3 Marketing Lessons From Hosting A Music Podcast
I run a music blog called Monster Riff in the early hours of the morning, and I recently launched a companion podcast called Monster Riff Presents.
Let me make one thing clear: I’m not a professional podcaster.
This is simply something I’ve wanted to do since starting Monster Riff nearly two years ago. I had even started one version of the podcast with a friend right before COVID-19 hit the United States, but the pandemic cut our plans short.
Eventually, when I found a little more time on my hands, I decided to give it another go.
And although it’s been fun, it’s also been a learning experience. I’m a pretty good subject matter expert when it comes to the content on my blog, but now I’m contending with entirely new technology and programs.
It’s a humbling experience, to be honest, because I’ve been pulled out of my comfort zone of the written word.
As I’ve stood back and analyzed my performance on each episode to look for ways to improve (and I’ve done that quite a bit in the last few months), I’ve realized that many of these lessons are transferable into the marketing world.
Marketing Lessons From Podcasting
Here are a few lessons worth keeping in mind (for both podcasting and marketing in general):
1. Buy-in from community members is powerful.
My first episode was also my most popular—but not for the reasons you might think.
Looking bad, the audio was subpar (that’s an ongoing struggle without a professional setup) and my voice lacks any sort of energy. I’ve been told that it’s soothing, but it’s not really the sort of punch I want in my final product.
Instead, the first episode was the most popular simply because I hyped it up—and the community rallied around me (especially since I tagged the bands I discussed on social media).
The second two episodes showed their own flashes of promise in the listener category, and that’s because I pulled in guests. The second episode featured my wife. The third episode featured a band from Romania.
In each instance, my guests helped to pull new fans into my podcast, exposing it to new potential followers.
How it’s transferable: Partnering with community leaders, industry insiders, and other recognizable figureheads is a powerful way of borrowing their audience and exposing those individuals to your own brand (and its products and services).
For example, hosting an event with an industry partner can generate valuable leads for both of you—all while splitting the costs.
2. Learning as you go is better than never starting, but preliminary research is even more valuable.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve made mistakes in my podcasts.
And they’re never quite the quality that I want, no matter how hard I try.
Part of that is inexperience. Part of it is the lack of professional equipment. Much of it, though, is my own technical ignorance.
I’ve learned a lot about podcasting, and that’s helped me become a better podcaster.
But I learned the hard way, through trial and error (and researching when problems popped up).
A smarter path would have been to do all of my research beforehand. This was uncharted territory, after all, so I should have spent more time talking to the podcasting/recording experts in my network and even more time conducting my own research afterward.
That could have prevented some of my bumpy starts!
How it’s transferable: If you’re tackling a new marketing endeavor, it’s always worth researching as much as possible beforehand. If you’re expanding onto a new social media platform, research it as much as possible. If you’re picking out a new email marketing tool, research the field as much as possible. If you’re starting a blog, read up on what other successful bloggers are doing.
It’s difficult to quantify the value of preliminary research, but it’s easy to calculate how much time and energy is wasted on pulling out your hair when you and/or your team members have killed hours and hours on an unfruitful project!
3. Teamwork can inject extra energy into your marketing.
My second and third podcast episodes had much more energy in them because I had other people on the line recording with me. The simple act of conversation gave me more opportunities to show my personality, which made my delivery more personable (contrasting my subdued behavior in the first episode).
How it’s transferable: If you have people on your team or around the office, pull them in for parts of your marketing process—even if they don’t have any influence on the overall marketing strategy.
Their opinions alone can be valuable since they offer an alternative perspective, but simply batting some of your ideas around with them can be useful!
Oftentimes, more people can lead to more energy.
One of my favorite parts of marketing is that good marketing is closely tied to the human experience.
That means we can find examples of it—and inspiration for it—everywhere we look.
You just have to keep an open mind.