platforms and great for scaling once your podcast gets bigger.
  • Hosted over 35,000 podcasts.
  • An iTunes Podcast partner.
  • Allows you to publish your podcast to specific directories.
  • Embed media player.
  • Price is based on storage
  • 50mb storage for $5 won’t be enough if you are publishing weekly so you’ll end up with a higher price point

Unlimited audio package: $9/month

Storage space:


  • Great support & customer service features
  • Unlimited audio.
  • Pages are easy to customize
  • Can schedule podcast release dates.
  • Easy to use.
  • Uploads and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions are automatic to Spotify.
  • Embed media player.
  • Simple Analytics
  • Analytics aren’t as advanced as other platforms
  • Upload and changes to podcast titles and/or descriptions take a day to change on iTunes.
  • Not an iTunes podcast partner.
  • The process to send a podcast to iTunes is more tedious. But, you will still be able to get on the platform.



Monthly Storage


  • Podcast Wordpress plugin and management.
  • If you want to record a new introduction or conclusion, add in a sponsored ad or upload a new version of a podcast, it doesn't count towards your storage usage per month.
  • Blubrry allows a 25% storage overage each month
  • Prices are based on storage.
  • Usability is okay.

Starting: $15/month

Recommendation: $35/month

Monthly Storage: Unlimited

  • Hosts your audio files no matter what the size!
  • Dynamic insertion for podcast ads or edits.
  • Incredibly detailed analytics including number of episodes completed and listener location tracking.
  • Embed media player.
  • Easy to use.
  • Great distribution! Easy access to all major podcast platforms.
  • Customizable podcast
  • Prices are slightly higher than other platforms, but well worth it especially if you have a branded company podcast!

Looking to generate reach, leads, and measurable results?

Chat with our experts about your podcast

chat with ouR team

Related Posts