In a recent interview with Acast Eamon Dunphy unwittingly gave a masterclass in podcast production which is very relevant to brands.
Eamon has been a high profile and at times controversial media presenter for decades. Today he hosts his own podcast The Stand with over one million downloads per month. The lessons he learned the hard way are worth sharing.
One of the biggest lessons Eamon learned, was one of the first. You have to keep showing up. Although he sits on an audience of one million today, he admits he had little or no audience for the entire first year of The Stand.
When he started out he had no money and no studio. While he had lots of radio experience, he found podcasting was a different animal. He said it took him a year to learn from his mistakes. But he stuck with it and when he got his footing the podcast began to grow to what it is today. Of course, brands don’t have a year to learn from mistakes but that’s why you get help to speed that process up.
Another crucial part of ‘showing up’ is publishing regularly. When you publish regularly and on time, you become part of people’s lives. They know you will have a new show and new information for them every week or every month. Keeping that promise of publishing your podcast consistently throughout the year is essential. Winners never quit and quitters never win.
A box set or occasional series may be a great way of trialling podcasting but if you really want to be a successful brand podcast, you have to podcast regularly and consistently throughout the year.
Not only does this build audience, but it also builds a back catalogue of shows that works so well. As new listeners come on board and want that initial binge, those extra shows they download all add to your overall numbers which only serves to push success forward.
Eamon Dunphy knows this, as does David McWilliams or Fin Dwyer or whoever. It took all of them time to build an audience. However, having that loyal audience is worth its weight in gold.
WHY DO YOUR OWN PODCAST
Two reasons. Control and getting the exact audience you want.
Eamon said he started The Stand because he wanted to ‘do his own thing’. After years of editorial control over his radio shows, and occasional controversy on his opinions, Eamon wanted freedom.
He felt radio was becoming a background medium where people only half listened. He was also tired of the ‘dumbed down’ magazine format of news and talk shows, where no topic got more than ten minutes just in case it bored the audience.
There was a gap in the market for long-form intelligent conversation on current affairs and Eamon went for it. He knew that, unlike radio, podcast listeners make a conscious decision to listen, and because of that, they give their full attention.
For brands, this is important to remember. You may be able to buy time on someone else’s podcast, but the execution is beyond your control and the results are sometimes dubious. When you control the content, you get the exact audience you want.
Eamon puts the success of his podcast down to the fact it’s niche. He’s targeting an intelligent and curious audience who want to hear detailed conversations on the issues of the day. By giving them useful and relevant content, Eamon has built up this audience to over one million downloads a month.
To attract the audience, Eamon says you need three things;
1 – Know your story
2 – Get a good contributor to tell that story
3 – Explore the subject thoroughly
Research, including this very presentation from Acast, backs up what Eamon is saying. People are attracted to podcasts to learn something new. They want content that is useful and relevant to them.
For brands, if people are interested in your product or sector, they do want to know more. We have seen this time and again, regardless of whether the topic is archiving, air conditioning or accounting. And that’s just the A topics we’ve worked on with clients! Podcasting is a very non-threatening way to find out more about something which interests you.
In a rare moment of humility, Eamon admits that even his extensive profile was not enough to build an audience. He said that even if you are famous, you need to prove yourself to the audience.
These are sage words for brands who like to use celebrity presenters. Their involvement may be good for press releases and discoverability but if they can’t deliver the goods, it’s not a good long-term bet.
Eamon says a presenter or a contributor needs to be knowledgeable and passionate about their subject. That passion will rub off subliminally on the listener and that is the real key to building an audience.
Again, in our experience at Dustpod, we find better success with podcasts presented by someone from the company rather than using a radio professional. While the latter certainly has the polish, it can’t beat the knowledge of someone who loves the topic. After all, nobody is as passionate about your brand as you are!
PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE
Eamon says a lot of the success in the quality of a podcast comes down to preparation.
He was highly complimentary of the small team who create The Stand each day. He said the care they take in preparing each show, gathering all the information and finding great contributors has been a huge part of their success.
He also noted the technical standard of podcasts is so high today. The sound has to be impeccable, so much so that during Covid Eamon built his own studio at home.
Eamon spoke quite a bit about the character of the team. He said when the character of your team is one where everyone is behind the brand, experienced and wanting to do the best job they can, it’s hard to lose.
Again, here is the advantage for brands in building their own podcast because your team, and the professionals you work with, are all looking to create the best and deliver a great podcast to the audience.
The Stand with Eamon Dunphy is one of Ireland’s most successful podcasts and all of the points he has made are hugely relatable to brands. Be passionate about what you do, share good quality information with people and do it to the best of your ability. The audience you find will also be quality and serve you well.
If you would like to find out how a podcast might help your brand, read Five Habits Of Successful Brand Podcasts, or for some direct information, email us or book a call. We’re happy to walk you through the process.
You can watch the interview with Eamon and the entire Acast presentation on Irish podcasting here