Having people listen to your podcast is one thing; getting them to take action is another. When you successfully get people to do the latter, you can be sure that they will be with you through it all. So how can you achieve that? Tom and Tracy Hazzard give you an answer: actionable podcast content. And no, this is not the same as your call to actions. Actionable podcast content is literally the actual content that will bring people to you, engaging with you on your social media platforms and, most importantly, seeking you out for what they need. Tom and Tracy take you across what you need to know about actionable content and more—from what it is and why you need it, to the different kinds of actionable content you can create for your show. Ultimately, these great actionable content will help you earn the trust of your listeners, which will translate well into your sales.
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Why Podcasters are Obsessed with Actionable Podcast Content
We’re going to talk actionable podcast content or actionable content for your podcast, whatever way you want to talk about it.
We’re going to talk about what it means, what actionable content is and then some examples of some different actionable content you can create and why you want to do this.
First things first, I want to talk about what it’s not. Actionable content is not advertisements. It’s not what we think of in our mind, call to action. We are calling people to take action, but it’s not that salesy call to action thing. This is not what actionable content is. Actionable content is something that gets engagement. That’s what we’re talking about, ways in which you can get more engagement with your content that you’re creating, your blog posts, podcasts, videos and social shares. It works for all types, but there are some nuances to it.
Why do we want to get actionable content? Here’s the thing, you’re putting out podcast audio and videos. Maybe some of you are. Maybe you’re recording it as a video, but you do not know who those audiences are, who those viewers are. You don’t know. Apple does not tell you anything about who your actual audience are and you don’t even know how many subscribers you have on the different platforms.
This is a rookie question I get from someone who’s new to podcasting. They always ask, “Where are my subscribers?” I was like, “They don’t belong to you.” How are you going to get people to take action? When they take action, now they belong to you. When they engage with you, they belong to you because you know who they are. You’re starting to communicate with them. In most cases on social media platforms, the minute they engage with you, you’re able to see their profile. You’re able to see information on you. You can get them to subscribe to your things. That’s the next goal, getting them to move to your Facebook page, Instagram account, friend, follow, whatever it is that you’re looking for.
We’re going to talk about not only where you put actionable content, but where that actionable content is going to bring people to. You don’t want to leave them on social media, the podcast app or send them directly from your podcast episode, that app directly to somebody else’s website or some other platform. That helps those other websites and platforms. A few things to think about with actionable content.
The thing about it is that we want to breed loyalty and trust. That’s our goal with engagement to build trust over time. Some of that turns into loyalty, liking, knowing and wanting to get more from you. We find it if we do it well, then what happens is that we get to a stage at which people ask to buy our stuff. They ask us, “Where can I get more from you? Where could I have that? Can I have a call with you?” They start asking before we put it out there. That’s the ultimate goal. That they’re already out there and they go, “I know this person. I want to start a podcast and I see Tom and Tracy all the time. I’m going to seek them out and ask them my questions because they are the source.” It’s also because when they have a higher level of engagement, they have more likelihood to take that bigger call to action that you’re looking for, that purchase. We want to have that engagement going on. What’s happening here is that we have a certain trust factor that takes time.
Trust is not built instantly. Trust is built over time with consistency and constancy, which you read all the time, being consistent and constant with your show and posting. That’s the number one thing you can do. If I show up for you like clockwork, what’s going to happen is you trust me because you know I will be there. That in and of itself helps build that right there. That’s the first thing. The second part is serving and some of you don’t love that. You want to come out there and you want to use your podcast to sell. I hear it all the time from a lot of gurus and other people out there going, “There’s no reason you can’t sell from episode one.” I can tell you it erodes trust over time. It does not build trust at the same depth, level and deepness that gets them to say, “I don’t have any qualms about what you’re charging. I’m going.” I’m going to purchase it from you. That trust happens because I’m showing that I deeply care about you as my reader. I deeply care about you out there and because of that, I’m showing you that I care more about you than I do about selling and doing these pushy sales things. That you have to do now, you earn the right to sell. You do over time.Trust is not built instantly. Trust is built over time with consistency. Click To Tweet
You may be wondering, “Why is actionable content important?” I would say it’s more important right now than it has been. It’s always been important, but even more important now. Especially with a lot of people out of work, maybe sales are down for your business. There’s a lot of nervousness and uncertainty out there in the market. There is a deep hunger for human connection, for people to learn and to be prepared for coming out of this time. Creating actionable content and serving now is important when people are going to be ready to take action themselves, spend, seek consulting or courses, whatever it is you may have.
