Audience-Building Lessons from 2020’s Strongest Podcasts


PodMov Daily: Monday, January 11

Episode 347: Your Monday Mix

Audience-Building Lessons from 2020’s Strongest Podcasts

What podcasting thought it knew about growth strategy went out the window last year. For James Griffin of Discover Pods, it “made sense to take a step back and glean a few lessons in audience building from the shows that got it right.” For many, experimentation and refocusing  proved to be the solution.

“Successful audience-building creators embraced imperfection, and audiences rewarded them for the transparency,” Griffin says. Across every genre, listeners were able to tell that hosts didn’t have the answers either. The podcasts that hit the right tone “were audio waypoints in a landscape devoid of landmarks.”

Overwhelmed listeners respond well to the contained style of mini-series. Lean into defined arcs, Griffin suggests. “Tight, siloed work that digs a bit deeper than a single episode or interview could provide. It gives you a chance to explore your passions, narrow your focus, and further define your show’s niche.”

Guest Feature: Host-Read Dynamic Ad Insertion

This Monday’s expert guest, True Native Media founder Heather Osgood, explains how dynamic insertion is more versatile than it sounds on the surface. Though podcasters “often presume that a dynamically inserted ad has to be pre-produced and sound like a radio ad,” there are few limits on content.

Classic, host-read spots can be dynamically inserted just as easily as other formats, Osgood says. They’re already “more effective for the advertiser and more enjoyable for the audience.” Podcasters using DAI can apply up-to-date messaging that reaches every listener, “even if they start on the first episode.”

Though the technology is mostly used for ads, it can be used to “modify and replace content, and even add a segment into your full catalog.” There’s no reason old episodes can’t be relevant, timely, and targeted. Osgood offers tips for finding an ideal hosting provider, navigating pricing, and more essentials. 

Top-Tier Podcast Bookings, Made Easy

High-impact podcast interviews start with connections. Guestio is a software marketplace that turns dream guests into real conversations. It’s an all-in-one platform that makes it easy to find, book, and manage top-tier guests. Simply discover, schedule, and pay — all on one dashboard.

From Manny Pacquiao to Jordan Harbinger, Guestio’s growing catalog is packed with audience-engaging talent. Quickly find ideal guests with categories and tags, and schedule interviews on your integrated booking calendar. Best of all, say hello to built-in messaging and bye to cluttered email chains.

Streamline your profile with a shareable press kit, complete with bio, headshots, and links. Not yet ready for paid engagements? A free account lets you optimize your bookings in the meantime. Guestio is currently in beta and looking for more creators like you to help test the product and provide real feedback.

Your podcast is your passion. Let Guestio help you make it outstanding.

Support and encouragement are found in the most unlikely places.

Here's what else is going on:

  • Power tools: Tomorrow at 12:00 CT, Hindenburg will host a free, live training for new podcasters. “In a Few Words: Framing Your Podcast” is a hands-on workshop that covers the medium’s essential forms, tools, and workflows. The 2.5-hour session wraps with a Q&A. Student materials here.
  • Step forward: “Podcasting tech has a race problem, and I have been part of it,” writes Headliner co-founder and CEO Neil Mody. The app recently switched to a photo library that represents people of color. “I should’ve set an example earlier that no one person or company is too small to set a standard.”
  • Big picture: Andy Mills, head audio producer of the discredited podcast Caliphate, is at the center of a consequential mess. The New York Times is facing criticism for its “hands-off treatment” of Mills, whose well-documented bad behavior prompted former employer Radiolab to speak out.
  • Plus minus: A venture capital firm that does not understand podcasting “believes that Apple should create a paid tier for its own podcast app called Podcasts+ as a way to bolster demand for its audio services.” As told to The Motley Fool, this would be to compete with free shows on Spotify. Hmm.

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