Learning from podcast analytics, with Jay Nachlis

Podcasting is a creative endeavor, but there’s a lot of data that can help you grow and improve your podcast. In this episode, Jason and Cee Cee talk with Jay Nachlis, associate consultant and marketing director at Coleman Insights, about what they’re learning through strategic research to help podcasters create better content.

Jay Nachlis Coleman Insights Earfluence Podcast

 

Transcript

Jason: Welcome to the Earfluence Podcast, which is a podcast about podcasting from a podcast production company. I’m your host, Jason Gillikin, CEO of Earfluence. And with me as always is Cee Cee Huffman, Swiss army knife at Earfluence. What is going on, Cee Cee?

Cee Cee: Eh, everything’s good. It’s a bit damp outside, a bit moist, some might say. 

Jason: We are going through Hurricane Elsa. If you’re hearing a rain, hopefully you don’t, but if you hear any rain, you’ll know why.

Cee Cee: It’s kind of like ASMR. It’s rainy. 

Jason: Well, Cee Cee one thing that’s super exciting, and we have a guest today, Jay Nachlis, we’ll bring him on in just a second from Coleman Insights. Super excited to talk to him about some of the things that they’re learning about podcasters and podcasting in general and listening and all that stuff. 

But one thing that I want to talk to you about real quickly is we are launching a new podcast with six episodes. By the time this comes out, maybe 6, 7, 8 episodes will be out. But talk about that. You’ve been super involved with this. So, talk about the new podcast.

Cee Cee: Unstoppable with Cynthia Barnes. Cynthia, and I have really become besties throughout this. We planned on yeah, she’s going on a conference and we’re going to get drinks whenever she comes back from her conference, and it’s been just so great working with her. 

She’s like such a lovely human being, and she’s so smart. She has this dream of being the Oprah Winfrey of female sales reps, and honestly, she can do it. She can quite literally do anything that she wants, and I absolutely admire that about her so much. And I don’t, I am not a sales professional. I have no intention of ever being a sales professional, but I do love listening to her show. 

Jason: I always leave the recordings wanting more, like give me more, Cynthia. She is so infectious, and she talks about being the number one sales person. 

Cee Cee: Yeah, by the end of the year. 

Jason: She really could. 

Cee Cee: She, like I said, she can quite literally do anything she wants.

Jason: Yeah. Yeah. So, I’m very excited to launch that one. if you’re listening to this and you want to be infected by somebody’s amazing personality as well, 

Cee Cee: Yeah. She’ll make you feel loved even though you’re just listening to her. 

Jason: She will. Whether you are in sales or not go listen to Unstoppable with Cynthia Barnes.

Cee Cee: Absolutely. I think that was a great pitch. I think she’ll be proud of that sales pitch. 

Jason: Thank you. We gave a call to action, we asked for the business. All right, well, let’s talk about listenership and insights and all those things because we have a guest today. Coming into the studio is Jay Nachlis from Coleman Research Group. Jay, what is going on today? 

Jay: Great to be here. Anything for the show, weathering the storm. 

Jason: That’s right. That’s right. Oh, I meant to say, and with Hurricane Elsa, we’ve also got Jay coming in like a hurricane to the podcast studio.

So, Jay, you are a media research consultant at Coleman Insights. Is it Coleman Insights, Coleman Research Group? 

Jay: You know, it’s funny, it used to be called Coleman Research. And then we did some research on ourselves.

It’s true story. And we changed the name to Coleman Insights because it was really more about what we do, we provide insights. And the real irony about all of that is there is a Coleman Research located here in the triangle that’s like a medical research thing. So, it’s way confusing, but fortunately within the media world, we’ve been around since the late seventies and they know us now as Coleman Insights. It’s been awhile we’ve been Coleman Insights. 

Jason: Oh, wow, okay. And you’ve been in the media realm for a long time here. So, you, if I remember right, were in radio before getting into research and podcasts, correct?

Jay: I started in radio when I was 15. Yeah, as an intern at a top 40 station in San Francisco and then bounced around the country. You know, went to Syracuse for school, worked in radio there, and I was in Detroit and Buffalo.

And then I got to Raleigh in 2003. I programmed 96 Rock here for many, many years, and then moved over to, Coleman almost four years ago.

Jason: Wow, okay. So, give us a radio story. Like what’s, who’s an interesting guest that came through, or what’s a story from your radio time? 

Jay: Oh gosh, there’s a million of them. How about the time that I met Prince?

Cee Cee: Yeah, please. 

Jason: Yes, let’s hear it. 

Jay: Okay. So, Prince is one of my heroes, I just love Prince and so, I mean, when you hear, when somebody passes away, usually when it’s a celebrity, right, you might get sad about it. For me, like I literally openly wept in my car when I was listening to the radio and I, and I, they did the reveal that someone is found at Paisley Park and like, well, that’s not going to really be Prince, and then of course it was. 

