Podcasts come in multiple forms, in many shapes, sizes, lengths, and talk about a myriad of subject matters, but at the end of the day, the podcasts that survive and continue to grow are the bingeable podcasts. A bingeable podcast is a podcast that an audience won’t want to drop or start listening to, ensuring its long-term longevity as well as opportunities to monetize the content. Tracy Hazzard discusses the so-called “binge factor” and why bingeability is an important metric in determining the ongoing success of any podcast. If you want to begin the process of setting up a new podcast, you can’t miss this important topic.
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What Is The Binge Factor And What Makes A Bingeable Podcast
Welcome To The Feed Your Brand Center Of Influence Podcast Rebrand!
For those of you who’ve been reading for awhile, this has been called Feed Your Brand Center of Influence. For those of you who have been reading my column in Authority Magazine, you know I’ve gone about featuring those on how to become the center of influence through bingeable podcasting. We always cover every week the five things that make a show more powerful, the best ways to do things. The best ways to get great guests, increase listeners, encourage engagement, produce professionally and monetize. I’m always bringing you those five factors every single week. The other thing that I’m bringing you is diverse views on what podcasting can mean to you personally to your business.
Different Reasons People Start Shows
What are the different reasons people are starting up shows? What are the problems that they’re having as they’re starting them up? What is the authority value to having a podcast show? These are the things that I’m trying to bring you every single week. I’ve decided to shift the show from the Center of Influence to The Binge Factor. The reason I’ve done that is because I found that my unique gift to the world is being able to identify that bingeable factor, the thing that makes people come back again and again, listen again and again, buy something again and again. This is not this random gift that dropped out of the sky to me. This is something I’ve been working on for almost 30 years in my career. This is a personal part of how I look at the world, how I’ve developed my skillset and my career.
For those of you who don’t know, I started out in the mass market consumer retail world. I have a design degree from Rhode Island School of Design. I helped work on the Aeron chair, that amazing chair that’s been selling for 25 years from Herman Miller. I understand what it takes to design and create a product that sells again and again. Tom Hazzard, my partner and my husband, he sometimes will be here. He usually doesn’t do The Binge Factor. He does more of the Feed Your Brand side, which are more on the technical side of podcasting and the marketing tactic side of things. He and I designed together for over 25 years. Our flagship product is an office chair that is sold at Costco and it’s been in Costco for years.
That doesn’t usually happen. A product, if it does well, might last 1 to 2 years maximum and then they replace it out. We’ve changed the model slightly, but it’s been in Costco for years and it does about $20 million a year. That is a platinum record and I’m proud of what we’ve done there. We’ve done things like accessories that go in your kitchen and juvenile products, baby products, textiles. I have designed a lot of textiles in my career. All of those things, the key to it is that when I look at that open space, when you look at the space of competitiveness, whether it’s looking at the field of podcasts that are out on the market or all of the products on a shelf somewhere, my gift is to be able to start to identify the potential open areas.
What I do is I look at the strategy. I look at how people shop. I look at how people listen, how people behave when they’re consuming content. I look at all of that and I say, “How can we create something where the open space in the market and what people want start to connect together?” When we hit on that, we hit on something that can’t miss. We hit in competitive proof territory, to be honest with you, where the other people can’t create that mix because you’ve done it so intentionally. Sometimes we stumble across these things and it’s unintentional. Like I said, there’s going to be podcasters out there who didn’t know they were doing this on purpose, but it was an instinct. It was a gut reaction that they took to how they were doing something or to how they show up in the world. That created that bingeable factor for them.A product, if it does well, usually lasts one or two years in the market. Click To Tweet
It’s not unintentional, although it may be subconsciously intentional, like they didn’t realize they were doing it. That is the net result of it that has created The Binge Factor. It created something that we must consume, we must come back for, we hate to miss and we come back for it again and again. I wanted to make sure that you had a broad understanding of what we do in addition to everything. The reason why I am so eager to interview podcasters and do all of this is because years ago, I started my first podcast. We started a podcast called a WTFFF?!. It’s super geeky. It’s all in 3D printing. For those of you who don’t know what 3D printing is, it’s where we create models from the base up.
We build it layer by layer plastic and we build a physical object in three dimensions. It’s not quite a replicator. It’s not Star Trek time yet, but it works. We’d been using it in our product design business for a long time. We stepped out into the world because we said, “I’m tired of being a ghost designer. I’m tired of designing for Martha Stewart. I’m tired of designing behind the scenes for companies who sell into Costco, Walmart and Target, and no one knows who I am.” We’re headed into a world where my business is starting to dry up because the economy was starting to hurt. This was back in 2014 and there were some issues in the economy and we were starting to see the shift going from these big brands into the smaller eCommerce, e-seller brands.
