Listening is a two-way street. Learn about what makes a podcast resonate with your audience, and learn how to create an idea that engages and helps your audience.
- [Instructor] As a kid I got a transistor radio as a birthday present, and to be honest, I didn't really understand how it worked. For some reason I got it into my head that I could use it to broadcast my own AM radio show right from my basement. I set it up with a toy mic, a record player, and started spinning the hits and talking away in my best DJ voice wondering when the requests would come in. Of course, they never did, and I didn't want to consider the fact that I had no audience. The truth is I really did start podcasting early.
In 2008 I was asked to be a panelist on InsidePR, a weekly look at trends and issues effecting public relations and social media. Many episodes later I'm still one of the InsidePR hosts, and our listeners are very important to us. Without them we wouldn't exist. My cohosts and I are always tinkering with our format and asking for listener feedback. That's something you should think about as you develop your podcast. Ask yourself, what makes your idea resonate with your audience.
Can you sustain it over time? Will you have one host with lots of opinions? A panel? A series of guests? If you have guests how will you find and prep them? How long should each episode be? On InsidePR we also pay attention to our analytics to see which topics resonate with listeners and which don't. For instance, we look at total number of downloads per week and whether that's going up or down over time. We look at where our audience lives and which app they use to listen to our show. And if one week runs longer because we have a lot to say, we check to see if that had an effect on downloads and then we readjust.
Of course, your host or hosts has to strike the right tone to connect with your audience. When I think of the podcasts I listen to for pleasure at the gym, it's a combination of the host's personalities and material that keeps me listening. That's why a show like This American Life works so well. The host is warm, quirky, and engaging. The format is simple. Three main stories revolving around a larger theme. Each segment is done as a mini doc from the narrator's POV, and I know if I interested in a theme, chances are I'll enjoy the show.
And my time on the stationary bike goes by a whole lot faster. In many ways a lot of magic goes into creating the type of podcast your listeners will love. Or really it's the chemistry between the hosts, guests, and listeners. You see, listening to podcasts is a two-way street. You have to listen to and understand your audience so they'll come back and listen to you, and that's the most important thing of all.
- Explain how to assess your resources and budget before starting a podcast.
- Summarize the importance of keeping a content calendar.
- Describe how to measure the success of your podcast.