The Best Educational Podcasts Of 2020–And How To Create Your Own

The Best Educational Podcasts Of 2020–And How To Create Your Own
The Best Educational Podcasts Of 2020–And How To Create Your Own

Mar 19 2020 | 00:31:51

Episode March 19, 2020 00:31:51

Hosted By

Stuart Barefoot

Show Notes

As listeners and podcast producers, we're always on the hunt for shows that help us improve in some aspect of our lives. The best educational podcasts fill the void with episodes about entrepreneurship, language learning practice, and even philosophical debates.

When Craig sat down with Kevan Lee from Buffer, he didn't plan on digging deeper into how Buffer creates their educational podcasts. But after hearing about their unique process and transition into scripted episodes, we had to know more.

This week on Audience, we're talking about a popular podcast topic and category–educational podcasts. These podcast's formats take many forms but one thing remains constant. The audience is there to learn something and they need actionable steps to get started.

Listen to our interview with Kevan to find out how Buffer produces their show then read on to discover 10 of the best educational podcasts out there.

Why You Should Consider An Educational Podcast Format

The best educational podcasts tackle a theme or niche topic and analyze it down to its basic points. These shows are popular because podcasts are a great way to learn new skills from experts. They also help audiences access more information about a specific interest that may be too complicated to understand via other mediums.

For example, there is a community interested in learning about how to save and invest for retirement. But it takes time to research and understand complex financial topic from articles around the internet. Instead, people listen to Money For The Rest of Us. The host, David Stein, previously managed billions of dollars and is there to guide his listeners through a variety of financial topics. His goal is to help people become more confident investors and take control of their financial futures.

For individual hosts, like David Stein, educational podcasts offer an opportunity to become an industry authority. He published a book in 2019, curates a weekly newsletter, and speaks at live events due to his podcast's success. For aspiring podcasters, if you're interested in educating others about a topic or skill then this podcast format is for you.

In the same vein, brands like Buffer are producing educational podcasts that weave in their products with actionable information. Buffer's team is an expert on all things social media so they're able teach listeners about industry best practices and how their tool can help. Brands producing educational podcasts offer more value to their customers, helping them refine a skillset along the way.

What Buffer Learned From Producing A Podcast

We weren't shocked to hear about Buffer's transition from an interview-based podcast to a scripted show because their written content is the pinnacle B2B of content marketing. Recording an educational podcast based off their high performing blog content sounded like a no-brainer. But it took some trial and error from them to get there.

The Science of Social Media started as an interview-style show where 3 different hosts would rotate through interviewing industry experts. But they found it was difficult to have a unique perspective in a sea of similar educational podcasts that were speaking with the same people. So they pivoted into talking about "the how" behind trending industry practices so listeners could learn how to set up their own social media campaigns effectively.

Now the podcast is hosted by two of Buffer's team members and they follow a script to ensure they drive home the takeaways. No more than 15-20 minutes long, they aim to make everything sound conversational but the end goal is provide as much knowledge as possible within the show's run time.

Tips for turning a blog post into a podcast script

Scripting the show based off blog posts took some effort to get it right. Kevan's main learning points included:

  1. Include some conversational cues so the hosts knew to add short anecdotes or humor to keep things light.
  2. Remove all commas from the script. Speaking something out loud has different natural pauses compared to reading it.
  3. Practice the script as a group to make it sound as conversational as possible.
  4. Keep an eye on word counts. For a 15-20 minute episode, Buffer looks for 2,000 word articles. If pieces are too long, they cut sections out but make sure everything still flows.
  5. Chuck the blog post into sections so topics flow and the audience has the relevant information to understand the subsequent topic.
  6. Remember to add in filler words and transitions so hosts can naturally pass the conversation back and forth.
  7. Spell out acronyms and rehearse difficult to pronounce words and names.
  8. When important visuals appear within the blog post, get detailed in how you describe it audibly. You want the audience to be able to recreate the action on their own while listening.

10 Best Educational Podcasts In 2020

Many of us are on the hunt for ways to improve our lives and learning new skills is one part of that journey. We gathered the ten best educational podcasts that will help you learn something new. These shows follow different formats and cover a variety of topics so there's something for everyone!