We thought, “We need to be a part of that. We need them to know who we are. We might need to step out and be the authority, come out from being a ghost designer and be an authority and a thought leader in this marketplace. Let’s start thinking about this. My partner and husband wanted to create products and have a whole product line for sale. I stepped back and said, “We don’t even know if there’s a market.” One of our missions and one of the things that we always did whenever we were designing product was making sure that we could access the market and then the market wanted to buy what we have to sell. It’s why we have an almost 9 out of 10 success rate for all the products we’ve designed. We did 250 products that do about $2 billion for our clients.
That’s $2 billion wholesale and we had 9 out of 10 successes. The going rate in consumer products is 7 out of 10 failures. On Home Shopping Network, it’s 14 out of 15 a fail. We’re the reverse of that. If we can increase the odds, we should do this. I said, “Let’s look at this. We don’t have an email list. We don’t have a big social following. How are we going to get the information out there and find out if there’s a market for us creating this product line and catalog?” We started looking around about it and at the time, video wasn’t as big, although it would have made a lot more sense. A video was much more of a higher production value. I would have to have my hair done every single day and I didn’t want to do that.
We said, “Let’s start podcasting and let’s see what happens.” Because there’s a lot of information going on. There were only five podcasts at the time. They were all very techie, very news. They were in the industry. I knew enough about the industry and half the time I didn’t know what they were saying. I could imagine they were leaving a lot of people behind who are trying to learn. There wasn’t a lot of books and other things out there yet because the market was changing so fast. For us to write a book or do something or do that long-term research, didn’t make sense because we needed something faster.
This is what we chose. We started doing a podcast. It took us about twelve weeks to figure out what we wanted to do, get it all planned, for me to read every book, research every blog, and read all of John Lee Dumas and everything Pat Flynn had to offer and all of those guys. We had to come up and figure out what we wanted to do and how we wanted to do it. What I did was, because I read so many different things, I could start to read between the lines of what was working and what wasn’t. I clearly saw that podcasting five days a week was the key to outranking those other five podcasters who had been there for a lot longer than we had. That was our strategy. Our strategy was to go in and catapult to the top of the list of podcasts. That meant a commitment in time, energy and production to be able to do that. That’s what we did. We launched with three episodes and we launched one a day, five days a week. We did that for five months.
We didn’t look at our stats over time. We casually watch them, but we didn’t look at them. At the end of five months, we hit 100 episodes. When we hit that 100th episode, we said, “Let’s check everything out. Let’s see where we are.” We had catapulted ourselves to 25,000 listeners. We were shocked, to be honest with you. We thought, “What did we do? We went from an email list of zero. We had a growing email list that was adding people every single day. People were coming to our website to check out the images and the videos that we had added there. We had full length blog posts that we tripped onto something as well. I thought the transcript model of doing PDFs seemed ridiculous because who was going to download information off the internet when it was so insecure? Let’s put the whole thing out in a blog, and we did.
The Secret Sauce
What happened was we hooked up with a company who had hundreds of revenue-generating websites. They helped create a home for ours, which is called 3D Start Point now. They created a home for this. We started putting our blogs over there and that’s how it started. We started realizing the secret sauce for us wasn’t in the podcast, but it was in the old school blog as well. Keep in mind that I was a writer before that. I wrote lots of articles, blogs, I’ve had multiple blogs over time. I had one called Easygoing Green and no one read them. I joke about this that my dad was my only reader. Occasionally he would even admit to me that he didn’t read them all. He was like, “I didn’t understand that, so I didn’t read it all.”
I was sitting out there going, “Why would I want to be writing?” We were doing this and it was working for us. People started coming to us and saying, “Whatever you’re doing with your podcast, it’s successful. Will you do this for me?” I thought, “We built a team. We have a process, systems. Why not?” That’s how Brandcasters, our core business, which we now call Podetize or it’s front-facing name, Podetize, was born. We started out with a set of twelve core customers. They referred people who referred people who referred people and catapult us. We are the largest post-production house of podcasts. We do everything from video to audio to blog to social share graphics. We do all of that. The real secret sauce we have with Podetize is on our ad mixing system and you’re going to know about that because it happens here.
We drop ads in on a monthly basis and we take them back out again. It’s our secret of how we work with Podetize and that enables us to capitalize on the entire listenership of our show and make sure that you all hear the most relevant offers, the most relevant ads and don’t hear anything outdated and old. The invention process of that happened right about that five-month time period. We started running an ad on our show and I went to my editor and I said, “I want to take the ad out because we’re running this ad for a mentorship contest and it’s going to end in 30 days. I don’t want people in it listening months later to be like, ‘I missed this contest,’ and be frustrated because it sounded current and urgent by the way that we recorded the ad.”
