Ever see a podcast that lost you immediately? How many seconds did it take for you to click away? The main secret to an engaging podcast is passion. Wait. I’ll add one more. Know your audience.
Not romance. And not run-of-the-mill “I’ve been passionate about xyz since the age of 5 when I built my first widget.” Everyone says that. Know your subject. Be passionate about it. Even if it’s a dry topic. If you’re passionate about it and you’re speaking to be people who are passionate about it; they will be engaged.
Think about Mythbusters. Essentially, it’s a show about physics. The geeks on that show are so excited about their subject that you can’t help but get wrapped up into how high the water heater will shoot when it explodes. As a former engineer, I tend to think of the show as engineering-lite, but it’s still awesome.
Know Your Audience
I had trouble with this one for a long time. I didn’t want to turn anyone off by being too opinionated nor too personal. So I produced bland. Bland, bland, bland. And no one cared. No one tuned in.
Are you talking to technical people? Then don’t water it down. Use all the appropriate technical jargon so that it provides real value and they will tell all their colleagues about the wealth of information on your site. Realize that less technical people will not watch your content, but embrace it. Get really into your subject with incredible detail.
Are you talking to newbies? Stay away from acronyms. You’re assuming they know what you’re talking about. Realize viewers more well versed on the subject are going to pass on your podcast. Again, embrace it.
As long as you know your audience, you can produce rich content tailored just for them.
It’s ok if people don’t like you. Either they’ll get so annoyed that they’ll go away, or they’ll get so annoyed that they want to see what idiotic thing you say next.
So, now that I’ve said all this, it’s making me want to reshoot every podcast I’m working on. I’m currently editing a podcast about why to purchase a wedding video. My co-founder Mike storyboarded and shot the video. After cutting it together, I realized that it was way to long (about 5 minutes). Knowing that my audience is 20-something brides, I’m going to lose them at about the 2 minute mark. So, it’s back to Final Cut for me – and our podcast.
Helping brides create their own wedding videos is something we are quite passionate about. Not having our own wedding video was the motivating factor in launching a startup to provide affordable DIY wedding videos to all brides. We have no trouble demonstrating to them the pain of celebrating your wedding anniversary without video of your first dance… without video of your Grandma’s last event before her death… without video of you dancing on the table with a centerpiece on your head. That’s passion.
In the meantime, here’s an example of failure to know your audience. It’s not a podcast but it’s a great example nonetheless.
So, here’s what gets to me about this video. Who is their target audience? Chicks who talk like idiot males? Or, emasculated males cowering behind their overlord wives? I can’t see much of an audience. However, this commercial pissed me off enough to forward to plenty of friends. Who knows? Maybe one of them will buy a Snapper mower.