  1. Overheard at National Geographic: "Each week we’ll dive into one of the curiously delightful conversations we’ve overheard around National Geographic’s headquarters. You’ll be introduced to the explorers, photographers and scientists at the edges of our big, bizarre, and beautiful world."
  2. WorkLife by TED: "Organizational psychologist Adam Grant takes you inside the minds of some of the world’s most unusual professionals to explore the science of making work not suck. From learning how to love criticism to harnessing the power of frustration, one thing’s for sure: You’ll never see your job the same way again."
  3. Life Kit by NPR: "Everyone needs a little help being human. From sleep to saving money to parenting and more, we talk to the experts to get the best advice out there. Life Kit is here to help you get it together."
  4. You're Wrong About: "Mike and Sarah are journalists obsessed with the past. Every where they reconsider an event or person or trend that's been miscast in the public imagination."
  5. How to Money: "Best friends Joel and Matt believe that when you handle your money in a purposeful, thoughtful way that works for your lifestyle, you can really start living a rich life."
  6. The Pitch: "Listen as real entrepreneurs pitch real investors–for real money."
  7. This Podcast Will Kill You: Each episode tackles a different disease, from its history to its biology, and finally how scared you need to be."
  8. Coffee Break: "Learn one of seven languages, including Enlgihs, Spanish, French, and more, on the go."
  9. Houston, We Have a Podcast: "We bring in the experts, scientists, engineers, astronauts, all to let you know what's going on in the world of human spaceflight."
  10. Encyclopedia Womannica: "In just 5 minutes a day, learn about different incredible women from throughout history."

