Ear Relevant

In podcasting, you’re either ear relevant, or irrelevant

Sometimes, I need to be reminded of the obvious. And sometimes I need to be reminded of Occam’s Razor, that it is often best to focus on the simplest or most obvious solution.

When I was talking with Matt Sutton at Facebook for a blog post, he said something so obvious and so simple and so logical that I had a “eureka!” moment and a “duh!” moment at the same time.

He said the marketing strategy for Facebook’s podcast is “to deliver relevant content to relevant audiences that are likely to be interested in it.” Throughout the interview, he used the word relevance many, many times.

He then said another thing that is really obvious — Facebook’s greatest strength is delivering extremely relevant content to people. By definition, the higher the relevance, the more you’re going to be interested in it. One of the reasons Facebook is so heavily used is that it delivers an unusually high degree of personal relevance compared to other types of platforms.

The Merriam Webster definition of “relevant”

So podcasts aren’t Facebook and we can’t use an algorithm to ensure our episodes are extremely relevant to each individual listener. However, there are a few of things we can do to increase relevance…

  1. Think about relevance! Just having relevance as a value will change the way you think about making your show.
  2. Get to know as much about your audience as you can. Who are they? Where are they? What unique traits do they have? The more of these questions you can answer, the better you will be able to serve them.
  3. Have empathy for your audience. Put yourself in their ears. Why are they listening to this podcast? How does this show help them or improve their lives? Think like a listener.
  4. Create episode-specific plans to increase relevance. This also comes from Matt, but it bears repeating — with each episode of your show, think about who will find that particular content or guest extra relevant. Then make sure you have a strategy to let those people know your episode exists.

So what’s the Occam’s Razor answer to how do I get more people to listen to my podcast? Make it more relevant for the people you’re trying to reach :-)

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