The trust you earned from serving with great actionable content will translate into sales July, August and September. It takes time for you to build up that platform. When I give my webinars and training, there’s an accelerator process to having built a good platform and that platform underneath your website, blog posts, podcasts and videos, all of that is built into that platform. It’s a demonstration of your value and authority. How much do you care? How much do you serve? With everything out there is sell and not serve, then sell. If it’s that, then they see the bulk of what you do is serving them, and then you have opportunities for them to get more accelerate, do you think? What we find though is over time that platform has an acceleration factor. The more content you have in that, the more engagement people are getting. You’re putting out there, the more engagement you’re getting from the audience, and people that they do know, the more likely you are to get a higher level of sales and faster traction into whatever new thing you want to introduce. This is the problem that I hear from many of you go out there and you’re like, “I built my course. I wrote my book, it’s launched and it’s on Amazon.”
Where was engagement before that? Where were you building with the audience? Where were you letting them know? It’s not about, “My book is coming out.” It’s about, “Here’s a great story that I couldn’t wait to share. I can’t wait for my book to come out. I’m sharing this with you right now.” Did you hear that? I did mention I have a book coming out but I didn’t do it in a salesy way that says, “Here’s my link. Buy it. Go sign up.” That’s not actionable. “I’ll tell a story. What do you think? What’s about it?” I’m asking these questions and I’m putting content out there with the opportunity for engagement. “Do you think I should include more stories in these books? Wouldn’t that be great if you did that back when you were writing it?” You would have this community built up who’s excited to read this book. They can’t wait for it. They’re excited to take your course, to be in your beta testers. They’re all hanging on that because they engaged with you and they felt that they had input. They were getting sneak peeks along the way too that were in service to them because you weren’t going to hold out until you could make $9 off of them or whatever the book sells for $8.
Not only that, a lot of people create a book or build a course, create their amazing website that may have all content on it that is there to serve people, but they create it. Once they put it out there, they wonder, “Why isn’t anybody taking it? Why isn’t anybody communicating with me? Why aren’t they engaging with me? Why aren’t they buying the book?” You can’t build it and expect people to find it just because it’s there. That’s what the content is all about.
When we do products that we used to put in Costco, Costco had tremendous trust and it was a shopping destination source. Social media is not like that. Social media is not a shopping destination source. I’m not here to say I want to buy a book and a course. If I want to look something up like that, I’ll probably Google it or go to Amazon. I’m going to do those things where I’m going to go out to the place that I expect to do those in, not here on social media. If we’re looking for those actionable contents, it’s not on podcast either. When I’m looking for podcasts, I’m looking for edutainment. Something I can learn, but something I can be educated. I’m not looking to be sold to. I’m not signing up for a webinar. That’s some of the basics there.
I want to go into how do you create something that is actionable? Here are some of the tools that we found. We’ve been testing out social media posts for about 8 or 9 months. We’ve been testing them out with different types of posts for the show. We test out Instagram and audiograms. For those of you don’t know what an audiogram is, instead of using the video, because maybe you don’t record a video, you have a sound wave that goes around something that’s going on the screen, that’s creating a full video and then captions. It’s creating a video with all of that. We’ve been testing up those. We test out different types of posts and the quality of the posts. Quote ones, Ego Bait™ ones as we’ve talked about before, ones where we’re promoting somebody else, steps, things like our instructions, 1, 2, 3, how you do stuff.
That’s a good one that a lot of you can do. If you’re working with us on your podcast anyway and you’re having us create audiograms for you, you have those. If you’re doing interview episodes, you have Ego Bait™ graphics. Your guest is being incentivized to share that with the email they get the day you’re up to some publishers. Tracy, you’re getting into other things that you can create additionally that will serve your business and serve your show. I agree with you, giving people a step-by-step process of how to do something, create content around that. That’s not only something you’re talking about, but it’s a step-by-step process. It’s something actionable they can go and do.