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:05 Hello and welcome back to the audience podcast. I'm Craig Hewitt, your host from <inaudible>. Well, I think it's important to address the elephant in the room, which is Corona virus and covert 19, uh, the crisis that all of us are dealing with in one form or another. You know, our hope, the team at cast us here wishes everybody is happy and healthy and safe and uh, I know that we're all going to get through this. It takes some time and some adjustment and maybe some flexibility on all of our parts dealing with what is the new norm in our lives, both personally and professionally and socially. But, uh, you know, best wishes to everybody from our team to you and your families to get through this, this time in this crisis with, with as little kind of pain and an uneasiness as possible. And if certainly if our team can do anything to help you, please just let us know. Speaker 1 00:53 In this episode I'm joined by Kevin Lee, the vice president of marketing at buffer. Buffer is a social media management tool that is very popular in the entrepreneurial and online marketing world. They're also kind of a beacon of transparency and remote work culture. Uh, Kevin and I talk a bit about remote work in this episode, but we talk mostly about how they run their podcast, the science of social media. There are a lot of really great nuggets in here about how they transitioned the format of their show from an interview based show to a very scripted kinda two person dialogue internally. So they're really teaching and all of their episodes. It's not a lot of these kind of, uh, having a industry guest on and talking to them about something. But buffer uses this as a way to amplify and sometimes repurpose some of their written content. And I thought it was interesting how Kevin talks about how they approach that with, with both existing and new content that they turn into podcast episodes. I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Kevin Lee from Buffalo Speaker 0 01:52 <inaudible>. Speaker 1 01:55 For folks who don't know you, can you give a bit of an introduction of, of who you are and what you're up to? Speaker 2 01:59 Absolutely. My name is Kevin Lee. I'm the VP of marketing at buffer. Buffer is a social media management product for brands and businesses and individuals and podcasts. Ritual we'll get to in a bit. So day to day I lead the marketing team at buffer and do strategy and vision and teammate encouragement. And I also do quite a bit of individually individual contributor work on content and launches, kind of whatever needs done I get to to pick up and do. Speaker 1 02:25 And I think buffer is one of the companies that we look to when it comes to to creating content as like the pinnacle of what like really good written content is for sure. Um, you know, I followed your blog a long time before the podcast came out and I know the podcast is a kind of following in suit. How has the experience been kind of getting into podcasting, you know, your 150 something episodes and at this point, but you'll have a lot more written content experience than you do podcasting. So I'd be curious to hear kind of how that journey has been for you. Speaker 2 02:53 It seems like there would be some overlap and we found ways to overlap it a little bit, but they're really very disciplines, so we had to learn pretty much everything from scratch. I'd say. Thinking of written content versus the audio content that we do, the way we try to marry it is we take existing blog posts, almost repurpose them as as audio or as podcasts episodes and that served us well in getting to 150 episodes or so, but we had to learn how to edit podcast audio, how to promote a podcast, how to even think of how to form an episode or write scripts. We had to work through voices, we had to work through timing. We had to work through format, like is it an interview type show, is it a back and forth with two hosts at one house? Does it someone reading? So there was so many different elements that weren't shared with blog posts writing. I think the content itself is, the topics themselves are the same, but in terms of how we create it and deliver it, it's been a learning curve for sure. Speaker 1 03:46 Yeah. I want to dig into some more of those in a bit, but for folks who aren't familiar with the podcast, can you give an idea of of kind of what a typical structure looks like? I know that did you talk a lot about social media? You're a social media company, so you talk a lot of of that kind of how to and strategy stuff in terms of topics, but in terms of of how the podcast is structured and you talk about different formats and things like that. Can you walk folks through that a bit? Speaker 2 04:10 Absolutely. Yeah. I'll even go back to what we started with, which is not the format that we have anymore. So we started with an interview show and it was three different hosts and we would each take turns interviewing leader in technology or SAS or social media, just asking them about their process, kind of what works for them, what they've learned over the years. And that was fun. It was great. We had some really cool episodes and got to meet some, some really great folks. What we found is that our space in particular in business and technology, there's a lot of interview shows out there and it was really hard to have a unique perspective that you couldn't get from just any other show. So we started kind of moving away from that, doing more news roundups or article recaps and going more into the topics and explaining some of the how behind social media strategies and tactics. Speaker 2 04:58 And that was kind of where we hit our groove. So probably starting with episode 25 or 50 somewhere in that range, we found a pretty good format. It's a 15 to 20 minute episode with two hosts talking back and forth to each other. It's all scripted. So we stay on topic and we keep it super actionable. Don't go off on too many tangents, but we script it in a way that it sounds like a conversation between two friends. And the nice thing is the two folks who do the hosting duties are friends in real life. So that that helps a lot. And that's it. We do one a week, but keep it, try to keep it short and sweet. We