It’s All in the Numbers: Building a Data-Driven Podcast Content Calendar

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Data should be at the pinnacle of what your podcasting schedule looks like. Doing the right research can help ensure you’re covering topics that fit your show and that your audience actually wants to hear. That’s what creating a data-driven content calendar is all about.

If you’ve never looked at the data in your niche, now’s the time. No one’s expecting you to become an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert in seconds, but having an idea of what’s being talked about can help create a podcast calendar that will attract listeners and keep them coming back.

Does SEO Make Sense For a Podcast Calendar? Detective searching for clues

Does SEO Make Sense For a Podcast Calendar?

Researching SEO keywords is a good way to figure out what people are interested in. It’s not the be-all, end-all, it can come in handy when you’re trying to plan out your podcast content calendar.

Keywords give us a historic view of what people are interested in and when they’re most interested in it. Seasonal topics like Christmas gift ideas or Halloween costumes start popping up in the summer. That way retailers and content creators know when they need to start bringing in those seasonal topics.

But what does that mean for podcasters? Well, we’re not going to start talking about our favorite Christmas movies in July. But covering the best summer trip plan to Disneyland might be best while your audience is planning, not when they’re already there.

SEO can also help us find gap topics or low-competition, high-volume keywords if we want to throw in the real lingo. These are keywords that a lot of people are interested in, but, aren’t being talked about as much. In SEO terms, these topics are easier to rank for. But in content creation terms, there’s a gap that could be filled.

Focusing on SEO earlier in your planning process can help you:

  • Sketch out a long-term calendar and cover topics when your audience is ready for them
  • Identify gaps that your audience is interested in but hasn’t been focused on
  • Bring in new listeners

… But We Don’t Just Want to Look at SEO

This all sounds good, but you can’t base an entire podcast schedule on keywords alone. You want to combine what you’re seeing in the numbers with real knowledge and information.

The keywords only tell us what people are searching for. The why, and what they’re actually looking for is up to you to find out. You need to take the keywords you’ve come up with and put some context together behind them. What is it about that topic in particular that interests your audience, and what does an episode about that look like?

If you’re running a travel podcast and you notice that “travel insurance” is a keyword you’d be interested in covering, you need to decide what an episode on that topic looks like. You’ll probably go beyond simply answering “what is travel insurance?”

Instead, the data might tell you that the same people who search “what is travel insurance” also ask:

  • Why is it important to have travel insurance?
  • What’s the difference between travel insurance and standard health insurance?
  • How much does travel insurance cost?
  • What’s the best travel insurance?
  • What does travel insurance cover and what does it not?

Having a comprehensive look at keywords combined with good ole fashioned research can give you the overall picture of what a quality episode would look like.

What Data-Driven Content Really Means

A true data-driven content calendar means that while we’re looking at external data sources like SEO keyword search tools, we’re combining what we find with the knowledge we have of our own shows. A good keyword doesn’t necessarily mean a good topic. Not everything is going to be the right fit for your show.

You want to look at your own metrics and figure out what your audience likes most. If you start with what’s already working, growing will be considerably easier. Then you want to take those good keywords and figure out whether or not they fit in your show and how.

With all of that information gathered, you then need to decide what you want to create. Good content tends to come from someone with a passion for the topic. Just because it’s hot for the marketing and the topic technically fits your show, doesn’t mean it’s the right topic for an episode.

Other Data Points Worth Looking Into

SEO keyword research is the big data point. However, there are a few places you can dig up “data” that can help you shape your podcast content — no monthly subscription to Ahrefs required. Essentially, you want to find out where people that love your content hang out. From there, you can garner ideas, tips and tricks. Some great places to look, include:

  • Facebook Groups: There’s at least one group for everything under the sun on Facebook. It’s an idea-rich platform to topic mine.
  • Reddit: The Reddit discussion threads are a great place for getting ideas. You can also use them to better cover the topic angles on your show.
  • Twitter: It’s a fast-moving social world on Twitter, but there are plenty of opportunities to use the search function. It’s here you’ll find short and sweet thoughts about topics your audience loves.
  • Google Trends: If you want to stay on top of up-and-coming subjects and what might be trending next.
  • Pinterest: Pinterest is a great place for recipes and DIY projects, but you can also use it as a rich idea source.

Creating a data-driven content calendar for your podcast is the best way to build a show that sees sustainable growth. Honestly, it can be hard to come up with a new topic every week (or, however often you podcast). Taking some time to research and plan ahead can make creating content considerably easier.

The Podcast Host Planner is a journal for laying out your content calendar in a clear, logical, and accessible way. Why not pick up your copy today?