These are what we’re talking about with the step-by-step process is a static post. You should do videos and you can do them, but if you’re doing a static post, like an image on Instagram or something on Pinterest, don’t have more than three steps, otherwise, it’s too busy. We see a lot of them that have all these multi-steps, but I can tell you they don’t get the high engagement. It’s three to five steps that you could squeeze in small, but keep them short.
Five at most.
If you’re going to do a video, you still should keep it to a maximum of seven and that would need to be an hour-long video to do seven. You can do videos to step on that. Videos of any kind, including audiograms, get four times more engagement than any other type of posts. Engagement, not four times more viewers, four times more engagement. That is because they see you live, they think, “I can talk back to you.” Audiograms don’t quite get that same but they still get a good boost in there. Especially if you use a Watch Party feature on Facebook where you’re streaming the audiogram live, which you can do from using things like we’ve talked about on the show before. Repurpose.io or other things where you can stream out existing videos and do them like a live stream. You want to do that, it’s good for you.
Try to create engagement by doing that, starting a Watch Party. I find that the Watch Parties get the most engagement. When you see that where to start, send a wave to the people you don’t know and you do know, say something, try to spur the engagement on. That’s one of the reasons why I don’t love creating the Watch Party at the exact moment that I’m doing the live stream. I like to do it at two different times, that way I can watch the Watch Party later and have a different set level of engagement and have almost sides. They realize that I’m there. I didn’t set it for Watch Party. There’s a real human being there, “It’s the host. It’s the person who was on.” You can do that as well and think of it as answering additional questions as they come up. It’s being available to do that. That’s always a good way. Videos and step-by-step processes are the two of the major ones that we have found over time. The other one that we have and this is targeting specific needs and problems.
Who you think your audience are? Hopefully, that’s similar to who your target customer is. What are their needs, desires and pain points? What can you do to help them take action to meet those needs?
We’ve had a few people who have mentioned and this is not our clients, but off the side, where there are some shows that are going dark especially in the real estate world, which seems completely odd to me. If there’s not any time at which I’m sitting here thinking that, “My house is too small. I need to get a new one.” I have plenty of time to get on Zillow. This is a time to not be dark about my show. This is a time to be out there pushing out and saying, “When you can walk outside and go see a house when you’re out of sequestering or out of whatever you might be in, now is the time to go find the right home so that if this happens again, you have the space and private office area that you need.” This is a perfect time to build trust so that those sales come later in the year by targeting where they are. If you let your content lag, what they see is, “You weren’t there for me when I needed you most.” Wouldn’t that be sad?
There’s a lack of engagement and interest, out of sight, out of mind. This is a time where I would be putting out more content and doubling down on serving my community. We are seeing a lot of people doing that. Jesse Cole of Business Done Differently, he normally does a weekly show. He puts out one every single day of the week. That was timely talking about things that are relevant to what we’re all experiencing in the economy, in our society that’s relevant to business and the subject of his podcast. There are people who recognize this opportunity, not only that, listenership is way up. Edison Research came out and said that, “The largest percentage of podcast listeners, more than 60% are listening from home.” That was before the stay-at-home orders.
It was in their 2020 state of the audio content. It wasn’t just podcasts. Most of the listening was happening at home before this and it still is. It’s happening on your computer, not just on your mobile phone. You have lots of ways to engage. There are links and other things. We’ve got one on Booking Great Guests that have had a high engagement that every time we circulate, it gets an additional level of circulation on that. It’s making your LinkedIn profile stand out.
I interviewed with someone and encapsulated ways to make your LinkedIn profile stand out. That’s great. For me, the best part about that is because it was based on an interview, every time I do share it, that person shares it as well. Every time the engagement happens, they’re getting engagement. You can get your guests involved by sharing their content, their information and boosting them in that process. We have a post that’s called Encouraged Engagement and it’s doing well too. You can all check that out and see what’s working. Try them, click through them, check them out, see what we’ve done here. See the formatting, see the engagement that’s going on by looking directly into the post.The trust in the service that you build now is how you're going to get the sales later. Click To Tweet
There’s no end to the actionable content you can create, anything that gets people off of their app and onto your website. That could be to get something of value ideally for free initially, a white paper, chart, and infographic. It could be for them to ask a question of you, offering your podcast say, “You can go to my website. You can ask a question.” There are ways to do that where they can ask you a question verbally and be recorded so you can use their question in your podcast and you’re not doing it live. They can ask you a question and you can answer them. There are ways to create actionable content. It may be unique for your business. It may be nothing we’ve even mentioned here, but it is something that you need to do that’s relevant to your subject matter and get out, meet a need for your target customer. All engagement opportunities, no bad ideas. It’s a matter of choosing one and taking action, creating it.