found that that's been really effective for us because it does stand out a bit in our field. There's a lot of, you know, 45 minute hour long podcasts and we try to give you as much as you, especially learning as you can in the 15 or 20 minutes that we have with you. Speaker 1 05:44 I'd love to dig in a little bit to the scripting, like how deeply are things scripted and how regimented are the two co-hosts about sticking with that? Is it word for word or is it kind of bullet points of we want to talk about these things. What, what does that look like? Speaker 2 05:58 Yeah, it is word for word. We've shifted hosts in the last year or so, we had two members of our marketing team who were the hosts and now we have two members of different departments within buffer and so making that switch we, we kept the script intact because those folks aren't in marketing all day anyway. So doing bullet points wouldn't have given them as much context or information to talk about there. So we script the whole thing. We'll script in specific moments where they can add live and add a bit of personality or a bit more casualness to it. So if there's like a little joke in the script or an area to add an anecdote, we'll write that in so they know to add that and yeah. Then the rest of it is just learning how to read a lot of is learning how to write a script so that it can be read easily. Speaker 2 06:42 We learned very late in the game that you shouldn't have any commas in a script that someone's going to read. So I'm having written a lot of scripts with commas in it. That was good feedback for me. And then it was just practice, you know, practice writing, practice, working together, talking together. And I think there's still some work that we can always improve on. There is always, at least I can tell sometimes when it's being written maybe cause I wrote it, but um, I think we're getting better at kind of making it seem more like a conversation. Speaker 1 07:08 I didn't anticipate our conversation going here. But this is so fascinating because I am not a super organized person. It's just my nature of the thought of like writing out a script and reading the script as my podcast episode is, um, it's kinda not me and I, I should get over that and I should kind of grow up. But, um, I wonder what the scripting process looks like. So, so you say like, you know, I saw one was like, um, Marie Kondo in your LinkedIn, right? This most recent episode. So like, okay, so you're going to write this article about kind of cleaning up your LinkedIn profile and you know, friends and connections and stuff like that. What is, so you have the topic, what is the process look like to kind of get the script written to where the two hosts can read it and do the episode. Speaker 2 07:49 So that one in particular, I believe it started with a blog post. Not every episode starts with the blog posts, but if it doesn't start with a blog post and it starts with a lot of research. So we take this foundational piece of content, whether it's a collection of research and articles, or if it's an actual blog post that is up on the buffer blog and then we do a word count on it, see how long it is. So for our 15 to 20 minute episodes, typically around 2000 words is going to fill that time plus the intro and outro. So if the article that we're pulling from is quite a bit longer, then we'll cut different sections enough so that it still makes sense, but it fits within that timeframe. And then it's about going through and kind of chunking it into parts and applying them to different individuals. Speaker 2 08:30 So we, the articles, the way that we write our articles in general is kind of a conversational tone. It's a bit more casual in nature. So that helps. We have a good foundation there. If we're researching, we, we almost write the article anyway going into the script writing process because it helps to organize the thoughts and that was breaking down the different sections. So it's typically like paragraph by paragraph or we'll assign it to one of the two hosts and they'll go back and, and then we will add in different filler words and different transition phrases. So it sounds like we're going from one thought to the next or are passing from one host to the next talk and then we'll go in and we'll change out some of the words, like we'll have to spell out certain acronyms or work on pronunciation of words that we write all day, but never think about saying out loud or people's names and things like that. Speaker 2 09:17 We'll make sure that we're sharing enough context that doesn't that make sense of our audio, that a lot of the stuff that we write references, visuals or references like this is how to, this is where it's specifically to go on LinkedIn to change this particular thing and check out this screenshot. So we have to rewrite that in a way that explains to the podcast what we're looking at and what we're telling folks to look at there. So there is a bit of editing there, but mostly it's, yeah, like from a high level, taking a blog post, chunking it into different paragraphs and adding filler words and transitional phrases in between. Speaker 1 09:46 I love it. That's really fascinating. I, uh, we, we have done a lot of work on this show. I always say we, but it's me, uh, to really beef up the format and the style to try and bring in more of a, a narrative style to even interviews to where I'm kind of coming back in and interjecting a thought or a bit of a dialogue around something that you or I say during this interview here. And I think that's really cool, uh, in a way to mix things up because yeah, I mean there are a metric ton of just 45 minute interview shows, especially in kind of like the business and marketing world. And I think that's a big part of what this show is about, honestly, is like, you can't just do that and expect to be successful. So it's cool to see that you guys saw that a long time two years ago now, right? That you have to mix it up and that you have been successful either re-purposing some of your written content into podcast episodes or early probably creating really nice blog posts that are also podcast. So it's Speaker 2 10:44 absolutely, yeah, we're even thinking of like what's next for the podcast too. So