The Five-Step Podcast Guide for Building Materials Manufacturers
Article Date: November 7, 2023
Podcasts educate, inform, and build relationships with target audiences. Here’s how to get started.
Starting a podcast as a building materials manufacturer might sound like a steep climb, but it can be an effective platform to make a real connection with your audience, showcase your industry expertise, and establish your brand ambassadors as thought leaders in the construction industry.
The category is already booming with building, construction, and architecture podcasts, including The World’s Best Construction Podcast, The Construction Engineering Show, Business of Architecture, Elevate Construction, Bred to Build, The Peggy Smedley Show, and many more.
Getting started is the hard part. However, following these five steps will help you successfully stand up a podcast, one that can pay dividends once you take the leap.
- Getting Started: Audience and Goals
Before you turn on the microphone and press record, you need to determine who you intend to target with your podcast. Is it architects, contractors, engineers, or DIYers? All of the above?
Identifying your audience helps to shape the type of content you will deliver. Tailoring the message to your audience members will help it become more impactful and ensure your podcast is actually resonating with those that matter most: The people who buy your building products.
Next, conduct an inventory of what you can offer to the marketplace and how that content might take shape to help you move the needle:
- Are you an innovator who can tap into the expertise of your team to discuss the cutting-edge materials science behind your products?
- Does your team include successful marketers who have figured out how to successfully sell products?
- Do you employ an expert sales staff that can verbally illustrate the importance of relationship building, deep product knowledge, and active listening during the sales process?
Determine your angle, and then identify what your goals are. You may be trying to generate more brand awareness, drive leads, increase sales, or strengthen the culture of your organization. Maybe it is all four of these and more. Regardless, establishing an angle and aligning it with your goals and target audience(s) will put you on a path to success as you flesh out the remaining elements of your podcast.
Find a podcast format that fits your show style and the people hosting it.
You have options.
If you have a compelling speaker at the helm, you may opt for a one-person format where the host is speaking directly into the microphone for the entire episode. Plenty of great podcasts follow this structure, and it gives your audience the sense that they are establishing a relationship with that person and your brand as a whole.
Alternatively, your organization can feature a slew of subject matter experts from different areas of the business. In this scenario, the host interviews your sales staff, product managers, R&D professionals, plant managers, sales and marketing team members, and anyone else that can lend their expertise and day-to-day experiences. Throw in some roundtable discussions on topics that affect your entire business and your customers, and you have a nice mix of content going out across the airwaves.
Now that you have a format established, it is time to plan out your content.
Create a content calendar for a timeframe that works best for your business. Depending on how often you are recording, it may be on a monthly, quarterly, or even an annual basis. In most cases, planning out content quarterly allows for timely topic selection without getting too far ahead, allowing you to consider trends and current industry news as a subject of discussion.
Brainstorm topics that are particularly relevant to your business and direct customers, but don’t be afraid to discuss larger issues that affect the entire industry. For example, have a discussion on sustainable building material innovations while tying in some of the strides your own organization has made. If you decide to produce an episode focused on how technology is shaping 21st-century construction, incorporate a handful of your own tech solutions or adoption of construction technology, and inform your audience on how it is helping your business grow and thrive. Linking back to your own stories can help boost brand credibility and keep your organization relevant.
Overall, decide what content you are best suited to address. Ask yourself: What is my organization most qualified to talk about?
Following this guiding principle will help your team create a content plan that positions your organization in the right light through credibility and expertise.
Ensure that you have purchased the appropriate equipment to stand up your podcast (microphones, a recording software, any necessary acoustic wall treatment, video equipment if you plan on offering a video podcast). Making an investment in quality equipment ensures you will deliver clear, professionally produced recordings that listeners will stick with for the duration of an episode. Poorly produced audio will result in a lack of credibility. That negatively impacts brand image, and it can undercut results for your podcast efforts, because listeners may choose to tune out.
Once equipment is in place, prepare a script or outline of the first set of episodes for your initial production day. You can even reference these written materials during the recording session, especially if you are only recording audio, not video. While a podcast episode should have an angle and structure, it should also allow for organic conversations. Ensure you approach any script or notes with this mindset. Have a general idea of what you want to cover, and jot down some questions, but be prepared to be agile and responsive during the production session. React to the conversation so that it feels authentic.
From a production standpoint, there are a number of best practices your host and guests should follow. Each should speak clearly and maintain a consistent distance from the microphone. The best podcasts are conversations, but any long pauses or mistakes can be edited out in post-production. Software available for podcast production also enables you to correct the audio track for proper equalization (EQ). This ensures audio is not too boomy, harsh, quiet, or loud. In doing so, the sound that comes through a listener’s speakers or headphones has all the right tonal frequencies and is at an appropriate volume.
Finally, adding enhancements such as music or sound effects can keep the episode exciting. When it comes to these techniques, balance is key. For example, for video podcasts, icons and full-screen graphics can help break up the monotony of an on-screen host talking the entire episode. It keeps the podcast visually interesting for the viewer.
You have now produced and edited several podcast episodes that are ready for publishing. In accordance with your established content calendar, use this bank of finalized assets to get you through at least a few weeks’ or months’ worth of episodes all while planning and recording the next batch. In fact, some podcasters even record an entire series of four or five episodes at once for a staggered released over a span of time. This streamlines production time and can be more time efficient for hosts and guests. If your team has a busy schedule, it is advantageous for you to get a number of subject matter experts in the room for just a couple of hours on one day.
To publish your podcasts, choose a reputable hosting platform (there are plenty of options, such as Buzzsprout, Blubrry, Podbean, Fusebox, Libsyn, and many more) and start promoting your new venture. When creating titles and descriptions, ensure they are accurate, informative, and enticing. It is also important to optimize your titles and descriptions for SEO using relevant keywords that are germane to the episode at hand and likely to be searched by members of your target audience.
Promote your podcast episodes via your social media channels, and include eye-catching graphics or video stills from the episode to stop users from scrolling through their feeds. Sharing your main post to the 24-hour Stories feed on Instagram and Facebook will help generate additional eyeballs and clicks to your episode. Consider creating a YouTube playlist on the brand’s channel specifically for the podcast, providing another platform for engagement and brand awareness.
Finally, monitor analytics, and keep an eye on download numbers, listener demographics, and engagement metrics. This information empowers you to refine your content and your podcast approach.
Power of the Podcast
Producing a podcast as a building materials manufacturer requires careful planning and a sustained production plan that merchandises compelling content. When done right, a podcast can be a powerful marketing tool that drives brand affinity and thought leadership credentials. As a component of a dynamic and healthy digital marketing ecosystem, it can also help drive business for the organization.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.