I want to reiterate the thing we said that the trust and service that you build now is how you’re going to get the sales later. This is what we know from being on and off the marketing roller coaster. On Marketing Monday Mixer, Juliet and I talked about the Marketing Roller Coaster. The marketing roller coaster is that you get busy and great clients because you did all of that wonderful marketing that you were supposed to do, you hit the peak and you’re like, “I’ve got all these good clients, I’ve got all these great sales.” All of a sudden, you step back and you slow down on your content and the next thing you know, you find out, “I didn’t have as many clients this month as I had last month. What happened?” It’s your responsibility to be consistent, constant and show up to keep that steady growth happening. We can’t always do it like a launch promotion, which is highly intense. We want to make sure that it’s at a pace at which we can handle it. Posting consistency about how often we go out there. If you can’t do every day of the week, that’s okay. Keep up your once a week and don’t fail on that because that is going to build you the trust you’re going to need to be able to get the sales. You’re going to come and you’re going to find out you don’t have sales.
It’s easy to get caught up when you have done all that marketing, you have a bunch of clients, you have a lot of work to do, you get busy doing that work, and you might not remember. You might forget about doing marketing. It’s certainly not your highest priority. The highest priority is delivering for that client that’s paying you to deliver. If you don’t take that time and do it consistently, if you don’t mark it, you’re going to find yourself in that steep dive on the marketing roller coaster.
The last thing I want to say because we’re talking actionable content is making sure that you understand what that means for you and your audience. Actionable content is not something promotional. It is not something that goes out there and is saying, “Here’s my podcast. Listen.” That is not an action. That is pushing messages out there. This is, “Here’s my podcast, here’s why you should listen, and here are the questions that I have for you. Here are the lessons learned in this podcast. If you want to take further action, you can listen.” Making sure that you’re pulling out those wonderful actual details from what you’ve put out there. Don’t waste what’s buried. They’re not going to give it a shot when they think you’re pushing a show. They want to know what’s in it that’s worth it to them. Demonstrate that by showing them that in your actionable posts.
There may be some other things I’ve seen people making actionable content from. I’ve seen a lot of this people, who depending on your niche, they’re doing a seven-day challenge. That’s another great way to be creating content that’s actionable. Make sure it’s done in a way where people are not only taking action on their own but engaging with you. A lot of these programs do that and that can be worthwhile depending on your niche.
Make sure that people are sharing back the results and are doing these things or sharing it with others. Those are the actions you want them to be taking in the process. Be careful with the paid seven-day challenges and other things. They’re not working well.
I wasn’t suggesting paid, you want to be serving first and that seven-day challenge, people that participate, that can lead in the future to lead generation for a paid program.
You could do that if you also have this time constraint, but you happen to have a free week that you were scheduled to go to our conference and you’re not going. Your calendar’s a lot more open than it was supposed to be. Why not create a seven-day challenge for yourself to go out there and put out actionable content each day and do different messaging than you normally do? Go on and take that and try and make sure that you’re thinking about that target audience, making action happen in an engagement way, not in a salesy way, and then go forward and build that trust over time so that they will become your clients.
I hope this is helpful to all of you that are reading to this blog. We’d love to hear from you about what other actionable content you have in life.
We’d like to hear you engage. If you’re reading this blog, you can go to FeedYourBrand.co and you’ll be able to see those Instagram posts in terms of creating actionable and you’ll be able to model us. That’s always the best way when you can model someone else. We would love for your engagement anywhere on social media, @FeedYourBrand. You can engage with us and tell us what you think of our posts.
We’ll be back with another great episode on Feed Your Brand.
- Business Done Differently
- Booking Great Guests – previous episode
- Interview – previous episode
- Marketing Monday Mixer
- @FeedYourBrand – Facebook
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