Our quest to put the best podcast growth strategies to the test. An honest, unfiltered, and realtime view inside one brand's journey to growing an impactful podcast
Our quest to put the best podcast growth strategies to the test. An honest, unfiltered, and realtime view inside one brand's journey to growing an impactful podcast
How To Get Featured In Apple Podcasts with Bobby Temps
One of the biggest players in the podcasting industry is Apple Podcasts. Up to this point, they have helped dictate major shifts in podcast consumption and how podcasters create their shows.
Given Apple Podcasts' popularity, it's no surprise getting in front of their curation team can help propel a podcast to new heights. But the question is, how can I pitch my podcast to appeal to their editors?
This week on Audience, we're tackling this important topic with Bobby Temps. As the co-host of Mental: The Podcast to Destigmatise Mental Health, he has orchestrated getting his show on multiple featured podcast lists inside the popular listening app. Throughout our interview, Bobby sheds light on repeatable strategies that helped him break through the noise and impress the Apple Podcasts team.
But that's not all we're covering. At the top, we get into how the Mental podcast encourages listener participation, uses data to inform their content decisions, and why you might be missing some reviews from your international listeners.
Listen to the full interview now to starting pitching you podcast with more flair and to track down those reviews you may have missed.
How has COVID-19 changed your listenership?
Like many other podcasters, Bobby and his co-host, Danielle, have shifted their content strategy as a result of COVID-19. But since the show focuses on mental health, they've noticed the shift has primarily been driven by changes in society.
The goal of the podcast is to destigmatise mental health. So Bobby and his team are capitalizing on our eagerness to include mental illness alongside physical ailments in the wellness conversation. To alter content for these times, they've focused on practical tips listeners can put to use right now. Their mission is to help both loyal and new followers feel more confident and secure in times that are unstable.
How Do You Encourage & Incorporate Audience Participation Into The Show?
Let's start with the motivation factor. Every podcaster wants more reviews and emails with feedback from their audience. But it's difficult to help listeners take the next step and put pen to paper.
To help, Bobby highlighted the tone of the Mental podcast. His team has ramped up the calls-to-action to leave a review or send a email. But they positioned their messaging around the desire to tackle subjects their audience needs help with right now. The authenticity of wanting to provide their listeners with timely tips didn't go unnoticed. They received more feedback and were able to cover topics that were important to their community.
In times before COVID-19, the Mental podcast is one of the best examples of why audience participation can make or break a show. The podcast covers the rapidly changing landscape of mental health and typically sensitive subjects. Their team understands the need to use appropriate language and phrases for each topic, but the standards shift.
For example, the phrase "committing suicide" is no longer the most appropriate way to talk about this topic. Through conversations with their community and mental health experts, the Mental podcast team were made aware of the sensitivities and have changed the way they speak about death by suicide.
In addition, u
More Podcasting Questions Answered
Class is back in session on our latest Audience episode! This week, we're taking it back to our community.
Across our Facebook groups and in conversations with customers, we hear a lot of great questions. Some that we've never thought of and others that frequently stump newbie podcasters. In our latest episode, we brought in five questions that we think don't get enough air time.
But first, some exciting announcements with our company and platform. The first is that we announced our sister company, Podcast Motor, is moving under the Castos umbrella to help power Castos Productions.
We're also excited to introduce a new member of the Castos team, Matt Medeiros. Host of the Matt Report and long time member of the WordPress community, you'll hear from him in our future Audience episodes.
Your Podcasting Questions Answered
Dipping into our community of podcasters to answer questions about their pain points is why we're here. So we dove into our Facebook groups and customer inquiries for this latest set of burning podcast questions.
Do you recommend seasons for a podcast?
Seasons is a term that Apple introduced a few years back to group episodes together within a single RSS feed. Typically, the episodes makes sense together and follow a similar topic or storyline.
For podcasts that have a story arc, chronological time sequence, or follow a time-sensitive activity, seasons make sense. It's a way to logically order episodes and give your audience a more seamless listening experience.
Another factor to consider is using seasons to build in a break. Having a logical end to a group of episodes offers an opportunity to take a break from publishing new episodes. While our advice typically is to consistently produce content to keep an audience engaged, seasons can help manage expectations. Remind listeners that the season is XYZ episodes long and to expect new content a few weeks after the final chapter is published.
Do you suggest recapping previous seasons before introducing a subsequent season?
What's the first thing that happens when a new season of any TV show premieres? A montage of the drama and climaxes aires first to remind viewers what happened leading up to the first episode.
This tactic is perfect for podcast seasons too. Highlight the key players, bring people up to speed, and orient them on where you left off. It allows listeners to follow along more easily and have some background before diving into your latest episodes.
To create a recap intro, pull soundbites from episodes from the previous season. It can be repurposed for promotional materials to bring buzz to the upcoming season and entice new listeners to explore your back catalog.
