So what has made the podcast so successful and lead to so many thousands of downloads and subscribers? It boiled down to a few pretty simple things which I’ll outline for below.
Focus – we were very focused on what the podcast was supposed to achieve and its target audience. The idea is the podcast educates you on a particular topic of Internet Marketing in a practical and straight forward way. You can then go away and use this knowledge to either start doing some online marketing yourself or know enough to brief somebody else to do it for you.
Audience – We had a clear image of who the target audience was and recorded things aimed at them. We wanted to speak to small business owners and marketing managers who had responsibility for getting online marketing done within their business. We discuss a lot of the issues I come across everyday as a consultant and keep things practical.
Length – we never record an episode longer than about 40 mins, with 20 being the average. The logic is that people listen to the podcast when they are travelling – quite often commuting by car or train. Anything longer wouldn’t be convenient for the audience.
Style – The style is pretty relaxed and conversational. Andy generally plays dumb on a topic (I’m sure he knows most of the stuff we discuss already!) and we have a conversation on the topic of choice. The fact that Andy really does know what he’s talking about means he asks the right questions and gets to the heart of things pretty quickly. We don’t pre-script and we feel our way through 95% of the recording – a few bullet points is all that is really needed to make sure I don’t ramble off on a tangent. The conversational style means that its fairly easy listening and it feels ‘real’. This has lead to a lot of feedback from listeners as they feel we are approachable people. Feedback is a really important issue so you can shape future recordings and make sure you’re getting things right.
Regularity – we publish the podcast every month. It’s not a strict regime but we do try and get some new content out at least that regularly. This means you can maintain a flow of conversation and one recording can follow on from the previous one. It also keeps people interested and engaged enough to continue subscribing and not forget why they clicked that subscribe button in the first place.
Content and format development – The podcast is now quite different to how it started. Originally it was one podcast one topic. We now cover a couple of news items and often have an interview with somebody from the Internet Marketing world. This was a reaction to the whole world of podcasting developing and learning from our competitors. News moves fast in the world of online marketing, and an online discussion of these top news stories and giving an informed opinion can go down very well. We’ll continue to try new things and develop the format and continue reacting to listener input.
These are just a few of the thing we have found that have really helped make our podcast work. The key thing, like anything on the web, is create content that will be valuable to somebody. We will continue to develop our format and content and I’ll keep you posted with anything we learn along the way.
Have a listen on the podcast page for yourself and you can decide if we have deserved the popularity or not!