What Can Podcasters Learn From The Creator Economy

Evangeline Robinson
Marketing Manager
6th June 2023

At The Podcast Show 2023 Listen collaborated with Arcade Media to share insights from some of the most influential voices in the creator economy. Together, we hosted the Rise Up Stage delivering a day of five sessions that explored the crossover between podcasting and the creator economy. On the day, we had industry experts and podcast talent uncover valuable strategies.

Whether you’re a seasoned podcaster or just starting out, let’s dive in and explore the top five learnings that you can implement today to level up your podcasting journey.

1. Build your personal brand alongside your podcast ⭐️

Both digital content creators and top podcasters demonstrate the value of building a personal brand.

We kicked off our day by discussing why podcasters should put LinkedIn at the heart of their promotional strategy. Caspar Lee, the renowned YouTuber-turned-investor, showcased the strategy of building a personal brand while creating content when he shifted his focus to LinkedIn, leveraging the platform to establish himself as an authority in the investment space. By expanding his online presence, Caspar was able to unlock a new audience and in turn, diversify his revenue streams and increase his business’s longevity and sustainability.

Pia Brady, Head of International Creator Ventures at LinkedIn, demonstrated how LinkedIn is the platform to build your personal brand online, but also emphasised the significance of leveraging social media to sustain conversations even after the podcast episode ends.

She explained that understanding the nuances of different platforms is crucial, as it allows podcasters to connect with their desired audience effectively. By being present where their audience resides, podcasters can extend the conversation, foster engagement, and cultivate a loyal community. Building your personal brand alongside your podcast enhances your visibility, broadens your influence, and ensures a lasting impact beyond audio-only channels.

2. Podcasts forge engaged communities, engaged communities make podcasts (and TV) grow 👥

During the panel discussion where we asked what lessons can companion podcasts take from the creator economy, Netflix’s Rae Votta, Sky’s Tom Pauc, Love Islander, Indiyah Polack, and Listen’s Director of Content Darby Dorras highlighted how TV and film can use podcasts to build and nurture communities around TV.

Podcasts are unique in the tone and environment they create. Picture this: your favourite TV show is on, whether that’s reality TV or a bingeable drama, you sit down to watch it and all your friends are watching live, the group chat is going off with commentary and predictions. That’s how the best companion podcasts make you feel. We think this is down to a few things:

  1. Target audience: Often companion podcasts are targeted at a similar audience to the show that they partner, not only does this take out any ambiguity around audience that can plague growing podcasts, but this gives a podcast a direction to go in, and a community to engage.
  2. Mutual interest: Community is built on connection and having a TV show as a mutual interest is a great basis on which to build this, not only does it allow the host to connect to the audience but can create space for the audience to connect with each other.
  3. Trusted voice: The host of a companion podcast is often a credible voice in the space talking authentically about a show they’re interested in, their insights are thoughtful and valuable and become the voice of a die hard community.

Companion podcasts nail these elements, and in turn foster a deep-rooted community that keeps coming back for more.

3. Know your podcast and audience before following trends 🧠

In the middle of the day, Jordan Schwarzenberger sat down with TikToker, Madeline Argy, and agent, Shelby Schenkman, to find out how creators are turning the idea of podcasting on its head. This talk was inspired by Madeline Argy’s unique approach to podcasting, in that unlike the large majority of podcasts hers is only available on YouTube and hosted from her car – neither of which has stunted her success, as the podcast gets 100k+ watches per episode.

When asked what advice she would give other podcasters and content creators, Madeline said “Don’t panic. Don’t feel the need to keep up with trends. If you want to make specific content in your niche then do it.” Clearly, doing that has worked for her! So next time someone suggests making a TikTok account for your podcast targeted at the 65+ demographic, keep this wisdom in mind.

4. Think like a YouTuber 🎥

What are the two things that have allowed YouTube, and the creators on that platform to thrive? Monetisation and discoverability. What are the two big challenges podcasters face? Monetisation and discoverability.

Our busiest talk of the day was when we asked Managing Director of YouTube UK and IE, Alison Lomax to sit down with Listen’s own MD, Josh Adley and UNBOXED host, Jordan Schwarzenberger to chat about ‘How to win big on YouTube with podcasts?’ From the talk we ended up with a strong case for looking to the success of the platform, not only for video podcasts but for strategy overall.

Firstly, discoverability – the key to growing an audience. Whether it’s the algorithm pushing videos from 1000 to 100,000 views, or the suggested videos that send you down an enlightening rabbit hole, YouTube’s discoverability features are well known. As a creator, making the most of a platform’s algorithm and discoverability features is a key marketing tactic that can have a massive return on investment. Look into the analytics of how people are finding your show, and test shifting this.

Plus, we all know by now that monetisation is essential for building a career as a creator, as we can see from YouTubers like WillNE and Caspar Lee, who were there on the day. So what can podcasters do? Diversify your revenue options as your audience grows, and think outside the box. If your shows are on YouTube, toggle on ads; if you have a smaller, dedicated audience then launch a subscription. Either way, it’s working for YouTubers so it could work well for your podcast.

5. Define what success is to you and build your strategy from there 🌱

We concluded our day of insightful discussions at The Podcast Show 2023 by gathering industry heavyweights Jonny Mounsor, Marta Biino, and WillNE to delve into the question: “Are creators the future of podcasting?” Throughout the engaging conversation, the topic revolved around defining success and determining the strategies to achieve it. Jonny Mounsor, Spotify’s manager of Creator Partnerships, emphasised that success should be measured by audience retention, rather than numbers. According to him, having a dedicated audience who returns weekly and engages with every episode is a truer indication of success.

WillNE, the YouTuber and podcaster, who recently dethroned Joe Rogan as Spotify’s top podcast, echoed this sentiment, emphasising the importance of providing consistent value to retain an audience. Marta Biino, Business Insider’s Creator Economy reporter, shared her experience as a devoted listener, highlighting the significance of knowing the value a creator offers and the ability to find consistent content within a specific niche.

With these insights in mind, it’s now up to you to define what success means for your brand and how you intend to provide value through your podcast. This involves determining your target audience, frequency of episodes, and episode duration. As Jonny aptly summarised, the podcasting industry is still relatively new, and there is no single formula for success. The key lies in finding your unique approach and carving a path that aligns with your goals and values.

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