How to Attract, Convert, and Retain Podcast Listeners: Strategies from Stephanie Arakelian of Impact Theory

guest selection, production processes, repurposing content, and tips for emerging creators

About the Episode

Stephanie is the Podcast Marketing and Audience Development Specialist for Impact Theory — a podcast hosted by Tom Bilyue that currently has 4.2 million subscribers on YouTube — and the Marketing Advisor for Great Pods.

Before working on Impact Theory she was the: Marketing Director for Innovations 4 Health, President and Founder of a social media marketing agency called Dimont Media, and VP of Marketing and Audience Development for the podcast network CurtCo Media.

In this episode, Stephanie Arakelian shares her insights on podcast marketing and audience development, drawing from her experience of over 5 years in the podcast industry. From effective content repurposing to creating a podcast that converts, Stephanie breaks down key strategies for achieving success in the evolving podcast landscape.

Today, we'll cover:
- The contrast between YouTube and audio podcasts and how to cater to each audience
- The importance of community building and focusing on one platform at a time
- How to effectively repurpose old content using AI for business growth
- The importance of understanding your "why" when creating content

2 Ideas from the Podcast

Idea #1: Finding the Right Guests

Who are the guests that can have that, that can feed in, that can really give insight to our audience?

Here’s the process that Impact Theory uses:

1. Create a Pitch Packet:

a. Explain why you like this guest and what makes them relevant.

b. List specific topics you could discuss with them.

c. Include examples of the guest speaking and reasons they’re a good fit.

2. Approve the guest: Once you’re confident the guest will add significant value to your audience, approve and invite them.

3. Have them on: Record the episode in person or online. Note good moments and potential spicy clips during the recording.

Play Segment (20:24 - 21:17)

Idea #2: Impact Theory Post-Production Process

1. Post-Production:

1.1 Initial Editing:

Edit the recorded video, including segments like, "After the break, we'll discuss...", etc.

Drafting: Draft the episode structure and flow based on the conversation and marked clips.

1.2 Show Notes:

YouTube Show Notes: Draft show notes tailored for YouTube.

Podcast Show Notes: Draft slightly different show notes for the podcast platforms.

1.3 Sponsorship Integration:

Ad Sales Team: Add sponsor links to the show notes.

Ad Types: Ensure video ads and audio ads are correctly placed according to the sponsor agreements.

1.4 Review and Optimization:

Title and Headline Creation: Review and decide on titles and headlines for the episode.

YouTube Thumbnail and Headline: Create a compelling thumbnail and headline for YouTube.

1.5 Separation and Upload:

Content Separation: Separate and prepare the video and audio content for your respective platforms.

Upload: The finalized content is uploaded to the appropriate platforms (YouTube, podcast platforms, etc.).

Play Segment (20:49 - 23:15)

1 Key Learning: How to repurpose content

Impact Theory has found effective ways to repurpose its backlog of content and monetize it. Here's how they're making the most of their existing episodes:

  • CaaS (Content as a Service)

Impact Theory replays archived content with themed episodes in another podcast called “Extra Impact” — covering business, relationships, finance, and more — to keep it fresh for new listeners and leverage evergreen topics like health and business. They charge a monthly fee and upload an additional episode each week.

  • ITU (Impact Theory University)

Impact Theory University (ITU) is Impact Theory’s online learning platform.

ITU offers exclusive courses on mindset, entrepreneurship, and business strategies.

In addition to courses, ITU features live talks with Tom (Co-Founder of Impact Theory), one-on-one sessions, and a community for discussions and feedback.

They charge a monthly fee for access to all lessons, 1:1 sessions, and AMAs with Tom.

Play Segment (26:50 - 30:00)

Episode Timestamps

01:31 Podcast marketing for startup and established networks
02:53 What Impact Theory is all about
04:11 The importance of treating YouTube audience separately from audio audience
07:33 How podcasts grew, analyzing podcast data, how to make a podcast stand out
10:56 Podcast analytics, how and what to measure, adjusting strategy based on data
13:18 Turning podcast listeners into fans, fans into evangelists
16:29 Strategies for placing ads on podcasts
19:45 Impact Theory’s podcast workflow, from guest selection to publishing
23:27 Repurposing podcast content — replays, mashups, special clips
27:11 Impact Theory University as a hub of growth mindset
29:20 Content strategy for Impact Theory podcast and university
31:14 Stephanie’s growth tips for emerging podcast creators

Understanding Different Podcast Audiences: "And then what was really interesting when we dove into the podcast side of it is breaking out their YouTube audience versus their audio audience, because they are separate. And that's one of the things that I'm trying to implement into the industry, is to show people, as podcasts are moving into the YouTube space, that you have to treat them separately because your audiences are not going to be the same. YouTube is still the number one most-played listening platform for podcasts, but it's a completely separate audience." — Stephanie Arakelian [00:04:10 - 00:04:37]

Maximizing Listener Retention: "So anything over about an hour and a half, hour 45. We will split into two episodes to make that a better listening experience so that people feel like they're getting, you know, a decent amount in the chung, enough information in there, and then when they come back, they get another part of the conversation, and that's good for listener retention, listen rates, ad sales, everything. And so we've seen a huge spike in our downloads because of that." — Stephanie Arakelian [00:17:59 → 00:18:23]

Why New Podcasters Should Rethink YouTube: "I think that confusing content creators right now, if you do, are not already familiar with YouTube, and this is an unpopular opinion, I say that new creators should not try and push their podcast on YouTube unless you have no expectations for it, because it's a whole other ballgame, right?" — Stephanie Arakelian [00:32:16 → 00:33:25]

Episode Transcript & Castmagic Chat

More episodes like this

Tips from the best!

Join our free weekly newsletter to learn from the smartest founders, operators, & creators.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Castmagic Logo

Start Scaling Your Business With Content

The most powerful content AI, at your fingertips

Get Started