Everyone loves a murder mystery podcast. A long drive, bus ride, or hike can afford us the opportunity to escape into a captivating “whodunit” and leave our real-world troubles behind. But if you’re podcasting on behalf of a business or non-profit organization that envisions a podcast as a vehicle for imparting wisdom and establishing credibility, you’ll need a thoughtful approach to what knowledge you’re attempting to transfer to your listeners, and how you do it. We call this Knowledge-Based Podcasting.
The primary mission of Knowledge-Based Podcasting is to showcase an organization’s expertise by strategically planning the content of your podcast episodes for the most effective knowledge transfer. Here are some key imperatives of this approach, and how this type of podcast is different than other podcasting genres.
Focus on the Listener’s Development Needs and Desires
When it comes right down to it, podcasting needs to do at least one of two things to build and retain a following. 1) entertain the listener of 2) advance the listener’s personal or professional development. There is certainly an important role for the former (more on that later), but Knowledge-Based Podcasting must at minimum do the latter.
So when thinking about the overall theme and the individual podcast topics and points, put yourself in the ears of the listener, and ask yourself:
- What knowledge will help the listener get more enjoyment out of a hobby or interest?
- What knowledge will impress their peers and help them advance in their careers?
- What knowledge do I give the listener that they can go out and use right away?
Incorporate Knowledge and Expertise External to the Podcast
Your interviewer is smart, and if you’ve got the right person, your guest is even smarter. But bringing other experts, and knowledge resources into the audio landscape strengthens your messaging and lends additional credibility to your podcast series. This can in the form of:
- Names and short bios of experts in the chosen knowledge domain
- Key definitions and concepts
- References to online and offline publications or research
Remember that your podcast is more than just audio. Your Show Notes (the text version of an episode that describes what was discussed) should include references, and more importantly, links to the same elements above. These links can serve as valuable backlinks for your podcast guests, in the sense that they boost a website domain authority for the purposes of SEO. And providing them affords you the opportunity to ask for backlinks in return.
Pepper the Episodes with Stats, Examples, and Stories
The more you make the listener feel like they’ve become smarter, and make them look that way to others, the more they’ll come back. Nothing does this better than educating them with short and simple “sound nuggets” that they can pass on their peers. Statistics are, in the food world, “calorie-dense”; they pack a high level of “knowledge knutrients” (see what we did there?) into a short phrase. Examples hold he listeners attention, are often the most retained information, and are most applied by the listener after the podcast (see Listener Needs and Desires above). Stories, well, who doesn’t love a great story? They are the things that keep listeners coming back and provide impetus to recommend your Episode to their peers and friends.
Nurture the Knowledge Network
Drop names. Your parents probably taught you that this is socially annoying, but consider it your duty to advance your knowledge domain by referencing other people as smart or smarter than yourself. Doing so over time makes the Episode feel like it’s the epicenter of the knowledge domain - it creates the impression that you’re “in the know”. If your organization if providing the interviewer, that person can help make connections between podcast guests, and in the person becomes more connected in the process, potentially leading to new business opportunities.
Still Be Entertaining
Back to the point above about entertaining the listener. This is not to say that the personality of the interviewer and guest(s) shouldn’t be compelling, or that knowledge can’t be conveyed via a story…quite the opposite. For some good examples, go to the ModPod website’s “Genres” page and click on the tabs that say” and.” There you’ll find branded podcasts that are knowledge-based but are entertaining, and the equivalents that are “story-based”. Both combine elements of the other, the center of gravity if just different for each format.
One way to ensure that you’re Knowledge-Based Podcasting is conforming to these tenets is to download our Episode Preparation Checklist (click here to get it). A number of these items are sprinkled in there, and there are related checklist items that ensure that all of these elements are followed.