So, Prince, when he was touring and I got to see him in San Jose and he was, it was really cool. He brought up, so Carlos Santana, who lives in San Francisco, was a guest, brought them up for like three or four songs. Unbelievable show, right. And after the show, San Jose’s 45 minutes from San Francisco or so, which is where I was working at the time.

And there was an after party at a place called the DNA lounge in south of market. And this was the thing that Prince would do is he’d do, first of all, he loved to announce shows very last minute, these days concerts are announced so far in advance. Prince was like, no, we’re not going to do that. We’re going to show up in your town in a week.

And then there’s going to be this after party that you’re not going to know about, unless you’re special, and then maybe I’ll play and maybe I won’t. That’s the Prince thing. So, we had the in to the after party at the DNA lounge. We’re there, and of course, it’s, you know, the show ended in San Jose around 11. It’s midnight. It’s 12:30, It’s 1, there’s no Prince. It’s 1:15. 

And all of a sudden you see this big hubbub, and this crowd comes in and there’s an entourage of like 15 people. And they’re really tall people, but you see this little head in the middle of all this going along, and they’re all circling Prince and they walk up the stairs to the balcony and close the door and that was it.

Right? And you’re going well, this is weird. Like that was clearly Prince, what’s happening? So, 15, 20 minutes go by, and the guy who was, who worked for the record label comes up to me and he goes, would you like to meet Prince? And I’m thinking, are you kidding me? Prince? Who gets to meet Prince? Let’s do it.

So, we walk up the stairs and we walk into this room and it’s this VIP lounge type of situation, right. And it’s a very dimly lit room, lit in purple. I swear to God he’s sitting, if you thought that was good, he’s sitting in a purple throne. You can’t make this up.

Cee Cee: Not Prince, the king. 

Jay: Yeah. And so, and, and there’s Prince and next to him as this guy, ends up, I think it’s his manager or his road manager or something.

And I’m, I’m mystified. I’m in total awe, and I’ve met, I was fortunate in radio to meet a lot of people and a lot of celebrities, and this was not my first time backstage somewhere, and I don’t get speechless, and I was speechless. And I’m just sitting there and I, and I don’t know what to say. And I have every opportunity.

He’s just looking at me, he’s staring down at me. And so, I just start saying things like. It’s almost like Chris Farley and the old Saturday night live with Paul McCartney, right? Well, dude, that was awesome. Remember when you remember when you did, Hey Jude, that’s so cool. So, I said, I just want to tell you that that purple rain was such a seminal album for me, and it really defines my childhood in the eighties.

And I just, I’m such a big, big fan. Silence. He doesn’t say a word, and so then I say something else and nothing. And so, then the manager pops in and he says a few things to just try and make the conversation normalize, make me feel okay. And then I say a couple other things and he just doesn’t say a word.

And then we leave and I had this whole conversation where Prince didn’t say a word to me. For most artists, maybe that’d be, be like, you’d be upset about that, that’d make you angry. But I don’t know, for some reason I felt with Prince that was just kind of okay. 

Jason: And that was it?

Jay: And that was it. 

Jason: What an amazing story. Wow. Okay. So, you’re giving us a, an exercise in great storytelling right here for podcasters, and that’s one of the things that you need to be able to do to have a great podcast is be an amazing storyteller. But I want to dig into, you know, what are some other things that listeners are looking for?

What are some other things that make a great podcast? So, can you touch on just an overview of what Coleman Insights is doing for podcast right now? 

Jay: Sure. So, our background is in radio, right? That’s really where we started, and so still today, most of our business is radio companies and radio brands.

And then, you know, over the last decade or so there’s been a natural extension into different forms of audio streaming. So, we work with streaming companies as well, and then podcasting was another natural extension for us because we’re audio brand specialists, audio research specialists, and a lot of the things I guess that we learned in radio really do apply to podcasts.

Some of the things that we do for companies is different forms of research. One is, we do for radio stations, we do music testing. So, if you want to find out how your music is doing with the audience, we do that. And then we do perceptual research. So, you know, how is your brand perceived by the audience?

Not just you, but also your competition. What are your strengths and weaknesses and what are the other strengths and weaknesses of the market and the people that you’re, or shows that you’re going against? And that kind of thing certainly translates into podcasting. we also do content testing, which we definitely think translates to podcasting.

That’s the kind of thing that like, you’ve heard in TV where people watch commercials, right, and they watch Superbowl ads and they’re turning the dial to see whether or not they like something or don’t like something, we do that for audio. And it’s really pretty neat. So, people listen and now they can listen on, it used to be enough to get them in a room.

Now, of course they can do it on their tablet and their computer. And they listened to that piece of audio and they’re just using their finger or mouse, and if they don’t like something, they go to the left and if they like it to go to the right and what ends up, it creates a graph. And you can see as people like your content or don’t like your content, the graph goes up and down and then you ask them why or why not, did they like certain things. And it really gives you good insight as to what kind of things are resonating and what aren’t. And not, not just like, like, or don’t like as a real simplistic way of saying it. I mean, it’s much deeper than that.