you mentioned we've been doing this for a couple of years, so we're almost thinking this format, it might be time to adjust to, and one of the trends that we're noticing is almost like Collin shows are becoming a thing again, Colin shows over podcast and so, and you know, historically we've been solving, we've been almost doing a college style format without the actual phone calls themselves. Like we're taking challenges for social media marketers and solving them with podcasts episodes, but we want to make it a bit more interactive feeling in the podcast. So actually answer questions and go deep on specific answers and things. So yeah, it's a constant evolution. I think that's one of the scary things about podcasting for us is once you find a formula that works, it's almost time to start thinking of the next formula. And I'm very risk averse and so I'm always scared to change something that's working, but you almost have to start thinking of how you're going to change it before it's time to actually change it. So we're always trying to think ahead to the next thing. Speaker 1 11:38 Yeah, for sure. That's interesting. I have one other question, uh, because it's something that's kind of rattling in my mind around this re-purposing of blog content or, or even like what we do for these episodes as we write 2000 word show notes for this episode, which is like a blog post for us. And so from a, like from an SEO perspective, do you create separate like posts on your site for podcast episodes and blog posts or if you've repurposed a blog posts, you just stick the player in that blog post and say, here's our podcast episode where we talk about this thing. Speaker 2 12:10 Yeah. So if we're repurposing an existing blog posts, we will stick the player at the top. We may update the Post's contents as you probably had to update some things to make the episode. Yup. And then we'll update the publication date. So it is shows that it was published more recently and all those things are great for SEO. It gets people to stay on the page longer. It's updated content which the search engines love. So that's the plan there. And then if we are starting from scratch with the topic, we will, similar to the, you will write a 2000 word article, we'll do it, let's sell from like a show notes and here's the transcript and more about here's an article written in article format with a player at the top. So that's typically the route we go. Speaker 1 12:46 Yeah. And I just to to kind of unbox that a little bit for the listeners, like the idea here is not to kind of spread the places that somewhere like Google is looking on your site for a content about a particular topic. So if you're talking about LinkedIn and example we were talking about you want one place on your site where Google says this is the most authoritative place on to talk about LinkedIn profiles. Maybe a, so instead of having a podcast episode and a blog post talking about this, you have one kind of mega piece, authoritative piece and everything is there. So yeah, that's, I'm patting myself on the back and I'll have to Pat Denise on our team on the back for us getting this right for once a, from, from the get go. Yeah, that's a, it's really cool. And I think that the lesson that we saw in our first couple of episodes of this show was we were creating the, you know, seven or 800 word show notes and we said like, we're going to a lot of work to create this episode. Speaker 1 13:38 Why not spend the extra really just hour maybe to write really, really thorough notes and, and like you said, more of an article about the topic rather than just in this episode we talked about a, B, and C, but you know, here, let's break down all the steps, like you're saying, really make it a, an authoritative piece that could stand alone, but it also has an up podcast associated with it. So that's a kind of a different way of looking at it. Then I think some people do. I'd like to kind of switch gears a little bit to talk about social media as a promotional and community building tool because I think this is a place that we focus a lot on creating really great content. That's definitely a subject and it's a complicated subject. As we were talking about just with show formats and everything, but since y'all live in the social media world, day in and day out, I would love to kind of pick your brain about what you've experienced with the podcast that has worked particularly well for you that you think could be kind of transferrable to folks in general. Speaker 2 14:35 Yeah, absolutely. There's a couple of different things that come to mind. The first is we use social media as feedback channel for the podcasts, so at the end of every episode we have a little tag at the end asking folks to use hashtag buffer podcast on social media to get touch with us and to share thoughts. I know some folks might go all the way to make different handles for their podcast. I think for us, we wanted to keep the buffer handles be kind of the main ones, but people can add buffer podcasts as a hashtag anywhere and that's been really valuable for us. We see a lot of comments there about, you know, things people like things people don't like. We see folks sharing on Instagram stories that you know, they're listening to the buffer podcast and add the quick little hashtag there. It makes that very discoverable for us so we can either reshare it. Speaker 2 15:17 So we do a lot of reposting of stories on our buffer account or we can find it easily and then kind of learn from it and engage with those community members and audience members there. So the hashtag has been really great for us. I think the second thing that we found valuable is audio grams. So taking little snippets from the podcast and turning them into Instagram content. There's several tools that do it really well. One of the ones that we've used in the past is called headliner and it just takes you basically upload your podcast episode and choose a little snippet from it. We typically choose between 15 and 30 seconds, something that's catches the ear and sounds cool and intriguing, maybe adds a little curiosity gap to make folks listen to the whole thing and it makes it into a really cool format. It's great for stories. Speaker 2 16:01 We put