Should Your Association Launch a Podcast? 5 Questions to Ask

I attended a great session presented by Evan Sparks, American Bankers Association, on the title of this blog at the recent ASAE Marketing and Membership meeting in DC.

He started by saying that some folks feel podcasts are replacing radio – radio duplication.

Are you part of the 62% of Americans that are listening to podcasts?

He explained three types of podcasts:

  1. Q&A
  2. Panel discussion – one-on-one, not a panel of four
  3. In-depth lecture

But before you dive in, ask yourself the following five questions?

1.    Who are your members?

  • Will there be enough members that will engage to make the podcast sustainable?

2.    How do your members currently engage with your organization?

  • You must understand this to make an informed decision on whether your members will engage, do they have the time or are they already getting the information they need through your current communication vehicles?  Can the podcast supplement your current program of work as it relates to your content, advocacy work, training programs?  Think of a podcast as the new conference call you use to do with your members on a hot topic.

3.    What’s your content strategy?

  • Free vs paid – is this a marketing opportunity for new members?  This is also an opportunity to get a sponsor to generate non-dues revenue.
  • The content long tail – use the podcast as a way to tease upcoming programming or keep the content alive and in front of your members.
  • Adapting existing content – don’t recreate the wheel.  You’ve heard me say it before, repurpose your content on multiple channels.

4.    What is your current content mix, and how would podcasting fit into that?

  • Range of topics.
  • Your print vs digital.
  • What frequency strategy will you have for your podcast?  Daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly?
  • Long-form or short-form?  Most will say 15 – 20 minutes tops.
  • Active and passive.

5.    What resources can you devote to production and distribution?

  • Goals and objectives (engagement vs revenue).
  • Who will host the podcast?  Be consistent.
  • Format – as mentioned above, long-form or short-form.
  • Equipment you need?
  • Production – staff vs dollars?
  • Distribution – what channels will you use to reach your audience?
  • Marketing – if you don’t market it, no one will listen.

At the end of the day, make sure you have a base of people that will engage with a new podcast on a regular basis.

The speaker’s final comments:

  • Podcasting is not for everyone.  
  • Your organization should be able to identify your goals for creating the podcast, including but not limited to, the tailoring of your content, format and frequency that fits your audience and your content strategy.
  • It’s a great way to introduce members of your team that are subject matter experts to your membership and community.
  • Don’t give your guests the questions.  Do give them a sense of the overall direction of the session.

For more information on starting a podcast, the logistics side of the equation, go HERE.