With Podcast Movement 2017 underway, I'm continuing to post more information surrounding podcasts. Today it's a video showcasting highlights from a recent study conducted by Edison Research & Triton Digital. These are just a few of the takeaways. Check out the entire study here - THE PODCAST CONSUMER
If you're launching a podcast, a first impression is incredibly important. If you want people to listen, love and subscribe...you have to keep them interested. This infographic will give you a checklist of things to do before posting your first episode for public consumption.
Download it here:
I love working with businesses on their podcasts. A lot of times there's a ton of excitement and curiosity in our conversations. A lot of that curiosity comes from wondering if audio content can really help their organization. Sometimes, they've just read about other companies doing it, and they decide they want to try it out. As with any new initiative, the "What if we fail" worry tends to be present. It is then that I tell them why podcasting can be good for business.
You reach new audiences.
Businesses have to produce a variety of content because different people consume things in different ways. Podcasting gives you a chance to put yourself in front of an audience who likes to listen to content while driving, working out, relaxing, etc. This was the best way to reach them. I remember when Facebook marketing expert Amy Porterfield launched her podcast. One of the first things she said she noticed after launching her show was that she was reaching people she would've have never otherwise reached. And this was coming from someone who makes a living ONLINE.
It personalizes your brand
If your online presence consists of website text and social media posts, podcasting can add a personal element to it all. You can host the show and showcase some of your very knowledgeable employees, partners or colleagues. Suddenly, you're more than a website, Tweet or Facebook post...you're a human with a voice. In today's trust-driven consumer marketing place, that's something that adds a lot of value to your presence.
It's a great storytelling platform.
Audio is like movies for the mind. It always has been. When many people listen to the radio, they subconsciously visualize a look to go with a voice. When you hear commercials with music, dialogue and characters...they're trying to generate an image in your head. You can definitely create stories on a podcast using that formula. Or you can take a cue from shows like This American Life and merge interviews with music. These days, telling your story is more important than ever. Podcasts give you a way to tell it.
It's easier and less expensive than video.
Before I added audio to my production skills, I was a video producer. I did everything from camera, sound, locations, casting, editing, lighting and directing. Audio is recording and then editing. I liked the simplicity of that. So, with podcasts you don't have to worry about how you look or the scenery around you. You don't have to worry about lighting. You don't even have to buy a high def camera to produce the content. You can launch a podcast for under $100, and it's probably a little less time consuming.
If I can help you develop or produce a podcast for your business...let me know!
If you're using copyrighted or popular music for your podcast production (like the opening theme), I would say two things to you:
1. Stop taking the risk.
2. You don't have to take the risk.
You may not realize just how many alternatives that are available. Here are a few examples:
Pond5 - You can search and purchase royalty-free music music and filter specific criteria like price, commercial use, P.R.O. music, etc.
AudioJungle - Search music and pay for the appropriate license.
MusicLoops - You can search royalty-free music here with prices lower than a lot of what you find on Pond5.
YouTube - This is not a misprint. Yes, you can find some free music and sound effects at YouTube!
The decision to start a podcast is one thing, but developing the right concept is another. Obviously you want to talk about something you're naturally passionate about, because that passion will come through to the audience.
However, I tell people to think about a few other important aspects of the show. For one thing, you need to make sure your show can generate around 45 topics a year. This is true if you're planning to produce a weekly show. If you brainstorm and can't get past 20 topics in any way, shape or form...it might not be the right concept.
Make sure the concept lends itself to a good format (segments, interviews, round table discussion, etc) and figure out ways to showcase engaging content through it.
Finally, make sure you can easily explain what it's about and why people will want to listen every week.
A few years ago, I sat in on a conference session that featured a panel of podcasting experts. The topic of logos came up, and one of the panelists said something like this:
If you have a $500 podcast budget, spend $450 on the logo.
While that advice demonstrates the importance of a logo, you don't have to spend that much to make one that works. Before you get started, take time to look at great examples of podcast logos.
Your logo needs to be 1400 x 1400 pixels (as a jpg). You could create a blank square of that size and make one of your own using Canva or PicMonkey. Or you can hire someone to (within your budget) to create one for you using services like Fiverr or Upwork.
Or, if I can help you with your logo or any other podcast element...contact me!
Have you ever listened to a podcast and thought:
OMG! This is sooo long!
Are they ever going to get to the point?
Are they ever going to get to today's topic?
Sheesh! I may need to fast forward because this isn't interesting.