it in Instagram stories a lot. We put it on the main feed every so often and that's been great to get attention for the podcast too. We've even put cross posted to Facebook and Twitter and other channels. We typically see Instagram being the most talked about spot for that kind of work. So that's typically where it goes first. But those are two of the, the ones that come to mind initially. But we have a lot of, a lot of work goes into the social media side of it in terms of taking a podcast and repurposing it as many different ways as you can from just sharing a link to listen to making the audio grams, to pulling out different snippets and quotes from it to surfacing ideas and getting feedback. There's lots of different ways you can use social media to promote and improve the podcast. Speaker 1 16:42 Yeah, no, I, I have to, uh, agree on the headliner front. We just released an integration with headliner directly within Costos. Um, so you just go right into your dashboard and click and it launches the audiogram wizard. It's, yeah, it's fantastic. It's, it's a really cool way to create a, a good marketing resource, I think for the episodes. And it's cool because it's really rich. It's audio, it's visual and it has, you know, the, the sound wave marching across and we do the transcription so you have the words on the screen if you're not hearing the sound. So it's really a pretty immersive experience. Yeah. Speaker 2 17:14 One of the things we found with social media is that most people don't have the sound on when they're looking at videos on there. So yeah, the audiogram is end up being videos but the audio playing so the transcript is really useful down at the bottom there. It makes the podcast audio so useful in so many different formats that way just to have it transcribed there. Speaker 1 17:30 I'm not going to challenge this <inaudible> success of Instagram, but it's very surprising to me because I think something that like in the marketing world we hear a lot is like, Oh I don't want to do business on Facebook. And I would put Instagram like one step even kind of further away from where people typically do business. Was that surprising to you that say, okay, I have a podcast about social media, which for a lot of people is kind of a passion project maybe or you know, a personal identity thing but prefer a lot of people that listen to your show. It's their job, right? They're a marketing person. They are tasked to kind of Excel the social media. They want to listen to your show and follow what y'all do and then to engage on their personal Instagram kind of feeds. It seems like a big jump to me was, was that a surprise to you? Speaker 2 18:14 It's always something we were curious about. Like we tested the best spots to promote the podcast a lot of different ways, so we do see some traction on Twitter. I think Twitter is great for the thought leadership and almost like work focused conversations around social media and technology and kind of our space. I think, you know, for folks listening it's probably important to recognize like Instagram works for us, but it's useful to test to narrow an audience in networks. I think we have an audience that does get a lot of value from Instagram, maybe use it in a particular way. I guess what we've found with Instagram is that the podcast in our case is a very personal experience for folks and it's a different experience than content like blog content where you spend, you know, five minutes browsing an article with our podcasts. You might spend 15 to 20 minutes listening to someone who you have a very close connection with and then maybe you listen to multiple episodes so you're spending an hour with folks and I think Instagram has become this place where you talk about the things that you're doing as big as I am, especially Instagram stories. Speaker 2 19:14 I think that's where we see probably the most conversation around the podcast these days is on Instagram stories where people, these individuals are sharing what they're listening to, what they're doing, what they're into, and podcasts tend to be kind of one of those easy cultural things to share with folks. There's almost a bit of personal branding you can do by I should say, and this is a podcast I listened to and check it out and it's kind of a cool factor to share podcasts in a way, so we see a lot of that behavior in our audience and in the way that it's shipped. That podcast is shared on Instagram. Instagram stories is huge. It's mostly people sharing and listening to this now or this is great, or here's a few of my favorite podcasts. The buffer podcast gets mentioned there and I do think it's, it has a lot to do with the personal nature of the audio that's, it's different than the blog material. Speaker 2 20:00 Like I wrote a lot of the blog content back when I started at buffer. I had a certain connection with the folks who read it that a lot of that happened in the comments of the blog posts and I think with podcasting you don't have that same, that same vehicle to engage with the hosts. You might have a deeper relationship or you feel like you have a deeper relationship with them because you hear their voices all the time. You kind of get to know them on a different level than someone writing a blog post. But then where do you go to engage with them or where are you going to talk about them? I think there's, since there's not a comment section on the podcast, we find that a lot of people go to social media and a lot of our audience at least goes to Instagram to share and to connect Speaker 1 20:34 the lesson I pull away there for us cause it might be different for us at cast us and it might be, it will be different for a lot of people listening is to test things that you think may work but, but maybe won't so so tested the experiment with you know, place like Instagram or LinkedIn or Twitter or Facebook, Snapchat and see if it works. And you might be surprised I think is the thing I pull away. I don't even know if we have an Instagram account, which is embarrassing. Um, we will by the end of the day. Um, but this other part that you were talking about of of like continuing the discussion or having a, a vehicle to have two way dialogue with your listeners is hugely important and is