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Getting Your Podcast To Go Viral: A Healthy Move? [S3E121]
Episode 1214th May 2021 • Podcast Pontifications • Evo Terra
00:00:00 00:11:54

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Evo Terra:

As social media starts to warm up to podcasting, podcasters are

Evo Terra:

excited at the prospect of "going viral."

Evo Terra:

But will we just be chasing vanity metrics?

Evo Terra:

Or is this a real chance for meaningful show growth?

Evo Terra:

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

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Social media hates audio.

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We all know this.

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You cannot, I cannot, no one can upload an audio file to any

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social platform that matters.

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Not Facebook, not Twitter, not LinkedIn, or the others.

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Audio only - cannot.

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So instead we make these short video clips where we pull the

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best clips of our content.

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Perhaps we put some static images in there.

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Maybe we have some motion graphics going along with the little wave file in there.

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And that's how we share our audio content on social media.

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And so far it's pretty meh generally speaking.

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But soon Facebook, specifically, is going to end its prohibition of audio - yay!

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- allowing podcasters like you and me and anybody else, really, to

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share full episodes of podcasts.

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Hooray!

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Also, they're going to let us publishers of podcasts actually publish straight

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to Facebook, just like we publish to any other platform that is out there.

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We don't know what the share is going to look like.

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It's probably just an audio player because they've been getting heavily

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in bed with the Spotify on that and Spotify wants branding of their player.

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But we don't know.

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Will episode details display inside of that social share?

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I don't know.

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What visual aspects will it have?

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Is it pulling the episode artwork?

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Dunno.

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We have no idea about any of these things until we actually see them.

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But none of that matters because we're all enamored with the idea that this is

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finally the time when audio can go viral.

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That thing that social media is great at doing, we're finally

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going to be the recipients of.

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Hooray!

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And if our show, if the episodes we share socially or that are shared

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socially for us, in getting those things to go viral, then maybe, finally,

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podcasters might be able to grow their audience of the actual show and not

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just grow the number of followers for that particular social platform.

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Maybe.

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That's the promise.

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But to me, rather than speculate too much about that, 'cause I love to

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speculate, I think it's - this is going to market big change in how

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we podcasters think about success.

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And when we start thinking about success differently, that will in

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turn change how we make our podcast episodes to optimize for that success.

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Here's what I mean.

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There are soon going to be at least three different audiences, one of the least,

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but primarily three different audiences, each wanting something slightly different

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from you in the episodes you produce.

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Number one is the audience I'm going to start paying much more attention to

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when I come back for season four of this back in July - paying members, people

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who have given money to get content, to support content, to whatever reason.

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Paying members.

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Because for them, their motivation is - well, look, I want to make

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content for them that makes them want to pay, want them to see the

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value in the episodes that I make.

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It's a very small segment, alright?

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Single digit percentage points are all we're getting for paying

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members, but they have their own idea of what a worthy episode is.

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So that's number one.

Evo Terra:

First audience.

Second audience:

the general public, people who are not paying members,

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maybe never will be paying members, maybe they're subscribers or followers

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in various podcast applications.

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Sure.

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But these people who just listen to the show because they

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want to listen to the show.

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Now for them, I want to make sure I'm putting out a show that they

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don't just download, but they actually listen to all the way.

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I'm looking at the completion rates inside of the various podcast portals, at

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least the ones I can get into right now.

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The third, and the new one, will be these viral spreaders.

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These viral spreaders will look at my episodes differently

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than the other two audiences.

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They may not judge them worthy of paying for.

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They may not even judge them worthy of listening all the way through,

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but for some reason, they find them worthy of sharing socially.

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Making it go viral, hopefully, is the idea.

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And again, all three of those are the person - they're doing the

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thing they're doing, they're paying because they think it's worthy.

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They're listening all the way through because they find it compelling.

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They're virally, or at least socially, sharing because

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they feel it works for them.

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Those are all different audiences for different reasons.

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And if we optimize for one, we might negatively impact the reason the other

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two audiences exist for our content.

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I might jeopardize my paying members by shortening episodes.

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Well, I couldn't get much shorter, but I could certainly by decreasing

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the number of shows I output.

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If I can analyze the paying members that say I'm giving

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too much content, maybe I will.

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I will lower that.

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Hmmm.

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To keep paying members up and happy.

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I'm not sure that would actually work, right?

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Maybe it gets my completion rate to go up.

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Maybe that's why my completion rate is down.

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I'm putting out too much content.

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Okay.

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Maybe I did that, but if I'm jeopardizing my paying members?

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Eh, that's not a good idea.

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However, maybe it is a good idea because who knows, maybe there are more people

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out there who'd be willing to pay that aren't knowing enough about it.

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Maybe I figure out what's going to get viral attention.

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Because I'm going to analyze the episodes that get shared socially,

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and I'm going to do more of that.

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But then memberships say that's not what we really wanted.

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Yeah, you're going viral, you're saying the weird dumb things

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because that's what other people do, but now the content's not there.

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I'm going to drop paying.

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But maybe those members who are going to drop, maybe it causes

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downloads suddenly to soar.

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And now maybe there's an advertising opportunity that is much larger

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than the membership portal.

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These are all crazy speculations.

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We don't know what's going to happen, how we podcasters are going to react when we

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now have the social audience to appeal to.

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They're going to want probably different things than our general

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audience and also our paying members.

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Quite a conundrum.

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And also pure speculation.

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We don't know what's going to happen when we go viral, but it's going

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to be a fun time, once again, as we redefine what's happening in podcasting.

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Now when this - you need to get prepared for social because we don't

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know what it's going to mean, but we can all get prepared for it right now.

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We know we can publish to Facebook.

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So making our show pages and other sorts of things, getting ready for that.

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Great.

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We can be ready for that stuff.

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You can also talk amongst your peers.

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How are they preparing themselves?

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Share this episode with them if you would like.

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Find out what they're doing to get ready for this and how much attention

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and, I guess, worth they're putting on the virality factor because we're

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all doing it a little bit differently.

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And if this made you think about things differently, I would certainly

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appreciate it if you would go to buymeacoffee.com/EvoTerra and sign

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up for a membership because very soon I'm going to be announcing

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some new things for members only.

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I mean, buying me a coffee once is great.

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Please, if you want to do that, knock yourself out.

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But I would like for you to consider doing a membership, which is also

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super cheap because I'm going to roll that into the new stuff that's coming

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out in a couple of months or so.

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So, yeah.

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Think about doing that.

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Regardless, that is it.

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Enjoy the rest of your day.

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I shall be back tomorrow with yet another Podcast Pontifications.