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Lessons Learned from 100 Episodes of the Podcast

Lessons Learned from 100 Episodes of the Podcast

We’re celebrating 100 episodes of the Content 10x podcast!

Aside from clinking champagne glasses and wondering where the time went (time flies when you’re having fun!) my team and I have taken this milestone as an opportunity to reflect on lessons learned from recording, publishing and repurposing 100 podcast episodes consistently for 100 weeks in a row.

As we reach our 100th episode, it’s incredible to look back at our humble beginnings to see exactly where and how it all started and more importantly, how we’ve developed and what we’ve learned since then. Our repurposing strategies and the ways that we create and repurpose our content have evolved with us over time, which is what I want to share with you in this special episode and blog post!

Of course, as a content repurposing business, we have not only learnt lessons based on our own podcast and content, but based on the work that we do for our clients too.  We’re very fortunate to have wonderful clients and I’m so blessed to have such a dedicated team of content managers, publishers, copywriters, graphic designers, video and audio editors, that work tirelessly to serve our clients and maximize the reach of their content through the power of repurposing!

To prepare for this special episode, my team and I had an in-depth meeting where we reflected on how our own repurposing strategies and tactics have changed over time. Sounds intense…it wasn’t…we had fun…it’s been a fantastic journey and we’ve only just begun!

Discover what you can expect to learn from this episode by watching the short trailer video for this episode below:

You can listen to the podcast below, or keep reading...

Reflecting from our Creative Team

My Head of Creative, Jaye, has been working with me full-time since episode 0 of the podcast, and in fact he is my longest standing team member and joined when I had only 2 clients.

Jaye and the creative looked back at all the ways that we’ve changed things up since the very first episode of the podcast.

We haven’t implemented any major rebrands but rather made subtle creative changes over time.

Right from the very beginning, we’ve always had a strong brand. From our colour palette to the way we present ourselves online (and in public), we’ve never strayed far from our initial branding concepts.

Nonetheless, we did make some changes…

YouTube thumbnails 

If you want people to decide to watch your videos, you need to make sure your YouTube thumbnails are clickable. A creative and well-designed thumbnail will help to attract more viewers and subscribers to your channel.

However, there is such a thing as thumbnail trends. This is when a certain design or layout becomes super popular because it works. So, we kept a close eye on the trends, but to see what is currently working on YouTube and what isn’t.

We then tested different designs to see what got the most engagement. We try to keep things interesting, so you’ll often see us switch up our designs and thumbnail layouts. We do this more so for our clients than ourselves (YouTube not being core to our own content strategy), but we reflected on how much we have seen change in the YouTube thumbnail world in 2 years!

Social graphics

We used to create a lot of quote graphics for the podcast. This involved taking a great quote from a guest on the show or an interesting point, etc., and repurposing it into a stand-out graphic to share on social.

We still do this from time to time, but we’ve also switched things up to focus more on engagement. And, what’s one of the best ways to drive engagement on social? Asking questions. People don’t tend to engage if you don’t ask for the engagement.

Sharing a question on a visual is a great way to get conversations going with your audience. Plus, you can get really creative with it so that you create a visually engaging graphic with an intriguing question that people can’t wait to answer.

Audiograms & video trailers

When we first started, we created different audiograms for each social media platform. It worked great for us and taking a good sound bite from our podcast episodes and sharing them on social is something we recommend all podcasters to do!

However, we have reduced how many audiograms we create per episode. This is mainly because we’ve introduced a new way to announce the release of podcast episodes via video.

I now record a short video of myself where I talk about what listeners can learn from the episode and share it on social and on our blog posts! It’s very short and easy to watch, which makes it ideal for social media. We decided that whilst audiograms are good for sharing what’s in your podcast episode, they don’t provide a big picture view of what the whole episode is about, why you should watch it and what you’ll get out of it. I address this in my video trailers, and I think getting on camera is more personable and engaging.

If you scroll up to the top of this blog post, you’ll see an example of this type of video. Having a short video trailer like this means that people can watch the video before jumping in to listen to the full episode or reading the entire blog post. The video gives them just enough information to know whether or not it’s something that interests them.

Progress bars

You’d be amazed to learn what a huge difference a progress bar on a video. It encourages people to watch to the end.