just kind of by nature a challenge in podcasting and it's great to hear that through social media you've found a way to do that in a kind of scalable and repeatable way. Is there anything else around that that you want to share? Speaker 3 21:26 Yeah, I guess it's interesting to think about audience growth with a podcast and how that relates to social media. I think one of the things we've found is we've wished that we had started some sort of email list for the podcast. Like I think if we were, there's something we wish we knew when we started. It was probably more around this audience development concept because social media is a wonderful channel for distribution and for community and for engagement. It's a bit trickier to build or to capture an audience on social media and audience that you can then share with and connect with and get in constant touch with. So I think that's been one of the interesting, I guess just distinctions about social media in our minds. I think the building of an audience might happen more on email or more on some of the owned media assets that we have. Speaker 3 22:08 So like our blog or our website and in social media since it's not a property that we own or not a network that we own it, I guess we just need to think of it differently. So we've had this approach of, you know, engage, share, promote, distribute and less some of like capture and build an audience there. I think we, the podcast builds an audience just from the nature of us doing it consistently and doing it at a high quality and talking about things people care about when it comes to ways to communicate with the audience regularly. I think we didn't necessarily see social media as we're going to blast this out to everyone who wants to listen to. It's more of a, this is a strategic way to share, to distribute it and talk about it, but there's probably other channels that we can use to build the audience itself. Speaker 1 22:50 I would say I think that's a plugable to everybody that, you know, social media is a great place to start a conversation maybe. Um, but like you said, for me and for me at least, and you mentioned that you're risk averse. I'm very risk averse and this sense of, uh, you know, social media is not a platform that I own. It's not my website that I own the domain to. It's not the email list that I have and I can export from MailChimp and go to ConvertKit or whatever. And we do a poor job at this too of taking podcast listeners and inviting them to continue to discussion with us on email or us creating email specific content about the podcast. I think that could be really interesting. I think this is somewhere that the people that do it really well see a real benefit in terms of feedback and the frequency of feedback they get. Um, because I think a lot of people are just kind of consumers of social media. I am at least, maybe I'm projecting a little bit but they just read and they view and they see your audiogram and that's cool and they might comment but maybe not like they would if they went and wrote you an email. Speaker 3 23:50 Yeah, I think we've found this. Social media is great for discovery. If the podcast, like if you want to dip in and out of episodes you can follow a buffer and see when we post every now and then, but when it comes to kind of that, I've heard her Nicole, like raving fans. If you want to build this raving fan audience, I think that is something you need to do on a different platform and channel. Like you mentioned email or a website where people who, who crave that every bit of information you can have about the podcast behind the scenes information or bonus content, things like that. Like how do you get that content out to them? We've definitely want to experiment social media in that regard, but I think the way to go is probably more on the email website side of things. Speaker 1 24:26 Yeah, yeah. I know on on the social media side of things, we have a Facebook group as well and we do have a lot of discussions there that, that continue after episodes. And I like that from the, you know, the many to many relationships, whereas email is always going to be, you know, one too many and then one to one kind of on the way back. Uh, so I think Facebook groups are nice and we've seen other people, you know, customers and people that we've worked with have a lot of success with some kind of community, whether it's virtual or in person, uh, around their podcast. Speaker 3 24:56 Yeah, that's great. I like the optin nature of those groups. Like if people want to hear lots more about this podcast, they can join and that's the way to hear it. So there's a really cool concert there. Speaker 1 25:05 Yeah, I'd be curious to hear like on an ongoing basis what successful looks like for, for you with respect to the podcast, you know, kind of now and looking into the future a little bit. Speaker 3 25:17 Yeah, so we measure success through the audience size that we have and that metrics are always a bit tricky with podcasting. So what that means for us at the moment is listens or downloads. So we want that number to be growing as time goes on. Right now we're between 20 and 25,000 listens per episode per week. So we want to keep growing that number. Um, I think longer term we do see it more of more as an audience metrics. So it might not be necessarily exactly listens to downloads, it might be more how many people do we have subscribed to our email list, or if you want a community, if we decide to go that route, maybe how big is the podcast community that we've built on Facebook groups or Slack or wherever we choose to build it. So we do have audience in mind when it comes to this. We don't tie a lot of return on investment or business goals or revenue goals to the podcast. We treat it more as a, this podcast is useful as content for our audience. It's useful as value for our customers and it's useful to get the buffer name out into the world. So we try to measure that by how many people at depth listening and hearing about it. Speaker 1 26:18 Awesome. I think that makes a lot of sense. And I think that's, that's consistent with what we've heard from a lot of other businesses. And I think for a lot of brands, cause you know, to generalize a little bit away from just businesses, a