There are, you can find out for example, maybe a host, they expect something from the host and then he, or she says something on the show or acts a certain way that’s not expected of them. And that kind of insight comes out, and then you can give advice and say, well, the audience, because you’re not just, you’re not just doing the what, you’re asking the why afterwards and getting verbatims.

So, we definitely have, have used that. in podcasting. And then the other thing is focus groups, which can be, its old school, but super, super helpful, except that in the last year we’ve actually moved into, we created a new product. It’s an online focus group and it’s called campfire and it allows people again, it was COVID influenced, right? Because you couldn’t get in a room together during the last 15 months. 

So, we created this product where it kind of looks like a, almost like a social media site. And over the course of a week or two participants can really dig into your brand and they can do it in different ways. Polls, they can do it by interacting, different games and, and really dig into what’s my brand about.

And so, and I think when it comes to podcasting, I don’t want to jump ahead at all, but where all of this goes and where most of our research goes is, content is really important and podcasters are getting better and better at content. But what podcasting is not great at yet is the branding.

Um, and there there’s a lot of evidence so far that there are only, there are really only a few big brands in podcasting and even the ones that you would be able to name as the biggest brands are not big brands relative to other media. 

Jason: Okay. So, with the insights in general, like we can get some analytics from apple podcasts.

Right. You can see if people are skipping ahead in the first two minutes of ads, let’s say. You can see, you know, if by the 30th minute you’re down to like 40% of your audience that you had from the, from the very beginning. It sounds like this podcast insights from Coleman is just that, that times a thousand of what you can get with, with apple podcasts.

Jay: It’s the why versus the what. You can learn that your audience went away, but you really don’t know why they went away and what was really causing that. And until you get to the, to the nuts and bolts of what’s behind that behavior, well then as a host or a show, how can you fix it?

Jason: Yeah. So, what are some surprising things that you’ve been able to, to learn that podcasts might look at and be like, okay, I had no idea that that was the case. 

Cee Cee: Yeah. Basically, what should we not be doing? 

Jay: Well. The first thing is, and a lot of it comes back to the brand thing. There was a thing we talked about a Coleman Insights called outside thinking, and the principle of outside thinking is the opposite, as you would expect, of inside thinking. Inside thinking is like a board room mentality.

And it’s when you get too close to the product. And by the way, it’s not just podcasters, it’s radio people and every company and every brand, because what happens when you work for a show or a brand or a company? You’re close to it; you consume it differently than your audience. You see it differently than your audience.

And that becomes a real problem because your audience doesn’t consume it the way you do. they don’t care about it the way you do, right. So, if you take it from the standpoint of, if I do my podcast, the way that, that I consume it, then I’m not thinking about the fact that your listener isn’t paying attention nearly as much as you think they are.

And that maybe puts you in a much different mindset of how you promote the podcast the way that you repeat things all kinds of different things. They don’t remember things the way that you expect, they don’t recall brands the way that you expect.

And so, to me, that’s a really big thing and here’s a great example. A few years ago, we did a study, and we asked, the first question is like, what are the biggest brands in podcasting? And at that time, and this is, I want to say maybe three years ago at that time, and it’d be the same today. It’s the Joe Rogan experience, right, which surprised nobody.

To me, the surprising thing was, and this was, this was a survey of people that are already podcast listeners, not the general population, okay. The number of people that could mention Joe Rogan on an unaided basis was like 15%. So that’s not a big number, right.

And this is, this is the biggest show in podcasting. So, imagine, just translate that to television for a second, and you had the biggest show in television. Do you think only 15% of TV viewers would be able to mention it? No, right. Or in radio, Howard Stern, how many people can mention Howard Stern? So that’s podcasting’s biggest issue, is the branding.

There’s some content out there, but how do these brands get built? And of course, it’s a massive challenge based on the fact that there’s a lot of podcasts. Anyone can do it. It’s a good, it’s a great thing. It’s more a great thing than a, and I’m going to call it a bad thing, but it’s a challenge.

Jason: Okay. So biggest challenges is branding. Let’s go back to that in a little bit. But, you know, I, I want to get into, you know, this repeating things that you’re talking about. Like you’re saying that we get so wrapped up in what we think people are paying attention to and they’re not. And so, I think what that can mean for our audience is, you know, when we did a topic like a year ago, that doesn’t mean we can’t do that same topic again, because people aren’t paying attention to it. 

If we feel like we’re repeating ourselves, that’s okay, because you want to get that message across and people are going to be half paying attention to it, when you’re saying it. I mean, the reality is sometimes people are walking the dog, doing the dishes, their minds are wandering and doing other things, and they don’t always hear everything, but we think, you know, we think we’re more important than we are sometimes. 

