Our key takeaways from The Podcast Show, London
Both Jules and Suzie were at The Podcast Show 2023 in London. Here's their chat where their digest and debate their three takeaways (each). So you’ll get 6 things to takeaway this week!
Here are the top picks from Jules:
1. What can we learn from the YouTubers. The onward march of video into the podcasting space and the increasing presence of YouTube was evident at the event with some big YouTubers (and their managers) there. They spoke about how they create content, how they focus on some of the tiny details and the cross over between creating a podcast and creating a show. One described YouTube as the cornerstone of the creator economy, as it's the place where you can actually make money from your content.
2. The AI tools for podcast content reformatting will make your life easier. They allow you to upload your audio podcast. From that a transcript, a blog post and social media shareables will be created. Two apps that we're keeping an eye on are Capsho and CastMagic. We'll try these out and report back in due course.
3. The importance of packaging and branding your content. Whilst content creators with a team of designers, videographers and producers behind them obviously have the upper hand here, small independent podcasters can benefit from having a consistent brand and content that's packaged across different channels (website, podcast, social media). This links to my two earlier points above.
Here are the top picks from Suzie:
1. Make a podcast not a ‘have to do’… it needs more thought. This was what Holly Tucker MBE - founder of Not on the High Street and presenter of Conversations of Inspiration She says don’t think of creating a podcast as a tick box exercise for your business - you can’t build a podcast because you need to, instead ask yourself what are you trying to change, who can you help, what is the mission?
2. Growing your podcast and reaching an audience. This was a talk with Carver PR and journalist Miranda Sawyer. Don’t underestimate niche communities- specialist magazines and podcasts - where are your adjacent audiences? If you know your audience demographic you can target them- but break out of the echo chamber- where else is your audience? and look local, share your story (and your mission) with local press and radio.
3. Keep it fun- that was the message from The News Agents team. If you're creating a podcast you have to make it fun. You can’t argue that Emily Maitlis, Jon Sopel and Lewis Goodall have fun on that show- which is now one of the biggest podcasts in the UK (and they revealed will shortly have a News Agents USA spin off to tie in with the US elections run up) Presenter Emily Maitlis also said regarding the stories you decide to cover (whatever your podcast may be about) ask yourself would I click on that? This should be your only deciding factor on what you run.
Jules: Hi, welcome to "Podcasting in Three Easy Steps." It's me, Jules.
Suzie: Hi, it's me, Suzie. Hi.
Jules: It's a joint effort this week, and we've teamed up to talk about the podcast show which took place in London last week. Suzie, how did you find the show?
Suzie: Well, in our previous episode, I talked about feeling completely overwhelmed last year by the number of people and talks available. I was more prepared for it this year. It was still full-on, wasn't it? There was loads to see and do, some brilliant talks on offer. But yeah, it's exhausting, Jules. How did you find it?
Jules: Overwhelming is definitely the word I would use to describe it. It was a brilliant event, bigger and better than last year. But it was very overwhelming because of the noise and the crowd. It felt much busier than last year, and there were lots of people we both knew. Seeing people from different parts of my career was quite overwhelming. It was good but overwhelming.
Suzie: I think you really need to have a real focus when you go to events like that. I followed my own advice and went through the program beforehand, choosing a few talks to attend. Otherwise, you end up feeling completely bamboozled by the information and talks. One thing that struck me was the big stage for Sky News this year. It made me realize that podcasting is still an area of growth. If you haven't started a podcast, there's still time to get in there. The big players like Sky and the BBC are putting lots of money into it. But there's also pressure on independent podcasters to compete with these massive companies that have more resources. The focus is on video, and I see you nodding there, Jules, so you know what I mean.
Jules: Yes, I'll come to video in a minute. But there were big players like the BBC, Sky News, Spotify, and Amazon at the show. And then there were independent producers and distribution platforms that are quite big. And below that, you have the independent creators. It was great to see what the big companies are doing, but also great to hear from the smaller creators.
Suzie: That's what I would have liked to see more of. Some other independent podcast creators I met also wanted to see more people like them. They wanted talks from independent creators and workshops to help them with things like choosing music or writing an introduction. It would be a really good thing to do.
Jules: Absolutely. It felt like there were just too many things to go to. At one point, there were four talks I wanted to attend, and I was torn between them. It was good, but it was long. I'm interested to see what happens next year. The venue felt a bit squeezed this year, so it might be ready for an upgrade. But we'll wait and see. Today, we really want to talk about the takeaways from the podcast show. So we've each picked three to discuss. Do you want to go first with your number one?
Suzie: Sure. My first takeaway is from a talk by Holly Tucker, the founder of "Not on the High Street," who did a session with Spencer Matthews. She said something that really struck me. She talked about podcasts as a way to create a community and build a network. She said creating a podcast should not be a tick box for a business. You need to ask yourself, what are you trying to change? Who are you trying to help? What is the mission? I thought that was brilliant.
