have walked this path and will tell you about all the pitfalls

Hello! Ksyusha Kalinina, manager of the Influence Marketing and SMM team at Selectel, is in touch. We recently launched a podcast “

Today on retro

“- it was very interesting, but difficult. For example, we didn't know that the only way to get heated arguments at the beginning of an episode is to get guests talking before taping. Or that you can’t download the audio version of a podcast from YouTube to other platforms. Below the cut I’ll tell you about our journey and share the pitfalls that we didn’t expect.

Goal and format: decided to promote a YouTube channel using a podcast

We have been working with bloggers on YouTube for a long time, we receive coverage, conversions and registrations, but, in fact, they are brought by external channels, and not by our own YouTube. At the same time we have

Selectel account

, but in fact we didn’t use it and lost part of the audience. That’s why we set a goal for ourselves: to boost our YouTube channel.

To pump up the channel, we prescribed strategy. At the first stage, they wanted to work for a wide audience in order to attract subscribers. This is important for YouTube’s algorithms to understand that we don’t just post videos—we have a live channel that is watched by people with different interests. Not only programmers and developers.

But at the same time, we didn’t want to move away from IT: it would be strange to choose a completely abstract topic in which we have no expertise. We decided that we would focus on those who are interested in IT, but we would not produce highly specialized content.

We were choosing between motion videos and podcasts. The idea was to make a series of motion videos with animated graphics, where we would explain popular terms or situations from the IT field – for example, what DDoS attacks are and how to prevent them. But this turned out to be costly. The production process is extended over time and more resources are needed: write a script, find and approve a style, prepare a storyboard, add animation. The work of designers in general is expensive, and approval time is also taken up at each stage.

In the end, we settled on the podcast format. It seemed less expensive to produce: easy to operate and launch, easy to install and allows you to comfortably distribute team resources.

You can shoot an entire season of a podcast at once, and publish it for several more months.

Concept and topics: we studied the audience and its needs – colleagues helped with this

The final concept was this: we are making a comprehensive podcast that will help gather an audience and will be related to work in IT. We decided that the feature would be annoying moments in the work of technical specialists.

Then we began to brainstorm topics for the podcast and their content. I went to the team for help: HR, developers, system administrators, product managers.

Our colleagues listen to podcasts about development and IT-related topics. Most often they name projects that are quite well-known in our field.

  • Radio-T” Weekly improvisation on computer-related topics. The podcast discusses everything that is somehow related to IT: from Apple Vision Pro and neural networks to the soft skills of IT specialists and the femininity of CSS.

The podcast discusses topics of high-tech, computer technology, gadgets, clouds, and programming.

This is actually one of the first podcasts on this topic. It’s interesting to listen: they go deep not only into the front end, but also into everything that is somehow connected with IT.

Igor Glushakjunior front-end developer

  • Launch tomorrow” The podcast is hosted by Samat Galimov. Together with invited guests, he talks about technologies that are changing lives: from batteries and 3D printing of houses to facial recognition and computer security.

The podcast talks a lot about the history of products and technologies, how they were created and why they became popular.

“Launch Tomorrow” – interesting podcasts on topics that sometimes you don’t even think about. For example, about the difficulties of navigating in the city or about 3D houses.

Konstantin Gventsadzebackend developer

  • Submarine» is a podcast about the IT sector, but the topics vary: from development and product analytics to working as a cheese sommelier and brewing.

Issues about cheese and startups go side by side – you never know what will happen next.

  • Beardcast» – a podcast about technology, games and TV series. The episodes discuss a wide range of topics – for example, neural network discrimination, Black Friday and robotaxis.

Famous personalities in their fields are invited to visit. For example, artist Pokras Lampas participated in an issue about art and modern technology.

We prepared sample topics and conducted a survey among colleagues: we asked them to either vote for one topic from the list, or share their pain points that they would like to discuss. About 50 people from the team helped us.

As a result, we chose a pool of topics: about employment and training in IT, work etiquette and career dilemmas – for example, why you need a personal brand or how to grow in your position. All these questions, on the one hand, relate to the digital sphere, and on the other, do not go into narrow details of the profile.

This is what it looks like now “Today on Retro” playlist on YouTube.

Searching for guests, production and promotion: what we had to face due to lack of experience

We had no experience running a podcast, so we brought in a contractor to help. They divided the work like this: Selectel is engaged in searching for guests, developing themes, and the production studio takes care of scripts, on-site coordination, recording and editing.

The tasks seem clear, there is an experienced contractor: what could go wrong? But, as always, the devil was in the details and technical processes.

Finding guests requires extensive networking.

If you don't have it, you'll have to work hard. I was able to find only a few guests through acquaintances, but I needed almost two dozen.

As a result, I searched a lot on different services: I scoured the websites of specialized and well-known IT conferences, for example HighLoad++ and TeamLead Conf, looked at suitable topics, speakers, and assessed how often they speak. If there were videos, I watched them. I wrote to the speakers directly, asking whether they were in Russia or not, and whether they could come to Moscow, where we planned to record.