Cee Cee: Yeah. Everyone’s listening to us because everything that I say matters, right. It’s not true. And that’s okay.

Jay: No, that’s a, that’s a great example, Jason. I mean, in radio they call that recycling, right. But that’s a lesson that like morning shows are taught all the time, because they’re afraid, they see it again, they’re there for four hours, right. They’re there from 6 to 10:00 AM and they see the audience in a linear way. And so, the way they think of it as well, if I do this break at 6:30 AM then I can’t do it again, the rest of the show, cause someone else might hear it.

No one else is going to, the same people are not listening at 8:30 that we’re listening at 6:30. Now, part of that for radio is because it’s a big in car medium, or, you know, a place to listen, commute, right? So, they listen for their 25 minutes. So, if you, so the way radio works is it’s much more, it’s not linear.

The audience you reach at 6:30am on Tuesday is the audience to reach at 6:30am on Wednesday because that person is commuting. They get their coffee at the same time, they shower the same time, they get to the car at the same time, they turn on your station at the same time. So, you do it the same way, you recycle it, you do it again. 

But I think the lesson is, is it’s different because of it. It’s an on-demand medium, podcasting. But I think the lesson is the same is that, like you said, they’re distracted the way they’re listening and, and just to, and to think that they’re going to even remember.

I mean, really remember what you said and if you do repeat it again in another episode, or even the same episode who cares, right? If they liked it the first time, aren’t they going to like it the second time? And do you have to present it the exact same way? Present it a different way.

Jason: Right, that’s a great insight. Ah, Jay Nachlis insight from Coleman Insights. 

Jay: There you go. The reset. 

Jason: Yeah. Oh, we should. We do like a radio tease. Okay, coming up, why Jay Nachlis says you can’t do this for your brand. 

Jay: Very good. 

Jason: Thank you, thank you. So, let’s talk about brand. So, you know, you said that’s the biggest challenge. What can podcasters do to build up their brands, because they’re not Joe Rogan right now. So how do they get to the level where they start to be memorable?

Jay: Right. Well, I think they have to think very strategically about it. a lot of that starts from the name of the podcast. There are a lot of podcasters that that don’t even think from that get-go about what the name is. Is it a memorable name? That’s really easy to take away.

And it starts with that, both from the standpoint of is it catchy, is it memorable, but also thinking from a SEO standpoint, is it something that when people search for it, are they going to find me? you know, when I tell my friends, I mean, there was a Stranger Things podcasts that I happened upon because the name was so catchy about Demi Gorgons. And I was like, and there was just something about that that stuck in my head. And so, I was able to tell friends about it and I really got, I really got into it, and it was all because of the name. 

So, I think that’s for starters, secondly, you know, Malcolm Gladwell has a podcast in which, in the beginning of the podcast, every single time, we use this as an example in one of our presentations, is he resets every time what the show is about. And he has a tagline, and that’s the other, that’s and that actually goes to one of the other points was is what’s your elevator pitch. If you go up to a podcast and you say, what’s your podcast about, and they can’t tell you within about 5 or 10 seconds, what it’s about.

And you know, there’s a lot that can’t. there was a guy that I met a couple of years ago and he went on and on, so what’s your show about? He goes, well, you know it’s, it’s this, you know, it’s kind of pop culture, always starts with that. It’s pop culture, you know, talk about things in the news. And then he goes, we talk about shoes some of the, you know, and then it just, some of our friends come on and that, and he went on for like 30 seconds.

And I’m like, no, and then, and then he told me the name of the podcast, which I’m not going to, not going to embarrass him, but he tells name, which has nothing to do with any of that, that he just told me. And I’m like, you’re better off just making the show about shoes and call it the something shoes podcast.

It’s that simple. Don’t make it complicate, and certainly don’t make it so broad. And so, what’s that elevator pitch, but here’s the kicker, back to Malcolm Gladwell. So, he does this podcast, he, his tagline, and it’s a great, simple tagline about what the show is about, and he says it every time in the show. And I think he says it more than once, which then begs the question.

If you’re listening to the show, if I’m already there and I like the show and I’m there, well, why do I need to hear the tagline? Because he’s building a brand. He wants to you to use that elevator pitch to others when you say it to them, right, because other people are going to say, oh, you, you recommend it to them.

What’s that show about? Well, Malcolm Gladwell told you what it’s about. Now you can regurgitate it much easier. So, it’s those little things, messaging over and over again and not cluttering your message, keeping it very simple, keeping it clean. Those are a few branding things. you know, off the top. 

Jason: Wow, all right. So, let’s reset here. The Earfluence Podcast is a podcast about podcasting from a podcast production company, 

Jay: Which you did at the top, I noted that. 

Jason: Now I’m doing it in the middle. 

Cee Cee: Just in case you forgot, right? 

Jason: Right. So, Jay, you have a podcast. What’s your, what’s your name, and elevator pitch.

