Podcasting Is Alive and Well
Bob Knorpp is a podcasting legend and pioneer. His weekly podcast The BeanCast is the “definitive conversation on trends that impact your brand.” So when did he start? “Right after Chris Brogan proclaimed that podcasting was dead.” That was back in 2008.
At the time, podcasting was in a definitive downtrend, and Bob decided he was going to do it and get it right. He’s now going on his 7th year of 50 shows per year.
“I didn’t expect people to listen to it,” he says. “My first show was listened to by about 50 people. Now, I’m serving 70,000 shows a month. It’s reaching a heck of a lot more people at this point, and it’s become a property and an entity unto itself.”
The secret to his success is that the podcast can’t just be about information; you have to provide a certain measure of entertainment value to your listener, as well. Bob says that podcasters tend to “forget that the reason that people listen to podcasts is because they want to be entertained.”
For the BeanCast, this has meant bringing together 4 rotating panelists every week to apply some serious brainpower to the marketing trends and news of the week. Bob knows it’s working because he himself learns so much from the podcast every week. “It is the single most valuable resource that I have each week for understanding where the industry is moving,” so he can confidently proclaim its value to his listeners.
An Engine that Feeds Everything
There’s a bit of conventional wisdom that says podcasts should be short, like people’s attention spans, but the BeanCast (and, in fact, the Social Pros Podcast) is typically 45 to 60 minutes.
Bob says his listeners want depth. “People who say that your podcast should be shorter are talking about people who don’t listen to podcasts.” He’s had experience with people telling him to keep it shorter, but then they get hooked on the information, start listening regularly, and end up loving the format.
A true podcast audience invests in the show. It’s important to distinguish podcasts, therefore, from other audio content. Someone who wants to hear a three-minute clip is not the same type of audience member who invests in listening to a weekly show. The listener investing only a few minutes is doing so through discovery and has a different relationship to the content. It’s not that shorter audio content isn’t valuable; it can have tremendous value. But it’s important to keep in mind the different audiences for podcasting versus short-form audio content.
Whatever content you’re creating, it has to work together in symphony. “My show would not be as popular as it is without my Twitter presence, without my Facebook presence, without the conversations that I’ve created via articles that I post on Ad Age. These things all work symbiotically together. You can’t just do the one thing. You have to put together an engine, if you will, that feeds everything.”
Social Media Number of the Week: 70
The US’s Transportation Security Administration has announced that it will be asking passengers to turn on their electronic devices in screenings, especially on incoming international flights. Uncharged electronics that can’t turn on will not be allowed on the plane.
Jeff timed his work laptop, and it takes 70 seconds to boot up. And for those of us carrying a dead iPhone or Kindle, we might have to sit on the side and charge it until it can turn on before the TSA lets us through security.
These updated security measures don’t make Jeff feel any safer, especially when most of them are only created in a state of reaction rather than proaction. And if everyone has to spend 70 seconds booting up their laptops, the TSA lines are about to get a lot longer.
Having been off the radar for many years, Cracker Jack is returning to the advertising and marketing fray with a social campaign called “The Surprise Inside Project.” Participants in the contest submit ideas for creative surprises under $20 for their friends and family. 200 winners will receive their surprise in a Cracker Jack box and are encouraged to take to social media to share their experience with the hashtag #CJSurprise.
Historically, a relaunch of a well-known brand would come in the form of a major advertising campaign. In this case, though, Cracker Jack is going social with it.
The great thing about this campaign is that it fits so well with the brand. Lots of brands sell caramel corn, but the differentiating factor for Cracker Jack is the prize inside. They’ve taken that differentiator and run with it for a fun campaign that will hopefully gain them a lot of traction.
See you next week!