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Marketing Showrunners

Helping you make your podcast more central to your brand and to your audience's life. Make a show that makes a difference.

By: Molly Donovan on December 31st, 2020

MSR’s Best of 2020

Yes, you read that header right.

While as a year, 2020 was kind of the worst, it sure was a great time for the Internet. Over the past 10 months, we’ve been able to gather, learn, and grow thanks to the digital content we’ve all collectively created and shared.

This year, we published over 100 posts on our corner of the web. Here are the top 20.

Our Top 20 Posts Published in 2020

20. Movement Makers: Why and How Are So Many Top Performing Marketers Becoming Showrunners?

Over the past few years, we’ve identified a growing movement: the rise of the showrunner at companies across industries. In this piece, we took a look at why today’s top marketers have become showrunners — and what the showrunner’s mandate is.

19. Show Bites: Hook Your Audience with a Cold Open

The beginning of a show is precious: in the first moments, you can either hook or bore your audience. One way to keep them captivated? Use a cold open to start your episode.

18. URR: A New Marketing Metric That Just Might Be the Key to Better Content

Measuring podcasts is hard. We need a more nuanced approach to analyze data. One metric we should be looking at? URR: Unsolicited Response Rate.

17. Your Show’s Premise: A Map to Your True North

Why does your show’s premise matter so much (and seriously…we think it matters SO MUCH) anyway? When crafted effectively, your show’s premise provides a map to your show’s (and perhaps even your company’s) true north.

16. Show Bites: Keep Your Audience Hooked with Open Loops

One of our favorite ways to keep your audience interested and engaged throughout your show? Insert an open loop (or two or three).

15. “Awesome!” Podcasters, Here’s What to (Actually) Say When a Guest Stops Talking

Running an interview-style show sounds easy — how hard can a conversation be? Turns out: harder than you might think. As host, it’s your job to elicit the best responses from the guest and provide the best-quality sound bytes for listeners. Here’s how.

14. Make Their Favorite Podcast: A Marketer’s Ultimate Goal for the Show

Why are you making a podcast anyway? Our argument for why your ultimate goal should be to create your audience’s favorite show.

13. There’s No Magic Bullet in Marketing

We crave best practices, how-tos, lists, tips, and tricks. Their promise is captivating: employ them, and you’ll see better results. But there’s just one problem: the best practices don’t apply to us if our content isn’t good in the first place.

12. A Simple Visual for Crafting Amazing Podcast Intros

Intros are one of the most important parts of a podcast episode. Here’s a simple visual that helps you internalize how to make them great.

11. The Fortress of Favoritism

Buckle up, because this is a long one: the culminating post in our mega-series on creating your audience’s favorite show. One interesting nugget to keep in mind: “favorite” does not mean “great.” Read on to see what we mean…

10. The Mentality Change Marketers Must Make to Measure Their Shows (and the Metrics to Do It)

One reason measuring our shows is so hard? Our mentality is all wrong. Rather than obsess over total numbers, we should instead focus on the value we’re providing to a core set of people.

9. How to Develop a Podcast Episode Format Listeners Love

Every show is a combination of distinct blocks intentionally designed for a specific purpose. Here’s how you can figure out which blocks are best for your show and create a distinct format your listeners will love.

8. Reading is Faster Than Listening, So Why Would Anyone Listen to Your Podcast?

To successfully make the case for sharing content via an audio medium, we need to infuse something unique into our shows: a distinct and different purpose than the one that compels the audience to read articles and books. So…what does it take to create a podcast others actually choose to listen to? We dig in.

7. The Style Spectrum

Creating a favorite show requires a complex union of various factors. One of those is the show’s style: that is, the ways in which your personal involvement in the work affects the experience you create.

6. Podcast Format Possibilities: The Unscripted Monologue

There are so many options to choose from when selecting the format of your podcast (no — not every show has to be an interview show!). One of them? The unscripted monologue. Here’s what it is and why you should (or shouldn’t) use it.

5. An End-to-End Guide to Crafting an Irresistible and Original Podcast Premise

Your premise is perhaps the single most important part of your show. Bookmark this guide to crafting one that’s both original and irresistible.

4. Radically Improve Your Show and Episode Content: The 6 Types of Open Loops to Hold Attention

What’s the golden rule of showrunning? Get your audience to the end of your episode. Narrative tools like open loops can help you do that.

3. Show Spotlight: Snacks by Robinhood

In this series, we examined various high-performing shows to break down what makes them good. Robinhood’s Snacks is notable for the chemistry of its host, the community it develops, the consistency of the episodes’ format and structure, and its ability to get listeners to the end.

2. This Is What Happens When Your Podcast Has a Well-Crafted Premise: Inside “You’re Wrong About”

One of the most popular 3 Clips episodes of 2020, this reveals why premise — more than budget — is the most important asset a show can have.

1. The Experience Spectrum

Your favorite post of the year delves into the ways in which your audience might experience what you’re creating for them — and how to optimize that experience.

Thank you

Thank you so much for joining us, inspiring us, and learning with us in 2020. We’re looking forward to furthering our mission and continuing to grow in 2021.

Happy New Year!


Join Our Weekly Journey to Answer One Crucial Question:

What does it take to create your audience's favorite podcast? Join peers from Red Bull, Adobe, Amazon, Shopify, Salesforce, Roku, the BBC, the NY Times, and thousands more creative, audience-first marketers.

A somewhat accidental marketer, I’m first and foremost a writer. I’ve spent a decade working with global brands to craft on-target content and streamline complex ideas into clear (and even…exciting?!) language. Now, I get to spend every day immersed in content and strategy here, as Managing Editor of Marketing Showrunners, at my company, Molly Donovan Content & Communications. I’m thrilled to be a part of this community of eager next-generation marketers and marketing showrunners.

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