Podcasting: Let’s Talk Content…Literally

Road Muscle Radio

There’s a great article/interview in Radio INK about the podcast world, and how radio is taking notice. LOTS of notice. Why is this giant industry looking seriously at the wild west of talk?

Because podcasting has an audience, and it’s growing quickly.

Here’s the deal, though.  Just like with content marketing, you have to have a story, and give your audience a reason to experience it other than your urge to advertise.  You can’t shove people into your sales funnel; however, you can invite them in.  A podcast is a great invitation, since the listener is already interested in what you offer.  If the content delivers, then you’ll have the chance to sell your product/service.

Content is king/queen here.  The Radio INK article interviews Dave Beasing, owner of Soundsthatbrand.com.  It’s a very good read- enjoy it here: https://radioink.com/2018/07/31/he-just-wants-to-create-great-content/.

Here’s a super tip about creating your podcast from that article:

Radio Ink: What are three elements to a great podcast?  
Dave Beasing: It’s simple really…
1. A Great Story — The story of a middle-aged Orange County woman who gradually, painfully realizes she’s the latest mark of a ruthless romantic grifter began as a fascinating LA Times newspaper story. Then it became one of the most successful podcasts, “Dirty John.” Soon, it’ll be a two-season (or more) series on Bravo TV. That’s why “True Crime” has become such a popular podcast category. Current events podcasts — about news, politics, sports — tell great stories about what’s happening now in the world around us.  Interview podcasts help guests tell their stories. The branded podcast that I co-produced for Trader Joe’s tells the story behind that much-admired brand. Comedy podcasts tell funny stories.  Some radio talent may think that simply leaving the microphones on longer — what program directors won’t allow them to do — can make a good podcast. Even improv actors begin a scene with a story to tell.  Every great podcast starts with a great story, and there is no substitute.
2. Great Storytelling — Obvious, I know, but it’s exciting that this matters so much. Let’s face it: most radio has been reduced to fill-in-the-blank formats. “Insert call letters here.” I was so fortunate to be given license to create an original version of Classic Rock at 100.3 The Sound in Los Angeles. We had to, because there wasn’t a hole for a standard issue station. But even programming The Sound, I’d say 20% of my time was spent writing, figuring out how to tell the brand’s story. That’s a lot. In podcasting, the percentages are flipped, and I’m writing and creating 80% of the time. Malcolm Gladwell, Dan Carlin, Mark Ramsey, and Alex Blumberg spend hours and hours crafting their stories. Adam Carolla may sound spontaneous and work without notes, but a mind like his writes 24/7. Public radio people have generally been quicker to jump into podcasting partly because their bosses saw the opportunity, but also because they already tell stories for a living.
3. An Audience — Could a podcast be great without an audience? “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Madonna can’t sing, but she was an influential artist because of her ability to get attention. Does Kim Kardashian have any other talent? Throughout creative history, marketing has played a huge role in art and culture. Apple reports they have posted 550,000 podcasts. Not episodes, podcasts — most with many episodes. Cutting through the clutter is its own art form. We’d all love to have a big marketing budget, but that money would be wasted if your content isn’t compelling and easily shareable.

I have two podcasts going right now- “Podenstein’s Lab,” and “Road Muscle Radio.”  One appeals to my horror writing/publishing side, and the other appeals to my classic car side.  I co-host and do the studio mixing on them because I love the subject matter.  But I’m also creating relationships with our target audiences, and at least one of them, if not eventually both, will become radio shows along with podcasts.

But only if the content is compelling. Here’s to making that shine.

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