lot of brands, again, church groups or Dungeons and dragons groups, you know, whatever the, the podcast is, is kind of the tip of the spear a little bit as, as just a branding exercise. And then we invite people and a lot of our customers invite people to go continue to some other way on a website or an email list, you know, attend a meeting, sign up for a course, uh, buy a product, whatever it is. But the podcast seems to be the the first point of contact for a lot of people that are as good discovering new brands. So that's, that's pretty cool to see. Kevin, is there anything else you would like to share with the listeners, kind of about, about buffer, about the podcast, what you all have learned and kind of where you think things are headed? Speaker 3 27:09 So we've talked a lot about our main bet for podcast, which is the science, social media and that's our weekly one that we do. We've also experimented with like a short run narrative storytelling podcast. We did a six episode podcast that went behind the scenes for this brand that started from scratch and kind of what that process was like for them. And I guess the reason behind that is we've, we've seen so many other cool shows and that kind of spectrum of storytelling and short form narrative driven work. And it seems like there's some exciting stuff there is, it felt very different than the weekly scripted conversation that we have in our science, social media podcasts. So I think when we think of podcasting this year and in the coming years, it almost does feel like there's, it's no longer that you have a podcast as your business. Speaker 3 27:59 I think the way that we're thinking of it buffering is like podcasting can be, it's on channel, it's on, it's almost like it's an ecosystem within buffer and we have this main one that drives a lot of, like you mentioned the tip of the spear, the very entry point level folks. We also have this other one that drives more maybe on the culture side of things. For us it buffers, our workplace culture is very important to us. Southern podcasts drives us into this new market of maybe business builders or brands or things like that. So we're kind of seeing podcasts as this multifaceted tool that we can use and it doesn't have to be this giant investment that we're own. We're starting a second podcast. It's going to be a weekly thing that we need two or three people to work on all the time, but more as like we're doing this Shortland to experiment and test and see how it goes. And if it goes well, we'll make some more in kind of breaking apart from this idea of the weekly treadmill for this exact purpose and thinking of it more as there's many purposes that podcasting conservant we can test and experiment and try some new things. So I guess that's kind of a mindset shift for us recently is there's a world of possibility out there and podcasting being as popular as it is, we want to strike, well, everything's hot. Speaker 1 29:04 Yeah. It's, it's great to give yourself that, uh, kind of mental and emotional break ahead of time to say this is going to be a six or a 12 episode series and that's it. This is not the albatross, right. That's our under neck of this is not going to be, you know, so that something we have to do every week. And I think it gives a lot of us energy to say, we're going to put a lot into this, the, the narrative style that you're talking about. We're going to invest heavily in the production value in the editing and scripting and things like that to make it really awesome. So that's, that's really cool to hear that you, that you went into that with the forethought of like this is this is going to be a thing, see how it goes and that might inform some, some other decisions we make later. Kind of like this. Speaker 3 29:46 Absolutely and I think tie it back to social media, it makes for such a different style of content to share too. Like we could launch something using social media, launched the podcast almost treated like a product of its own measure, early traction to it and iterate on the naming of things and how we share and so there's, it was, it was a really fun experience. We're going to do more of it in 2020 and beyond. But yeah, just I guess we're really glad that we shift things up a bit from the norm and even thinking of how to iterate on the current podcast. Having, like I mentioned, there's risks in that, but being able to take those risks and try new things I think has been really useful for us and beneficial for us. Speaker 1 30:20 Kevin for folks who want to kind of check out I know a, is there anywhere else that you would like to to point folks to? Speaker 3 30:26 Yeah, if you listen to podcasts you can go search for us. We have the science of social media and we also have the short form narrative one is called breaking brand, so you can search buffer in your favorite podcast app or search either of those names and if you head over to our blog it's you can find all the show notes and links to our different podcasts and articles there. Speaker 1 30:48 Have you enjoyed that conversation with Kevin Lee from buffer? I thought it was a really great conversation about how a very good content marketing company approaches their podcast and I think it's really interesting for us to see some of the patterns that are emerging here from what I think are some of the really best content marketing organizations in the world and how they're doing their podcasts. Some things that are similar and some things that are very different. So I think it's neat to be able to pick apart those similarities and differences as we get exposure to more and more shows. If you have any questions about this episode or want to get more resources mentioned, head over to Casto Stott com slash podcast for the full show notes of each episode, and as always, if you're enjoying the show, please share it with someone who you think would enjoy it as well. You know, especially in this time with with coronavirus and all of our lives being a bit upended, I think that a good news and interesting content in the form of podcasts is always wanted and we hope that this is providing that for everyone out there. Thanks so much. We'll see you next week.

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