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Aug. 5, 2021

Podcast Movement 2021 Day 1 Recap

Podcast Movement 2021 Day 1 Recap
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Hello from my hotel room at Nashville's Opryland Resort, where the first full day of Podcast Movement wrapped up.  Some highlights from sessions I attended today.

The first keynote was from Kate Erickson of Entrepreneur on Fire - she spoke to the importance of systems, workflows, plans, and accountability.  Another nugget: if you're out of ideas for episodes, set up Google Alerts for keywords in your niche.  Here's a link to her slides: https://www.eofire.com/podcastworkflow

The star of the day is no surprise to anyone who's attended this conference - and that's Tom Webster of Edison Research.  As always, he came armed with the latest and greatest podcast data.

Podcast discovery comes from, in order:

  1. Recommendations
  2. Internet Search
  3. Social Media

Podcasters often ask, "How can I grow my audience?" In reality, they should be asking "Why did my audience stop growing?"  And the answer is almost always: "Because people stopped recommending it."  So how do you solve this "recommend-abilty" problem?

  1. Know who you podcasting for, and why they are there. You can't give the unexpected if you don't know what they expect.
  2. Make your show easy to recommend - both technically and in terms of your content.
  3. Master your craft!

Next, Webster tackled YouTube.  Old school podcasters will tell you if your show is on YouTube, it's not a podcast, for a variety of technical reasons.  And, technically speaking, they'd be right.  But in 2021, the top apps for podcast discovery are, in order:

  1. Spotify
  2. Apple
  3. YouTube

So, even if you don't have video for your show, putting the audio on YouTube is not a bad idea.  In 2007, I had to convince my boss in radio that we needed a Facebook page - because you go where your audience is.

Speaking of Facebook, it's still the most popular social media app.  And interestingly, it's HUGE among non-podcast listeners.  So when Facebook audio rolls out soon, Tom thinks this will be HUGE for podcast growth.  Pay attention there too, so long as you're not in Facebook jail for a post you made 6 years ago that you totally forgot about.  Hasn't happened to me yet (knock wood).

Other items of note from Day 1: Your podcast should have its own website, for SEO purposes.  Google can't search audio, but it can search text.  Think about that when you write your show titles and show notes.  And the built in page that your podcast provider gives you - that may not be enough - because bad shows in the same domain could hurt your rankings.  That's from Todd Cochrane of Blubrry.

Another marketing tool you may want to consider for your show is an email campaign.  You'll get better analytics here, and you won't just have to hope a social media algorithm delivers your content.  Just send it straight to your listeners' inboxes.  Solid presentation by Meghan Nesta  of email platform Aweber.

And I wrapped up the day with Jay Nachlis of Coleman Insights, talking about "Blue Ocean" strategy.  If you're not familiar with the term (or the book), there are two oceans.  The red ocean is crowded, and infested by sharks.  Blue ocean is wide open.  If you have a podcast idea that lands in the blue, your chances of standing out are much higher.  For example, Jay mentioned there are tons of science podcasts, but not as many about say, specifically chemistry.  Lots of religion podcast, but not many about Hinduism.  Lots of Golden State Warriors Podcasts, but NONE specifically about Steph Curry.  Don't be afraid to do something different.

As for me, different has been recording this show in a hotel room at 11:30pm Central Time  I'm off to bed - with hopefully more nuggets to soak and and pass on - soon.