Jay: my podcast is the Do This, Feel Better Podcasts. and it’s a show that gives you tips on things that you can do to feel better during these crazy times. 

Cee Cee: That’s perfect. 

Jay: Yeah. I came up with that during COVID. 

Jason: Cee Cee yeah. 

That’s great. I’ve got a question for like our audience and our clients, some of them are, you know, companies that want to build up their company brand, right? some of them are people that want to build up their personal brand so that they can be better or they can be more in demand for speaking and they can sell membership sites or courses or things like that.

So, for branding purposes, do you have any insight or recommendations on if it should be the name podcast or like the name of the podcast with that person’s name? If that makes sense. 

Cee Cee: Or the name of the podcast brought to you by whatever the company is? 

Jay: Yeah. It is a tricky, there’s no easy answer for that question as I’m sure you know, right. Because you could argue, I was talking to a guy the other day who has a podcast, a friend of mine and the, and the podcast is about, he talks to celebrities and he asks them something, but the angle, and of course I can’t remember it now, but the angle was actually kind of interesting, because they specifically asked these celebrities some sort of angle that you wouldn’t normally expect in an interview. Right, and that that caught me when he said that part of it. 

The problem was the show was his name and his partner’s name, and nobody’s ever heard of them. It would take forever to really try and build a brand with their names in the podcast. To me, in that case, the hook was what he told me about that, and I spit out a potential name for him that immediately said, that’s what the show is about. It’s asking celebrities blank. 

And so, in that case, I think you don’t, I think you do what the show is about, and I think you take it on a case-by-case basis. If it’s a situation where you feel like the name can really be built as the brand, because there’s value in building a personal brand for sure, then do it. But if there’s real value in the content and you think you can, that’s the sell, then that’s what you do. 

Jason: Yeah, awesome. So, Jay, let’s talk about different ways to grow an audience. So, your insight, I was watching a webinar on Coleman Insights earlier today. You talked about the topic of the show and, you know, tracking people’s listening habits and engagement as a topic, as meandering, as the ads are going on. sometimes there’s controversy, sometimes there’s different things. 

You know, from my perspective, what’s going to resonate with an audience is either the topic or the guest, or, you know, the guests sharing, or are you sharing on social media? Can you talk about all of that in, you know, ways to grow an audience, you know, topic versus gas versus sharing versus all those different things?

Jay: Yeah. And this goes back to this all goes back to helping you build the brand. So, the three T’s that we talked about, I think in that webinar, were Topic, Treatment, and Tone. And actually here’s, here’s a radio example for a second, and then we’ll come back to that. So, in radio, we, when we’re doing perceptual studies, we will ask people questions about things that they’ve heard or personalities, for example.

And then we’ll say, you know, what’s what station would you expect to hear that song on? Or what station is that personality? Those are what we call fit questions, and ultimately, you’re looking for brand fit is the, is the audience, is the listener associating one with the other? Because of course you want them to understand, for example, if you’re a rock station, that’s the rock station or you’re a sports station, that’s the sports station. That’s brand fit. 

Well, if you are a podcaster and you’ve got to show, that’s why topic is so important. If you are not on topic and on brand, it’s very easy for listeners to not understand what you’re about, and you can’t build the brand. So, you have to be consistent. I think the problem is some people think that it’s like, I’ve got to be so centered on one topic and they get confused about that. cause that’s not really totally the case. But it does mean, for example, from that webinar, one of the podcasts that we studied was an iHeart podcast called the Almost Famous Podcast with Ben and Ashley I, and it’s about the bachelor and bachelorette universe.

And the example that we showed in there was, and we use that. So earlier in the show, we talked about the graph, the content testing, which we call media EKG deep dive. And so, listeners listen to pieces of that show, and what you saw is when that show was centered on things about the bachelor and bachelorette, the graph went wild.

And why did that happen? Because that’s what listeners expect. I came to this podcast because I want to hear about the bachelor, right? Well, what happens when Ben brings on his, you know, talks about his dad and going golfing or, you know, going to the masters? Well, the graph goes down. Well, that’s because they’re not talking about the bachelor.

So, does that mean that that Ben shouldn’t have talked about golf? Not necessarily, but could he have folded in the bachelor somehow into the golf conversation? Yes, right. Or when Ashley did a conversation about, she had seen the Greatest Showman, which the movie had just come out right now, that particular break did a lot better than the golf break, but the reason it did better, wasn’t just because, you know, cause it’s not like the topic was that much better. It also wasn’t about the bachelor, right? What made it better was the content was better. 

So, we have something at Coleman we created called the brand content matrix, and what it basically shows you is that you want to be on the upper right quadrant, which is the intersection of great content, strong brand.

And there are, but brands can, and shows can be in the other parts of the quadrant. You could have a great show, a great brand, but then you put out poor content. you could have a poor brand and great content, but nobody’s hearing you because you have a poor brand, right. And the worst of course is you have a poor brand and poor content. 