These are reactions that take place due to the podcaster forgetting about a very important element to their show - YOU. Instead, they got caught up in a conversation, concept or segment, and they forgot to consider how much value it brought to the listener.
The hosts should always think of a listener as the other person in the conversation. Otherwise, they might feel less like they are in the conversation and more like their eavesdropping on one. This is an important concept in podcasting that is similar to a qualifier the late Gene Siskel applied when watching a movie. He would ask himself:
"Is this film more interesting than a documentary of the same actors having lunch?"
When I was hired to improve the radio fundraising drives at the Dallas/Fort Worth Public Radio Station, I applied this principle to our live on-air breaks. Sometimes that would mean changing something as simple as saying, "Good morning". If two people open their live segment saying "good morning" to one another (which was common), without the acknowledgement of the listener, there is an immediate disconnect. It's another reason why pledge breaks can be so irritating to listeners. It sounds like two people interrupted your favorite show to beg for money. Instead, it should sound like two like-minded people that want to discuss the importance of giving with you.
It can happen on podcasts as well. The hosts are having so much fun talking, that they'll veer off topic and sound unfocused. They simply forget they're doing a show for a listener, and it becomes all about them and their fun.
The same can happen when you're forced to listen to a segment that sounds weird or unengaging. The problem is that the host thought it was brilliant, and that was enough for it to be on the podcast. They got so caught up in how great it was to them, and they forgot to determine why the listener would like it.
If you ask people why they love certain podcasts so much, you'll often hear them say it's because they love the hosts. Many times they'll go as far as to say they feel like they're hanging out with them as they laugh, learn and talk. That's how you want your listener to feel.
When you produce podcasts and remember your listener at all times, you'll find that it can improve the quality of your show.
Your audience knows when they're valued and ignored.
When you make the decision to launch a podcast, it's easy to get overwhelmed with questions:
1. What should I name the show?
2. How do I develop a format?
3. How do I get an open/close produced?
4. How do I find a co-host?
5. How can I be different in my space?
6. How much money should I spend?
7. What do I do about a logo?
8. What podcast hosting service should I use?
There are plenty of blogs, podcasts and videos available to answer some of these questions. However, it can be challenging to sort out which advice is best for you, and it can all get overwhelming. You may think about hiring someone to help, but finding the right person could also be challenging. This is especially true if you're concerned about budget.
I've helped new podcasters answer all of these questions and launch their shows. I've also helped people improve their existing podcasts. Sometimes clients want something as simple as getting a few questions answered. Other times, they need concept consulting and production assistance.
So, I currently charge $50.00 an hour for my podcasting services. Many times, I'm able to answer several questions in an hour or less, and I make sure that I provide a lot of value in that time frame. So, it adequately allows me to provide my clients with meaningful assistance, and it allows me to make something reasonable in the process.
There are household appliances that don't do enough to justify a $50 price tag, and my clients tell me that my work is money well spent.
If I can help you launch or improve your podcast, contact me HERE or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you release a podcast episode, you'll obviously want to share it on social media. However, you cannot forget that you're competing with a lot of noise on Twitter. Nonetheless, I still see plenty of Tweets like this:
Our latest podcast is now available! Check it out - (Link)
Episode 52 of the show is out now - (Link).
My initial response is...so?
I don't know anything about that episode. Plus, if this is the first time I've seen your podcast, you just lost a chance to intrigue me. Just like other forms of content (blogs, video), you need to post something that might get me or someone else to click on it. An episode number or simply saying, "check it out" isn't going to be enough for most people.
Use hashtags, images or clever text to draw attention to your latest episode.
I'll give you a personal example. When I was first learning how to do this, I posted a generic Tweet about my latest episode. As you can imagine, it didn't get much response. Then I thought I would highlight something specific that might get people to click on the link.
This episode featured an interview with Anthony Michael Hall, and he had some interesting things to say about playing Kelly LeBrock's love interest in Weird Science. So, I tweeted about that (in some fashion), and it got a much larger response. In fact, it got Kelly LeBrock's attention as well. She began following the show on Twitter.
So, don't share meaningless episode numbers or generic call to actions. Get attention and intrigue the audience! If I can help your podcast in other ways, contact me anytime!
Aspiring podcasters know they need to put their show on iTunes. So, a common question becomes - How do I get my podcast on iTunes? It's probably easier than you think, but there's another step you have to take first:
Get podcast hosting.
iTunes is going to ask you for your podcast feed. When you sign up with a hosting service, they'll provide you with one. There are several services to choose from, like Libsyn, Buzzsprout and Blubrry.