We haven’t always added progress bars to our videos but since doing so, we’ve noticed people are more inclined to watch a video from start to finish. We notice this with a lot of the social videos that we create for clients.

A progress bar is such a small detail that’s all too easy to overlook. But, when you can visually see just how far you’re into the video and how much is left, it can help you decide whether you’ll consume the entire thing or move on.

Interactive lead magnets

Our first lead magnets were mainly downloadable PDF’s that people could print out and fill in with a pen. We decided they would be so much more useful  if people could edit our PDF’s from their digital devices, we started to create more interactive, editable lead magnets. After making our lead magnets more interactive, we’ve had great feedback from people who have downloaded them.

GIFs are Timeless!

One thing that definitely HASN’T changed since the dawn of Content 10x is our love of GIF’s! We’ve shared way too many GIF’s to count and what can we say, people just love a good GIF!

Content Planning & Publishing – Lessons Learnt

The publishing team are responsible for managing all of our content and tasked with making sure that everything is published on time..

When you create and repurpose as much content as we do, you need a great publishing team and that’s exactly what we’ve got. The publishing team are led by Franki, who is our overall Content & Operations Manager here at Content 10x, and Franki and I had a discussion with the team about what we’ve changed and learnt along the way.

Let’s dive in…

Instagram Stories

Ah, where would we all be without Instagram Stories?!

This platform really took off as our podcast grew and we were quick to jump on that moving train before it left the station!

We repurpose lots of our content on Instagram Stories and it’s a place where I love to engage with our audience. I often run entertaining polls and ask questions to get a conversation going and the response has always been great.

We don’t neglect the highlight reel of Instagram Stories either. That’s where we love to share things like client testimonials, interesting sound bites from the show and anything else we think our audience will enjoy beyond the 24hr expiry date of stories posts.

Lessons Learned from 100 Episodes of the Podcast

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become a great place to engage with other like-minded professionals, and over the past two years it’s really risen to the top of the ranks in terms of organic reach and engagement levels.

So, we’ve put a lot of focus on sharing content on LinkedIn and depending only on organic reach. We’re not putting any spend on them and still getting some great engagement on our organic posts.

Scheduling and timing

Did you know that the time of day you share a post on social has a huge impact on how many people see it?

We’ve always published our content according to times when our audience is most active on social. However, we’ve been careful not to get stuck on a schedule. So, we’ll plan out what post goes where and when. But the schedule won’t necessarily stay the same forever.

We always review our analytics closely to see when we got the most engagement on social and then we change our schedule accordingly. We do the same thing with our emails and send them out when we get the most open rates, etc. Finding that ‘sweet spot’ is all about testing and monitoring the data and being open to changing things up.

Our lesson learned here is that publishing schedules are important but don’t make them rigid. Be flexible.

Analytics

In the space of two years we’ve seen a huge improvement with the variety and quality of analytics available and we’ve made sure to make the most out of that data.

It’s important to know what analytics are available to you and keep on top of it all! Analytics can really help you see what content went down well and what content could be improved on over time.

Check out episode 87 of the podcast to learn some of the best ways that you can measure the effectiveness of your content using analytics and other means.

You can also head over to episode 96, where we take a closer look at the metrics that reveal whether people are consuming your content and why you should never be rigid with your content schedule.

Tools 

A big lesson that we’ve learned when it comes to publishing is how important it is to be flexible with the tools you use. Don’t be afraid to try something new!

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If you’ve got systems and processes based on using certain tools, the idea of switching to something new may seem a little daunting. But believe me, it could potentially be one of the best decisions for your business.

For examples, we used to use Buffer as our main social media scheduling tool but eventually, we moved to Smarter Queue. The main reason for that move was because we wanted to create a stronger Twitter strategy, with more post recycling, but it just didn’t work as well as we hoped. The social media landscape changed, Twitter re-cycling became frowned upon, and we realized it didn’t get us any traction on the platform.

We realized that since our focus was more on Instagram we were best moving back to Buffer! It wasn’t a big deal and the world didn’t end. We took the chance and although it didn’t work out for us on this occasion, it won’t stop us from trying new tools and platforms to find what does work for us.