You’re just doing really bad. 

No one’s coming and it’s no good, right? So that’s where you, and I think podcasters really need to think about that cause you really do need both. And here’s the thing when it comes to selecting your content, the more on brand it is, the more leeway you have towards poor content. That makes sense?

 Cee Cee: Yeah. 

The stronger brand you have, the less leeway you have. So, in other words, because this show is about the bachelor, they could do a content break about the bachelor that’s an okay break. That’s going to be better for them than a golf break that was great.

So that’s, that’s where the greatest showman wasn’t about the bachelor, but it actually was really great content. So, it worked okay because it was great content, but because it wasn’t in line with the brand, it wasn’t as good as it could be. So, it’s staying on target and as you’re building your shows, it’s just making sure, keep it aligned with the brand as much as you can.

Jason: That’s such great insight again. So, one of the podcasts that I listened to is the Bill Simmons podcast. So, sports guy, Bill Simmons, and he will have on Cousin Sal from the Jimmy Kimmel show every now and then, and they talk about the NFL, gambling lines, all this stuff, which is the content that I came to listen to.

If they go into, you know, whatever’s going on in their lives, I’m like, what the heck is this? You know, I don’t really care that much. Give me the football content that I’m looking for. What they ended up doing was, they have all the football content at the top, and then like the last 10 minutes, that’s when they get into their talk, what they do at what’s called a parent corner, where they talk about, you know, something wild that happened in their parenting lives over the past week.

And it’s good. It’s good content, but it’s not what I came there for. Sometimes I listen to it sometimes I don’t. But what they must have found is that having at the end, right, you know, people have already gone through the episode. We’ve gotten all our ads that we wanted to get in. And then at the end, we can have our fun and talk about our parent corner.

Jay: That totally makes sense. And, you know, back to the, the three T’s from before, right, Topic, Treatment, and Tone, the way that you treat your content is also a way to differentiate yourself. So, you know, that parent corner thing, if it had been about sports, well, that’s like that could be a bullseye, because it’s not something you would expect from a sports show, but it’s about sports.

That’s like, that’s what you want. You don’t want it to just be doing content if the content, you want the brand to be expected, but you don’t want the content to necessarily be expected. You do want things like features and benchmarks and things that the audience expect, but you also, it’s like there are so many different ways to treat a topic.

You could do a monologue, a dialogue. David Letterman used to do the top 10 lists, right. Jimmy Fallon does letters that he takes and, you know, there’s all these ways to treat content and they do it in different ways. You could sing it, you could write. Don’t always do, and I guess sometimes that’s one of my things also with podcasts is that it’s very, oftentimes it’s just talking the same way every single time.

And it’s cool. If it’s conversational podcasts, like we are today, it’s great, but there were other podcasts where doing it different ways and presenting it different ways also makes sense.

Cee Cee: So, what, cause we, all of these things are, I think pretty simple, but you have to just think about it. Yeah. And like, in retrospect, I’m hearing you say it now it’s like, oh yeah, duh. But like, I haven’t, I don’t always think about that. What should people like ask themselves when they’re establishing their brand, and they’re like making sure they’re making the content that the audience likes? Like, what are, are there like questions that people should keep in mind?

Jay: Yeah. I think it goes back to, to, to not over-complicating it. as much as possible, remember think, put into, going back to outside thinking, put yourselves in the shoes of the listener. How is the listener going to take this? Not how am I designing it for me and how I would listen, but how would I design it for them?

And how can I make the name memorable? How can I make the show memorable? Not drone on too long, just really make it as easy to do as possible and not overcome able. 

Cee Cee: Yeah, easy to consume, right? 

Jason: Yeah. So, speaking of easy to consume, like how do you weave in ads and make those easy to consume? How do you make it on brand? How do you make it so that people aren’t like, okay, here’s an ad, let me skip ahead 30 seconds, then another 30 seconds if it’s still the ad? 

Cee Cee: I think even when it’s on brand, I do that though. I’m not going to lie. 

Jason: Yeah, we all do. You know, those ads can be valuable to some of the people that are listening to this. And even if it’s your own stuff that you’re trying to promote, you know, how do you, how do you keep that on brand and get people still interested? 

Jay: That’s been a challenge for radio forever. And now of course, podcasting gets to have it too because you’re never going to stop people from tuning out of commercials ever.

Right, but what we learned in radio a long time ago was that endorsements, personal endorsements work really, really well in two ways. You’re more likely to stay and listen to them and two, they’re more effective, easily more effective. and we’re finding the same thing in podcasting, not surprisingly. So, when it’s a host read ad and it comes from, especially if it’s a personal experience, if I’ve used the product, that’s going to be the best way to do it.

Cee Cee: Yeah, people trust you. They like you. They want to hear what you have to say. Yeah. They trust your opinion. 

Jay: Yeah, that’s the best way to go about it. 