He said to me, “It’s going to cost you as much to remove it as it did to put it in.” I said, “That’s ridiculous. We’re going to find a better way.” That’s how the process and our ad mixing system was born. We created Software as a Service and all of that came about. That’s my real driver here. As we’ve been going through this and as we’ve been building a bigger company, our goal is to make sure that all of our clients are growing their shows, but that all of them are successful podcasting, that they’re making money in their core business. Only about 2% of podcasts have the qualifications necessary to run ads. About 10% on average can run ads and take sponsorships, but only 2% reached that mass brand value of being qualified for true advertisements, enough to make money that makes it worth selling out your audience.
There are 98% of us podcasters out there who are creating great bingeable shows that serve an audience that deserve to make some money and cover our costs. Podcasting should not be nonprofit customer service unless we want it to be. It should be able to be a profitable venture that gets you more for your business, that gets you more audience, that gets you more growth. It gets you more community, that serves your community. Absolutely, because it’s only in service that we add in value creation. We get to create a big audience that comes back again and again. Because if we’re taking from them, they’re not going to come back. That means that we need to be able to stick around. If that means that we need to have our cost subsidized, then we may need to be profitable on this so that we can keep going and providing a great service to people. That’s what we need to do.98% of podcasters are creating bingeable shows that serve an audience. Click To Tweet
I wanted to make sure that you had a basic understanding of who I am, why I’m here, why I’m doing this, why this is so important. Here’s another thing. This is moving into giving publicity to podcasters. One of my goals and one of my personal drivers is I know how hard it is. I wrote a column for Inc. Magazine for five years. I write a column right now for Authority Magazine and I’m about to write some more columns. We do a roll-up in Buzzfeed and we also contribute to Thrive Global. All of those things happen. When an episode is created here, this is the interview starting point. When I interview a podcaster here, I’m going to do multiple things with it.
I’m taking the interview, we’re having a fun time, you’re getting great content and great advice. I’m going to write a summary article of it and that summary article goes into Authority Magazine. There will be links to that in every episode. You’ll be able to link back to the articles as they go through. Now, what happens from that Authority Magazine articles, that podcaster got a podcast mentioned. They got an article out of it, the future happens is that then it rolls up into another Thrive Global reposting of that same article. The next thing that happens is there are the five things that I mentioned that I cover each week the best ways to. When we cover that, the little tidbits that are there get rolled up into a Buzzfeed article. It’s a roll-up style article where, “These top ten podcasters give their tips on how to increase listeners,” and it will have everybody’s tip separately. Those podcasters get a separate mention there as well.
It’s tracking into multiple things over time. Many months go by and all of these things, but it’s creating residual publicity value. To top it off, what we also do here is that this is also my way to touch base and learn some more about great podcasters to start to build our list. We get asked every week to participate in events where we coordinate publicity opportunities between podcasters and events. If you’re a health and wellness podcaster for instance and a health and wellness event comes to us and say, “We want you to conduct a podcast,” we call it the podcast publicity pop-up. If you want to do a podcast publicity pop-up, it’s a concierge service that we provide between the event and the podcaster and we connect the two things together. What happens is you get a shout-out from the stage, you’re doing behind the scenes interview of the amazing speakers, guests and VIPs that are a part of an event.
You’re raising your ability to access greater interviews. That is how it goes. We’re trying to create this publicity opportunity because that’s also what I know it takes. It’s a lot of hard work to build your show over time and it takes grinding it out. If there’s anything that we can do in that process of providing ongoing publicity, connections, value to keep you going and keep you podcasting and create a way for you to keep your bingeable content out there and serving the world, then I want to do that. That’s a part of our mission here. Our mission here at Podetize, and it’s no different for this, is that we are reinventing brand marketing, brand casting with an obsessive podcaster-centric focus on solutions to get the host seen, heard, found and rewarded in a noisy digital world. Because it is noisy out there, it is the stuff that is bingeable, the stuff that’s great content, the stuff that is also well-marketed, well-publicized that rises to the top and gets noticed. If I can create a multi-cast method for doing that video, audio, written format, creating all of those ways and lives on top of it, then I create an environment whereby I give my show and your shows the greatest opportunity for success. That’s our ultimate goal here.
I welcome you to The Binge Factor. I look forward to hearing your feedback. I look forward to hearing you if you think I’m wrong, that their binge factor is something else. Sometimes it seems cycle analysis when I go through and I analyze their show and I tell them what their binge factor is and they’re like, “I didn’t even realize that’s what it was.” Some of those things will go on and I’d love to hear from you. I’d also love for you to get your show going. If you’re reading this and you still haven’t started your show yet, get it going. There are so many ways to do that. I’m going to invite you back to join and read our Feed Your Brand blogs. It’s going to be repurposed into three sets. It will be separated into three separate feeds. It will also all be together in the normal Feed Your Brand, so you can read one if you want to consume everything.
