Outside of the Podcast Movement conference halls were some of the best marketers I’ve ever met. Podcasters wanted to tell you about their creation, while those planning podcasts shared ideas, hopes, and dreams. Much like me, they were on hand to learn techniques and tricks to help better themselves in this rising industry.
As someone in radio, I took notice whenever the industry was mentioned. In a conversation with Jay Green (VP, Digital Content Partnerships) and Yvonne Lacey (Head of Digital Sales Development) from AdLarge, they said that, through their conversations with podcasters who monetize their work, the podcasters generally feel that the radio industry looks down at what they do. I can tell you firmly that anyone that feels podcasting is more of a hobby won’t be thinking that, in as soon as five years. As Jay will tell you, the numbers don’t lie; neither does the current amount of ad dollars being spent in podcasting.
Over the course of a few days I had the chance to talk to many great people in incredibly impressive positions in the industry. I’ve learned a lot from them, and I hope to share that over the course of the next few months in more detail. But for now, here’s a few points from the final day of the Podcast Movement conference that I think are important to share:
– Aaron Mahnke from the podcast Lore shocked me by giving a powerful metric. It takes him 13 days to register a million downloads, and even at that size of a podcast he still does his own sales for the show. In his “8 Rules for a Podcast,” he pointed out you need to consistent in order to be professional. The fans of the material depend and plan on your material at the time you said you would deliver it.
- Nick Deprey is the Innovation Accountant and Analytics Manager for NPR One. He points out you’re going to win or lose your listener in the first two minutes of a podcast. Overall, around 25% of your audience has already skipped to another show by the first five minutes. In order to keep your audience around, produce a great intro that invites people to stay longer.
- The “Podcast Makeover” was a live critique (aircheck) session with the brave podcasters that were not afraid to be in front of a crowd in exchange for great advice. The panel was moderated by Seth Resler from Jacobs Media. Offering their advice was Tom Leykis (Tom Leykis Show), Valerie Geller (Beyond Powerful Radio), Rob Greenlee (Head of Podcast Content for Spreaker), and Doug Berman (Creator and Executive Producer for NPR’s Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me). Their advice to the podcasters on stage was simple and universal. Don’t assume your audience knows who you are or knows what the show is about. Welcome them in every time as if it’s their first time listening, and don’t drag it along. Don’t discount curiosity, and always be interesting.
- Sue Schardt and Jennifer Ferro from KCRW in Los Angeles played a clip from Ira Glass’ first show, and you can tell a lot has changed. By starting a podcast, you should be in the mindset of building a community. It’s the trick that works for public radio stations.
- Dr. Shanté from Branding for Believers gave some great tips. You have to value the listener, and you have to think of yourself as an influencer. Always respond on social media and use it as a way to spotlight your fans. She also said it goes a long way to include some sort of graphical preview when posting on social media in order to get more interactions.
- In the first keynote, Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton from Another Round
went over some of the magical moments they’ve had with guests. It was all about being real and being relatable.
- The final keynote for the conference was Alex Blumberg, the CEO and cofounder of Gimlet Media. He went over the power of audio, and the great power it has in our everyday lives. He said we need to use this medium carefully, because, as Spiderman would saw, with great power comes great responsibility.
Overall, Podcast Movement was a great conference that the radio industry needs to take advantage of in the future. If digital audio is in your future, look into attending next summer. If podcasting and producing original content is not part of your station (or company) plans, it needs to be. If you don’t understand why this is such a big deal, ask anyone who listens to a podcast. Maybe their enthusiasm for the medium (and perhaps the lack of enthusiasm for radio) will help you realize that we need to align ourselves with the winning practices of this industry.
Ryan Wrecker programs WOWO Radio in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for Federated Media. You can reach him on Twitter @RyanWrecker or email him at RyanWrecker@gmail.com