Is your podcast a slow burner or a page turner?

By Gabe Gerzon

The ultimate guide to releasing your branded podcast


Give your team a round of applause. Pat yourself on the back. You just finished recording and editing an entire season of your branded podcast, which is a huge friggin’ deal. And you know what? It came out pretty dang good! But wait, before you blow your entire prosecco budget prematurely, you need to know your work here isn’t done. Check this out: your great podcast deserves an equally great distribution strategy. One that maximizes audience engagement and fits your season content perfectly. Now imagine Netflix is on one shoulder telling you to indulge your audience’s desire to binge – drop it all at once, it tells you. But HBO is on the other recommending that you tease your audience, make them crave each episode with weekly releases. So, what are you supposed to do? 

Well, we’re here with some answers based on our experience producing and releasing branded podcasts and other long-form content. And if you want to continue the conversation, reach out to the team by filling out the form at the bottom of the page. 

In the meantime, we invite you to take our quiz. Yup – it’s a Cosmo what-should-I-do-with-my-life style romp into deciding what kind of distribution strategy to take. All you have to do is tally your score based on your answers to these three questions, and we’ll give you some real, actionable advice based on your identified needs. Sounds fun, right? Well, let’s get started! 

What kind of experience are you trying to create for your audience?  

  • A very long engagement (3 points): Is your show especially binge-worthy? Like, the kind of content you think your audience would consume in one fell swoop during a long drive? Then tally three points for yourself. Releasing your full season on the same day allows your audience to dictate how much they consume of your season and when. Doing it this way is perfectly suited for entertaining stories with twists, turns and cliffhangers. 
  • A little here, a little there (2 points): Each episode of your season is so rich with heady insights and lessons that you’d want to break it up to fully absorb everything. So, maybe not the kind of thing they’d sit down and listen to for three hours straight.  
  • Hmm, good question (1 point): If you’re still wondering if releasing episodes over time will enhance or diminish the experience, don’t worry. Give yourself one point and try this quick exercise: Share your season with a small group (like colleagues and industry experts) and survey them for some outside opinions. How would they want to consume it? Their insights could help drive your decision-making process. 

What are your marketing goals and promotional bandwidth? 

  • Pretty limited right now (3 points): You want to prioritize making a big splash out of the gate with a long tail to promote the episodes as appropriate. This is great if you don’t have the resources to support a rolling promotion schedule and want people to spend a lot of time with your show in a short time period.  
  • Going all in for the win (2 points): You want to prioritize building a community through engagement and repeat exposure over time, and you have the resources and presence of mind to keep up with a rolling promotion schedule and social media engagement. 
  • Let me check with the team (1 point): Consider how podcast promotion can support (and not cannibalize) your overall content strategy: if you have a lot of other marketing projects on your calendar, you might benefit from one large release to get your show shipped. 

Is your show relevant RIGHT NOW? 

  • The iron is extremely hot (3 points): If your season feels powerfully tied to the current moment and your audience might not be as captivated by the topics you cover in a few weeks or months, sounds like you should strike now. Keep in mind that newsjacking is tricky, but it can be a powerful tactic when executed well. 
  • Topical, but not exactly part of the zeitgeist (2 points): If your show incorporates elements of day-to-day current events or newsworthiness, then releasing at spaced out intervals means you can stay timely to what’s going on. 
  • Either. No, wait… both! (1 point): If your season’s content is evergreen and not tied to current events, you can go with either approach. 

Drop it like it’s hot (7-9 points) 

Your subject matter is trending, and you need to get your podcast into the mix. It’s compelling, binge-worthy, ready to be consumed in its glorious entirety. And most importantly, your audience needs it right now. Sounds to us like what you need is to stop reading this post, sort out all the details with the team and get this bad boy out to your audience ASAP. You won’t regret it. So, what are you waiting for? 

Slow and low is the tempo (4-6 points) 

You know you’ve got a winner on your hands. It’s buzzworthy but not red hot, and it’ll give your audience something they can look forward to each week. Plus, you’ve got the resources to promote it on a long-term basis. Seriously, you’re set up for success here. So, schedule your release triggers, get the social team in the mix and consider ways to cross-promote it with your other podcasts. Wait, it’s not your only pod, is it? Interesting. Check out this blog on the benefits of producing multiple branded podcasts so you can build more, stronger relationships with your audiences. 

Phone a friend (0-3 points) 

OK, so you’re still not sure what to do – no problem! Chances are your situation is a bit too complex for the Cosmo quiz format, and that’s more common than you might think. In our experience, definitive answers are few and far between and the perfect combination of timing, strategy and luck is rare. See, each approach to releasing your podcast season has its pros and cons, and how each applies to your situation might be hard to pin down. But you need to decide which camp you fall into, and the best way to figure that out is with a clear-eyed assessment of the kind of show you have and what your marketing resources are. 

That’s where we come in. At Matter, we have the experience and expertise to guide you toward the right strategy for your content and its audience. Reach out with the form below and schedule a strategy call to discuss your specific circumstances.