Any advice on reaching out to celebrities or notable personas to share your show?
Whether your guests are minor or major celebrities (or not celebrities at all), our stance is that you need to provide value to the person you're pitching. When an interesting article, YouTu
21 Podcast Recording Tips For Polished Episodes
Recording great audio takes some practice, but you can skip a lot of the trial-and-error with these podcast recording tips. No amount of editing will make terrible source audio sound great so practice these to-the-point strategies to capture clean podcast recordings from the start.
The Top Podcast Recording Tips
Great podcast recordings come down to the host's ability to produce the right sound. These tips are all about creating the perfect recording environment and actionable techniques you can put to use every time you sit down to create an episode.
1. Use the right equipment
You can record a podcast with your laptop’s microphone, but we don’t recommend it. You’ll need a few pieces of podcast equipment to record professional and clear audio. This is the easiest of all our podcast recording tips and it has the biggest impact on your audio quality.
2. Don't forget to warm up
To state the obvious, recording a podcast episodes requires a bit of talking. Rather than going into your session cold, warm up your mouth and vocal cords by practicing your script or saying a few tongue twisters. Properly warming up will improve your dictation and keep you from stumbling over words. There's nothing better than delivering your points flawlessly the first time around.
3. Record in a small, quiet room
Record episodes in the smallest and quietest room possible to reduce outside noise and echoes. Shut your windows and doors, turn off any machines or devices that make a constant noise, and put your pets somewhere they won’t disturb you for a couple hours. Fill your recording environment with soft items (couches, pillows, carpet, etc.) that absorb sound to muffle any errant noises.
4. Create a brief noise profile
Pause for four or five seconds at the beginning of your recording to create a noise profile. Stay absolutely silent and eliminate all environmental noise. You can use this moment of silence during editing to identify and remove any background noise by following The Audacity To Podcast's tutorial on removing noise using Audacity.
5. Adopt proper microphone techniques
First, place your microphone at the same height as your mouth. Then sit a few inches back and have the pop filter between your mouth and the mic. Next, focus on your mouth's distance from the microphone setup and adjust your body for the desired volume level. Remember, the closer you are the mic, the louder your voice will sound. While you can alter your voice's volume level during post-production to keep it consistent, reduce your editing time by keeping your mouth the same distance from the mic while recording.
4 Ways To Create A Video Podcast (And Why You Should Try It)
Why do all the top podcasts publish videos to YouTube? Because YouTube has 2 billion logged-in users (and growing), which makes it a powerful place to grow your audience.
In fact, 43% of monthly podcast listener say they've enjoyed podcast content on YouTube in the last year, which means you probably have potential fans browsing YouTube for content like yours right now. All you have to do is turn your regular podcast into a video podcast.
Fortunately, you are already doing most of the work. With a few small additions to your workflow, you can create engaging video podcast episodes that appeal to people who prefer video content.
What Is A Video Podcast?
A video podcast is simply a podcast with a video element. The video element could be as simple or as complex as you like, but it often consists of a single static image or a video recording of the podcast hosts and guests.
Why You Should Start A Video Podcast
Before we explain how to create a video podcast, let's cover why you should bother.
People love looking at faces
Humans are visual creatures. 30% of our brain is devoted to our eyes. And we particularly love faces. Infants begin to prefer looking at faces as soon as 24 hours after birth. That effect gets stronger as we get older because of the wealth of information we get from faces. According to some psychologists, facial features provide more data than spoken language.
This means you can create more value for your audience and help them make deeper connections with your content by adding faces via video.
Video opens you to a wider audience
As much as we like podcasts, there are plenty of people who prefer to consume video content. This should come as no surprise, YouTube is the second largest social media platform. By adding a video element to your podcast, you gain access to a massive audience of potential fans.
That’s exactly what happened to Andrea Raquelle, producer and content provider for the “Hey Frase” podcast. “Without video, we hit a plateau; we could not go past 10,000 [downloads],”
How Covid-19 May Change Podcasting Forever with Tom Webster
There's no doubt that the Coronavirus pandemic has changed many of our lives, and for some aspects of our lives this may be a permanent change.
Our guest on Audience this week is Tom Webster from Edison Research, the company behind the industry-leading Infinite Dial survey.
In an earlier episode we recapped some of the biggest takeaways from the 2020 Infinite Dial survey, and thought we HAD to have Tom on the podcast to talk through some more of his interpretations of the data there, and what has changed since that time. The fact is that many of the lifestyle changes that we and our audiences have seen as a result of Coronavirus are here to stay and things won't be returning back to "normal".
Here are some of the hard facts about listener behaviors as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic:
Commutes to work or school have gone down - this is the #1 way and place that people listen to podcasts.Following external analytic tools like Podtrac and Chartable are great for Downloads, but may not tell the whole story from talking to actual listeners. Their behaviors are changing in different ways.Listening on smart speakers like Amazon Alexa has increased substantially as people are listening to podcasts in groups and at their homes.Initially, there was a big movement to news-based podcasts, but as the news overload settled in there was a movement away from it.