Jason: Yep. I was listening to Brené Brown the other day, love her, the best. But she was saying when she started her podcast, is that I am not going to do any ads, unless it is something that I am actually using. And imagine the weight of those ads, if she is putting it out there, as I am only using these products, like all my audience, all my millions of listens, this is something that I am a hundred percent using, like how valuable is are those ads?

Jay: And she can charge, because of that Jason, she can charge a ridiculous premium on those ads, right. And so, she ultimately can run less ads because you can charge so much more because they’re going to be so effective.

Jason: Yeah. What a genius. 

Cee Cee: That’s kind of powerful actually. 

Jay: I mean, I wish you could use that same template and radio, honestly. Commercials is always a problem, you know, and they run too many commercials. What if you could run like way less commercials, but there’s so much more effective because of that, but not everybody has the weight of Brené Brown.

Cee Cee: Right. Imagine a world where it’s less commercials, but they’re all way more effective. Honestly, 

Jay: Imagine a world…

Cee Cee: I mean, I think that would be a lot more helpful because I mean, when ads come on the radio too, it’s like, okay, change the station, but now they’re do this thing where they’re all at the same time.

Jay: Yes, yes. I could get really geeky and tell you why that is, but I don’t want to bore you. 

Jason: So, Jay, you are going to Podcast Movement. 

Jay: Yes. 

Jason: And you are giving a presentation. Tell us about your present 

Jay: reality, you can talk about, 

there is a strategy that we’ve become really fond of at Coleman Insights there’s a book called blue ocean strategy and blue ocean strategy is something that I recommend for all brands. Anyone that manages a brand, I think should read this book, but we did a presentation a little while ago for radio companies about blue ocean strategy. And this is going to be about how you can apply it to podcasting.

So, what blue ocean strategy is in a nutshell is that if you think about the marketplace of brands, and you are competing in a really crowded segment, right? Well, it’s shark infested waters, there’s blood in the water. That’s the red ocean. What blue ocean strategy says is go and create your own segment, go in and create uncontested market space so that you’re not worrying about what the competition is doing, because there is no competition.

That’s blue ocean strategy, and it occurred to me one day that podcasting in many respects is a bit of a red ocean, many parts of it are. And everybody’s fighting for this this, the same piece of the pie. And are there opportunities for podcasts to find uncontested waters to swim in and that’s what the presentation will be about. How’s that for a tease? 

Cee Cee: Yeah. 

Jason: So, okay. Well, I don’t want to give away the presentation. Yes, I do. So, I don’t want, you don’t need to give away your presentation, but like from what we’ve seen with our audiences and with our podcasts, that is so true. So, you don’t want to have a general pop culture podcast, right?

Like that is red ocean, for sure. There is no way that you’re going to break through. I mean, there’s 2.4 million podcasts out there, what are there probably a million pop culture podcasts. but the, the blue ocean strategy is something like, let’s say you have a, you know, a general business type of content podcast, but you are focused on your specific niche and we’ve done two of those recently. 

One of them was the Dental Experience Podcast. A lot of the content would apply to any business. Ryan vet the host, he went blue ocean strategy there and said, this is going to be specifically for dentists and dental practices, right? So that that that niche type of situation. My wife’s podcast, Weddings for Real, very much business oriented in how to, you know, how to build up your business, you know how to do marketing for it.

You know what platforms to use, mental health in in entrepreneurs, all those things that apply to so many businesses, but it’s called Weddings for Real. It is training the wedding pros, right? So that’s that blue ocean strategy. So, man, I mean, I want to see this presentation. 

Jay: Yeah. I mean, you are you’re spot on. That’s exactly right. It’s doing a podcast for car dealers instead of car buyers. Yeah, you know it’s doing a podcast about Steph Curry instead of the Golden State Warriors. It’s what is, what is the focus? And it’s really about at the end of the day, it’s not about, it’s making your podcast more popular by making it less mass appeal.

Which sounds, you know, it sounds counterintuitive, but it’s not, because you’re going after, like you said, it’s going after a niche, that’s going to be more loyal or passionate and they’re the ones that are going to listen. And one of the things, I mean, you mentioned when it comes to category. Yeah, that’s that is one of the big things.

I’m getting I’m teasing point number one, right, which is you should pick an underserved category for sure. And you’re right, that number you throw out. I mean, I’ve heard 2.4 million, I’ve heard 4 million, 3 million. There’s millions of podcasts, for sure. And you also know though that the number of active podcasts is much lower than that.

In fact, I think if I, if I remember this correctly, that the number of shows that are actually active within the last 10 days is about 7% of that number. That’s it. 

So, if you think about the fact that, so take like business, for example, you’ve got well over a hundred thousand business podcasts. Everyone thinks that, and when I tell them this, they’re always surprised, so true crime, everyone I talked to thinks that true crime is a massive category. And why do they think it’s a massive category? Because they have all the top shows. Yeah, they’re very popular, people know true crime podcasts, but the reality is it’s an underserved category and they say, well, how can that be?

