We are seeing a new movement in media and a lot of you have been working so hard to keep up or stay modern, that you forgot to put a plan in place. You know I am always about the plan, so let's talk about that. My business podcast, WTFFF?! 3D Printing, will hit the 500 episode mark next month and has been so successful building our brand that we have started two more. We have 100,000 loyal listeners, and it really drives qualified clients to us and converts into revenue. But I didn't get there overnight, so I wanted to break out some of the most nitty-gritty tidbits that I wish I had known when I started.
I brought in Jennifer Spencer, founder of Authority Life, a digital branding agency, along for the ride, as we decipher the new terms, what works, and what is worth your time by answering the most important questions. So let's get started.
What is this new media movement?
There are continually growing new mediums of connecting engaging audiences. They aren't brand new, but they are new enough that we are still running data metrics to understand what works. These new mediums include podcasting, live streaming, and videocasting.
What is a micro influencer?
A micro influencer is a small scale niche personality who is an expert and promotes brands in the area of their expertise. We are learning that micro influencers are much more effective than large-scale influencers based on engagement and audience follow-through. Generally micro influencers have anywhere from 500-50,000 followers who are highly engaged. Engagement is the real measure, not conversion.
Why is there such a strong connection between the two?
"In terms of micro influencers and why that's really big right now, it's a really great way to engage on a deeper level and build a loyal audience with listeners," says Jennifer, whose agency helps pair up podcast hosts with potential featured guest/influencers among many other brand building services. Podcasting and streaming feels warmer and more comfy, it's engaging, and we can see this in the numbers.
Is There A Blueprint to Follow?
The audience converts when the model is right. Not the old school podcast or social media influencers model of bring on the entrepreneurs and celebrities to make loads of passive income from advertising while we simultaneously alienate our audience with the same content as everyone else. The guest influencer has to be right, the flow has to be organic, and the content has to be original, authentic to you and your brand and tailored to the audience.
How do you get guests to spread the word?
Jennifer echoed something I found early on with my blog, and that is that oftentimes guests will do the show and then you never hear from them. It seems you have to start the process of engagement prior to the show, with your guest influencer.
Incentivize the process of sharing and promoting so your guests want to share. I like to call this the 'ego bait' where you say something so flattering about your guest, they can't help but share with everyone they know. Also, make it easy. Have the posts, images, taglines, hashtags, etc... all ready to go. A lot of these bigger online names have no team, they are a one-(wo)man-band and they might not have the time or the tech skills to promote like you're hoping so you have to make it easy for them.
What does a Brand Authority Builder look for in a podcast?
Before Jennifer recommends a show to a client, she listens to a lot of the episodes for both content and audio quality. She is also listening for the conversational qualities throughout the show, because scripted, same question, repetitive shows lull people to sleep. Scripted podcasts are less engaging and it shows in the numbers of listeners and conversions.
Authentic, meaningful conversations beat a script any day. And if the host can't conversate in this way, Jennifer will move onto the next. If she settles on a podcast, she makes sure the host and guest will work together to share the content and engage the audience after the episode goes live, by laying out clear expectations or goals before anything happens.
Bottom Line: Engagement matters most. A smaller more niche audience with more engagement is better than a large, laissez faire audience.
Pro Tip: We've all seen the experts who are now coaching - thank you pushy Facebook Ads! If a business switches from talking about their trade to only trying to help you or train you to talk about yours, this switch usually means whatever they were doing wasn't working... steer clear!