Tom likens the disruption caused by Covid to a snow globe where once you shake it up the "snowflakes" of our lives go up in the air and sometimes don't settle back down where they came from originally. That's the theme that we're following as we go forward with our shows.
But in many ways, the open question is: what will stay the same and what will be permanently changed. And largely this question remains unanswered.
Changes In Listener Patterns
A question we can ask ourselves to help our audience better understand where our podcast can live into their lives is where and when will our listeners tune into our shows. Thinking about traditional radio always having a time and place that people listened, many of us can think about framing our shows the same way. Your show could be "The show to listen to on your Saturday morning walk". This engrains this behavior in your listeners minds and behaviors.
As the industry saw the biggest change in behavior around podcast advertising at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic this medium is coming back already, but in a different way.
How Advertising Is Changing
Many advertisers and media buyers are moving to more "safe" forms of advertising. For some media buyers and sponsors the need to have more established media through which to advertise and reach audiences may increase. Things like Google Adwords and Facebook ads where more data is available around the targeting of the audiences that your ads are targeting may be a more "sure bet" for companies trying to spread the word about their brand.
What Affects Is Spotify Having On The Industry
We discuss the move of the Joe Rogan show to Spotify. As Rogan had significant listenership on YouTube that channel could be one of the places that he could lose a portion of his audience. But, the upside of gaining access to an entirely new distribution channel in the Spotify platform is a huge benefit.
In general for listeners the move of The Joe Rogan show to Spotify could give one less reason for audience members to pick up a conventional podcasting app like Apple Podcasts or Overcast.
The other thing that may be a bigger impact is on the data that the Spotify platform has on its listeners and that availability to advertisers. Knowing the location, age, gender, and other demographics about listeners could mean more targeted and better-aligned ads
Creating A Diverse Podcast Publication With Ashley And Galen From Bello Collective
As with many new hobbies, a fair bit of research and reading is required to figure out the best way to start. Podcasting isn't much different so there has always been need for diverse resources teaching Podcasting 101.
According to Google Trends, the phrase "how to start a podcast" has averaged 60 searches per day since 2016. With low barriers to entry and the ability for just about anyone to start podcasting, the Bello Collective was ready to answer that question.
Google Trends interest over time for the phrase "how to start a podcast" in the last 12 months.
Launching in 2016, their efforts came just in time. With a diverse team of writers to build a solution, the Bello Collective started publishing podcasting resources to help hosts get started, grow, and sharpen their craft.
Fast forward to 2020, that community has grown to elevate voices that don't always get enough airtime. With readers and writers across Slack, email, Twitter, and their website, Ashely Lusk and Galen Beebe are the co-editors steering the ship.
On this week's episode of Audience, Craig sits down with Lusk and Beebe to talk about the Collective and how they built such an engaged community. Listen to the full episode now to hear firsthand why interrogating your definition of success can make you a better podcaster.
Why Communication Is Key
In the past, blogging and podcasting were primarily one-way conversations. The writer publishes an article, the reader digests their thoughts without the opportunity to directly collaborate with them. The podcaster releases an episode, the listener tunes in without being able to connect with the person on the other side of their headphones.
But as industries shifted, so did the technology that enabled creators and consumers to start a dialogue. Podcasters are urged to start newsletters, social media accounts, YouTube channels, and Patreon followings to fuel the connection.
Bello Collective was built from this foundation of dialogue. When pressed about how they morphed a static publication into a living community, Ashley and Galen highlighted the importance of having conversations with intention.
Open dialogue is at the forefront of all of their interactions. For new writers, this means clear expectations about the editing process and what content they are looking for. Within their Slack channel, members can't join until they agree to community guidelines that say keep all responses off the record. By doing so, every member can speak freely and surface discussions that may have otherwise been missed.
For podcasters, an open dialogue takes a few forms. It's having conversations with co-hosts about how to improve a show or with guests about an interview's expectations. Even though this isn't the first time you've heard communication is key, there's a reason it works. It's a good time take a moment and reflect on your podcast. Have you fallen victim to going through the motions or do your episodes and conversations have intention behind them?
Another benefit of having more conversations between a podcaster and listener is the opportunity to transform passiv
Customer ReviewsSee All
A great resource for those just starting podcasting. I've recently begun podcasting and I was very grateful to have come across this show. I already shared it with my co-host and another aspiring podcaster. Extra positive!!
Integrity and Inspiration
I just started my own podcast last week and Craig’s help has really been excellent so far! He speaks in layman’s terms and explains the complexity in a way even I can get.
Super inspired to put my own content out and looking forward to future episodes!
A surprisingly honest take
A good resource for those new to podcasting, the Launch Day episode really was an unfiltered review of their results. The two interviews so far had some solid tips, curious to hear more!