And I said, well, because there’s over a hundred thousand business podcasts and there’s only a few thousand true crime podcasts. What? Yeah, and then takes a few thousand true crime podcasts and now divide that, what 7% of 2,500, 3000 that’s who you’re going against, that’s what you’re dealing with.

And it’s such a smaller, and the reason it’s underserved is because there’s a demand for it obviously, they’re there at the top of the rankings, but there’s not enough podcasts doing it. Only thing is you can’t go out, and this is like the caveat to all of this. You can’t just go out and pick a category and then do it because you’re not necessarily equipped for it.

You have to have expertise, you have to know what you’re talking about, you’ve got to do the reading. But it definitely is an underserved category and there’s others like that. 

Jason: Yeah, and true crime is really hard to put together, right? A lot of research you know, a lot of interviews, if you’re trying to get a hit, you have to solve a case.

That’s pretty hard. Yeah, for sure. Oh man. I, I am so excited for your presentation with podcast movement. Do you have time for just a couple fun questions? 

Jay: Of course. 

Jason: Okay. So, you mentioned Stranger Things. It sounds like you’re a fan of Stranger Things, but I want to know what’s, what’s your favorite Netflix show right now?

Jay: Well actually we just started one a couple of days ago, and the problem is the name is in Japanese. And so, it’s, I know it’s like in English it’s I want to say Duty and, not honor no, not that doody it’s, but there two Japanese words, right? I get this whole thing about memorability and then I can’t remember the name.

I know where to find it, it’s saved enough. Anyway, the show is, I went on to while I went on to rotten tomatoes and this show had like 100%. And I was looking for a Netflix show to watch. Now, that’s how he found it. And it’s great. It’s a thriller. It’s about, it’s about the Japanese mafia.

And these gangs are having this rival war and the one guy is a detective and his brother has gone missing. And it turns out that he committed this crime and is in London. And so, he has to go find them or this big gang war it’s going to break out. It’s pretty great. 

Jason: All right. That’s quite an endorsement. Give us a book that has changed your life.

Cee Cee: That’s a big question. Not just something you like to read, something that made you completely different from how you were before. 

Jay: This is going to sound completely self-serving and shameless. But the one that I wrote.

Jason: Go for it, tell us about your book.

Jay: Well, it changed my life because I always wanted to write a book and so it really did, and it took me a year to write. And so, it really was a life-changing experience. It’s called Never Trust a Grown Man with a Ponytail, and it’s a story. It’s really a book of short stories, memoirs of, that Prince story I told you. Yeah, it’s in the book. 

Cee Cee: Oh, great. So, everybody’s had a teaser. 

Jay: Yeah. And it’s all, it’s all stories. It’s all stories from radio. So, if, if you’d like that the book is full of them.

Jason: Amazing. All right. Last question. What is a podcast that you’re listening to right now that that people might not know of?

Jay: You know Todd Cochran from blueberry does a few different podcasts and I, and I watch, I actually watch his on Facebook and they’ll sometimes listen to just the audio of it. But what I love about his are that he, you know, he’s been in a podcast or for a very long time, and he’s so knowledgeable about the industry, but he’s intellectually curious.

And he has on people from his competition. He has a, the guy from Lipson come on with them and just talk about podcasting, and he’s really good about promoting the medium and teaching new podcasters. It’s really, really, really great. So, and he has like at least two or three of them, but I recommend any of the ones with him to watch.

Jason: Awesome. Well, Jay, how can people connect with you? 

Jay: I’m on our website at colemaninsights.com. My email is jaynachlis@colemaninsights.com and yeah, they can reach out in the 

Jason: The book, like where can people buy your book, Amazon, all those things?

Jay: So, the book is yeah, so Never Trust a Grown man with a Ponytail is available at Amazon in both the Kindle version and the print version and the podcast, the Do This Feel Better Podcasts is available everywhere podcasts are sold. 

Cee Cee: Same place you’re listening to this. Listen to it after. 

Jason: Well, Jay Nachlis. Coleman Insights, such great insight into insights and podcasts and thoroughly enjoyed this conversation. Thanks for coming on. 

Jay: Thanks for having me. It’s been fun. 

Jason: All right. Well, this has been the influence podcast, which we need to say again is a, 

Cee Cee: A podcast about podcasting from a podcast production company. I don’t think I’ve ever said it before. 

Jason: There you go. That was Cee Cee Huffman, Swiss army knife do have everything at Earfluence. Amazing at voiceovers. If anybody needs a voiceover go to Cee Cee Huffman. 

Cee Cee: Thank you. 

Jason: But for Cee Cee Huffman, I’m Jason Gillikin, and you’ve been listening to the Earfluence Podcast.

Full Episode Transcript

The Earfluence Podcast is a production of Earfluence Media and is hosted by Jason Gillikin and Cee Cee Huffman.

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