If you only want to start your show, we’re going to have a one-on-one set up series, a launch series that is going to be about all this stuff you need to know to launch your show. It doesn’t encumber the feed for the ones of you already launched and you don’t care about that. That will be there. We also are going to have a special guesting series because even if you already are a podcast host, guesting takes a skillset that you might not have. I want to make sure that you get that understanding. We’re going to have a separate one that’s all about publicity and guesting and that side of it. Some of those people who might want to read that might not be podcast hosts yet, but it’s going to give you some insights on how to be a great guest and how to find great podcasts to be on. It may be a driver. Whether you are a podcaster or not, you may want those.
Those are more educational and you’re going to have those two sets. The main Feed Your Brand feed is for podcasters. It is not a starter. It is not a one-on-one thing. It is for advanced podcasters. You already have your show launched. It’s got tactics for increasing listeners, ways to increase engagement. We’re always going through new marketing methods and things. We’re trying out things. We try not to bring any guests on. We try to bring someone who we either personally have experience with or many of our clients have a successful experience with. There aren’t as many guests as there are Tom and I talking. That’s the place where we’ll have Tom Hazzard, my partner. We’ll have more of those as well going forward. What you get on Feed Your Brand is you get a sneak peek in.
Any one of our clients, even the ones who host with us and pay $49 a month all the way up to the ones who pay $4,000 a month to work with us, all of them have the opportunity to participate live in coaching calls every single week at noon on Wednesdays via our Facebook client group. We also record a lesson or some tips, tactics, state of the industry, what’s going on. We record about twenty minutes or so of that at the beginning of the client coaching call. We repurpose those and those will also be in the Feed Your Brand feeds. The Binge Factor here is only interviews with top podcasters. Occasionally, I’ll bring you a social influencer and video influencers. It’s not just podcasters but video casters, anyone who’s casting out there in the marketplace in that syndication model. They definitely will be here because there are some tips to be learned whether they are podcasting or doing more than podcasting, starting from a different place.
That’s exactly what we’ll be here in The Binge Factor. Everything else will still be at Feed Your Brand. You can also go to TheBingeFactor.com or you can go to FeedYourBrand.co. You can get the information from both places. They connect up to each other. You’ll be able to find us either way. If you’re comfortable and you’re bookmarked and you go to Feed Your Brand and you’ve been a reader for a while, keep in mind, there are two separate feeds now. If you were previously subscribed to Feed Your Brand, you’re now reading The Binge Factor because it took over that feed. You’ll have to go back in and subscribe to Feed Your Brand separately.
I’m so glad you’ve come along on this journey with me. I am excited to bring you some new formats. I’m always looking to shift and pivot to make sure that we’re most relevant to what’s going on in the industry and the time frame right now and making sure that I’m bringing you the best value. What happens if you reach out to me and talk to me? You need to reach out to me on Instagram, we have @Feed_Your_Brand. @HazzDesign is my personal Instagram, so you can reach out to me and talk to me there. You can do @HazzDesign on Twitter. I don’t usually answer back on Twitter, although I do post there. You can find me at Tracy Leigh Hazzard on Facebook. You should be able to find me. It’s not that hard. You can find us at Feed Your Brand on Facebook as well.
I look forward to connecting with you. I look forward to hearing from you and I want to invite you to come and be here. If you’re sitting there and you’ve produced 25 episodes of your show or more, you qualify. You have enough knowledge to tell me what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. Don’t think you have to have one million downloads to be here. You don’t. There are valuable tips for people at every level. My minimum requirement is you have at least podcasted 25 episodes, but that’s it. That’s my minimum requirement. From there, we’ll reevaluate you. We’ll either invite you here or we’ll invite you to do a Q&A first before, which is a written format.
We’ll invite you to do a Q&A if we think that maybe you’re not quite ready yet or we want to know some more information before we proceed forward. Feel free to reach out and do that. You can do that right on our website FeedYourBrand.co. Go up to the part that says guest directory and guesting opportunities. You’ll be able to connect through and apply in any one of those places. I look forward to talking with you all soon. I look forward to bringing you new podcasters with new great ideas and I look forward to covering The Binge Factor. Thanks, everyone.
- Tom Hazzard
- Authority Magazine – Tracy Hazzard’s column
- @Feed_Your_Brand – Instagram
- @HazzDesign – Instagram
- @HazzDesign – Twitter
- Tracy Leigh Hazzard – Facebook
- Feed Your Brand – Facebook
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