Jules: So the next one for me is creating content is really time-consuming. If you create a podcast, that is quite a big chunk of time that you'll need to dedicate to doing that. And then if you need to create content to help promote the podcast, it can be exhausting, as we well know. We're always looking for ways to improve the process, to speed it up, to simplify it. And now there are some really interesting tools coming on the market. The two that I'm going to mention, I didn't speak to them at the show, but they look like they're doing a really good job. They might not be perfect at the moment, but we will be trying them out. Our picks are "Descript" and "Headliner." What these tools do is you put your audio, your podcast into them, and then they will create a clean transcript. That means basically a transcript that makes sense, gets rid of some of the "ums" and "uhs" and words that shouldn't be there. They will create a blog post. They will create social media content, such as carousel posts with key quotes for LinkedIn and Instagram. So they're doing some really interesting stuff, and they should hugely cut down the time it takes to reformat your content from a podcast. So yeah, I'm really excited about those, and we'll be trying them out.
Suzie: And that helps independent podcasters hugely where you don't have a social media team for podcasts. That's brilliant. And talking about that, I went to a talk with Carver PR, who are a massive PR company run by Meghan Carver. She looks after some massive podcasts. And this is all about growing your podcast and using PR to do that. So one thing she said was you need to know your audience's demographic so you can target them. Really think about who they are, where they're going, break out of the echo chamber that they're in. So who else is also in that audience or your potential audience? Think about those people as well. You need to have a think about where their interests lie. And one of the things that she said, which I thought was absolutely brilliant, was don't underestimate those niche communities, those specialist magazines and podcasts where your adjacent audiences are. Really think about whatever podcasts you've got, think about where those people are also listening or looking for information about whatever your podcast subject is. The other thing she said was about local, so thinking about local radio, local papers, what's your story and how you can put it across. It's all about kind of growing your audience. So really thinking of this holistic view of your podcast and your audience. And yeah, I just thought that was really interesting.
Jules: So my third takeaway, I have probably about ten further ones which we may come on to in another episode. But the third one of the third takeaways which was relevant to both AI and video and YouTube is the idea of branding and packaging and having consistent branding across different social media platforms. Some of the YouTube people were talking about how they spent ages deciding or designing a thumbnail. Now, these teams are content creators with a ton of stuff, but I think we can learn a little bit from them. If you're doing a video, have the same background. Have a nice background behind you, have your lighting set up right, have something set up that you can easily create content from, and make sure it's consistent with your branding, your website, your podcast, your YouTube channel if you have one, your Instagram channel. Make sure there's really good packaging and branding that is consistent across all of those different places. I just thought that there's quite a lot we can learn from how they are creating content and how they're looking at things very differently from how we are and how they are writing titles for their videos. I thought it was really interesting and very much of it translates to podcasting. But obviously, you've got to do what you can within the time and the resources that you have. And that's where I think the AI tools will potentially come in to make your life a bit easier.
Suzie: And I guess with all these things, it's kind of the end goal, isn't it? It doesn't have to be where you start right now. It's actually, let's have an eye on that and think about it. Okay, my final one. I went to the news agents' podcast chat, so that is probably the biggest podcast at the moment in the UK. It's backed by Global, Emily Maitlis and John Stapleton. Fronted, and Emily Maitlis said something that I thought was really interesting. She said, on the stories that you choose to cover, they were talking about news, but we can relate this to anything. If it's a podcast about marketing or whatever it is, on the stories you choose, the only metric that you should use is, would I click on that? And I thought that was really good because it's quite easy to just get into this churn mode with podcasts of, I need to get this one out, I need to get this one out. But really question yourself, would I click on that? And I'm going to enter this one, and this was from the producer of the news agents' podcast. So remember that they've gone from zero to, I think they said, 13 million listens on their podcast. It's huge. And it's a massively successful show. Yes, it's massive. And Dino Sophos, who is the producer, said the main thing is that podcasts have got to be fun to make. I think that's something that we all try, isn't it? If you're not having fun while you're doing it, and when you're not having fun, you're not going to do it. So your podcast is just going to disappear with a load of others. Yeah, think about how you make it fun. Obviously, there's so much more we could do like 15 episodes on this from the podcast show, and I'm sure we'll revisit some of the topics at a later date, but yeah, we've got to keep it fun. We've got to keep an eye on the future. The industry is still growing. There's still room for you. Think about your niche. And I guess kind of consider some of the things we've maybe talked about today. Is there anything that you want to mention, Jules, that you're overall feeling towards podcasts having come to the show? Did you feel inspired?
Jules: I definitely felt inspired, but I think ending on "keep it fun" is probably the most important thing because you'll just get so tired of it if it's not fun. And that's one of the absolute pleasures of making a podcast, keeping it fun. So I think that's a brilliant point to end on.
Suzie: Brilliant. So thank you for listening, and we have to let you know our podcast has now been in the top 10 charts, which is an amazing thing. So thanks for subscribing and listening. And please hit subscribe so you don't miss any other episodes. And please share this with somebody who you know.
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