My Biggest Takeaways From Podcast Movement

My MuggleCast co-hosts and I attended Podcast Movement in Orlando, Florida last month. It was the first time I’ve been to a podcasting conference and I’m really glad I went.

One issue with the Work From Home life is that you easily end up isolated from others in your industry, so I enjoyed meeting the people behind the podcasting companies, and fellow podcasters, who I’ve known for so long (Including my podcast idol, Leo Laporte).

My biggest takeaway from Podcast Movement 2019 was that we are not alone. The issues me and my fellow co-hosts deal with are faced by everyone (“Sometimes I just need to get up and grab a glass of wine,” one podcast editor said at her panel). It’s always nice to know that you’re in this fight with other people!

I thought I’d share a few of my biggest takeaways from Podcast Movement:

1) Spotify and Google want to build good relationships with podcasters: Both companies had a heavy presence at Podcast Movement. Spotify even had a booth with free coffee and t-shirts. People from their podcasting arms were on-hand to answer questions and demo their podcasting products. Noticeably absent? Apple, who owns the most popular podcast app. The impression that gives me is that at the moment they’re not interested in relationships with podcasters.

2) Pay attention to what Google is up to: They recently announced that podcasts would be appearing within SERPs (short for “Search Engine Result Pages”) if the user includes ‘podcast’ with their query. This is big news, because the world’s biggest search engine is making it easier for users to discover podcasts. Right now it’s difficult to organically discover a podcast (Spotify and Apple aren’t a lot of help there), but this SERP update from Google may change the game.

Also important: Google says they’ll eventually drop the need to include ‘podcast’ in the search query. So for example, in the future someone might see MuggleCast when they simply search for “Harry Potter” or a related topic. Google indexes podcasts by creating their own transcripts (which we cannot access), and analyzing the release dates, titles, and shownotes.

3) Podcast swap: The podcasting industry is relatively new, and because of that the process for growing a podcast is evolving. There are few tried-and-true tactics for growing a show. However, everyone agreed that swapping appearances on podcasts was the best way to introduce your show to new listeners. No one liked the idea of buying ads on Facebook, Twitter etc. because the ads don’t resonate with listeners. The best thing you can do is appear on a podcast they already listen to so they can get a sense of your personality.

4) When promoting your show on social media, quote cards are more effective than audio grams: Speaking on a marketing panel, a employee of NPR’s podcasting division said that their quote cards — that is, a social media post with a snappy quote from an episode — gets more engagement than their audio clips do. This is because the follower can quickly read the quote, give it a double tap, and move on. On the other hand, audio grams require a bit of a time commitment. In light of this, the MuggleCast and #Millennial social channels will begin featuring a quote card.

My fellow podcasters and I took a ton of notes during all of the panels we attended, then met at the end of each day to review and decide which we’d apply to our shows. It was a very productive week, and we’re excited to implement what we learned.

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