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Have Evergreen Podcasts Gone Out Of Season? [S3E111]
Episode 11114th April 2021 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:11:45

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Evo Terra:

"Stick to a format and a release schedule for your podcast!"

Evo Terra:

is the common refrain.

Evo Terra:

But consumption habits change throughout the year.

Evo Terra:

Are we sacrificing opportunity in the name of making evergreen content?

Evo Terra:

Hello, and welcome to another Podcast Pontifications with me, Evo Terra.

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Maybe we're wrong about evergreen content.

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People's habits change throughout the year, as I just said, at

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least for some things, right?

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I mean, consumerism, if you want to use that term, because that's what we live

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in every day, for a great many products and services is quite seasonal in nature.

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Now, commodities aren't greatly impacted by the seasons.

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I probably buy the same amount of paper towels and toilet paper, generally

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speaking, throughout the year.

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I don't - maybe a little bit more around the holidays, but

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most of the time it's the same.

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But for other goods, especially specialty goods and services, seasons affect us.

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So is your podcast a commodity or is it special?

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For years I've given the advice, as many of my fellow podcasting

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consultants and pundits have said before, make evergreen content.

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Wherever possible, make evergreen content.

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Don't mention dates if you can avoid it.

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Don't time block your show by saying things like "next month"

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or "last week," even though I violate that rule all the time.

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But such is life for the daily podcast, I suppose.

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But for the most part, many of us want to make timeless episodes.

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Google loves timeless episodes.

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And just the nature of on demand content that podcasting is, we don't

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know when someone's going to choose to download and listen or when they

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discover it, so we want to make it with as few date-based timestamps or

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maybe even speed bumps as possible.

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But I got to rethinking that recently, at least for some shows.

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At least for some shows because of that very real impact seasons have on us as

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consumers, which I previously mentioned.

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And podcast listeners are not immune to those same forces that impact them all

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day long during those seasonal changes.

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But if your podcast doesn't?

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Hmmm.

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So I'm rethinking this and I've got some recommendations, I think.

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And it's not, however, a one-size-fits-all examination or recommendation.

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It starts with an examination, which is where I was going, and that is to examine

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your show and see if seasonal consumerism plays a role in your audience's lives

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and the content you're relating with.

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It plays a role in everyone's lives.

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But the content they're consuming, is it also perhaps impacted

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by that seasonality for them?

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Now, you can't look at download stats to find out are more people listening

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in July than they are in January.

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No, that's not what I'm talking about.

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I mean look at the industry or the segment that your content is a part of and see

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if there is a natural seasonality to it.

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I'm going to give you two examples here.

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One's a very extreme example and the other ones are less so.

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The extreme example is the easy one.

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Let's say the podcast that you make is about a sports team or a

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specific sport in and of itself.

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Alright, if that's the case, you're probably already doing this.

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But for the rest, let me explain.

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You want to lean into that season.

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And I think you even want to adapt your episodes to fluctuate

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with that seasonal change.

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So yes, you should absolutely, during the season going on and playing games,

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you should absolutely talk about yesterday's game when that's happening.

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Absolutely.

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Or yesterday's games if it were.

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And then when the post-season comes around, switch up your episodes,

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switch up the way you produce an episode because it's post-season now.

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And then during the off-season, maybe you're doing deep-dives,

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profiles, if you will, on the players because it's off-season.

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And maybe even in the off-season, rethink your episode output.

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Maybe you're doing it every week during the real season, but in the

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off-season, do you need to do it weekly?

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Do you have to?

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I mean, you could, but people's attention are not quite as much on the sport then.

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And then when pre-season begins again, kick things back into high gear, get

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back on your regular release schedule.

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And if you do it that way, think about all of those episodes that you

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did, think about packaging up those episodes into that season and then

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really making a season out of your podcast, as well, that follows that

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sports team or that sport season.

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That becomes a very cool time capsule for true fans who want to say what happened

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in 2016 with this particular team?

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You've got it all sized up there.

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That's the extreme example.

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Let's do the base, the much, much less extreme example.

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What about a particular city?

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Or maybe that's what your podcast covers.

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I used to be the host of the Bangkok Podcast.

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We covered Bangkok.

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We kept our content pretty evergreen.

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Maybe we shouldn't have.

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Maybe we should have changed that up based on the travel that comes into

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this very big travel destination city.

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Or maybe around certain events when a city is buzzing and that's

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what everything is all about.

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We could have talked about what's happening right now with the weather,

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because Bangkok has seasons, weird seasons, hot season and the wet season.

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And there's also a quieter part when people are leaving town and stuff.

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We could talk more about these things or even cover what happens in your

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town when the tourists aren't there.

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Again, that's leaning into the seasons and actually modifying your content

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to fit where they actually live.

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I said I was gonna give you two examples.

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I decided I'm gonna give you three because those are really kind of extreme.

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I think even your show possibly might be more subtly impacted

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by seasons than you think.

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Like, if you're doing a personal finance show and you're not

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talking about the tax season?

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Hmm.

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Or you've got a family-friendly or even a family-focused show, and you're

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not covering back-to-school issues?

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I don't mean shopping, I just mean the changes in people's lives

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around back-to-school, wherever back-to-school is, or whenever

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back-to-school is for them.

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See, shows like this that are influenced by, but not dominated by a season, a more

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subtle approach is required for those.

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And this is where very cool dynamic content insertion, that most podcast

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platforms are jumping on board with right now, can really come into play.

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You can drop in those seasonal things and then take them out when that season is

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over without impacting your main content.

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Or maybe you are producing full episodes that lean into that season

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that are designed to be short-lived and will actually disappear from your

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feed after a certain period of time.

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Maybe you relegate them to a bonus content section on your website

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or something only members have.

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I don't know.

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But I think we need to rethink this one-size-fits-all approach and demand

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that we all use evergreen content.

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Because seasons and the way seasons impact our listeners

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could have an impact on our show.

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It might be a good way to start.

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And I think this certainly starts by you deciding whether or not you're

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really making evergreen content or not, and whether or not you should be.

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Now, that's a question that might be very hard for you to answer.

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So once again, I encourage you to check in with your peers.

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Send them this episode.

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See what they think about the idea of re-seasoning for some of the reasons

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I talked about here, and share ideas and opinions about each other's shows.

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Maybe there's something you could do here as well.

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Now, if you love this idea, please then consider going to

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buymeacoffee.com/evoterra and buying me a coffee because coffee is always

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in season - ice coffee, hot coffee.

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Doesn't matter.

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Anyhow, I'm getting off topic.

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So that is it.

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I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.