TOP TIP: Although it’s tempting to go for the free and very low cost tools out there and it might seem like a worthwhile saving, but free and cheaper tools tend to require a larger investment of your time. So, going for those tools isn’t always the smartest business move! We have had no luck with free tools in the long term and have always found making investments in higher quality, feature rich tools save us time and help us focus on other aspects of the business. This has been particularly true when it comes to captions and transcriptions where it’s free or low cost because it’s AI/bots and not humans transcribing. The error rate was so high for us it was well worth paying $1 per minute to Rev.com instead. AI is getting better and maybe we’ll these services again at some point.

How we have Adapted our Copywriting & Blog Posts 

It’s so important to have high-quality copy to support your content. Whether you’re posting a video on YouTube or a graphic on social, it’s the visuals that grab people’s attention but it’s often the copy that convinces them to stay/comment/engage. We have always appreciated the benefits of strong copy and focused on this from day one.

Lessons Learned from 100 Episodes of the Podcast

Here are a few of the best copywriting lessons we have learned over the past 100 episodes of the podcast…

Platform-specific copy

We’ve always made sure that our copy is platform-specific. This means following the guidelines of each of the social media platforms and making sure your copy meets those requirements.

Although this isn’t a new lesson for us as we’ve always created platform-specific copy, it’s still important to reflect on your own copywriting guidelines to make sure that your tone of voice is in keeping with your brand no matter if you’re writing a post for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or even an email to a client! Plus, we have found things change, and they change quickly, and we have learnt to always stay on top of what’s working and not working.

Blog posts

We changed the way we present different media in our blog posts.  Back in the day, we placed our podcast player at the top of our blog post and then got straight into the meat of the post. We’ve now changed this to begin with an introduction, followed by a mini CTA encouraging people to hit play on the short video trailer where I reveal what they can expect from the episode (as mentioned above).

They then have the choice to either listen to the podcast episode or read the blog post. We’ve found that mixing up the delivery of media and the layout of our posts has helped to make it much more audience-friendly and SEO friendly too.

Reflections as a Podcast Host

After recording 100 episodes, it’s only natural to pick up a few tips and tricks along the way. So, here’s a few of my top lessons learned from hosting 100 episodes of the Content 10x podcast…

Preparation and planning

When I first started the podcast, I do all the research that I needed to do for every episode. Then I would grab a piece of paper and write notes to help me deliver the episode. It wasn’t mountains of notes by any means and usually would take the form of a bullet-pointed list of topics I wanted to discuss on the show.

Today, I spend a lot more time on the initial preparation stages of recording a podcast in that I write out more of a detailed overview of the podcast which borders on a script.  I find by doing this I can record an entire episode in one take (most of the time!), whereas my bullet-points used to results in a lot of retakes! Longer on the prep results in lesser time recording, and the longer plan is easier to turn into a blog post.

Repurposing blog posts into podcasts

We’re in the process of changing how we create blog posts and podcast episodes – in terms of what we create first.  Occasionally, my copywriting team plan, research and write the blog posts first. Then, I repurpose that blog post into a full-length podcast episode. Normally, as mentioned above, it would podcast episode into blog post. It’s still in the initial trial stages, but a great example of something that we’re in the process of changing and fine-tuning. I love this approach because we’re able to do a lot more research and provide more examples and references.

Guest shows

Over the past 100 episodes of the show, we’ve had the pleasure of having a number of incredible guests on the podcast. I will say that practice makes perfect and as an interviewer, I think that I’ve got much better at delivering guest interviews over time.

The more hours that I've put into guest interviews, the more confident I get and the better that I’ve been able to control the discussion. If you’re just starting a podcast and you’re feeling a little rusty or even nervous about having guests on your show, don’t be! The more experience you get, the better you’ll be. Trust me.

The biggest lesson of all…

We’ve come a long way since the very first episode and we’re looking forward to 100 more!

But…the biggest lesson of all is to repurpose, repurpose, repurpose!

Creating new high quality content every week takes a lot of time, which is why repurposing your content is so important. Extract all the value that you can and use your core content to have presence on many platforms and reach as many people as possible.

Whether you’ve been listening to the podcast or reading the blog for a while or this is your first time, I want to say thank you for your support and here’s to 100 more episodes!


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