Tip: Look for those who are already performing. They have a story to tell, are easy-going, focused on developing a personal brand, and are ready to take advantage of the opportunity to communicate with the audience.

Many guests did not agree: some could not come to Moscow, others were not interested. Sometimes holes appeared when one of the speakers was initially ready to come, but later refused before recording – we had to look for a replacement. It's good that every episode has someone from the Selectel team. This sometimes helped with substitutions when we knew we could call on colleagues.

On the site you need to control everything. It is important to have a checklist in advance of what you need to think about or take with you.

For example, we decided that we didn’t need a set designer to design the interior of the venue, and that was a mistake. Set design is a way to convey the idea of ​​a video (or in our case, a podcast) through the external atmosphere, the studio environment. If you're having an open conversation where everyone needs to be involved, an office table and chairs won't do – it will feel like a work meeting.

The set design should resonate with the visual concept of the podcast and complement it. We had chairs, and everyone felt a little more relaxed in them. But there weren't enough visual details: it would have been cool to add some decor that would have conveyed the idea of ​​the podcast more strongly.

MYou haven't forgotten about T-Rex – mascot Selectel. There were several tyrannosaurs in the studio: withhow many do you see in the photo?

In the studio you need to control everything: the decorations, the schedule and the appearance of the speakers. It's important to make sure that everyone has a schedule, that everyone understands what's going on, when to arrive, what their task pool is. Send the episode script to the guests in advance, and the day before recording, check if everything is in place, tell them where to come and what clothes to wear.

Tip: you can’t re-record a podcast, so keep track of all the details in advance or right on the day of shooting. Then you won’t have to call a person to record on another day, gather the whole team and other speakers because of a small mistake.

Guests need time to warm up.

Imagine that there are four people in a room who are seeing each other for the first time in their lives. And then they start participating in the podcast and trying to discuss topics – it will be a rather constrained format, even when you can interrupt each other. We realized that the participants needed to get to know each other a little before recording, so that they understood who they were communicating with, started talking and relaxed, and were ready for a discussion.

Tip: Give the subjects time to chat before shooting. The first time we did this was by accident – on the day when the operator was late to the set =) The guys waited for him for about half an hour, and they had a lot of time to get acquainted and exchange righteous anger due to the fact that they were stuck on the set longer than expected . In the end, we caught the right vibe, and it was one of the best releases =)

The finished podcast should be posted on audio platformsand it's more difficult than posting a video on YouTube.

On YouTube, the mechanics of working with podcasts were clear to me, but I didn’t know how to work with audio platforms and had many questions. How to post it there? To all sites manually or centrally? What methods of promotion are there and do they exist at all? Is it possible to just upload an audio track from YouTube?

Production helped us and explained difficult points:

  • Cross-posting a podcast from YouTube, that is, cutting out the audio track and uploading it to all platforms, is not a good idea. The releases need to be adapted, shortened, and removed what hurts the ear when there is no video.
  • For audio, you need to record an intro separately – this is the splash screen at the beginning of the podcast.
  • There are no recommendation systems on audio platforms (except for Yandex Music), so for promotion you need to use your own channels: make announcements, provide links to episodes in text content.

Tip: use all available podcast platforms – Mave, Yandex Music, Spotify, Google Podcasts. Your Mave account can be linked to other podcast platforms, and if you need to re-upload or update an episode, it will automatically change on all platforms.

You need to take care of advertising in advance

. Recording a podcast is only half the battle. Most likely, it won’t take off without promotion: only those who are familiar with your company will listen to the podcast, and potential listeners simply won’t know about it.

We used different methods for promotion. Firstly, we published announcements on all available Selectel social networks so that our current subscribers knew about the podcast. Secondly, we launched seedings of individual issues in telegram channels, and now we are doing the same for collections of issues. Thirdly, we used repackaging – for example, we made Shorts with moments from podcasts, published texts at Selectel Academy and on vc.ru.

The experts also helped a little: some of them published posts about their participation in the podcast. This brought a new audience.

Now we have released one season of the podcast – with these indicators

We recorded and released one season of 10 episodes. Here's what we came up with in terms of numbers:

  • total views of all episodes – 55,801,
  • total Shorts views – 134,200,
  • total coverage – 190,000.

The podcast brought approximately 320 new subscribers to the channel, but most of the audience watched the content without subscribing. We will work with this indicator in the next iterations.

Overall, the podcast has reached our audience well and helped us achieve our goal: it attracts new subscribers, people even react to announcements and look forward to new episodes.

We plan to continue preparing video content for our YouTube channel. Whether it’s a podcast or something else, we’ll decide later. If we understand that the podcast remains the optimal solution, we will extend it for a second season, and maybe change the concept.

Have you seen our podcast? Tell us what IT topics you would like to learn about and in what format. Or maybe you dream of launching your own podcast? What topic will it be on?

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